ITU Chicago World Triathlon Series race

The real world championships will be in Chicago in 2015. I was excited to get a chance to go see a full blown ITU World Triathlon Series pro race, and so booked up. It also occurred to me that it was good timing for an extra sprint race. I have posted an album of general race pictures on facebook, here.

20140626_084058I'm going to focus on my race, rather than the pro ITU WCS races. I sent my bike up with Tri Bike Transport, after the Womens elite race, I walked over, collected my bike, picked up packet, walked the bike over to ransition and racked it, covering the electronic shifters with a plastic bag. My wave wasn't until 12pm the next day. Kate and I headed back to the host hotel and had a great dinner that evening, I was really weird not to have to get up at the crack of dawn for a race. We headed over to do transition set-up and the Olympic distance age group race was in full swing.

Much to my surprise they had an open transition. People who had already finished the Olympic race were leaving transition with their bikes, getting in the way of people on the run course, some were even trying to ride onto the course. Inside transition there were people standing around and getting in the way of people heading on the run. It was a total shambles. I contemplated getting involved, but decided not to. Did my transition set-up and left.

Swim: The temps were way in excess of what would be comfortable to sit around for long in a wetsuit, and I was in two minds if I should use it. It was literally a straight line swim, parallel to the lake wall. I decided that since it was a full 750m and there was a long run to T1, probably 400-600m and plenty of time to take it off. The swim was a deep water start, with the wetsuit on I just floated around and waited... when the gun went off I was drifting about 2-back from a wide start line, maybe 1/3 the way out. I settled in pretty quickly and didn't really experience any bumping, being able to sight off the wall reminded me of the Bedford Triathlon. I was up and out of the water in 15:30, with the top guys doing it in 12:20-ish.

T1: Out of the water and I ran into the underpass, stopped and stripped off my wetsuit, although I got passed by loads  of people, I'm convinced it was the right decision, it took me another 2-minutes to get into the transition, and 30-seconds to run through it. 4:14 with a few of the guys doing 3:50'ish. Not bad given I was running barefoot.

10351462_10152259793442399_5800845427339786386_nBike: My bike was racked at the end of a rack, pretty close to the bike out, so I was quickly on my bike and out onto the road. The bike course was completely flat, 3 laps, but with maybe 1.5 iles in Lower Wacker Dr, which was weird in almost darkness. I hammered out the bike, there was one section we you had to make a right, east on East Congress Parkway, and then turn, back down and back on S Columbus Drive. Heading into Transition I felt ok, it had got hottter though, now probably mid-90's.I finished the bike in 31:47 with a couple of the guys just going sub 28.

T2:To even out the transition we had to run the full length of transition and then in the same entrance as the run in from the swim.Again Things went well in T2, hat on, hemlet on and out with race number.

Run: About 150yds into the run was the first aid station, I slowed, grabbed a cup of water and almost gagged. It was hot. Seriously, not warm, I spat it out and gagged... for bout the next 50yds I was coughing it up. We had 3-laps and I never really felt comfortable. I had to stop for a quick towards the end of the 2nd lap and overall am disappointed with my 32:51, possibly one of my all time slowest.


STATS:
Swim 750M: 15:30, 11/40, 177 overall
T1: 4:14 8/40, 101 overall
Bike 20Km: 31:47, 8/40, 119 overall
T2: 3:25 11/40, 129 overall
Run 5k:  32:51, 28/40, 273 overall
Totals: 1:27:45, 14/40, 173rd Male, 243rd overall.

P6294594And that was that. A great weekend overall. Kate and I did some fab tourist things. Thoroughly enjoyed both the womens and mens pro race. Gwen Jorgenson is an awesome runner, and you can't fault Gomez. I was disappointed the GB Team where mostly absent but understandable given the proximity to the Commonwealth Games.

It's a good course for the 2015 ITU World Championships, the transition needs sorting out, and they need to have ice for the drinks.