Rev3’s Montclair is the only race this year that I have previously participated in 2016, which make it a great opportunity to compare and see how I am improving. Training has been going well for the past few months so I’m eager to see how my fitness is improving not only since January, but also when compared to last year. This is not always safe as race conditions change due to weather or other circumstances… but both 2016 and 2017 conditions are very similar.
Being so close to the race venue, I was able to squeeze in a quick swim warm-up just before the race director began the race announcements. Earlier this week the water temperature for Lake Montclair was 84.6 degrees, which for a swimmer is very unappealing hot yucky mess. Fortunately, the water “cooled down” to 80° for race morning. With the water tempterature measuring at 80° raceing with a wetsuit is not possible. Instead, I put on my Roka Swim Skin for a quick lap to the final orange buoy and back so I could experience the last 75m of the swim.
When you compare last year to this year I had great improvement in the swim, even though I needed a quick 10 second break just before the turn around point (I was having negative thoughts which was effecting my swim). Also, not sure if it was me but trying to get to the first buoy was really difficult compared to the swim back. It may because I finally got my 20ft diameter of personal space and was able to relax, but I couldn’t get my swim rhythm in check until the 500m mark1.
This course is a perfect representation of “Virginia Rollers”. It is a relentless pattern of three small rollers where total elevation climb is about 40ft, but then you get slapped with a 100ft climb over a mile long that tires you out quickly if you don’t recognize what is in front of you. Since this is a two loop oscillating course, we get that 100ft climb four times.
I remember having a great ride last year, so any chance of improving my time was going to be a difficult challenge. I am no longer racing against other age groupers… I am racing myself. Same plan as always for the bike segment, feel the first loop and then turn it up on the second loop. Out of the 326 racers, I was the 20th fastest person on the bike. However, to put into perspective how difficult the Male 40-44 Age Group bracket is, there were still four people in my AG that were faster out of that 19.
Strava Ride Activity
This run is hard as you must climb the same road you left when you were on the bike, AND you get one of the fun 100’ climbs immediately afterwards… meaning you really don’t start going “downhill” till mile two of a 3.1 mile course. Knowing this, I took it easy the first two miles… maybe a little too easy as the run was the only section where I didn’t improve my time (Splits table is below). It was fun reading the motivational chalk drawings while on the run course, as it was just enough distraction from the burning legs or lungs.
Strava Run Activity
Post Race Thoughts
I’m beginning to really like this course. Where else can you get a quick open water lake swim, rollers to attack on the uphill sections (and take advantage on the downhills, peaking at 38mph), and finish with a challenging run. What makes this even better is since this is so close my family, and many Speed Sherpa teammates register/race as well (plus always making new race friends before and after the event).
It really is a blast to hear people cheer you on from the crowed and from other racers on the course. Someday I may even be able to climb onto the podium, but for now I will just enjoy the race.
- Overall: Placed 38th out of 326 (top 11%).
- Gender: Placed 30th out of 190 (top 15%).
- Male 40-44: Placed 7th out of 32
Among the Male 40-44 category there were 32 athletes.
- Swim: Ranked 13th
- Bike: Ranked 5th
- Run: Ranked 11th
Updated 2016-06-20 (Race Photos)
|Montclair Sprint||750m Swim||T1||12.0 Mile Bike||T2||5k Run||Total|