Trevor’s Wildflower Race Report

P5011199The start at Wildflower is definitely the most chaotic ‘get out of my way’ start line you’ll find.  Unfortunately I’m a bit of a chicken shit when it comes to start lines like that.  Last year I got a very swift kick to the eyeball so was looking to prevent that on this one.  For some reason everyone seemed to fighting for the far left side so it was crowded, everyone swung very wide around the first buoy, like they didn’t see it or something.  I managed to cut across at the right time and get on some feet that seemed to be moving well.  It was an effort to stay with them.  An ideal situation…if you’re working hard in a draft, you know you’re going faster than you could on your own.  All was good until we hit the far turn buoys, someone up ahead must have lost contact because it went from a decent effort to breast stroke pace in a matter of a few strokes.  Getting out of the water I was a bit shocked to see a slow 27 minutes on the watch, even with the snails pace return leg it felt like it should have been quicker.  I did, however, take solace in the fact that Rutger Beke was right with my group.  Given that he’s one of the better swimmers around I’m sure he had a few mishaps along the way.

P5011224I had a good transition.  In effort to avoid the gong show of a T1 I had last month I put my shoes on while still in transition, as opposed to leaving them attached to the bike.  Way faster.  All 4 guys I came into T1 with were out just ahead of me, but they went way behind as they fumbled with their shoes and balance on the bike through the first couple hundred meters.  Never again will I contemplate the shoes on bike thing.  It may matter in ITU racing when you need to catch a big pack for the draft, but in long course non-draft events it really loses the point…other than cool factor, or if you’re really good at it, I guess.  Taking the shoes OFF while still moving into the second transition…that’s a different story and certainly one worth doing every time without question.

Moving on…

P5011242The bike course at Wildflower can make or break your race in a big way.  All the hills, except for one, come in the last 20 miles.  If you’re fried at that point you’ll go backwards quickly and suffer hard on the hilly run.  At mile 10 of the bike, Rutger Beke came by with Ain-Alar Juhansen.  It briefly entered my mind to try and stay with those two, but having seen the latest Triathlete magazine with ‘Kona’s fastests cyclist’ on the front cover (Juhansen) I let the day dream fade away.  I knew the course, I knew what I could do, I knew I wanted to be strong on the run, saving something on the early stages of the bike was important.  Sure enough, once we hit the hills, 10 – 15 people came back to me and I was still feeling really strong.  On the final climb back into the park another couple athletes were on the last of their legs and I started feeling pretty good about how the race had been going so far.  The only mishap was some poor planning on the nutrition front.  I generally plan on eating banana as often as I can over the course of the ride.  Perhaps the aid stations hadn’t unpacked the bananas and powergels yet but all I saw was water and gatorade until the final station where I tried 3 times for some banana, each one falling to the ground.  Frustrating but not detrimental by any means, I didn’t feel hungry or weak so all was good.

wildflowerrunComing down into T2 I was pumped to smoke off a fast run split and real in some more overzealous cyclists.  I figured I had to be really close to the top 10 – surely I was the only guy in the whole race that had paced the bike properly.  Surely!  Haha.  Nope, about 2 minutes into the run some guy on the side of the road yells – “YOU’RE 50 SECONDS DOWN ON 20TH PLACE.”  I’m 50 second down on 20th place???  How is that even possible, I passed so many people on the bike and was about to run my best race ever.  Talk about deflation of the desire to suffer.  It took me 20 minutes to get out of that funk and focus on myself again.  Hitting the first of the hills on the run put me back into the funk.  The legs were weak, not loaded with energy like I had planned.  Even so, I did my best to push it as hard as I could and salvage a good day, the possibility of a great one seemed to be gone, though.

P5011256Positives: Coming in for a final time of 4:19 on this course is good, 4-5 minutes out of the top 10 and 6 minutes faster than last year despite the slower swim.  Closer to the leaders and athletes I like to call ‘marker athletes’ (I think Llanos beat me by 25 minutes last year, to this years 16.  Maybe I can chop another 10 off for next year – that’s ambitious, I know).  Marker athletes are guys I use to gauge my splits and overall times from race to race.  I find if you have a group of 4 or 5 marker athletes you can get a pretty good idea of where you were good, bad, or great relative to previous races.  All in all, this one rates a Good.  17th in a field of 50 or so, with the top 10 all names you’ve seen on a professional podium before…except for Romaine Guillaume from France.  But then again, he could very well be the champion of France…I’ll have to have a look.

Wildflower 2009 is done with.  AVIA and TriCalifornia put on such a great event.  Now the long stuff comes into focus.  Ironman Coeur d’Alene and Ironman Canada.  Probably some other Half Iron events that we’ll use as race effort training days as well.  We’re hoping to get up to the Okanagan for a great little Half Iron in Oliver but the plan is not yet for sure.  There’s also some great little ‘splash and dash’ events in Santa Barbara that we’re looking forward to racing.  Mainly in an effort to figure out what’s going on with our open water swim results.  We’re both swimming slightly faster in the pool than last year( yardage Vs. meters taken into account) but it’s not translating into race day performance.

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~ by trevorandheather on May 7, 2009.

4 Responses to “Trevor’s Wildflower Race Report”

  1. Nice work dude, keep it up, I can’t wait to see how you guys do at Coeur D’Alene. You still doing Boise or are you skipping it?
    Mike

  2. Awesome to see you both at Wildflower. Trevor, you’ve got what it takes to climb to the top as Heather has. Best with everything!

  3. Nice one Trevor. That’s a good time on a tough course.

  4. Good work bruv!

    Maybe get plantains next time, they may easier to hold 😉

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