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Exploring the USA Through Triathlon

Triathlon Across the USA

After completing my first triathlon in 2011, my wife, Joy, and I decided to combine our mutual love for road trips and my interest in triathlon into what we have called “Triathlon Across the USA”.

This quest has already taken us to many out-of-the-way parts of the United States, places that we would likely never otherwise have visited.  As an example, many people who live in Oregon don’t know where Sweet Home is.  We have eaten, slept, and raced there.

Through these travels, we have met people across the triathlon community and those in the surrounding areas.  We have been surprised by the number of occasions when we have met people hundreds, even more than a thousand, miles from home who have friends or family near our Minnesota home.  In one case, the race director of a triathlon in one of the southern states had run near our house while visiting in-laws in Minnesota.

These travels have also provided a whole range of triathlon experiences – different terrain, race courses, weather conditions, race types, and plenty of opportunities to deal with the unexpected.

This journey is on-going.  We have not completed triathlons in all states.  For that matter, we have not finished stories for all of the triathlons in which we have participated.  However, Lord willing, we will continue this journey to the end.

Please join us on this adventure.

Terry & Joy VanderWert

Maple Grove, Minnesota

“I press on to reach the end of the race” Philippians 3:14

Finding a State

To help you more easily tour the country and experience each of the triathlons with us, we have included a master list of states.  If the state contains a link, the triathlon and its accompanying story have been completed.  If not, then we are still working on it.

The buy Depakote australia contains a map showing the states for which triathlons have been completed and any for which triathlons have been scheduled.

By the way, the region names and grouping of states in the headings below follows the standard used by the US Census Bureau.  I didn’t just make them up.

Northeast

Midwest

South

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West

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Triathlon Across the USA: State #17 – Colorado

Englewood, Colorado, September 8, 2013 – Inverness Triathlon

 

Adding Colorado to the 2013 Triathlon Season

We decided that 2013 was the year to share my love for triathlon with my parents.  Since they were living in the south Denver suburb of Parker, it was a matter of finding Colorado triathlons that fit our schedule.  We decided on the one closest to Parker.

As long as we were making the trip, Joy and I decided to add a few days and a couple of extra stops to check in on family in South Dakota and Nebraska and to visit friends in Colorado.

 

An Indirect Route to Colorado

The path from Minneapolis to Denver was anything but direct.  We started the six-day, six-state trip on Wednesday morning by heading to Rapid City, South Dakota for a visit with Joy’s aunt Evelyn.

The next day, we reached our friends Steve and Lori in Colorado Springs for a visit with them.  Then, on Friday, we made the hour and a half drive from Colorado Springs to my parent’s house in Parker.

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Enjoying ice cream and good conversation with my parents. Photo courtesy of Joy.

 

Last Minute Equipment Problem

While on a short bike ride around my parent’s neighborhood on Friday afternoon, I noticed that the seat kept sliding down, not just a little but almost a foot within a few blocks.  While I could still ride the bike, it took more effort to keep moving at a normal pace than it did with the seat at its correct height.

Not wanting to over tighten (over torque) the seat post clamp and risk cracking the carbon fiber frame of the buy Depakote tablets online, I called the Trek bike shop in Parker for ideas on how to solve the problem.

We agreed that I would bring the bike into the shop on Saturday.

In my experience, the people working at bike shops are among the most generous I know.  The guys at the Parker store of buy Depakote 250mg tablets were no exception.

They spent several hours trying to solve the mystery of the sinking seat.  Much of the time was spent with the bike on a trainer so that I could test ride the bike after they implemented what they believed would be a fix for the problem.

The final solution appeared to come with applying a grit filled, sticky/greasy substance to the seat post.  This material is designed to create additional friction between the seat post and clamp to keep the post from moving.

In the end, they did not ask for anything.  I decided to purchase a tube of the grit filled material for possible future use.

When I left the bike shop, I was convinced that they had solved the problem. I headed into the race confident in my equipment.

 

Inverness Triathlon

The Inverness Triathlon, which was held at the buy Depakote tablets in Englewood, included both the sprint triathlon (individual and relay) and aqua-bike events.

Distances for the individual legs of the buy Depakote 500mg online Inverness triathlon were:

  • Swim: 0.3 mile (574 yd or 525 m)
  • Bike: 12 mile (19.3 km)
  • Run: 3 mile (4.8 km)

The aqua-bike race was available for those who did not want to or were unable to run the three mile distance of the triathlon.  The aqua-bike included the swim and bike distances of the triathlon with only short walk or jog to the finish line from the transition area.

One of the guys who swam in the same group as me participated in the aqua-bike.  He explained that he was competing in this event because of a chronic knee problem that prevented him from running.

Later, while chatting before the race, he told me that, from his perspective, the bike course for this race was ‘quite flat’.  When we later met on the course, I shared with him that flat from the perspective of a Minnesotan is clearly different from that of one from Colorado.

 

Swim

The triathlon began with the slowest swimmers (those who reported the longest expected swim times) starting first.  Five swimmers occupied each lane and started about 10 seconds apart from each other.

There was also one lane for the fastest swimmers, those who expected to swim the 525 m in 7 minutes 30 seconds or less.

Since I was in neither camp – neither among the slowest nor the fastest, I waited and eventually found a group of five other swimmers who expected to complete the swim in a similar time.

The swim involved 21 lengths of the 25 m pool, all within the same lane shared by the five swimmers.  The odd number of lengths meant that we exited the pool at the end of the swim leg at the end opposite from that at which we entered the pool.

From the exit of the pool, it was a short walk/jog to the transition area just outside the pool area.

 

Bike

The bike course was a labyrinth of side streets populated by modern office buildings mixed with the occasional green space in the south Denver suburb of Englewood.  The altitude was between 5,720 and 5,900 ft – a little over one mile high.

The bike course was a bit hillier than typical venues, though not especially difficult.  After a 120 foot descent over the first 2-1/2 miles, the course ascended 180 feet over the next 8 miles.

Late in the bike leg, it became clear that the gritty material that had been put on the seat post was not completely effective.  In fact, by the time I got off the bike, the seat post had dropped about a foot.  At least it had taken longer for this to happen than it had on Friday.

While the bike was still working fine, I was not generating the same amount of power with each stroke of the pedal as with the seat at the correct height.  The result: it was taking longer to get through the course.

What should I have done differently? The guys at the bike shop in Parker had done everything that they knew to do.

In hindsight, I should have taken the bike for a ride a week before leaving home for Colorado. This would have at least provided more time to diagnose and solve the problem.

Another lesson learned.

Triathlon Lesson: A triathlon is a microcosm of life.  The unexpected often occurs during a race.  It is best to accept whatever comes along. (where to buy Depakote 500mg)

 

Run

The run was partially on a combined walking and running trail and partially on city sidewalks, all behind the fitness center.  Even though the run course was relatively flat, my run was actually a mix of running and walking.

I expected the run to be a challenge given the difference in altitude between my home in Minnesota and that of Englewood.   Running near my parent’s home during several previous visits had taught me that running at the higher altitude was more difficult.

 

Results

Despite the challenges with the bike and run legs of this race, I ended up finishing 50th of 200 overall and second within my 60-64 year men’s age group.  For me, that was respectable.

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Receiving the award for a second place age group finish at the Inverness Triathlon, Englewood, Colorado.

 

Reflections

Admittedly, other than the swimming portion, triathlon is not much of a spectator sport.  Nevertheless, my parents stayed for the entire race and even seemed to enjoy the activity.

We were glad that we made the trip.  This weekend was among the last times that we spent time with my parents. Within a few years they had both passed away.

After the award’s ceremony, we headed back to Minneapolis with an overnight stop to see our son Ben, daughter-in-law Lindsey, and granddaughter Mari (Anna Joy was not yet born) in Omaha, Nebraska.   More precious time with family.

 

Fixing the Bike Seat

A week or so after returning home, I took the bike into my local bike shop, buy Depakote without prescription .  After explaining the problem, I learned that Trek had very recently announced a recall of the seat post clamp.   A Maple Grove Cycling technician installed the new and improved clamp.

The grit filled material for the seat post was no longer needed.

 

Race First’s

  • First race at over one mile altitude
  • First triathlon involving a problem that affected the bike fit
  • First (and only) triathlon attended by my parents

 

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Triathlon Across the USA: State #13 – Hawaii

Kailua (Honolulu), Hawaii, April 21, 2013 – BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Sprint Triathlon

The Hawaii triathlon was the perfect opportunity to visit family on the tropical island of Oahu.  It also led to several firsts in the “Triathlon Across the USA” adventure.

 

Planning the Hawaii Triathlon

Joy and I are fortunate to have a close connection with my aunt Nelda, who just happens to live 10 minutes by walking from Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.

For the past several years, we have visited her during the heart of the Minnesota winter.  In turn, we welcome her to our home, during the summer, of course.

Planning an April trip to Hawaii for the BOCA Hawaii triathlon seemed almost a waste.   After all, why make the long flight to visit Hawaii at a time when the weather in Minnesota is typically spring-like.  April in Minnesota generally means spring flowers in bloom and trees that are beginning to bud and turn green after the winter.

As it turned out, the 2013 winter in Minnesota was longer than usual.  It snowed on and off at home throughout our time in Hawaii.

 

Before the Race

Joy and I – and my Trek SpeedConcept 7.5 triathlon bike – arrived in Hawaii a little over a week before the triathlon.

After re-assembling the bike, I took a short ride to make sure that I had put it together properly.  While I had planned to take time before race day to get in some serious biking, this didn’t happen as planned.  Why?

Biking in Honolulu was a challenge, given the traffic and so few designated bike lanes on the city streets and roads.   By January 2018, this condition had improved due to the more than 1,000 rental bicycles that are part of the buy veterinary Depakote program involving more than 100 rental locations throughout the main tourist areas of Honolulu.

 

12th Annual BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Triathlon

The BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Triathlon, managed by the multi-sport training and racing company were to buy Depakote, took place in Kailua Beach Park on the eastern side of the island of Oahu.

Distances for the individual legs of the buy Depakote 500mg online race were:

  • Swim: 0.3 mile (550 yd or 500 m)
  • Bike: 10.7 mile (17.1 km)
  • Run: 3.6 mile (5.7 km)

This race had the distinction of having part of the bike course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH).  For reference, MCBH was formerly known as Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay and originally called Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay. (Source: can you buy Depakote online)

 

Swim

All 350+ competitors ran or walked into Kailua Bay together with the sounding of the air horn that signaled the start of the triathlon.  The 500 meter (550 yard) swim in the calm, clear, and comfortably warm waters of Kailua Bay took me a little over 11 minutes.  Given the water temperature, wetsuits were not allowed.

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The open water swim in Kailua Bay (with Mokulua Island in the background) was my first triathlon involving a swim in the Pacific Ocean. The darker section of the water near the center of the picture (between kayaks) is created by the swimmers.

Bike

The bike leg took us from the transition area in Kailua Beach Park onto city streets parallel to the Bay.  We eventually entered MCBH.  The course was flat except for one nasty hill that ended with a turnaround in a neighborhood of base housing.

To put things in perspective, the hill leading to the turnaround was the kind that causes you to wonder if you are going to fall over from going so slowly even though you are in the lowest possible gear and giving it your all.

We all know that whatever goes up must come down.  This day, coming down meant extreme attention (and braking) to avoid ending up in Kailua Bay while navigating the near right angle turns near the base of the hill.

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The bike turnaround occurred on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (upper section of the picture). For reference, the swim took place in Kailua Bay (between land and small island) near the center of the picture. The run took place in the Lanikai neighborhood in the lower section of the picture. This view is from Pillbox hiking trail.

 

This was the first race applying a strategy on the bike to shift gears in order to comfortably maintain a cadence (pedal revolution) of 90 rpm.  The one exception was on the aforementioned hill.

This approach seemed to work as I had hoped.  While I was not always biking as fast as I could have, the higher cadence saved my legs for run.

 

Transition

Transition occurs between the individual legs of a triathlon and typically involves a change of gear and shoes.  The time to complete the two transitions (from swim to bike, called T1, and from bike to run, called T2) is included in the overall time for completing the triathlon.

Time spent in transition is just as important as time spent in each of the legs – see “how to order Depakote online”.

The video clip illustrates one way to minimize time spent in transition, that is, through multitasking.

VIDEO: Connecting the race number belt while running out of the transition area is one way to minimize transition time.

 

Triathlon Tip: Reduce your transition time by completing certain tasks together.  I typically connect my race number belt while running out of transition.  If the triathlon involves a wetsuit, I wear the race number under the wetsuit from the beginning of the race.

 

Run

The main part of the 3.6 mile run course was on the hilly streets of the Lanikai neighborhood.

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The run course of the BOCA Hawaii Lanikai Sprint Triathlon took us through the Lanikai neighborhood.  Mokulua and Moko Iki Islands are visible in the background.

Most of the last 0.6 miles was on the beach, on sand that had been packed from waves washing ashore.  However, the last few yards were on deep, soft sand, just what we didn’t need while trying to sprint to the finish line.

 

Results

There was no award for me this time.

I finished 4th of seven in my age group – not even close to the guy who finished third.  While I was ‘in the hunt’ after the swim and bike legs, the three guys in my age group who finished ahead of me were much stronger runners.

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 Race First’s

  • First triathlon with part of the race course on a USA military base (Marine Corps Base Hawaii)
  • First triathlon in which the swim occurred in the Pacific Ocean
  • First triathlon outside the continental USA

 

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