This is a nice indoor triathlon in February, to get a little break from the winter training season. It’s a well organized event, in the very nice Marshalltown, IA YMCA facility. This year they offered two race options for adults. The first is a timed option, where you swim 7 minutes, bike 18 minutes and run 15 minutes, and they use total distance traveled to determine the winner. The second is the “competitive” division which is more like a standard triathlon where you swim 500 yards, bike “10 miles” and run 3 miles.
Results: swim bike run total
For this event, you get a lane by yourself. You have the option of starting off the blocks or the wall. They have people to count your laps for you, and a large projection screen at the starting end to show the overall time. I chose the blocks for the start, and tried not to swim the first 100 too fast. I had a good swim, finishing 500 yards with a 1:31/100y, which bested my previous best 500 time trial (7:42).
Transitions are timed in this event. Unlike the Icebreaker Tri, you do not have to change clothes. I chose to simply wear my Tri shorts and no shirt for the event, to give me time to relax and get my HR down before I jumped on the bike. I put on my shoes, Garmin and HR strap, set up my bike, and relaxed. They had bikes sitting next to check in prior to the race (Keiser spin bikes this year) so I figured out my settings prior to going upstairs to the bike.
With the change to the Keiser spin bikes this year, I had a much better bike ride than last year with the upright styled units. For the competitive division, they have the men ride the bike at level 14… 2 more gears harder than the Icebreaker Tri I did earlier in the year. As mentioned in that race report, there are a lot of variances in the Keiser spin bike resistance levels, and the bike I picked seemed much more realistic than what I had for that event. Even with 2 additional gears, my time for the “10 miles” was actually 10 seconds faster than in that event, pushing lower wattage (254 vs 274 per my PowerCal). With less transition time and knowing that I’d only have 2 minutes between bike and run, I pushed a little less in this event than the Icebreaker. As mentioned in previous race reports, Keiser spin bikes don’t really measure miles, but rather 200 revolutions of the pedals (practically it’s more like kilometers). Overall I felt like it was a good ride for me.
The run is around a very short track (1/12 mile), irregular as it is not quite oval shaped and I felt no banking. They have a person dedicated to counting your laps for you, and they yell out your lap count as you go by. I had my Garmin beeping at my projected pace, based on time per lap. This strategy worked really well. I had my foot pod on showing my pacing as well. I was able to stay ahead of my lap pacing target, and averaged 6:25 per mile.
Overall it was a well-run event. Note that if you stick around for the awards ceremony, plan on being there for a while, as you have to wait for all of the waves to finish. I ended up finishing first in my age group, and third overall in the event. What was really cool to me was seeing a 70 year old woman compete in the Competitive Division. She had the fastest women’s swim time (9:32), did 23:54 on the bike (just behind 37 and 40 year old women), and ran 30:46 for her 3 mile run (10:15/mile average). Best of all… she had a smile on her face the entire run.