Race Report: Bartlett Lake Triathlon by Jeremy Geer

While the rest of Foxtrot Racing was off having a great team camp in Fruita this weekend, I was doing my spring training at the home of spring training: Scottsdale, Arizona.  One of my clients/coworkers, Tim, is an avid triathlete (Tim provided all the photos).  After Ironman Arizona last November, we talked about doing a spring triathlon in Phoenix in preparation for our Ironman efforts in 2014.  We settled on the Bartlett Lake Triathlon, and little did we know we had signed up for one of the most challenging courses in Arizona.  I also got to meet another coworker, Sheri, whom I had only worked with over the phone, and I had no idea she was a huge triathlon fan with an amazing Shiv bike!

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During the pre-race briefing, the race director mentioned “the only flat part of this course is the swim.”  He was right.  Speaking of the swim, that water was cold but I had my new Aqua Sphere wetsuit and other then my toes cramping as I got in the water, I was comfy!  The lake was really low and the water line was a good 50 yards below what appeared to be the “normal” water line.  In retrospect, it seems this may have affected the accuracy for the swim course distance – or maybe it was because they were still dropping the buoys 20 minutes before the race started?!  It also meant the run from the water to transition was long and steep.  My Garmin showed my swim to be 0.56 miles, roughly half of the supposed 1 mile we were scheduled to do.  My time of 24 minutes was super fast if it was a full mile, and super slow if it was only the half-mile Garmin indicated.  Hmmm…

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The bike course started off with a tough half-mile climb out of transition, then into another half mile of rolling hills.  Then you hit the stuff that I didn’t even know Phoenix/Scottsdale had… a 3+ mile category 3 climb!  I had previewed the course on Saturday, so I knew what to expect and took it relatively easy on this part.  As usual, a ton of people beat me out of the water, and I caught a bunch of them on the climb.  As I started the second (shorter) climb just before the turnaround, I dropped my chain and managed to really wedge it into the bottom bracket.  It seemed like 5 minutes, but was actually only a minute delay, and I was back on the road.

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The cost to check my TT bike on the plane using Adam’s bike carrier was going to be $400 round trip, so I ended up renting a Trek Madone 5.2 carbon road bike. I did use Kirk’s deep dish wheels on the Madone, but I didn’t have great confidence on the downhills, so I was constantly bleeding speed.  It definitely cost me a few spots in the overall, as a few guys I had passed on the climb whizzed by me on the descent.

After the two lap bike course, the run started with the same half-mile climb out of transition.  However, instead of turning toward the rolling hills like the bike course, we turned up a steep climb (12%-13%) that hit the summit 1.2 miles in.  Then it was downhill for 2+ miles to the run turnaround.  It only took a few steps after the turnaround for the legs to scream and burn as we made our way back up for 2+ miles before dropping the last 1.2 miles into the finish.  My mile splits were all over the board: as low as 9 minutes on the climbs and as fast as 6:30 on the downhill portions!  Of course, those downhills pissed off my IT band and I’ve got a good post-race limp when I walk!
I finished 19th overall, and 3rd in my age group.  After looking over the times of a friend who had done the race previously, and who is pretty similar to me in overall times at all the triathlon distances, my goal was 3 hours, and I completed it in 2:56:15.  In years past, that would have been good for a top 10 overall, but the field appears to be getting stronger!  I felt stronger in the swim again, and on the bike, I think it was less then 5 people that started behind me and finished in front of me (there were a number that I caught on the climbs that passed me on the descents).  I caught 5 or so folks on the run – not nearly as many as normal, but I think I was closer to the front of the pack the whole day anyway with improvements in swimming and cycling.

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It is worth mentioning that the volunteer course spotters were awesome!  They cheered for every single person that came through with a ton of enthusiasm.  Also, a huge thanks to Tim for motivating me to stay active this winter.  And also to Kirk and Adam for loaning me bike stuff that I will some day add to my arsenal.  And finally, to my parents for watching Jude, our 7-month old, while I discovered that the Phoenix metro area actually has “real” hills!

Foxtrot Fruita trip: And the award goes to…

The annual team trip to Fruita was March 13 – 17th. To put a twist on the typical event report, here are fictional awards from the trip.

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Best Producer — Jon for driving and planning of the trip

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Best Location — FRUITA!

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Best Stunt — Brad for his cartwheel on Chutes and Ladders

Best use of color green — Dave and his bike and helmet

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(it was St Patty’s day weekend after all)

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Best Comedy — Scott’s enthusiastic laugh

Best Drama — JD’s game face, he’s serious when suffering on the bike

Best Display of Team Commitment — Adam for coming even though he had to return home Saturday morning

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Best Actor — JD nominated Kirk for acting like he wasn’t waiting for everyone the whole time

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Best Portrayal — Zippity Do Da in the role of a roller coaster

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Best Use of a Prop — the Prius with the machine gun on top???

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Best (worst?) Sound Effect — Adam’s white noise sleep application

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Worst Use of a Sleep Aid — Kirk and his CPAP (sleep apnea) machine

Best Judge of Beauty — Dave is awarding himself best judge of beauty for his review of the SI Swimsuit Issue

Best Visual Effects — The stars over Mary’s Loop at night

Best Live Action Short Film — A handlebar cam Go-Pro of a PBR (18 Road) descent

Foxtrot Racing at Frostbite TT

Wow… talk about things going to plan! We had the best weather I’ve ever experienced at Frostbite… by a lot. Unlike the originally scheduled date (postponed due to snow), it was warm and NOT windy. It was rather un-Frostbite like. Two members of Foxtrot Racing were making their racing debut, Jennifer Cubillas and Eric Welch.

In the Women’s 35+ 4s Foxtrot Racing was all over the podium! Roseanna Neupauer won was Jennifer was second in her first race. Great showing ladies!

In the Masters 35+ cat 4 race Kirk Groves placed 3rd, improving on his 10th place result last year. This was Kirk’s first podium in a road/TT race.

In the Men’s cat 5 race Eric’s placed 14th. Besides being his first race ever, he was on his road bike with a pair of clip-on aerobars. Against a field of guys on TT bikes with deep-dish carbon wheels the deck was stacked against him. Watch this space for updates on Eric as he makes noise this season, especially in hill climbs!

Sunday Road Rides Begin on Jan. 26, 2014

When:  Sundays

Start:  10 am

Location: Start from Foxtrot Shop (776 W. Baseline Rd. Suite A, Lafayette, CO 80026)

Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours

Come join us!

Race Report — Cyclocross National Championships by Kirk Groves (@LSVLKirk)

Ever since it was announced that Cyclocross Nationals were going to be
held in Boulder I’ve wanted to participate. I wouldn’t travel to race
CX Nats, but with the event in Boulder at Valmont, I HAD to participate.
First, to be eligible for Nats, I had to upgrade from a 4 to a 3.
Going into the 2013 season I had zero upgrade points. It took longer than I
expected as a result of chain issues, crashes and a rolled tubular,
but I got finally accumulated the points and upgraded in December.

As you’d expect for a high profile event like Nats, the course at
Valmont was top-notch. In addition to the inclusion of the gravel pit,
the steps and the stairs, there were brand new, never used before
lines. There was one off-camber section and one short descent that
were unlike anything we’ve seen included in a Valmont course before.
The course was both technically and physically demanding. It was
certainly a course worthy of hosting Nats.

By the time of my race, the 40-44 age group, most of the snow from the
previous weekend had melted. My race started at 9 and at the beginning
of the race we had to deal with frozen ruts. As the race progressed,
the ground started to thaw and become a little slick. My race was one
of the largest of the week, roughly 120-130 started.
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My first and foremost goal for the race was to have fun and enjoy the
cool atmosphere. Otherwise my goals were modest, hold off the leaders
as long as possible before getting pulled. My race plan was to go out
like my hair was on fire and then hold on for dear life. I was called
up 85th which placed me in the 11th row. It felt like I was in the
20th row, the front of the race was so far away.

The race started and I made my way through the mess down the
start/finish stretch. At the first corner there was a wreck. I don’t
know what happened but all I could see was a riderless bike laying
across the trail. Fortunately I was able to navigate around the wreck
cleanly and continue to gain positions up the long climb. I wasn’t at
the front of the race, but all things considered, I had an amazing
start. I could hear spectators counting places. Twice I heard I was in
25th place. My race plan was working.
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At the same time I realized my pace was unsustainable. A fade was
inevitable. I lost spots, in bunches. Between miscues (a couple
bobbles in slick off-camber corners and small crash on a section of
black ice) and just not not the power to hold position, I was moving
backwards. I wasn’t losing spots in the more technical sections of the
course but the power stretches were killing me. Just after the 2nd
time past the pit with 2 to go I was passed by a BCS rider. He quickly
got a 2-3 second gap on me. As I got to the corner before the
start/finish stretch the BCS rider was allowed to continue racing, I
was pulled. I ended up the top pulled rider, in 68th.

I’m happy with the experience and my result. Looking at the results,
the riders who finished in front of me deserved to be there. I
recently upgraded to a 3 and many in the race were 1s, 2s and super
strong 3s. I ended up getting a good result given my fitness.

Of course the only people in the crowd were there to support other
racers, and the crowd was a small fraction of that for the Elite race
on Sunday, but nevertheless, it was certainly the largest crowd at any
race I’ve done. The atmosphere was amazing. The run up the Belgian
Stairs was epic — all the sound and people. I could hear people
cheering for me but I didn’t even know who they were.

I have lots of folks that I need to thank. Jon, Your support before
and during the race was awesome, allowing me to focus on the race! JD
– Thanks for keeping my bikes running all season and coming out to
cheer. You got some great photos! Brad — With your coaching I
qualified for the race and made a decent showing. I recall thinking 2
years ago I’d race 4s for the rest of my life, my ceiling was a
competitive 4.

I’ve raced at least once every weekend (except one) since the first
week of September. I’m looking forward to some rest and recovery
before ramping up for 2014, but at the same time I’m going through
‘cross withdrawal right now.