USTS Bally's - Dallas report (not very long)

USTS Bally's - Dallas report (not very long)

Post by John Laning » Mon, 13 Sep 1999 04:00:00

You know, it bother me that I have to drive for 2 hours for a "mandatory"
packet pickup when in all actuality the whole process took maybe 30 seconds.
The expo was minimal and not worth the effort.  Maybe this was just a ploy
to get you to the Bally's Club, and maybe sign you up....

Anyway, directions to the race site were all wrong.  I know the general
area, and still I was delayed another 15 minutes trying to find the venue.
And, once there, there were minimal signs and no volunteers to find parking
spots.  In fact, you had to drive over a curb and into a grass field to get
to the parking area.  And then, it was a 1/2 mile walk to the start.

The race itself was delayed 25 minutes while the course was cleared and
declared ready.  The pros (all 4 of 'em) had to tread water a while before
the gun.  After that, every wave went off at 2 minutes, no problems.

Swim:  a 750 meter swim, straight out and back.  The water was cloudy but
warm, no problem.  It was quite congested at the start, and I had people all
over me the first 200 meters (and I was all over them, too).  I stayed in
close contact until the end, and was still being jostled by the faster
swimmer of the next heat.  Once out of the water it was a short climb to the
bike staging area.  Us older types had a long way to go from the bike racks
to the T1 bike line.

Bike:  I think this race was too short.  I can't remember ever doing a 20k
bike on a sprint before.  And, it was two loops of 10K as they couldn't get
permission to follow the original one loop route.  So, the bike (my best
event) got quite congested as the faster racers were sharing the road with
the slow ones.  Rules were not enforced as far as I could see, and I saw a
lot of position fouls.  As a fast biker, I had to yell "on your left!" a
lot.  And, I had to avoid several people who drifted all over the road.
But, I finished in decent time, no complaints.

Run:  I just didn't have it.  Maybe my recent overseas trips took their
toll, but I had to run/walk to rest my aching lungs (don't Europeans ever
quit smoking?).  It wasn't so much the legs, just lungs that gave out.  Not
a very good run, and I don't consider myself a good runner at that.

I have no idea about my times as I screwed up and hit the wrong button on my
watch.  However, I didn't crack the top five, although my buddy won 2nd in
his AG.  Guess it's time to start getting ready for 2000.

There was quite a feast for participants after the race.  Grilled hamburgers
with all the t***s, salad, soft drinks, even several kegs of beer.  The
post race spread was amongst the best I've had. And the award ceremony was
held only an hour or so after the race, better than most.

Well, this was the last tri of the year.  I wish I could have finished on a
better personal note, but then I guess I always have next year to look
forward to, right?  Best of luck to all of you in 2000.



USTS Bally's - Dallas report (not very long)

Post by jk.. » Wed, 15 Sep 1999 04:00:00

Was There, Did That!

I thought it was well planned for a first time tri with such a large
turn out.  However, they had some minor short falls that cumulatively
could leave some with a bad taste in their mouths. The expo was pretty
much a non-event.  It seemed the registration was slow and a bit
disorganized.  But, answer's were available by a competent person.

The sight was good.  The parking was a bit confusing, but the problem
seem to be with a shortage of volunteers (so what's new?).  I wished I
could have parked closer but (what the heck)I should have showed up

The start was delayed.  But, that was the beginning of what I consider
a serious short coming for the race.  Not the delayed start, but the
problems it created in the bike portion.  I saw one serious accident
between two bikers.  One experienced and faster.  The other slower and
seemed less experienced.  The classic bike accident ready to happen.
Why did this happen?  I have my guesses...and here they are:

1) The delayed start seem to have caused the race director to reduce
the stagger between swim waves.  The pros first, women next.  Then,
older to younger men finishing the waves.  This is an acceptable order
IF YOU STAGGER THE WAVES PROPERLY.  I went between two female swimmers
(a wave ahead of me) seemingly having a hard time with the swim...One
grab me...don't know why...but, scared the ***out of me.  She release
as fast as she crabbed me. I did a power side kicked out that problem.

2) Instead of one long loop, the bike course was changed to 2 short
loops with many sharp turns. Also, The bike start was up a gradual
hill.  Again, a problem.  Slower/weaker bikers swerving up hill in a
large pack of bikes with faster biker coming up fast.  Cause: Again,
WAVES STARTED TOO CLOSE TOGETHER.  The basic rule I have learned is... turns + packed bikers with various levels of experience = The
more likely of an accident.  And viola', that is what happened.

I yelled "on your left" a lot. However, in the turns, I calmly said on
your left because I saw many less experienced bikes panic and change
their line and brake heading into the turn. Many were drifting out,
thinking they were getting out of your way..only to be drifting into
another biker on the outside (reason for near second bike crash I
saw).  (A sidebar:  All short loop courses like this also promote
drafting.  And I saw a lot of drafting/blocking!  But, I think half the
bikers didn't know what "blocking" meant.)

This was a good race put on by experienced staff that made a mistake
(in hind sight, of course).  The after tri-party/food was the best.  I
have been to over 60 triathlons in my lifetime and this rates up in the
tops for after event activities.


Joe "the Bob Uecker of Triathlons" Moya

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