Category Archives: Triathlons

David Hancock Quarter Ironman (modified) – 2013

August 4, 2013

The David Hancock Tri is one of my favorite events, even though I am a slow swimmer and a horrible biker.  I think my bike issue is similar to my issue with a kayak – nothing fits me… and I am not about to buy a custom made bike just to compete in triathlons.

I was in conversation with Dave Hancock for a week or so about the possibility of borrowing a bicycle… or finding someone to relay with me (as I did last year).  As the date got closer, it seemed unlikely that I would have a bike OR a teammate, but he said, “Show up anyway, and we’ll figure something out.”  MY idea of a solution was to forgo the bike portion entirely and just do the run course twice.  I figured that the speed at which I swim combined with feeling pretty tired on two runs, I should finish relatively close to the other competitors, rather than an hour after like I usually would.

When I got down to the start, Dave seemed flummoxed that I had not come up with a usable bike within a few days, but agreed to my modified version of a triathlon, where I ran twice.  (Someone might be tempted to call this a duathlon, though they typically eliminate the swim to do the run twice (and not do the run twice in a row).

My one-kilometer swim took me 37 minutes (including the transition), and most of the rest of the competitors were long gone.  David’s dad offered me a ride to the bike-run transition area (aka their house), because it was about a mile-and-a-half from the swim area, but I said I would walk myself.  I did a modified race walk, both because there were a lot of street crossings and also because swimming often tired me out and takes a significant time to right myself (usually I would gut it out on the bike or wait while my teammate biked the 28 miles).

Once I got to the Hancock homestead, I started out on the 6.5 mile run course (Woo Hoo, I am in the lead!).  I tried not to overdo my pace as I have another ultra next weekend.

Around the time I was returning from the cul-de-sac at the end of Appian Way (around mile 5.1), I saw the lead cyclists descending down the off-ramp of the 2nd Street Bridge.  Bye bye, lead.  I finished my first loop of the 6.5 mile course in 69:40, around 10 minutes per mile.

I didn’t run nearly as well on my second loop, took the hill easier, walked most of it and I was passed by much of the crowd.  On the positive side (as I mentioned above), I was running around or with the other runners in the race.  My second loop took 75:00, closer to a 12:00 pace.

You know, it’s funny to get upset about a particular pace.  In an ultra, I would be ecstatic with 12 minute miles.  In a shorter race, there has to be something wrong with me!

My total running mileage for the day was nearly 19 miles, due to the fact that I walked to and from the race from my house, did 13 miles IN the race, plus 1.5 miles walking from the swim to the run transition.

After the race was the usual socialization period, with the Hancocks, the volunteers, me and Wolf.  The beer ran out early because the Tribe folks drank it all (also, I am working on drinking less, even though I never drank much to begin with).

Even if I end up not running the event in 2014, if I am in town, I want to volunteer or hang out afterwards.  That is my extra motivation in doing a race – the social aspect.


David Hancock Triathlon – 2012

August 5, 2012

Last time I did a triathlon was, well, last year.  My bike is still unridable, due to a squirrel eating the bicycle seat.  It also doesn’t help that I rarely ride the bike.  Little interest.

I worked it out that I would get a teammate and he would do the bicycle section (and if he wanted to swim, we could both swim, but he said that he didn’t like swimming or running… perfect).

The swim is 1 kilometer, and I managed my usual 32:03 (good enough for last place, easy).

Then I walked over to the bike/run transition location, which is about a mile away and waited for my teammate to come in.

When it was my turn to run, I had a bit of a surreal experience.  Tim Hickok, who can kick my butt any day of the week, has a heart arrhythmia and is struggling (I’m not sure how he got through the swim!).  He left just a bit ahead of me on the run, and I passed him up.  In fact, I did the 6.5 mile run (which is NOT flat) in 54:21, or about 8:21/mile.

Too bad I was unable to overtake the 3rd place team in the relay… but it was nice for once not to be at the very end of the pack.

David Hancock Triathlon – 2009

August 2, 2009

As I mentioned with the Kayak Run Relay, for David Hancock Triathlon, I have not been on a bicycle or in the pool (well, I mean, I’ve swum a little bit, but not for exercise) for nearly a year… probably not since last year.

For the swim, I do what I’ve always done, which is swim breast stroke (with my glasses on) and alternate between swimming with my head out of the water and mostly underwater (because real breaststroking should have your head completely under the water).  This is similar to my kayaking technique, which is paddling hard and then gliding.  Swimming (mostly) underwater propels me faster, but is more exhausting than just planing above the water.  I have pretty good endurance in swimming; I’m just not fast.  The swim takes me 30 minutes and I am definitely the last person out of the water.

On the bike ride, it is mostly about just getting through it, because cycling long distances is no fun for me.  I did get my friend Jimmy Lewis to help me replace my old knobby hybrid tires with “racing” tires, and this helped me a little bit… but I still have a seat extender, but no handlebar extender, so I am still stooped over in an uncomfortable pose.  The 28 miles take me about 2 hours and 15 minutes (about the same pace that I can run a lap around the track).

When I get off the bike, there are still a dozen people on the run, and not all are out of reach.  At mile 4, I catch one competitor, who is running with his young daughters (I don’t care; I’ll take it) and I pass a few others who are not that great at running.  I finish the (fairly hilly) run course (6.5M) in 59 minutes and finish overall in 3:45.

Hard to believe that I have completed over 50 multi-sport events in my “racing career.”

David Hancock 1/4 Ironman Triathlon – 2007

August 5, 2007

I suppose a terrible idea of tapering would be to do a quarter Ironman 5 days before a 50-mile ultramarathon… especially given that I have not cycled or swum in exactly one year.  I always treat the race like a nice challenge… basically not to come in last place… since I am a terrible cyclist and so-so swimmer, but good runner…. a better runner than most of these folks.

My swim is typical – 31:30 for the 1K (including my super-slow transition).

My bike is not bad – 2:20, including the quick transition (dumping helmet for hat, and taking off bicycle shorts).

And… I am satisfied with my “run.”  I feel I should be under an hour, but I did 60:30.  I’ll take it.  The point is not to kill myself before my race… and I didn’t come in last place!

David Hancock Triathlon – 2006

August 5, 2006

A fairly hot day, but I am a bit more familiar with the course (I don’t run a mile off course as I have done in the past) and I seem to do a bit better on the bike.

My past best time was 3:59 and today I did 3:42.

Of course, as I have said in the past, my favorite part about this event is the people, and the more years that I participate, the more familiar I am with those who regularly race and with the volunteers.  We stay and gab for hours AFTER almost everyone else has left.  Wolf and I will converse “auf Deutsch” just for fun, or maybe because we are a little drunk.

David Hancock 1/4 Ironman Triathlon – 2005

August 6, 2005

Back to my favorite small triathlon.

I always have a good time, but I am a terrible cyclist and swimmer… and by the time I get to the run, I don’t really have a chance to catch up to anyone… so I most often finish in last place!  (Plus I got lost on the run!)  I borrowed Tim’s wife’s bike because it is a road bike (as opposed to my hybrid, which goes slower), but it is also awkward because it is a ladies’ bike, and I am a “giant.”

The best part is afterwards.  Not just the brunch, but the fact that I usually stay from 10am (when I finish) until about 6 or 7pm.  Usually I have to leave before I have to roll myself (and my bike) home… at least I live only about 1.5 miles away.

David Hancock 1/4 Ironman Triathlon – 2004

August 7, 2004

My semi-annual / annual triathlon.  Technically, I have done a multi-sport event just a couple of weeks ago.

It’s always funny to me, because basically when I do the event, the last time I swam or biked… was the event one year ago.

Strangely enough, though, I feel like I do reasonably well given that I haven’t practiced any of the disciplines for a year.

In the swim, I do a kilometer in 26:30 (breast stroke), and in the bike ride (28 miles), I do 2:16.

I am somewhat disappointed with the run – 61 minutes for 6.5 miles, but swimming and cycling does something to your legs that prevents you from running normally (much like running for 6 hours on trails can do something to do…).

Even though I typically come in last at this race, I really enjoy all of the people and the downhomie fun attitude of everyone (even the really competitive guys).  And then afterwards, there are those of us that stay after the event and talk and drink beer.  If I leave before 5pm (for a race that lasts from 6am to 10am!), then I have somewhere to be and don’t have time to talk with Wolf, David, and some of the cooler volunteers (like David’s mother, sister, wife and the others).