Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Escape to Alcatraz Florida Race Report

Fun times! On the way over to Clermont for this sprint, TriSherpaDi and I watched the thermometer on the truck go from 44 at my door to 38 at one point, then miraculously back up to 44 once we reached Lake Louisa State Park. With the time change, we had an 8am start - the presence of daylight did little to help the temps!

We had 324 Finishers, and for $100, would you believe there were no finisher's medals? Yes, we got t-shirts, and they are a nice, tight weave cool-max, but for the most expensive sprint I've ever done, I kinda expected a medal. Pizza at the finish line - nope. Some poor kid flipping hot dogs that we waited in line for - I'm not sure what's worse for you, hotdogs or pizza? Shoot - the Mad Dog Sprint is $85, and they have Pizza, a live band, and a BEER TRUCK! Race Officials? Must have been too cold - there wasn't a single one that I saw, and since it was a 2 lap bike, I had most of the pros and elites racing zoom by me. Only saw one pack - but then again, there were only 324 people racing.

The RD (same one who stole my $5) may have overlooked a few things you'd expect in a $100 sprint, but he sure can sing. He belted out the National Anthem at the start. After I got kicked out of transition, I sauntered down to the water's edge in the face of a serious wind coming in directly over the lake. Going out - some nasty in-your-face waves that reduced more than me to some breast and side strokes in order to get some air that didn't come with a wave chaser. It was about 400m out, 100 m 'over' and then 400m back. I came in at 21:48 for 1000m - I must have made up some time swimming with the wind.

I struggled getting my suit off, as usual, and then dressing up for the bike ride, putting a dry long sleeve shirt on to a wet body - not fun. Even the gloves gave me fits. T1 was all of 4:06, an insanely long time to be putzing around with clothes!

The bike ride in Louisa Park is hilly and wind exposed. They cut back much of the trees - it looks barren for most of the ride. Barren means no trees blocking the wind. All I could muster was 18.3 mph average on a 17.09 mile course with 642' of climbing according to my Garmin. Over an Ironman distance, that would be about 4220 feet of climbing - not really that hilly compared to Coeur d'Alene....

I got off the bike with frozen solid feet - I was surprised that they were all that was uncomfortably cold on that ride. I couldn't shift to my smallest gear (I thought I had that fixed...) so on down hills and flats I really didn't get the speed I could have. No biggie - it was all for fun. T2 was actually pretty speedy - 1:35 - I didn't try to take off the long-sleeves or the gloves - so I probably looked silly on the run course for a while. I did see a bike helmit about a quarter mile into the run course on the ground...that brought a little chuckle.

I never got into a groove on the run. It wasn't bad really, just not even as fast as my last 10k pace. Lots of sand and ruts on part of the off-road course. A couple of hills, but not bad, really. I was 26:41 for what they said was a 5k - actually, my Garmin has it as 2.9 miles. I took 4th in the Over-40 Clydesdales - missed 3rd by a good 10 minutes. I've got some work to do before St. Anthony's Olympic!

On a good note (yea, this report is very negative so far...sorry about that!), we waited until the end of awards because Excel Man wanted to get in the raffle for the Alcatraz race - they asked how many folks wanted to go and 27 raised their hands. All 27 got a slot, and now Excel Man's pretty excited about going to San Fransisco! No, the Bigun can't afford it this year - once is enough for a while.

So, good grief, no police needed in a closed-Park bike course and run Course. No aid stations on the bike, one on the run. One coming in to T1 off the swim. No race medals. No officials. No after-race party or eats to speak of. If it were a $30 or $40 sprint, it would have been great. For a hundo....if I didn't feel ripped off before, I really feel like it now! Fortunately, that was my last "Z" race.

No get off the computer and train, Bigun.

21 comments:

Cindy Jo said...

WOW - $100 for that!?! Not to mention gas money, right? And Ziebart even sang the National Anthem himself??? Haha


Great job in the "cold."

Fe-lady said...

You should have raised your hand for the Alcatraz tri and then the $100 would have been worth getting the slot! (Maybe...!)
Have you already done that race? I can't keep everyone straight!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the race report, Bigun!

(You know how to make me jealous though! 44°!!)

Steve Stenzel said...

Wow, not a lot to show for the 100 bucks!

I'm with you with regards to crappy T1 times. Why are we so slow?!?

Nice report!!

Danielle in Iowa said...

I am always afraid I am going to be that dork who forgets to take off her helmet.

For an adventure race that a friend and I did, one training day she rode her bike to the lake so we could practice canoeing and we are out in the middle of the lake and I'm up front and I turn around and I am laughing so hard that I can't even tell her that she still has her helmet on.

moonpie said...

A friend of mine told me how easy it was to get an Alcatraz slot, so as long as it's a qualifier I'll probably do the race next year, since that is one of my "dream" races.

Otherwise, I would heed your advice and experience about the suckitude of the RD.

Supalinds said...

Did you take a nap in T1 :)

Great race!!!!

Comm's said...

I have done some sprints with no aid stations. and now taht you mention it, no medals either. Huh. Weird. Thanks for being up painful subjects. No bling, means no swing. Too bad.

TJ said...

At least you got in some more race experience Bigun.
Sprint races around here are usually half that price and have medals and decent post race food.

CoachLiz said...

Now I know where to go and get an Alcatraz slot...

Bolder said...

you must have felt even more ripped off, when you found out Alcatraz is in California

Brian said...

100 bucks and no post race goodies or a bling, you need to file racketeering charges.

It snowed where in Sat in Atlanta.
So be glad you got to race.

-Brian

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

Alcatraz is in California???? Good race, Bigun. Races are a lot more fun when you know more than one person in the race. Kinda gives you something to do, you know? And even though Mrs B wouldn't share her blanket, she's still good company! ;)

S. Baboo said...

Wow! $100 is pretty messed up for what you got. That tops the chart for expensive sprints.

Good job getting 4th!

excel man said...

The price seems reasonable to me. After all, Nina Kraft was there and her medical expenses aren't cheap! :^)

greyhound said...

So, I guess you got a couple of DVDs from Netflix while you were in T1? How was the popcorn, big guy?

It must have been the $100 T1 buffet put out by the race director.

blink140pnt6 said...

Rape!

TRI-ROB said...

Ok Mr. Negative Guy... what's up with all the snivel gear!? Geesh... I thought I was a big pink panty wearin whiner baby when it comes to cold! I guess I shouldn't talk... b/c I'm doin Alcatraz this year and I KNOW I'm going to freeze my fanny off in the bay!

21stCenturyMom said...

He got an Alcatraz slot by doing a $100 sprint? I would SO do that!! I'm so bummed I didn't get into Alcatraz *sniffle*

Anyhow - I think it's good that you got to experience "cold". You Floridians need that once in a while, non?

IronJenny said...

Forty-four is ideal for running, but on the bike your toes must have been frozen!
Good job.

Ultra, Iron "GeekGirl" Misty said...

Holy Ripoff, Batman. Another race to avoid. Sounds like you did a good job in it, though. The pictures are good! I can't believe Di said LOSE WEIGHT, LOL. She must know that you don't hit girls.