Below is my race report for the Cranberry Olympic Tri that took place on August, 24th.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Ron P

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” ― Isaac Asimov

It was another a gorgeous day for racing.  Truth be told, it never rains on my birthday.  The weather is always perfect, and today was no exception.

The Cranberry Trifest is one of my favorite races.  Loon Pond is a flat, shallow, pretty body of water and the bike and run courses are relatively flat and fast and pretty.   This race has a relatively big field, about 600 or so racers and the volunteers are always great and the energy is always fun.  I believe this is the 4th time I’ve the done the Olympic race.  Last year I thought I raced well, but my transition times were atrocious and I didn’t even finish in the top 10 in my age group.  This year, one of my main focuses was to improve in T1 and T2 and hopefully to finish a little higher in the rankings.

The Swim:

The swim course was an imperfect rectangular shape where we keep the buoys to our left.  Being a predominantly left breather, this works well for me.  This year, they had a time trial start (2 racers enter the water every 5 seconds).  The time trial starts are becoming more and more popular.  I was in the fifth wave, and at first, I enjoyed the time trial start and the lack of chaos a mass start can create.  However, I spent the entire swim passing people and this gave me a false sense speed.  At one point I thought I must be having the best swim ever, that is, until I got out of the water and looked at my watch and noticed I was slower than last year….

Swim time:  24:27

T1: 1:42 – Last year I was 3:14.  I made up my lost time in the swim and then some.  Changes from year to year include, new Aquaman wetsuit, no gloves, and no fooling around with trying to stick extra nutrition on my back pockets as I already had gu’s in the pocket of my Fuel Belt race belt.

The Bike:

This is a 26.2 mile 1 loop bike course.  Relatively flat and fast.  My legs felt great from the extra rest I gave them this week.  I set myself a power target of 260W.  In retrospect, I maybe should have tried to average 265.  I’m still learning what all this power data can do for me.  Compared to last year I was about a minute slower.  Some of that, I think, was from a section of road the was graded, due to construction, and was up hill and into the wind and some of that time lost was from being too conservative with my power.

Bike Time:  1:09:06

T2: 1:36 – 22 seconds faster than last year.  Changes from year to year, no socks and bungi shoes laces.

The Run:

The run is a 6.2 mile one loop course with a nice mix of sun and shade.  There are some ups and downs but no big climbs.  As I ran out of T2 I realized I left my GPS watch on my bike.  For a numbers guy like me this this was little concerning.  However, I felt good and concentrated on my breathing and just tried to stay relaxed and focused.  I did feel like an idiot when I caught myself looking down at my watchless wristband a couple of times, just out of habit.  In the end, my run was 17 seconds faster than last year.  (-:

Run time:  45:03

Overall all I was 2:21:53 which was about 20 seconds faster than last year, with the majority of the time gain coming from transition.  And be believe me, every second counted, because I actually placed (3rd in my age group) for the first time in 4 races at Cranberry.  I’m sort of liking this, being on the podium thing.  Hopefully, I’ll never used it.  (-: