2013 West Point Triathlon Photos & Report

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Today I took part  in the 2013 edition (24th Annual)  West Point sprint triathlon.  Its popular local triathlon held at Camp Buckner, in West Point NY , just a short distance from the Military Academy campus. The race itself is a  sprint triathon, Its a  800m swim, 14mile bike and 5k run.

Photos

It was nice to meet everyone, If we took photos, please head on over to my Picasa (Google+) link to see and download (full-resolution) of the ones you like  (sorry for some of the blurry shots, sometimes the auto-focus doesn’t play nice)

Race Report: Pre-Race

This year, decided to do a combo shopping Westbury Outlets/triathlon  weekend, so we stayed at a local hotel nearby, smart decision, that coupled with a later race start (8:30a) made it for a relatively relaxing race morning.  I commend the race director for starting later, this is something I wish more shorter distance races woudl do. They probably can start closer to 9am-10, since most competitors will finish in two -three hours.

Arriving at 6:30a, the race parking lot was buzzing with activity as competitors, family and friends. The late start was a good idea, giving everyone time to walk the 1.5 mile to the transition area. Pre-race packet pick-up also made it easy to get to transition body marked and rack the bike.

RACE Features and highlights

Blind athlete led by guide

Blind athlete led by guide

Being at the military academy’s training ground this is one of  Team RWB  signature races (Team Red,White and Blue , veterans community and support organization ) . The race featured a large field of current and former active service personnel, plus a few celebrity personalities , participating in the the team relays along with some senior military academy officers and challenged athletes.

The race also had several challenged athletes ( amputee athletes and blind athletes ) , who put in some kick-ass performances, particularly on the run. These guys and ladies are just amazing,

The men’s race was won by Team RWB lead pro-am  James Chesson, Chesson, scorched the field with his usually strong bike split, which gave him a sizable gap on his competitors starting the run.

This race is also very well  officiated, USA Triathlon has uniformed race referees, tending to all mater of USAT triathlon rules and regulations.  They also have these refs on moto bikes service as race marshals during the bike segment. . Its very rare for a local sprint race to have this level of officiating, but nice to see.

SWIM

Swim Exit

me at Swim Exit

This year water temp was 76 , so it was wetsuit-legal, unlike last year’s race. The lake swim is an 800m swim in a counter clockwise rectangular course. Starting in the second wave we started about 5min apart form the first (sabre wave). The swim had the usual jostling within the first 100m , but then spread out quickly, I felt my navigation to the first buoy was a bit better than last year, but my breathing still favors my left side in racing (need to fix that). With nice cloud cover, sun glare was not an issue this race, and it was easy to spot out the course. After hitting the second buoy, it was a turn for the shore area. Tried to catch the draft of a few guys ahead of me, it worked for I bit, its always hit or miss if you can find a swimmer who’s just a bit faster than you to draft off of.  Seeing the weeds, meant I was close to the end of the swim, then I just popped up and done.

BIKE

James Chessom race winner at T2

James Chessom race winner at T2

Out of the swim its a quick jog to the transition area, stripped off my wet suit grabbed my helmet and off to the bike course, I went. I had the shoes clipped in and this was great for quick transition, but I struggled putting my feet into the shoes, because one of the straps came out of its buckle, so I spent most of the first mile just trying to get my feet tethered in.

The bike course is over a straight, rolling road, I felt a little better on the bike starting this year (maybe because i got a rest with all the shoe fiddling i did) . Eventually, when I got going, I slowly accelerated , starting to pick up a few racers in front of me. I did pretty well on the first of two mild climbs, consistently passing folks up the hills. At around mile 4, is the first of two turnarounds, then its onto a fast and long descent, where you can easily get over 40 mph. From there I settled into a rhythm.  The climbs also seemed easier this year.  The Cervelo P2 worked well, and its definitely a fast bike.

Dismounting at t2

Dismounting at t2

After the second turnaround and I paced myself up that last climb and once I crested it, it was back onto the big chain-ring, and cranking it all the way to T2.  Seeing the cones I popped my feet out of my shoes and road the last .2 miles atop of the pedals. This makes it very easy to dismount and run into transition.

RUN

at 3.5km

at 3.5km

With no bike shoes to undo, I slipped on my Kinveras  (my go to race shoe for sprints and Olympic distance races) and off on the run I went. The run is a 5k course,slightly altered from last year  is similar to the  bike course featuring rolling terrain, with a nice steep little climb around the 1km mark. I chugged up that hill , hit the turnaround cone and then tried to pick up some speed and rest on the down hill.

I didn’t look much at my watch , but I did see my HR was in the 150 range, which is low for me and I don’t think I was pushing as hard as I could be. I paced off a few guys , particularly this one slender guy who I met after the race, Roger C. , he was neck and neck with me since T2 until the last km and that may have helped push me to finish a bit faster to the finish .

zig-zagging my way to the race finish

zig-zagging my way to the race finish

After 4km its one more turn around then onto the finish chute, where I was all smiles, mostly because I beat my last year’s time.

Then it was onto some post race food, and camaraderie with  fellow competitors, its what racing is  all about.  We also met our old Randolph Tri park relay team rivals, Bob, Donna and . Tehy were there again doing the relay, it was good to catch up with them.

POST RACE

the flying Dutchman relay squad, Bob, Donna and Cathy

the flying Dutchman relay squad, Bob, Donna and Cathy

Brasiliero e Portugues

Brasiliero e Portugues

Done beat my time from last year by ~3.minutes. Here’s the breakout from last year’s race.. The swim was  faster, but I’ll chalk that up to the wetsuit.  Westpoint triathlon 2013 race results here.


Year Swim  (800m) T1 Bike (14mi) T2 Run (3.1mi) Finish
2013 15:19*   2:02 43:43  (19.2  mph) 0:54 26:34 (8:34/mi) 1:28:29
2012   17:56 2:12  43:24   (19.3 mph) 1:21  27:14 (8:47/mi) 1:31:06

* westuit legal

Overall happy with my performance, should have pushed a little  harder on the bike and run. Ahhhh… its always easier to say that when your typing a blog post relaxing on the couch, it always makes it seem like the effort wasn’t hard enough.

More Race Photos

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