CapTex Olympic Triathlon Race Report

I almost want to name the title of this post “Nailed It”, because I really felt like I got the Olympic distance right this time!  Last year at TriRock (different race, almost the same course), I really overdid it on the bike and had a very difficult and hot run.  By pacing myself on the bike and with the help of a wetsuit swim, I was able to PR by 10 minutes, so I’m pretty happy with it.

Before I rant about how disorganized this race was, the really cool thing about it was that before the age groupers start, the pros and paratriathletes started.  It was very inspiring to see so many paratriathletes competing, some of them who are wounded warriors.  It made any obstacles I might face in my race seem silly and inconsequential, and made me very thankful for the opportunity to race.  A really great add to a Memorial Day race; I was happy to be there to cheer them on at the start.  And the other neat thing was the big Houston crew participating – quite a few people I knew from swim team, work, and my new tri club were there.  Here’s me & Cara looking about as cute as you can in swim caps right before the race!

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Swim 31:13 min, 1:55min/100m, 10/38 in AG

My only leg with minor disappointments might be the swim.  I broke a 2:00 minute pace with the help of the wetsuit, but I swam long to avoid crowds and ended up way far left of the buoys.  I think I should have done a bit better and broken thirty.  I was just having a ton of collisions (even have a knot in my head from being elbowed in the head!) and I chose to swim out rather than into people.  I still never “got into” my stroke like I do in practice; with open water swimming my form goes out the window unless I really, really concentrate.

T1 3:03, 6/38 in AG

Bike 1:15:06, 19.8 mph, 7/38 in AG

The bike was 4 laps, and I think 4 laps is too much of anything, so I found it a bit repetitive.  It was quite hilly to where I was standing on quite a few of the hills and changing gears a lot.  There were also a number of sharp 90 degree turns on the course, causing a lot of slowing down to avoid other triathletes.  So not my favorite course, but not a bad pace considering.  I kept my HR at 155-160 bpm: a nice, difficult cruise pace for me (but not hammering) and ate two Gu’s on the bike.  I had a minor issue on the 4th lap when I had to brake quite sharply at a turn due to the high number of others in the turn and used both my front and rear brake, which then caused my front brake to start to rub.  It’s an easy fix at home, but I’m a little frustrated that it the brake itself was so loose and was not adjusted properly in the first place.  I didn’t stop to fix it because it was the last lap.

T2 1:42, 3/38 in AG

Run 51:49, 8:21 pace, 5 in AG

The run was two loops, which I found pretty manageable.  I kept my HR at 160 for the first loop, then gradually brought it up during the second.  During the very last mile I had some major stomach cramps that I’ve never felt before, so I’m attributing them to the overly rich pasta sauce I had at a restaurant the night before.  I just wanted something like Ragu red sauce, but whatever they brought out was more like a creamy bisque soup.  Maybe I should ask for vegan pasta sauce next time Smile  Anyway, it was only the last mile, so I survived the pain, but didn’t have as great a sprint finish as I’d like.

Finish 2:42:55, 6/38 in AG

I’m overall pretty happy with the time.  A very solid 6th, and looking at my Garmin stats my speeds and heart rate were right where I wanted them to be.  My transitions have been pretty speedy too, no hiccups there.  Just a little OWS work to do now!

The Race

I thought this race deserves a quick review, since I’m not the only one that was disappointed in the disorganization, especially considering how expensive the race was.  I heard it was Lifetime’s first year (that they bought out the original sponsor maybe?) so there were some transition difficulties, to say the least.  Please feel free to skip over this part since it’s a lot of complaining, but I would definitely think twice before participating in this one again, and I’d recommend doing TriRock well before CapTex if you’re looking for an Oly race in Austin.

  • The line for timing chips at packet pick up was an HOUR long.  We also had to pay $7 for parking for packet pick up, then $7 again for parking the day of the race: rip off.
  • The race t-shirts were iron-on and made of extremely cheap material, so most people were upset.  There were no hats or other significant goodies.
  • The schedule for the race changed last minute and the race information packet was published online only a few days before the event.  The transition close time was never published, announced, and frankly I’m not sure if it ever closed.  I wish I’d have taken advantage and slept more….
  • The post race food was non-existent (or at least I could not find it) except for what small samples were provided by sponsors.  I need real carbs and protein to refuel!!

On the positive side, witnessing the pro & paratriathlete starts was great, Zico coconut water (a sponsor) had an awesome DJ on the run course, and there was tons of crowd support! 

To finish up, here are a few scenes from around town – Torchy’s Tacos, Crepes Mille, and post-race lunch on the lake.

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Oh, and David driving home in his new Oakley’s.  He especially loves them since he got hit on while wearing them while I was still racing.  Guess I have to keep my eyes out or get faster.  Hope you guys had a great Memorial Day weekend too!

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8 thoughts on “CapTex Olympic Triathlon Race Report

  1. First, congrats on the PR!! 10 minutes is a huge PR – your hard work is paying off.

    Second, you are spot on in all of your complaints about the race. I have boycotted that particular race for the last 3 years and will never do it again. Tri Rock is 100% without a doubt a better selection if you are looking for a triathlon downtown. I can be picky with races so I try not to voice my opinion publicly about this race when I hear people are doing it, but I personally have had several issues every time I have raced it. In my opinion, it’s the race management company – R&B Sports. I have had to deal with them on a professional basis when they wanted to bring their events up to my area and they are very unprofessional and just downright 100% in it for the $$$$ (my opinion of course, but I would rather spend my money elsewhere). Anyway, rant over. Congrats!

    1. R&B Sports sold out this year to Lifetime. There was an agreement in place with R&B to manage the event for the transition year to full Lifetime ownership (2013) but this was disolved by Lifetime about 2 weeks prior to the race. I did the race last year (Paratriathlon National Championships) and had a phenomenal experience there – but maybe that is because it was our nationals? I really enjoyed the technical nature of the course and the variety – but I was at the sprint distance (paratriathlon is a sprint, always). Anyway, I wonder where Nationals will be next year as with these complaints I can’t see it sticking around…

      BTW, great job Brittany on the race! A 10 minute best is a fantastic result, even with brake issues and course crowding!

      1. Thanks so much Donna! Yes, the course was great and it has the potential to be a very good race, but I was really disappointed in all the amenities/organization considering the high cost. Had it been a small, local race I might understand, but I had higher expectations for this one! At least post-race food 🙂 Interesting on the ownership thing…

  2. Thanks Erin! I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels that way. I feel like a B* for whining about it, but it was pretty bad for as much as I paid for it. When you shell out that much, you expect better! I’ll be boycotting it too from now on…

  3. Congrats to you. That is a solid effort on that course.

    I will tell you it is not Lifetime but the RD as this race had issues two years ago when it was called something else. The Austin Tri which I guess is now TriRock is much better organized and a better race altogether.

    And next time park at the Hooter’s to save the money.

    Congrats again on an excellent effort.

    1. Thank you Jason! Yeah, agree that TriRock is WAY better. Thanks for the tip – I don’t mind paying for parking the day of, but paying for packet pick up also is a bit annoying!

  4. Spectacular results, Brittany. The bike route sounded unappealing with all the laps, I’m no lap person for sure, and the organization sounded lame … just money grabbing! Glad you had some “offline” good eats after ward though!

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