Monday, August 30, 2010

San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz Inaugural Race

Finish Strong Tommy Sustala competed along side 1,800 athletes in the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz race on Saturday, August 29. Tommy finished this treacherous 1.2 mile swim, agonizingly hilly 25 mile bike, and scenic 7 mile run event in just 2:48:38. Tommy finished 4th of the 111 athletes in his 40-44 age group and 26th overall. He had a 30:38 swim, 1:17:19 bike, and 56:01 run.

You get a better sense for how difficult this race must be when reading the course description.
"Swimming from Alcatraz Island was once thought to be impossible. This year, 1,800 athletes make the treacherous swim, fighting the strong currents and ever looming fear of what lies below the water's surface. This is certainly not a race for the faint of heart. The swim will start your journey but the hills of San Francisco may just be the hardest section on the course. You will find sharp turns, fast descents and agonizing climbs to test your aerobic endurance and mental fortitude.

Next you get to take in the scenic views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge as you weave your way back to the finish line. The shadows of Alcatraz Island loom as a reminder of your epic race. Throw in a beach run with a 400 step sand ladder and you have one of the most difficult triathlons in the world. Come prepared both physically and mentally to challenge yourself as this will be a race you will never forget!"

Congrats to Tommy for conquering this race!

Clear Lake Tri

Pictured above: Carolyn Barron and Steve Hardy after the race. Steve Hardy, Chris Normyle, and Will Blackbird at start of swim.

On August 28, Team FSR athletes Scott Peterson, Carolyn Barron, Michael Collins, Steve Hardy, Will Blackbird, and Chris Normyle raced the Olympic distance Clear Lake International Triathlon with distances of 1500 meter swim, 24.9 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run.

Team FSR Scott Peterson was 1st in his 25-29 AG and 6th overall. Scott's splits were swim 27:39, bike 1:07:10 and amazingly fast run of 38:38 (6:14 per mile pace).

Scott reports, "The salt water swim felt pretty good and smooth throughout. I started out in front and stayed up front. I finished 3rd in my age group on the swim. On the bike, I had a tailwind for first stretch (about 10 miles) and felt great. However, the headwind during the last stretch of 10 miles made it tough both physically and mentally. I finished 4th in my age group on the bike. This was my best run of the summer! I finished 1st in my age group and was just 4 tenths away from posting the fastest run time among the age groupers."

Carolyn Barron came in 8th in her 40-44 age group with an overall time of 2:56:55. Carolyn's splits were 35:13 swim (fifth fastest in her AG), 1:19:44 bike (18.8 mph pace), and 1:00:10 run (9:42 per mile pace).

Michael Collins came in 4th in his 35-39 AG and 11th overall with an overall time of 2:18:42. His splits were 32:44 swim, 1:01:44 bike (24.3 mph - and 2nd fastest in his AG), and 41:52 run (6:45 per mile pace).

Steve Hardy came in 8th in his 45-49 AG with an overall time of 2:31:54. His splits were 31:48 swim, 1:06:18 bike (22.6 mph pace), and 51:26 run (8:18 per mile pace).

Will Blackbird came in 2nd in his 45-49 AG with an overall time of 2:29:52. His splits were 30:32 swim, 1:06 (22.7 mph pace), and 51:04 run (8:14 per mile pace).

Chris Normyle took 3rd in his 50-54 AG with an overall time of 2:46:40. His splits were 29:03 swim, 1:14:52 bike (20.0 mph pace), and 58:02 run (9:22 per mile pace).

Great showing by TEAM FSR!

Lake Houston 10K

Finish Strong Tuesday Night Track athletes had a great showing at the Lake Houston 10K. Brandon Sager took first overall with a time of 38:13 at the recent Lake Houston 10K in Kingwood on August 29. Skip Moschell was the 3rd male overall and 1st in his age group (39:56).

Brandon reports, "This was a PR, but only because it was my first 10k road race; my only other 10k was the Muddy Trails 10k earlier this year (42:16)."

Be sure to congratulate these two when you see them at Tuesday Night Track!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Texas State Time Trial

TEAM FSR athlete, Lane Barron, headed to the Texas State Time Trial on August 14 where he competed in the 10K race and placed first out of five in his 10-12 age group.

Lane reports, "It went well other than a truck pulling out in front of me and having to slow down a lot. I was still happy with my race. I made a goal before the race to get 22 mph which is exactly 16:56 and I got exactly that!"

Way to go!

Tri Girl

Finish Strong Racer Hannah Barron took on the Tri Girl sprint triathlon on August 15 with much success. Hannah won her age group and was 26 out of 353 finishers. Not bad for a 13 year old! Hannah reports that the swim was a crowded open water swim and she was in the last wave She swam the course in 7:02, then went on to pass lots of people on the bike in a time of 34:21. Hannah ran the last leg under hot and humid conditions in 26:49 (8:54 per mile pace). Hannah placed first beating the 14 year old behind her by 7 minutes and 13 seconds!! Her total time was 1:09:51.

After the race, Hannah said, "I love racing! And the food afterwards was awesome -- ice cream sandwichs and lots of soda and pizza. I beat my goal of 1:10 by 9 seconds."
Pictured above: Katherine and Hannah Barron display their winning plaques at Tri Girl.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ironman Texas Course Description

The last I heard, 1,508 Texans are signed up for Ironman Texas with over 100 from The Woodlands! As predicted, the race sold out in a matter of weeks.

There has been much speculation about the course. Here is what I have gathered from various discussions with people who are in the know.

The swim will be in Lake Woodlands starting at Northshore Park and ending at Town Green Park. The point to point swim will take athletes down the west side of the lake and then back up the easy side before entering the Waterway.

There will be a short, fairly steep uphill run leading from the swim exit to the transition in Town Green Park (located between the library and the Cynthia Woods Pavilion). The transition is close to the center of The Woodlands shopping and dining area so plenty to do for friends and family.

The bike route will head west out of The Woodlands via Lake Woodlands or Woodlands Parkway (both are 4 to 6 lane roads with shoulders) before heading north on FM2978. FM 2978 is a 4 lanes road with wide shoulders until crossing FM1488 where is becomes a lightly traveled 2 lane road with a smaller (3 feet) shoulder. The road turns into Fish Creek Thoroughfare. Riders will turn left and head west on FM2854, a moderately busy two lane road, before crossing a major 4 lane road (SH105) and continuing around the north side of the town of Montgomery (the loop is called Lone Star Parkway) before turning right right and heading north on FM149. At this point, cyclists will encounter a steady diet of rolling hills until reaching Bethel Rd/FM1791 where they turn right and then left onto Tailaferro. Tailaferro turns into County Road 209. Riders will turn right onto Bays Chapel and head north for a few miles before making a u-turn and coming back down south to FM149 and then continuing the ride to Richards on FM149. All roads up to this point are in excellent condition and local cyclists use them on a regular basis (with the exception of Tailaferro and Bays Chapel). FM149 is also shaded for most of it's length as it goes through the Sam Houston National Forest. Bethel Road, Tailaferro, CO Road 209 and Bays Chapel are also shaded.

Upon reaching the small hamlet of Richards, riders will turn south on FM1486, another lightly traveled rolling road with a tar and chip surface. The route will cross SH105 again at Dobbin and then turn south on Jackson Road a few miles south of SH105. After several miles, Jackson Road merges with FM149 which riders stay on until they hit FM1488. From here, the route will most likely turn left onto FM1488 and then make a quick right onto Spur 149 Road. Less than a mile later, a left hand turn will take riders onto Dobbin Hufsmith Road (locally called the "Dog Loop" by cyclists and triathletes for reasons that no longer apply). This is a narrow road with no shoulders but in good condition and is fairly lightly traveled. Dobbin Hufsmith intersects at FM2978 where riders will turn left and head back up to Woodlands Parkway where they will enter The Woodlands and head for T2.

The run will consist of 3 loops taking in a good portion of the Waterway and looping around Lake Woodlands. The run will traverse both sides of the Waterway and afford spectators ample locations for catching the action. Personally, I would book an outside table along the Waterway at the Goose's Acre where you can get great food and plenty of drink. The run will proceed counterclockwise around Lake Woodlands via Grogans Mill, Lake Woodlands Dr., E. Panther Creek and Woodlands Parkway before entering the upscale neighborhood of East Shore for a lakeside tour of it's large houses and townhomes. The back onto the Waterway for an out and back before heading around the lake again. The run course will be very flat and shaded in many areas. It will be on wide pathways and some roads.

The finish is slated to be in Market Street, The Woodlands premier shopping, dining and entertainment venue. For those lucky enough to book a room at the swank Avia Hotel, you will be literally steps away from the finish line. Market Street is also directly across the street from the transition area.

This is a spectator friendly course. The swim start will be visible from Northshore Park and the Lake Woodlands bridge. Mobile spectators can quickly bike to the south side of the lake to see the turn before heading over to the Waterway where the last 800 to 1200m will be in a canal that has sidewalks on either side. Spectators that want to get out to the bike course can but there will be limited parking and viewing areas. The run course will be great for viewing as stated. Great spots all along the Waterway and it's a short walk over to East Shore if you want to get away from the crowds.

I will get some pictures of the course and start posting them on this site.

For out of towners, please feel free to contact me and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have about the course or local area. Our weekend rides and runs take in most of the Ironman course.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bridgeland Tri

Team FSR was out in full force for the Bridgeland Tri! Fifteen Finish Strong racers completed the race with several podium finishes. Finishing first in their age groups were: Lane Barron, Hannah Barron, Rodrigo Abascal, and Tommy Sustala. Craig Wakefield and David Holsey took 3rd in their age groups. Cindy McManis and Will Blackbird took 5th in their age groups. Others such as Bill Mack recorded their personal best at this race.

Here are the overall times:

1 Hannah Barron 13 10:48.0 43:37.0 (19.3) 29:17.4 (8:22) 1:26:01.7
8 Jackie Lewis 42 11:30.8 43:34.9 30:42.4 (8:46) 1:27:05.1
10 Carolyn Barron 41 11:29.9 42:12.5 32:33.2 (9:18) 1:27:26.4
5 Cynthia McManis 50 12:15.8 43:27.9 35:20.0 (10:06)1:33:05.0

1 Lane Barron 11 10:14.0 39:59.2 (21.0) 28:01.4 (8:00) 1:19:54.5
1 Rodrigo Abascal 17 8:19.8 36:57.4 (22.7) 24:42.1 (7:03) 1:11:48.0
7 David Kayda 34 10:50.9 36:32.5 (23.0) 23:03.2 (6:35) 1:12:53.4
71John Scott Reaves 36 10:08.3 40:20.1 (20.8) 42:33.7(12:09) 1:36:30.1
1 Albert Sustala 41 7:33.2 34:35.5 25:28.0 (7:17) 1:08:42.1
3 Craig Wakefield 41 7:19.4 35:31.8 26:18.6 (7:31) 1:10:22.6
13 Steve Hardy 44 10:02.3 35:56.8 (23.4) 27:50.0 (7:57) 1:16:03.6
20 Manuel Abascal 43 10:47.7 42:00.8 27:12.1 (7:46) 1:21:07.0
40 Bill Mack 43 11:21.5 44:50.0 29:54.5 (8:33) 1:27:29.1

5 William Blackbird 49 10:06.4 35:36.9 (23.6) 27:48.0 (7:57)1:16:22.2
12 Jody Gaddy 45 13:19.6 40:08.8 (20.9) 27:40.1 (7:54)1:24:59.5
3 David Holsey 64 11:18.0 42:40.0 35:07.0 (10:02)1:30:42.7

Amazing team effort!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lighthouse Triathlon

Rodrigo (left) took 1st in his AG at Lighthouse Tri.

Team FSR Rodrigo Abascal won his 16-19 AG at the Lighthouse Triathlon in Oklahoma City, OK on August 1. Rodrigo finished the race in 1:05:31. By winning this last race in the series, Rodrigo won the Junior Development Series. Rodrigo's splits were 7:18 swim, 35:37 bike; and 21:38 run. Rodrigo's brother and dad, both named Manuel, also competed. His brother, 18, finished in 1:19:45. Rodrigo's dad took 8th in his 40-44 AG finishing in 1:17:22.

River Cities Triathlon

Team FSR athlete, Kent Morris, took on the River Cities Triathlon in Bossier City, Louisiana on August 1, 2010. Kent came in 5th in his 50-54 AG with an overall time of 1:33:06. Kent swam the first leg in 18:20; 48:27 bike (22.5 mph pace), and 22:44 run (7:20 pace). Way to go, Kent!

Jack's Generic Sprint Triathlon

Finish Strong coached athlete, Charlie McDougall, took first in his 20-24 AG at Jack's Generic Sprint Triathlon held on August 1 in New Braufels, Texas. Charlie came in 31 overall out of 680 athletes in a time of 1:10:46. Charlie swam the first 500m swim in 8:24, biked the 13.8 mile course in 39:15 (21.1mph pace), and ran theh final 3 miles in 21:07 (7:02 per mile pace). Congrats!