Rev3 Williamsburg Sprint was a VERY last minute addition to my race schedule as I officially didn’t register until Wednesday July 5th for a race that was on the 8th. I originally paid for four Rev3 Virginia Sprint Series (VSS) races back in November of 2016, and sometime between purchasing my race package and the past couple of months, Rev3 added the Williamsburg Sprint to the VSS (which left me susceptible in losing my VSS “Yellow Jersey” 1). To make sure I stay competitive in VSS points, I received approval from the boss decided to make the quick three hour drive to Williamsburg, pick up a hotel, and begin racing at 6:30 am Saturday morning.

On race day morning, I arrived at the race venue a little early to picked up my race number/timing chip, and to start surveying the course as I have never participated in Rev3 Williamsburg before and that had me a little nervous. The course maps had me excited as both the bike and run were supper flat for the Sprint. What was going to be different was the swim. This was an open water swim that started in Gordon Creek and wrapped around the tiny peninsula to connect to the Chickahominy River. I had no idea what to expect in terms of water clarity, obstacles (tree, rocks, possible sharks), or the current and how it would affect me.

The race venue was excellent as parking was between the transition area and the packet pickup/finish line/food/awards truck/timing truck/food/team tents/bike support/food/VIP lounge/kid inflatable thing/food area. The staff was amazing. Very helpful, happy to be there (even at 5:00 am), and made things easier especially for a first time racer for Williamsburg.

Race Breakdown

Swim

As I mentioned above, the race started off the boat ramp in Gordon Creek. The water temperature was 84.1° which means NOBODY can wear a wetsuit. I am becoming more comfortable in not swimming in a wetsuit in a lake, but for the past two years (see Colonial Beach or Jamestown), racing without a wetsuit in a river has nearly made me quit triathlons altogether.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed the first half of the swim! I felt relaxed! I didn’t stress about how I was doing compared to others. I didn’t care who was around me, or if they were invading my mandatory 20ft diameter of personal swim space. I was still doing well at the halfway point through the second turn going into the Chickahominy River, but I quickly noticed that I was not traveling as quickly compared to the creek. I felt like I was fighting a current even though I believed I should be going downstream2. Then, I was kicked. I know this wasn’t on purpose, but the person in front of me was doing the breaststroke and did a perfect underwater side kick strait to my chest. This should have been a game ending situation as I choked on some water, started to panic, became aware that I was this floating obstetrical in the way of several other racers which made me self conscious and stressed. And then I stood up. The water was only four feet deep. I was able to recompose myself and began to look ahead of me and found that 20% of the people in front of me figured out the same thing. By the time we reached the end I would guess 90% of the people were doing this slow arm pull while running in the sloppy, wet, peanut butter mud, seaweed infested water that everyone was begging to end.

Strava Swim Activity

Bike

HAMMER TIME. A pure time trial that will be blazingly fast- this is 15 miles of FTP test. Very little terrain and I want this to be completely aero and target is 225 watts. A single turnaround and then blaze it home. Crush the hell out of this.

Josh

These are the race notes that Coach Josh gave me on Friday. He knows me well and I wanted to step up to his challenge of throwing down an average of 225 watts. It was possible as elevation chart indicated a mostly flat ride for the bike segment. I know I pushed myself hard as my left chest was hurting for a bit (don’t know if it was heart or lung) during the fist 7.5 miles that forced me out of aero position to get my breathing back under control. The ride back was not as smooth as we were on a super-wide paved sidewalk which had some dips and wooden bridges that I thought for sure was going to cause a flat3. I had a blast! However, I was dumb and pushed the wrong button on my watch so I actually recorded the longest swim ever with over 16 miles of swimming and most of that was on the road! I did’t hit the 225 watt challenge as Strava is guessing that I averaged 210 watts over the entire bike segment, and held an average pace of 22.4 mph. Getting my post-race data fix will have to wait till the next race. *sigh*

Strava Ride Activity

Run

Once I reached the bike dismount I quickly ran through transition, discover my watch self-imposed watch malfunction and fixed it, and then I was able to hit the run. Remember when I mentioned on the bike that it felt like my heart or lung was hurting? It was really hurting on the run. Just before I reached the 1/2 mile marker… I walked. I HAD to walk!!! The pain in my chest was unbearable and didn’t know what was going on. As I was walking I tried to relax, feel my heart beat to make sure it wasn’t fluttering or doing anything odd (other than beating extremely fast), and be aware of anyone who passed me. While on the bike I knew of two people in my age group that were ahead of me. One of them was not in sight, but the other I had passed in transition… so as long as I didn’t see that guy… I was OK. After two minutes of walking (and not seeing my competition), I restarted my run but now it was significantly much slower than I have been racing for the past couple of months. I’m used to being able to race at a 7:30 pace, but I didn’t want to have to walk again. I was moving much slower, and the entire time I was paranoid that someone in my age group was going to pass me any minute. I didn’t get to enjoy the run like normal as I felt that my body was simply done with sprint racing for the day.

Strava Run Activity

Post Race Thoughts

Crossing the finish line I felt accomplished even though I know I could have done better. All three sports had some minor obstacle that I needed to overcome to continue the race which made this a mental and physical challenge. I was extremely happy to see I was able to place in my age group as there were so many racers in front of me… I didn’t think that was a possibility.

I really enjoyed Rev3 Williamsburg Sprint race as Rev3 did an excellent job of taking care of their athletes. The event was slightly bigger than the previous Rev3 races, as Sunday they were also hosting the Olympic and Half distance races. With the larger venue, there were additional accommodations that could have been utilized such as the Quark GPS tracking/timing chip so friends and family could watch, NormaTec had a booth there so you could test out their equipment and help your legs recover (so need one of these), and there were activity to help entertain children while one of the parents were out racing. After seeing how much effort Rev3 puts into their long course races, I’m thinking of adding one of their events for the 2018 season.

Race Results

Rankings

  • Overall: Placed 28th out of 202 (top 14%).
  • Gender: Placed 20th out of 101 (top 20%).
  • Male 40-44: Placed 3rd4 out of 14

Among the Male 40-44 category there were 14 athletes.

  • Swim: Ranked 6th
  • Bike: Ranked 5th
  • Run: Ranked 4th

Updated 2017-07-12 (Race Photos)

Splits

Williamsburg Sprint 0.6 Mi Swim T1 15.3 Mi Bike T2 3.1 Mi Run Total
Goal Times5 26:25 1:30 40:00 1:00 23:15 1:29:40
Actual Times6 23:06 1:14 40:50 0:57 25:16 1:31:23

Footnotes

  1. Can’t take full credit for that analogy, but I’m using it. Thanks Josh! 

  2. The water flow of the river had just increased from a major storm passing through on Thursday 

  3. A fellow racer did have a flat tire towards the end of the bike segment! Not sure if it was from one of the wooden bridges, but felt bad. 

  4. Actually 4th, but the guy who won my age group actually was first of everyone! He was promoted to the Overall Winner Group allowing me to take third. 

  5. Goal Times were based on beating 2016 Colonial Beach OWS, 23mph average bike, and 7:30 pace on the run. 

  6. Official Race Results available at Williamsburg Results page

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