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Massive catch-up post!

While the web-lackey was being lazy over the past few weeks, the Spin-Second Sole Multisport Team has been incredibly active, posting 12 individual finishes since Hinkley! Many people wrote some fun race reports, so I’m just going to list them all in one post. For anyone interested in going national, Rob Reddy went to Wildflower again this year, and painted a great picture of the scene and the race– don’t miss that one! Have fun reading….

Xterra Arizona: John Willse

Race recap: The race took place at a very remote setting, Saguaro Lake, AZ, which is approx 60 miles north of Scottsdale, AZ. A very tough course, made tougher because of the heat. This was actually my first Xterra (swim, mountain bike, off-road run) race, so I was really looking forward to the experience. As soon as I got there, I knew this would be a “unique” race. First of all, gone was the flat terrain that is so prevalent in the Scottsdale area. I was in desert hill/mountain country, and, it was hot! Mountain biking is certainly more mainstream in AZ, CA, and CO, than Ohio and those states were well represented, with a couple hundred doing the Xterra, and about the same & doing the road race (which was running concurrently) The talent level in the off-road race seemed to be pretty deep, so I knew I’d have to have a good effort to place and pick up some Xterra points!
SWIM: the road race started the Point-to-point swim at 9:00 am, mass start. The Xterra group went at 9:15, same format. I felt like absolute crap for the first 500 yds, and at one point was convinced I was going to pass out in the water (not good). Not only was this the 1st open water swim in 7 months, it was the 1st time I wore a wetsuit in 8 months. I settled in, while saying to myself “I need to start swimming with the Masters group again…breathe, stroke, breathe damn it….Get me out of this $%&#%* water! “ Out of the water, up a boat ramp and into T1, were I was surprised and psyched to see only a small number of people there, and even fewer bikes off of the racks. Maybe I was just working entirely too hard???
BIKE: Out of T1, go 150 yds on pavement, right turn to the off-road trail and let the games begin! Anaerobic bliss would set in immediately as we began pounding up a 1000′ nasty, sandy, rocky climb. Once up on a mesa, the course opened up with a mix of fast rolling, technical climbs, and full out crazy downhill sections. Awesome! Only 1 crash 🙂 My new Mavic wheels and Fox fork ate everything up beautifully (thanks Greg). There were some fast, fast dudes on this course…fortunately what I didn’t have that day on the bike, I had for the run, and caught most of the guys who got away from me on the bike.
RUN: Nasty, nasty….rocks, cactus, lizards, snakes, narrow crevasses, a tunnel, ankle twisting obstacles, and sandy “flats” all under the bright 94 degree Arizona sun! Absolutely incredible…..
One of the highlights, and different……….hot pizza, and ice cold, tapped kegs at the finish line!!
Great camaraderie, and a more relaxed vibe than the traditionally “buttoned up” triathlon — very refreshing…
All in all, this was one of the toughest races I have done, but also one of the most fun. This will not be my last Xterra…

Captains 5k: Brian Stern

Brian Stern, Captains 5k

Woke up to rain and warm weather so decided to run the Captains 5K in
Eastlake. The field was a good size for a wet day with some fast
competition. I went out with the top three runners at 5:10 for the first
mile. The third place runner dropped back by mile two as we clocked in at
10:40. I threw in a few surges after the two mile marker and clocked a 5:20
last mile to win the overall in 16:35. Full results can be found on

OSU Triathlon: Joe Bush

HFP Racing put on their first OSU Triathlon in Columbus on Sunday. While the temperature was very cold, the race was a great experience. The swim was a serpentine 400m in the new facility at OSU. It had the potential to be a major cluster as it was a self seeded time trial arrangement with 5 seconds in between each swimmer. However, it went very smoothly within the first 50 athletes and turned out to be a very nice swim and I only had to pass 3 people. I ended up 27th overall after the swim. Considering my 15 minutes of practice every week, I was very pleased. What a great pool.

Off to the bike and at 52 degrees, my quads were rocks for the first 9 miles. Felt ok with alittle wind and some false flats, but very slow. Definitely need to work on the bike.

The run went much better than expected as I was able to secure a 2nd place Age Group finish with a 21:04 5K.

Not bad for the first race of the year considering I haven’t been able to work out more than an hour per week so far.

Other notables…Ryan Bates smoked the course in his first pro race and Jim Yamaguchi was hit by a car but finished the race. Other than that, HFP Racing put on another great race.

Flying Pig: Tim Walsh and Brandy Smith

Tim’s report: So I saw that Jim LaMastra ran the Boston Marathon last week and as a result was inspired to tackle one myself. Conveniently, Cincinnati’s Marathon was scheduled this past weekend, May 4th, so I drove down and gave it a go. It turns out that the 2:58 that LaMastra ran at Boston, is actually a tough time to duplicate…who knew? When it was all said and done, I limped across the finish in 3:39. I got to thinking about the ridiculous 40+ minute difference and realized that had we run the same race, Jim could have done the following and still beaten me:

1. stop at mile marker 5 where a band was jamming away on their second set, request ‘Born to Run’, be told that’s in their third set, gladly wait.

2. stop at mile 12’s beer joint, drink a beer, order a second beer, be told it takes 10 minutes to change the keg, gladly wait.

3. stop at mile 19’s church, absolve all sins via confession, perform assigned penance of 5 holy rosary’s, finish race with a clear conscience, and gladly wait…for me.

In my defense, the course was a quarter mile longer than Jim’s 26.2, due to an early morning fire at mile 20 that required a detour. Other than that, this race was flawless: great day, great course, great fan support, and great organization. Conditions could not have been better, starting temp low 40’s, finishing temp mid 60’s, and no wind to battle. The course took us from downtown Cinci, over the Ohio River into Kentucky, back into Cinci for a gradual, uninterrupted 300ft. ascent from mile 5.5 to 8.5, leading to a net downhill run throughout Cincinnati’s neighborhoods for the remaining 17 miles, with a thrilling finish downtown by the stadiums. Locals lined most of the course, and were as vocal and supportive as you could ask for; hard to believe their cheering for a bunch of strangers. I did hear my name once during the marathon, and that was from my teammate Brandy Smith who had already finished her ½ mary, right on target: 1:49; particularly impressive considering her portion had all of the uphill and only a bit of the descent! Nice Brandy! Ultimately my nutrition plan failed and calf cramping did me in, a lesson learned that there is more to successful racing than just hours of conditioning. I suppose LaMastra’s 2:58 is safe for now, at least until my learning curve levels off a bit. Cincinnati, a great spring marathon should Boston not be available.

Brandy’s Comment:I was there too – I raced the half (finished 1:49:something) and was able to watch Tim finish. Of course, at the end of 26.2 miles, he was still smiling. 🙂 Unfortunately, though, my friend’s camera batteries died and we didn’t get a picture.

It was a perfect day to race! Tim, I hope you enjoyed the beer garden and had some well-deserved drinks!!

Wildflower Triathlon: Rob Reddy

It Aint Easy Being Green……

WF – aahhhh freaking awesome. Peace, love and a ton of sweaty fit folks gathered for four days of ultimate tri geekdon.

Trying to describe WF is very difficult. It is really nothing like any other race I have done – simply put because it is more about community and lifestyle than simply a race. In an odd way the race is really an afterthought – like “oh ya I gotta get my a ss down to transition because I got a race to do – bye see ya mates – meet me at the expo in front of the music stage at X o’clock so we can grab a baritto, talk tri, laugh a ton and make new friends”.

But I’ll do my best to give you a glimpse into the Woodstock of triathlon…..

This year’s trip to WF came via some work I did with TnT. A friend, Kurt Molter, asked if I would lend a hand in coaching (swimming shockingly) with his group. In return I could race the Oly at WF for helping the cause out. Kinda felt like this was a good way for me to give a bit back to the sport and a greater cause so I took Kurt up on the offer. I know there is a lot that can be said about TnT – and until this weekend I only knew a bit about the group – but bottom line…. These people are true inspirations – both for the efforts many of them (largely first time triathletes) put into competing in this event and more importantly for what they do to raise $$ for cancer research. I have to say my greatest reward, honor, and privilege was in working with this “Team”.

So on Thursday a group of about 20 of us boarded a place for San Fran and then a 3 hour drive to Lake San Antonio. Got in and set up camp. Ya I said CAMP – UGH I am TOTALLY NOT a camper. But that is part of the gig – cause you are literally off the map at LSA.

Got up Friday and spent the day getting ready, hit the tri expo (by far the largest tri expo I have ever been to), swim in the lake and a nice 25 mile ride in the BIG hills of CA. Hooked up with Mark Durno and some friends we met last year at WF from San Francisco and had a fantastic ride and truly beautiful weather. Oh ya did I mention the BIG hills.

Saturday was the HIM and my coaching day. About ½ our team did the HIM and I was the on deck coach. That meant about I was out on the race course for about 8 hours – fun but that took a bit out of me.

Sunday morning – WF is a gigantic event – in total the race organizer claims about 8000 people race (three races HIM, Oly and Exterra) and more than 30,000 (YA freakin 30,000 people in the camp grounds ALL there because of the race and triathlon) are there to watch. So as you can imagine there are many (like 25) waves in the start. Mine was some place near the middle so I did not get going till 9:45 a.m. This really gives you a chance to relax and settle in, set up in transition, and then WAIT.

Met up with Mark and we bullshit ted for a while. At some point I just hung out for about 20 min watching the wave starts and got my thoughts together. It has been a long time since I full on race an Oly. Most everything for the past 4 years has been LC specific. So I was excited and nervous to see what kind of high end effort I could bring to the table.

Finally it was time to line up. The start is very narrow so we were all crowded in. Meant I needed to push the first 400 meters harder than I typically would to get out of the masses. Finally the horn sounded and we were off. Swam well to the first bouy and made the turn for the long stretch out and back. At this point everything is going great, sighting fine and swimming relatively well. Made the turn to swim the 700 meters back and that is when things started to get tough. By then I was catching the wave(s) in front of me and it was chaos. Good bit of bumping and jostling. Had to burry my head a few times to avoid getting hit. With about 400 meters to go I found a few white caps (my wave) and three of us swam in together. Hit the boat ramp and looked at the watch – shade under 19 min – Whoa that was fast, particularly for the effort, but OK lets ride. In the end I have to think the swim was a touch short, but still good opening effort.

Long run up to transition – then – “good god” – how to find your bike in a literal sea of bikes. Anyone who knows me knows I tend to get lost – so I ran past my bike – twice – finally found it. Changed, slow as usual and out to the course.

The one word that describes the bike and run course at WF is – HILLS. And out the gate the bike hits the toughest of the endless climbs. About an 1800M killer. But I’m in my easiest gear and just trying to get to the top. Bout ½ way up I pass three college co-eds – all three mooning the riders, ya bare a ss!!! FYI – there is a good bit of nakedness associated with WF – Very Nice, Very Nice.

Game plan is to go after the entire bike and it needs to start from the beginning. The legs burn and hurt but eventually I’m to the top and on my way. Since about 1500 people started before me there are sooooo many people on the course – and I’m picking them off – in part that is fun but in part it is dangerous. You really have to pay attention to your ridding as people are everywhere. At some points going up hills it is easy to stay left and just ride on by – but bombing the down hills is another story. Not sure I have yelled “Left” or hit the breaks so many times in a race.

The ride is an out and back – made it to the 20K turn point feeling OK. Just keep with the game plan, hammer hard but try not to totally blow up. More hills, more people to pass, more beautiful scenery to watch, and the legs hurt. At a couple points I have to navigate cars and other riders. As I’m bombing the hill into transition all I can think is – “well now the fun begins, should be very interesting how this run goes. The legs hurt and I have not tried to race with speed in a long time – but all I can do is go after it.”

T2 is slow as always – there is a theme her so I guess I better start practicing. The Garmin will not link up and I know I can’t wait around for it this week. So off I go.

And within 0.1 miles the fun starts – Running up about 50 steps – then hills and more hills. I’m running as hard as my short little legs will go – right on that edge where if you push further you will cramp and crack, but also so hard that breathing is fast and very uncomfortable. Go by the first mile marker and look at my watch – it reads 4:3X – hummmmm not a mile but then I go past mile marker 2 and it reads 9:00 – OK Ks not Ms – kinda cool. At this point I’m just gonna run hard till I finish or drop – and the Ks start clicking by along with hill after hill. Get to the 7K mark and know there is one last 1500M hard up hill and then a steep 1200M decent to the last 300M finish shoot.

Then it is over – and more fun ensues – spent the rest of the day meeting up with folk from the ‘Team’, hanging out, listening to a couple bands and eating burritos.

As always Mark Durno had a blazing fast day – the guy can race Olys with the best around the country.

Ended up 5th in AG – and by chance awards went 5 deep. I was actually pretty excited. So they get to my age group and the announcer says my name – but adds “and the only person to race all day in neon green arm warmers from the Spin-Second Sole Racing Team in Cleveland OH……”

That was cool – so ya it aint easy being green, but it will get you noticed.

Emerald Crossings 5k Trail Run: Jim Lamastra

Emerald Crossings

Race conditions were perfect. Temp was mid-50’s and it was sunny. I ran the course 3x’s before the race and knew it would be slow overall. It had rained on and off for a couple of days so Mickey had a bobcat out there the day before. Anyway, the course had a major hill that runners descended on the first of two loops which luckily we didn’t do the second time around. Just before the start, Mickey announced that a $100 dollar savings bond would go to the race winner so I figured I’d try for that. As soon as the gun went off, I took off just to see who would go with me, as I’m never sure who the fastest runners are. Luckily for me, no one chased. I got to the turnaround on loop one and was able to see I had a fairly sizeable lead but kept pushing hard. After ascending back up the big climb, I was pretty much toasted. As a tease, around 1.75 mile mark you pass nearby the finishing line and head back out for the final loop. By this point, I was completely gassed but kept pushing as I really wanted to win. Anyway, my last 1.1 miles took almost 8 minutes of all out effort but I was still able to cross first. As a show of SSSMST strength, we nabbed the top 3 male overall spots with Wilse 2nd and Nacho 3rd. They shared sentiments with me that the course, although fun as heck, was terribly difficult. There was a great pre and post-race vibe and the after race food/drink was plentiful. Mickey put on an awesome race with HUGE sponsorship!

Olentangy Duathlon: Scott Zubricky (annotated by Brian…)

Scott’s contribution…Brian and I went down to Olentangy on Sunday. It was really wet.

Brian’s contribution…
We (Brian Stern and Scott Zubricky ) woke to find the rain begin to fall and continue the entire race. Scott and I drove to the race and watched as a handful of smarter people decided not to race. Scott was correct in the race was wet. He forgot to mention the winds and 50 degree dropping temperature by the time we climbed onto the bike. The wind was so strong I could not keep my bike level while riding in the aero position. I ran with the leaders for the first run and began my rain ride. I lost some positions (because I was to chicken to chance a crash in the aero position). My average speed was 23.4 mph and both runs in the high five’s to finish seventh overall and win the Elite Masters Division. Scott finished 17th overall and scored a second in his age group. We were both satisfied with our efforts and celebrated with Junk food on the way home.

Polar Bear Sprint Triathlon: Lauren Trocchio

The Tri-Me (Tri-Maine) Polar Bear Sprint Triathlon was held in Brunswick, ME. The swim was held indoors at Bowdoin College…it was a trip down memory lane as I swam NEWMAC Champs here back in college. The weather was predicted to be in the low 50’s, but we were all sad to see that shortly before the start it was still 45 F and had started to pour. I guess that’s what you can expect for Maine in early May. Around 500 folks were at the race to compete in either the duathlon or triathlon. Apparently triathlons are pretty popular around here as the state representative was there to kick off the first wave of swimmers, and I had to do a double-take with one of the entrants since it was none other than Glenn Close. She has a house here in Maine and she and her husband race regularly. Anyway, I had a pretty good swim (I was hoping to see a clocked time but with no chips and no timing system we were simply logged by volunteers in transition area.) I was out of the pool first but I got passed in transition as I struggled to put on my many layers. Even those weren’t enough…about 2 miles into the cold, rainy ride my legs were red and green. Yes, green. My bike wasn’t as fast as it should have been..between the rain and a cranky derailleur I wasn’t on my A-game, but I felt good going into the run and the blood started flowing to my fingers and toes. ‘Ole Glenn had started a few waves ahead of me so I gave her an ‘atta boy’ tap on the rear as I passed her on the run. Okay maybe not..but I gave her a few encouraging words. I ended up finishing in 1:04 and in 7th place overall (out of 175 or so women.) I won the age group. So, not too bad of a start…there are some seriously fast women up here. I was going to do a time trial today but sideways pouring rain detoured me from racing. Next time for sure!


One Response

  1. Wow! Awesome job all around – looks like everyones season is kickin in to high gear


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