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REV3 Age Group Championship Knoxville Race Report – Ed

Posted by Ed Crossman in Race Review, Triathlon

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This last weekend Michelle and I got to race the Age Group Championship for REV3 in Knoxville. This is the first year for the Age Group Championship and we thought it would be fun to do…it was mostly fun.

If you are not familiar with the REV3 AG Championship they used races from last year to assign points. Points were based on how well you finished with the lowest score going to the winner and then it goes up from there. You must have completed 2 races to qualify and they only invited a certain number of participants that qualified. If someone did not sign up they rolled it down to the next person.

Since racers could qualify with both Olympic and Half distance races REV3 made this a wonky distance. It was a 1.2 mile swim, 40 mile bike, and a 9.8 mile run. It proved to be wonky indeed. Do I race it as a long Olympic or a short Half.


Leading up to the race I was eating well and sticking to the training plan. I felt strong and went through my short taper with no real glitches. Just 2 missed workouts due to some travel. We had some local italian the night before and got to sleep early.

I woke up around 4:45, got dressed, put my timing chip on (always one of the first things I do), and started some pancakes. Since the hotel breakfast is not started we try to bring our grill and make our own. We were out the door by 5:15 and walking to transition.

Everything was set up at transition, tires pumped, towel down, stuff organized, emptied out stomach, and before we knew it we were both in our wet suits walking the quarter mile to the swim start. We had our pre-race juice (1 scoop EFS pre-race, 1 scoop EFS, 12oz Poweraid zero). We drank those on the way.


The swim went a bit up stream at first but then turned around and most would be downstream. The temperature was 68 race morning so it was delightfully refreshing. I had my full sleeve wet suit for this one.

We watched the pros start and judas they can fly through the water. Soon after my wave was in the water for our mass start.

This swim went very well. It was not crowded, and when you did get close to someone they moved. That was different. I felt strong and stayed somewhat straight in line with the buoys.

Time: 38 minutes – PR for the distance.


There was a bit of a jog to the transition area from swim out, but it was no big deal. In no time I was off with my shoes on, helmet strapped, nutrition loaded, and glasses on.

The bike course was hilly, and I knew it going in. However I didn’t fully comprehend how close together the hills were and how little respite I would have. I had a range of power in mind to hit, but I was going to let the day let me pick the final number.

Heading out on the bike we jumped onto an on ramp, crossed the river and started on the 36 miles of 2 track country roads. They were well maintained and still open to cars. But all the intersections were blocked off by police.

The first real climb didn’t come until mile 7 but was followed by a quick descent. Which was then followed by another climb, followed by a quick descent…followed by a climb…and on, and on, and on. The most significant climbing seemed to be around mile 32. At that point I knew my legs were shot. My quads were burning and it was hard to maintain any kind of power.

I made sure I fueled up on the bike. My legs were burning which meant I was burning fuel. I cleared one bottle of liquid shot, 20 oz EFS, and another 20oz of water. I would have liked to drink more, but it was a cool hilly day, not the best conditions to be grabbing bottles. I still felt ok for nutrition.

The weird part of this race is that there was an Olympic and Half going on at the same time, on the same course. At mile 26 I met up with the Olympic athletes. Which meant more people to pass.

With 2 miles to go and the river in sight we hit the steepest climb yet. Luckily it was short, but I could tell it was breaking all the cyclists around me. I had to stand to use some body weight to turn the cranks.

Time: 1:58, Ave 20+mph…meh


Coming off the bike my legs were burning. I spent an extra few seconds on the ground putting on my shoes. I think it helped a little. At least for motivation.

I hit my first mile time. I was keeping my cadence as high as I could knowing that would help ease the load on my legs. It didn’t help for too long. My cadence dropped a bit and so did my speed.

I did get to see the pros as they were finishing up their run course. They were running fast. This was one of my favorite parts of REV3 races, but the pro race series is going away so I will not get to enjoy it at REV3 again.

Just past the olympic turn around we jumped onto a paved trail. I knew the running hills were going to start. We got a little warm up to get our attention with a short hill. But then you came around to a beast of a mountain. An athlete in front of me put it best…”F@#k”. It was tough, but I kept my feet moving and fired from what was left of my glutes.

The course leveled off for a bit and we headed into a neighborhood for a decent descent right into hill 2. Just as tough as the first and at this point my legs are screaming ready to quit. I was having none of that and fought through as tough as I could.

I held a steady grimace on my face the whole way back. I am not sure how I kept running, my quads were on fire. I slogged along as fast as I could knowing I needed to finish the whole thing quickly. Coming back through the Olympic turn around was reassuring, then heading back up the long steady uphill road to the transition area was nice. Knowing there was only a short uphill to the finish chute kept me going. I emptied the tank on the way up to the finish and crossed the line exhausted…barely standing…legs still on fire with pain.

Garmin time – 1:17

Post Race

After about 5 minutes in a chair I hobbled up to my feet and I was able to check my times. Unfortunately they were having issues with their timing and it said I finished 5th in my age group. Later it turns out I finished 6th, just off their 5 person podium. Bummer. Total time was 3:57

I hobbled back to transition to get my Ultragen and my quads started cramping up on the downhill walk. What more could I ask for, my body was drained.

Would I do it again, probably not. It is a weird distance, I would have much rather prepped for a Half or an Olympic. It’s just weird, fun, but weird.

Pictures to come.


REV3 Anderson South Carolina Olympic Review

Posted by Ed Crossman in Race Review, Triathlon

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With the last race of the season a month away it was a great time to get a good race in. Anderson South Carolina is only a 1.5 hour drive from our new place in Atlanta and so it was a perfect place to test the training.

I really wanted to see my progress at this race. I have been hitting the run really hard and maintaining my bike. I have also discovered a new pace when swimming. I now have a tempo-ish pace…which is better than my other do not die speed.


We arrived the day before around 3pm and were able to get checked-in and scout our T2 area. T1 was a few miles up the road so we drove up and checked our bikes. This course sports the fun ‘clean’ transition at T1, meaning everything you leave behind must be bagged up. The volunteers drive everything over to T2 for pickup (they actually had mine dropped off at my bike). I do not mind it much at all.

Race morning we woke up kind of late, I slept in an extra 15 minutes which is super unusual. I made some pancakes, we ate, we clothed, and were out the door on time. T2 was set first and went quick. When we jumped over to the shuttle there was a huge line, however the volunteer called us up as racers got priority over spectators. 🙂 Sweet. We made it to T1 in plenty of time and we were watching the starting waves in no time. Great pre-race!


In no time I was suited up in my sleeveless wet suit and at the calm waters edge. The swim started fairly crowed. There was a lot of bumping and I went out too fast. My so called tempo-ish pace transformed into a sprint and I was out of breath. I tried for a few meters to keep pushing but still trying to calm my breathing. About 60% through the swim I caught my stride and was grooving through.

The swim is in a lake and has you circle around a peninsula, so you are constantly swimming left. There were quite a few back strokers going sideways in this course.  I had to move a few out of my way. Also a breast stroker was keeping pace with me. I still need to work on my swim.

Time 29 minutes…right on pace.


I had heard mixed stories about the bike course. It was hilly, it was helly, it was hellacious! But I had seen previous bike splits about an hour so it couldn’t be too bad. Well it was slightly more hilly than I wanted. The first 5 miles was a net up hill with nothing too steep. The middle of the course sported a few fairly steep small ring hills. I kept pushing and was passing a lot of cyclist. Especially some of the downhills. I hit 42mph max and averaged upper 30’s in a few spots. There was plenty of intersection control by the police, but we were still on open roads so there were still a few cars on the loose.

Around mile 16 it almost ended, my left calf cramped massively. A car was on the course and was pacing behind some riders…riders I needed to pass. I slipped around the car and waved my arm out as I took off. Then bam…cramp. I stopped pedaling to stretch it and work it out. It took almost a mile to work it out to get back to speed. I downed another salt pill, chugged some Skratch, and gulped some more of my gel. It worked as the cramp did not return.

One other odd thing that has never happened in a race before is someone was drafting off me for about 4 miles towards the start. I kept glancing back and they were riding real close to my rear tire. I slowed down, sped up, swerved to the left, to the right, he just kept drafting. I had no clue what to do. So I pressed on and eventually I was alone.

Time 1:07 – Great considering the hills (~1,500ft of climbing) and the cramp.


The run sucked. Actually I should clarify and say I sucked during the run. I started with a little side stitch from the start and just past mile 2 it was amplifying. I needed to control it. Luckily I was able to control it for the second half of the run after a gel and salvage my race. And it turns out that last kick bumped me to the age group podium.

The course itself is hilly throughout. A lot of long uphills and downhills. Plenty of aid stations. The temperature was rising slightly but I was still able to cool my core temp.

Just before mile 3 another racer passed by and I noticed his age group was the same as mine. Up until then I hardly noticed anyone’s age group. He had been trailing behind me for a few but my side stitch was having the better of me and he overtook me. I knew I had to stay on his heels or else it would be a lot hard to overtake him later.

I paced behind him for almost a mile before we hit the most significant uphill of the course around mile 4. The gel was kicking in and my side stitch was subsiding and I felt good enough to push a bit at the start of the hill, so I did. I passed the other racer and I was able to keep a pretty good clip through the hill and was able to maintain a pace close to what I had planned for the whole run.

As the finish line was in sight I checked back and saw a lot of space behind me. I still found the energy to give it one last sprint at the end.

Time 44:30 – A good effort.

Overall – 2:24

I was happy with my time, and once I checked the results I was happier. As usual I was not first on the list, but I was second. The first place guy ended up with 1st overall which means that the age group 1st place went to me…I’ll take it every day.

So with that, I was first in my age group, and it came down to some racing at the end of the run. That’s what makes it all fun. I had a great chat with the other age grouper afterwards and he had the same battle rolling through his mind. He got 2nd in the AG and got to the podium as well.

REV3 Anderson 2013 was a great race, 10/10, well supported, well organized, would race again.