Monday, July 13, 2015

Mini Mussel Sprint Triathlon Race Recap

This could also be called "DoubleMussel Part 1".

Mike and I did Musselman 70.3 as our first 70.3 back in 2013. Last year we raced the Mini Mussel Sprint Tri. This year, we did both! Only a select few crazies sign up for the DoubleMussel (a little less than 100 people).

We went to packet pickup on Friday night in Geneva and then went back home to finish getting ready for the double race weekend. Two people racing two triathlons in one weekend requires a lot of stuff!

Saturday morning we woke up around 5:40am so that we could get to the race site around 7:30am. Luckily, the sprint starts at 9am! We got to Seneca Lake State Park easily and as we were walking our stuff over to the transition area, we saw our friend Greg in the parking lot. He was also doing the DoubleMussel so our transition areas were all close to each other.

 I love the personal touch!

We got body marked and then went into transition to set up. As we were setting up, I saw the Unexpected Runner (another Double-Musseler)! It's always great to see her at local races.

 Us with Mark

After setting up our stuff and using the port-a-potties (and seeing Jenelle in transition), we checked our transition areas one last time. As we were doing so, we saw our friend, Sarah! She was there to spectate while our friend Mark raced the Mini. It was a pleasant surprise to see them there!

 The Double-Musselers!

We dropped off our stuff at our friends' tri club's tent (they are nice enough to let us use their space even though we aren't members) and got our wetsuits on. Mike was in the first wave at 9am and I was in the second wave at 9:05am. We made the long-ish walk over to the swim start and wished each other luck.

Both Jenelle and our friend Kirsten joked that they were going to hold onto my feet during the swim! Right before 9am they let our wave start making the long walk toward the swim start. Mike's wave was in the water for a really long time! As I was walking toward the buoys for the swim start, I scrapped my foot on the rocks (or Zebra mussels, who knows). Luckily, it didn't start to bother me until after the race!

Mike's wave went off and then my wave went to go tread water for a few minutes. A little after 9:05am, we were off!

Swim Leg (.47 miles) - Jamie: 12:12, Mike: 10:53

The swim went relatively smoothly. I didn't have to fight with anyone for space and got into a rhythm right away. The swim is in a channel so we are never really out in the open water of the lake for very long. I caught up to men from the first wave before making the turn around the one "turn" buoy of the swim.

The channel is a bit weedy, but it didn't seem too bad this year. I did have some weeds stuck to my hands for a few seconds, though. This swim is so short that before I knew it, it was almost over! I could see the buoys for the swim exit and just kept swimming until my hands hit the bottom of the boat launch a couple of times and then popped out of the water.

I ran out of the water and toward transition. I was a bit surprised at how slow (for me) my swim was, but I didn't let it bother me. I was 2nd out of the water for my age group, so all things considered I did pretty well! I fumbled with my watch (I hit stop instead of lap) as I crossed the transition mat.

Transition 1 - Jamie: 1:45, Mike: 1:35

The run through the "swim in" is really long. Then we had to run all the way back down to our transition area. Luckily, I didn't have to run too far with my bike to leave transition. I got my stuff off as quickly as I could, grabbed my bike and ran out of there.

Bike Leg (16 miles) - Jamie: 55:15 (17.37 MPH), Mike: 46:20 (20.71 MPH)

After running to the mount line, I got on my bike. I heard a woman say, "6th female" and that felt pretty good even though I knew it wouldn't last for long! Normally, I don't like the beginning of the bike course. It isn't too hilly but it is a gradual incline and I always feel like I am going really slow.

Luckily, this year we had a tailwind! Even though some of my first miles were slower than I would have liked, I was alright with it since we were doing the DoubleMussel anyway. Jenelle (Miss Speedy) passed me around mile 2!

I saw a lot of USAT Officials out on the bike course (later when I asked Mike if he saw any, he said no) so I made sure to not draft at all. After 6 miles, our friend Kirsten passed me. I wish I was as speedy as she is on the bike!

Finally, we turned off of this stretch of road and started the nice downhill portion of the course. It was nice to not have to pedal for a few seconds! I made the turn at the bottom of the hill and started to head back toward the transition area. Along this stretch of the course our friend, Greg, passed me.

I made it to the two-way traffic section of the course and started to think about the run. My fastest mile was mile 15 at 20.8mph, not bad for me! I made the turn back into Seneca Lake State Park and rode back toward transition. I dismounted my bike at the dismount line and ran back into transition.

Transition 2 - Jamie: 2:28, Mike: 1:59

 Mike in transition

I really struggled with this part of the race. It was really difficult to run over the transition's surface with my bike shoes on. It was grassy and had some stones throughout and I was slipping all over the place. I made a mental note to take my shoes off before running through transition for the 70.3.

I finally got back to my transition area and got my running stuff on. I tried to be as quick as possible since I knew I had a slower transition due to running so far with my bike and over the horrible surface.

Run Leg (3.1 miles) - Jamie: 26:10 (8:26 pace), Mike: 24:09 (7:46 pace)

As I ran out of transition I may have taken off too fast. I didn't want to "race" the sprint because of the 70.3 on Sunday and when I saw that my first mile was 7:40 - I knew I had to back off. I saw Mike about a mile into my run and we cheered each other on. I saw other friends finishing up their runs and I just wanted my race to be almost over too!

I went through the one aid station on the course and then ran toward the small loop and ran back toward the finish. After going through the aid station again, I passed our friend Mark. As I went by him he cheered me on. I saw a few more friends running toward the turn around.

I slowed down the second and third miles (8:17 and 8:33 pace, respectively) because I didn't want to sabotage Sunday's race. I also knew I wasn't going to place in my age group so there wasn't really a point to running all out.

 Yes, I passed him!

Finally, I saw Mike and our friends on the sidelines cheering me on. I was so happy to cross the finish line and get race #1 of the weekend under my belt! (The run course may have actually been 3.2 miles, which matches up with the pace on the results page, but I counted it as what it was advertised as - 3.1 miles)

Finishing Times - Jamie: 1:37:50, Mike: 1:24:56

 Everyone after the race

Mike had a great race and finished a little over one minute slower than his time last year! He came in 5th (out of 20) in his age group, a great start to the weekend! I came in 12th (out of 41) in my age group and I was happy with how I raced. After getting some food and hanging out for a bit, we went to our hotel so that we could take showers and start relaxing/recovering for the next race of the weekend - Musselman 70.3!


  1. Great job! It sounds like you played it smart knowing there was a bigger race the next day, and a good way to practice for that!!

  2. Wow. Still cannot believe you did two tris in a row. You two are so freaking awesome.

  3. Ah, Musselman weekend! I *will* make it back there soon.

  4. It was so great to see you at body marking in Sunday. I have been following your blog for a few years and your journey last year is helping me so much this year as I get ready for IMMT. I read your review of this race and signed up, I don't remembering you saying the run was that hard. Happy to have finished, writing my blog update right now and reliving the day.

  5. You are SO amazing. I really am not worthy. I really want to do another REAL tri in the future.