Rev3 South Carolina 2012

October 18th, 2012 by

Having cleared out of the pipes last weekend in Maryland I decided to jump into the next round of the Revolutions Tri series in Anderson. On the plus side South Carolina is a good few hundred miles futher south than last weekend which meant the weather was going to be considerably more pleasant, however with the ups come the downs – and the soreness in my legs represented the negatives in all of this! A Half Ironman distance at least meant sort of slower speeds and therefore a wee bit more delicacy as far as the pins are concerned. In theory at least anyhow.


Race start in Anderson last Sunday….

I hadn’t raced a Half distance race since June and I hadn’t gone back to back racing w/e’s since September last year, so all in all racing in Anderson was probably going to be an interesting morning. That being said I was looking forward to racing again seeing how I coped. It was a considerably stronger field than the previous weeks event in Columbia so I was simply aiming to get in amongst it all and see how things panned out.

I had been frustrated with my swimming ‘issue’ last week where I had to watch leaders swim away as I struggled to catch my breath, so first and foremost the goal was to get back to hanging out near the front of the pack like I usually do and get out in relative contention. Thankfully normal service resumed this time round and I exited the water in 5th spot, a few secs back of the lead swimmer and just in front of the main group.

The bike loop involved some reasonably rolling terrain which I quite like. It keeps you on your toes and gives you something to think about for the most part. Virtually out of T1 two athletes headed on up the road (and went on to create a gap that meant 1st and 2nd positions were theirs) and I was riding as part of a 9 man group during the first 30 miles. In all USAT (USA Triathlon) sanctioned events outside of WTC/Ironman races, the rules state that we have to ‘stagger’ on the bike. This means that rather than sit 10m directly bethind the front wheel of the rider in front, you must stagger yourself to either the right or the left of that person… no matter how far up the road they may be. – Meaning that if they are positioned on the edge of the road (the right in the US) then you must be off to their left and closer to the centre line (like me in the pic above … although I reckon in this instance I am actually passing Richie 😉 ). This could of course be reversed and as such you are allowed to pass on the the left or the right, or indeed you can go through the middle of two riders if you so choose. To be honest I think its a frustrating way to race; all good and well when there are just two or three of you, but when the numbers swell to 6 and greater it becomes a bit of a logistical nightmare and starts to resemble some form of cycling ballet (but with much less poise) … all it takes is the guy at the very front to swerve to avoid a hole in the road and suddenly everyone has to shift position as it creates a knock on domino type effect back down through the group. It’s hardly conducive for fast and efficient biking and therefore annoys me but thems the rules. The trick is to get yourself off down the road and out of sight … easier said than done I am afraid, but hey ho – it’s the same for us all.

Finally during the remaining 25 miles 4 of us including Terenzon Bozonne, fellow Brit Rich Allen (who actually lives in South Carolina now) and my landlord Richie broke away from the others and hit T2 in the region of at least 6-9 mins behind 1st and 2nd! (I told you they had the first two spots sown up) and evidently it was only 3rd spot up for grabs. I didn’t feel terribly sprightly to be honest and quickly ended up back in 6th spot, but having quite a good race within a race alongsides Richard. A mile or so into the 2nd and final run loop we were both passed by another athlete and at mile 9 I had ‘a first’ in my time so far racing; I was stopped by an official on the course and given a 2 minute ‘stand down’ penalty for cutting a corner on the previous lap. I asked her where this had happened and why I wasn’t stopped at the time, but she didn’t (or wouldn’t, I’m not too sure) give me an answer. It was dissapointing as I was starting to feel like I was getting somewhere, but I realise arguing with a referee is out of the question and as such I got on with the rest of the race once I had had my number ‘black marked’ (a second mark would equal a DQ).

I finished the race in 9th spot having taken a whisker over 4hours and 7minutes to complete the race. I was happy with elements of my race but generally dissapointed with my performance on the whole. I was also sporting two rather unfriendly blisters – one on each foot – which are I suppose the result of having raced so little this summer and essentially getting soft! 

With 5 weeks from this race till Ironman Arizona it’s about time I harder up. Onwards and upwards as always.