100 Triathlons...my next will be # 153!
Go to the early blogs to read how I got into triathlons. Click on any picture to enlarge it. I'm now in USA Triathlon's Century Club; go to
https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Triathlon/Membership-Services/Member-Recognition/Deca-and-Century-Club/Century-Club
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Sunday, October 19, 2014

# 131 TriAmerica Long Course

This final race of my season was run alongside the Great Floridian iron-distance Triathlon by Sommer Sports in Clermont, Florida.  As we used the shorter parts of the ultra course, the distances were 1.2 mile swim, 38 mile bike, and 9 mile run, longer than Olympic but shorter than a half-Ironman. 

I trained for the longer swim and the hills of Lake County in the weeks up to this event so I considered myself ready.  I decided to use the Moulton AM SPEED bicycle as I found I was a little faster on it than my Litespeed plus I was curious as to how it would do. 

The white Moulton SPEED on the rack and ready to go!


Over 500 triathletes in the 3 events.


I arrived at 5:45 to 60' temps and plenty of people were already there.  In transition, I was happy to find longtime friend, Jeff Cuddeback.  The Great Floridan started at 7:30 and we followed at 8:30 for the women and 8:40 for the men.  Wetsuits were just legal with water temp of 77' and I decided to wear mine too.  I hit the water in the mass start and had a very good swim, though I felt warm near the end, finishing in 43:58.  Rushed into transition and began attacking the hills in the first mile of 38.  I knew enough to take it easy for the first 5 miles and was passed by a woman at mile 3 who called out "I see you brought your kiddie bike!".  I said "We'll see." and let her go.  The first 10 miles had some hills but it was still cool, clear, and sunny and I was enjoying the ride.  I knew Sugarloaf was waiting at mile 22.  After many more hills on CR 455, I headed towards Sugarloaf.  All the racers got an extra chip for a "Climb Sugarloaf" competition and there was a blue pad across the road at the base of the the climb and another at the summit.  I felt great as I started the climb, looking up the road to see other racers along with several people walking their bikes.  I shifted down to my lowest gear and alternated standing and spinning all the way up.  Halfway up, a line of BMW motorcycles with sidecars passed me going down the hill (Biketober fest was going in Daytona).



Reaching the top, I shot down the backside, reaching 42.8 mph on the downhill.  The next 16 miles had more tough hills (or was I just getting tired).  At mile 36, I passed the woman who made the kiddie bike comment and she was not happy.  I rolled in with a time of 2:19:27, the bike computer displaying an average speed of 16.4 mph.  The 9 mile run was 2 loops of an out and back bike trail course and it was hot and sunny.  With little shade, it was a tough run and I cramped briefly in the first mile.  Settling down to an steady pace, I carried on, completing the run time of 1:31:08 for a 9:47 mile split.  I crossed the finish line, at 4:45:04, good for 3rd place in my age group.  Jeff was in the overall lead when he had a flat tire at 8 miles to go and rode in on the flat.  He ran hard to get a 5th overall, 1st in his age group with a 3:22:34.  Nina Kraft, the German Ironman champion who lives in Clermont, won the women's overall with 3:31:44.  I was very happy with my choice of the Moulton bike and the suspension was welcome on the bumpy roads.  There were many positive comments made during and after the race about the bike.


All finished.

Nice plaque!

I'm now unsure if I'll do any more long races as I quit enjoying myself about halfway through the run.  I've always loved Olympic distance and will try to find more next season.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

# 130 Clermont Sprint Triathlon

Today was the last of the Clermont Sprint Tri series of 4 races.  Fred Sommer has been doing events at the Clermont waterfront for over 20 years with great success.  This race boasted over 500 competitors today and the organization was great.  I arrived early, got my packet, and racked my bike.  Ran into some old friends and found Ken Junkins, James Mayer, and Will Hathaway were all there today.  These 3 friends train together and are very fast and all 3 are in my age group.  I thought to myself, well, 4th place is open.  I brought the Moulton SPEED to it's first hilly course and with so many people there it attracted a bit of attention.  Kevin Casey was there too and he started in the third wave while I was in the sixth.  Swim was great though it was a little hard seeing the finish looking toward the rising sun.  I took off on the bike a bit cautiously, looking forward to seeing how the Moulton handled the hills.  I was very happy with my performance, averaging 18.2 mph for the 12 miles and hitting 37.6 on the big downhill (followed by a slow uphill).  My runs keeping getting better even with the hills there and I ran a 27:11, good for 8:45 mile splits.  I finished in 4th out of 9 in my age group with a time of 1:15:28 behind Ken, Will, and James. Ken's time was 1:03:01 (30th OA!) with Will and James getting 1:04:04 and 1:04:07 respectively.  They are very fast!  Kevin struggled on the big hill on the bike but had a solid finish and was quite pleased. A great day all around!
It pays to get up early!

Lots of people.

I'm ready!

Happy finish!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

# 129 3rd Annual Seminole County Triathletes Club Tri in Deltona

Today's event was a bit different; it was put on as a "practice" tri by the Seminole County Triathletes.  Billy Price, who turned SCT from an informal Meetup group to a top line triathlon club, has conducted several practice races in the past and this was the best yet.  Staged at a great venue, Campbell Park, in Deltona, it consisted of a 400 yard swim, a 12 mile bike, and a 5k run.  Originally for members only, Billy extended it to guests for a $10 fee.  35 people said they'd do it and 26 competed.  Billy even got full electronic timing for this event.  The lake was warm but pleasant and 3 kayaks ensured our safety on the water.  After the swim, the 12 mile bike ride did have 4 stoplights on it and I was caught twice and had to wait.  I rode the Moulton AM SPEED again and averaged 19 mph over the hilly course.  I hit a maximum speed of 29.4 on a downhill. The run was 2 laps of a hot, sunny, hilly streets and I ran in with a time of 1:21:08, good for 8th overall out of the 26. At 61, I was also the oldest competitor.  There were no awards but Billy did have a raffle, giveaways, and a BBQ chicken dinner.  It was nice sitting in a covered pavilion and enjoy the Florida morning by the lake after the race.
Great venue at Campbell Park

Me and the AM SPEED




Sunday, August 17, 2014

# 128 Believe Strong Triathlon at Moss Park

Today was the 5th Annual Believe Strong Triathlon in Orlando, located at Moss Park, just southeast of Orlando International Airport.  It was also the inaugural race for my Moulton AM SPEED bicycle.  I've had several different Moultons over the years and aquired this one in June.  The factory website is located here: http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/
Here a great video about the bikes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdU9seGqCA8
I made the mistake of doing chores and painting on Saturday but had no choice as the painter was here to finish up from a plumbing project.  I went to bed at 9:00 to get up at 4:00 AM but was tired from the day's efforts.
The race was an Olympic-distance tri and I had a great 1.5K swim (due to my additional training at Lucky's Lake I think).  In transition, I racked the Moulton back in a corner so no one would make a fuss.  Starting out on the bike, I found I was quite fast right away.  The course is flat and fast so you stay aero and in 2 gears the whole 40K.  I averaged 19.1 mph, reaching a maximum of 22.1 at one point.  I matched the fit of the Moulton to my Litespeed tri bike so there was little discomfort during the ride.  I may put larger cranks on as the Moulton has 170mm and most of my other bikes are 175mm.  The crank length issue makes a great debate and I noticed that the inside of my right knee didn't hurt at all, something it usually does near the end of a race.  The 10K run was fine, shaded in the woods, with a few stretches of hot sunshine.  I finished in first place in my age group with a time of 2:38:28 which is my normal time on this course.  I ran half the distance with a woman named Heather who was doing her first Olympic-distance; nice to know I can pace a 31 year old.
The AM SPEED ready in transition
 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

# 127 Pineappleman Triathlon in Melbourne

Today was the 29th Annual Pineappleman Triathlon in Melbourne, Florida.  My friend Kevin Casey made it his first tri last year and planned on a repeat so I signed up early as it always sells out.  Kevin is from Melbourne so he and his family could stay with his parents but I got up at 3:00 AM to drive the 96 miles from my house to the race.  I arrived at 5:00 when registration opened and quickly moved from check-in to transition.  The organization was superb and everything was laid out well.  Kevin found me quickly and showed me the transition exits and entrances.  Just before 7:00 we headed over to the pier for the swim start.  This race is unusual as it's a in-water start and you go down ladders at the end of the pier to get in the 4' deep water near the shore.  The Indian River is shallow there and the swim course was only 5' deep at the deepest spot.  Kevin started in the 2nd wave and I was in the 5th.  The swim course was very well marked with large and small buoys along it's length.  After finishing, I climbed up a stairway on the other side of the pier, running down the boardwalk (with carpet down) back to transition.  The bike course was advertised as flat and fast and after a mile or so on city streets, we headed south on Route A1A, the famous beachside highway.  A surprise came at mile 3 as the skies opened and a steady rain began to fall. This continued off and on through the 15 mile bike.  Even with the wet, I averaged 20.4 mph for the course.  Heading out on the run the rain stopped and then started again for a short time.  I increased my speed steadily and the sun came out just before the finish with 8:32 mile splits.  I finished in 5th place out of the 20 men in my age group with a time of 1:28:18.  Old friend Jerry Bird blistered the course with a 1:18:58 for the win in 60-64.  Kevin had a very good race and cut his previous time by 8+ minutes and his family arrived to see him finish.  The sun shone the rest of the morning and a very nice spread of food was laid out for the racers.  This is one of the best organized races I've seen in recent years and we had a great time.  Plus we got free photos; scroll down to vue and click to enlarge.
Kevin & Jack before the start

Transition filling up

Happy finishers!
 





 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

# 126 Orlando Triathlon at Baldwin Park

First triathlon of 2014 and first races are always interesting.  You see what training needs were met or ignored in the off season and see what you forgot in your transition bag in the closet all winter.  Today was the 10th Annual Orlando Triathlon at Baldwin Park.  I'm happy to say I have done them all.  I saw several old friends, Arnie Einhorn, Bill Floyd, and Bob Weller and made some new ones, Nurse Kim and her friend Christine.  A late spring cool spell resulted in air temps in the low 60s at dawn with Lake Baldwin being 75 degrees.  The organizers decided to have a water start this year rather than the race through the shoreline weeds. 

All males started first and I had a good swim, a great bike, averaging 19.7 mph, and a fair run for a 1:14:14 finishing time.  It was actually pleasant on the run in the cool air.  I almost caught Bill Floyd at the finish, leading his age group, but crossed the line behind to win my own.  Bob was second and Arnie third.  Another great day!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Swamphouse Half-Marathon in Debary

I hadn't really planned on doing this race today.  After my PR (Personal Record) at the Celebration Marathon in January and another PR at the Real Florida 10K trail race last weekend, I felt my running races for 2014 were done.  However, my co-worker Rhonda Curran's daughter Ashlee had a medical condition cause her to DNF at the Orlando Extreme Half-Marathon 3 weeks earlier and she had already signed up for this race.  I asked Rhonda and Ashlee if I could run the race for Ashlee and they agreed.  My friend Jennifer Florida at FinalMile graciously transferred the entry at no charge so I was entered.

As my last PR (1:54:52) for a half marathon occured at the OUC in downtown Orlando in 2005, I wasn't sure if I was up to the task of another PR.  I have done 7 half-marathons since 2004, not counting half Ironman triathlons.  While my mile splits for last weekend's trail 10K were 8:36, that would have to be my mile time for 13.1 miles today to achieve my goal .  My Celebration Marathons splits were 10:17, fine over 26.2 miles.  Needless to say, I was wondering if this was doable, especially since I was now 60 years old.  I also felt I'd let Ashlee down if I didn't try as hard as I could.

Pacer Eve Barrett and me
Race morning was cool and clear and FinalMile's organization was great.  We started a few minutes after 7:15 while waiting for the last shuttle bus then off we went into the sunrise.  I saw a run pacer with pink hair carring a 1:55 sign and figured if I stuck to her I'd be fine.  The miles ticked away as we traveled through Debary and I managed to hang onto the 1:55 group.  As runners fell away, I caught the pacer, Eve Barrett, a 3-time Ironman finisher from Dunedin, at mile 10.  We chatted a bit as we zipped along and a few more people dropped back.  At mile 11.5, there were only 5 in the group and I pulled away, confident that I could press hard to the finish.  I started running down people ahead of me and at mile 12 I still felt strong.  Running with Ashlee on my mind, I ran as hard as I could and hit the finish line at 1:53:31, a new PR by 1:21!  I waited to thank Eve for her efforts and after a quick picture, I went to check out the results.  I was very pleased to see I finished Third out of 18 in my age group, good for an plaque.  At the awards ceremony, I ran into an old friend, Ken Allen, who had won his age group along with Charlie St.Cyr-Paul, who won his.  A great day all the way around.  I look forward to running with Ashlee again soon after her recovery


Along the St. Johns's River


Jack with Ken Allen


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Real Florida 10K trail run

Warren Popp, Park Manager, with me after the race.
This is the 3rd time I've run this 10K in my training ground of the Wekiwa Springs State Park and it was the toughest.  While the course was slightly different, I pushed as hard as possible after last year's loss by 5 seconds.  ( I didn't know anyone was ahead of me mixed in with the 5K finishers.)  Since I'm on the board of the Wekiwa Wilderness Trust, I was at registration at 6:30 to help out.  At 8:00, I went out to warm up for the 8:20 start which was then delayed until 8:30.  I started out very fast to get as far ahead as I could before the first singletrack section at mile 1.2.  I kept my splits up around 8:30 and went through the usual fatigue/recovery phases.  I did something new, not carrying a bottle of Hammer Perpeteum with me as I drank one 250 calorie one during registration plus a half bottle right at the start.  Picked up the pace at mile 4 past the sinkholes and headed towards the finish.  I was flying for the last 500 yards and finished at 53:22:80 with an 8:36 pace per mile.  This gave me a 7th overall out of 91 finishers and a first out of four in my age group.  Very pleased!


Warren with Don Philpott, WWT President

Debbie, Sue, & Scott

Monday, January 27, 2014

Inaugural Celebration Marathon

Sunday, January 26 was the inaugural Town of Celebration Marathon and Half Marathon in Celebration, Florida, known as the "Disney Town".  Conceived of 20 years ago by the Disney Corporation as a New Urban community, this was their first ever Marathon and Half run at this location.  This was held as a charity event for the local schools.  I signed up for the marathon, which would be my 5th in 10 years, and friends Kevin Casey (half) and Ashlee Curran (full) signed up too.

The race morning revealed perfect weather for us, 55 at the start, 65 for the finish, with a light overcast through much of the event.  With a total of 2,200 competitors, this was definitely a lower key event than Walt Disney World's 25,000 two weeks earlier.  With such a small field, I started the clock only 50 seconds after the gun.  The marathon was a 2 loop course, which wound through the town and the greenbelt areas that are interspaced in the community. The course was relatively flat with some long straightaways and some twisty parks in the neighborhoods.  There were also 2 areas where we ran on boardwalks through wetlands.  The volunteers were very vocal in their support and it was great to run through a town where many residents called out encouragement from curbside and their front porches.  Little girls cheering in oversized pajamas were especially cute.  I felt strong throughout the run (fueled by Hammer Nutrition!) and paced myself well. My goal was to PR at 4:30 and discovered at the first bathroom break that I had forgotten to disable the Autopause feature on my Garmin, so it paused everytime I did.  I kept guessing at my times based on the few race clocks on the course and just trusted on my luck. 

After the split at Mile 12, the 2nd lap course got very quiet as the majority (75%) were doing the half.  Something interesting happened then; with a solitary run, I began getting into the zone.  I was running along steadily and evenly and felt very focused.  After mile 15, I was looking at my GPS every 10 minutes and watching the miles click by.  I never felt so smooth and confident before in a long race.  I began reeling runners in, one at a time, and nobody passed me again. My strategy of sticking with descending mile splits was working fine.  I caught the 4:30 pacers at mile 20 and stayed with them until 24 when I picked up the pace and finished with a 4:29:21 for a new PR by 2:47.  My Garmin showed 4:20:56, so I lost over 8 minutes on bathroom breaks and water stops.  The correct chip time gave me a mile split of 10:17; my Garmin also showed I ran 26.46 miles which meant the course was measured a true 26.2 mile marathon distance.  In addition, it displayed a caloric burn of 3,693 calories!  I took in about 1500 calories, Hammer Perpeteum and Hammer Gels, during the race.  Kevin set a PR for the half with a 2:28 but unfortunately Ashlee had stomach issues at mile 16 and had to drop out.  Better luck next time Ashlee.

My previous marathon times;

2004 Disney 5:18:56 (age 50)

2009 Disney 4:51:33

2010 Disney 4:32:08 (26 degrees at 6:00 AM start!)

2012 Disney 4:38:53 (ITB at mile 22 after the slanted ramp)

There were 1,575 finishers for the Half and 506 for the Full, a trend seen as of late as half-marathons have taken off in popularity.  This race was very well run for a first time event and I'm looking forward to next year's Celebration Marathon.  Nice medal too.