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Brian McNitt

Ezra,

First off, congratulations on your first triathlon! It's amazing to see how incredibly fit you have become in such a short period of time. My primary memories of Ezra are having burgers at Smokehouse on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. (If you still go there it certainly doesn't show!) It's like Ezra 2.0.

As for the race -- starting with one swim wave and finishing with another -- please let me know when you figure out how not to do that. All but the fastest swimmers are generally caught by faster swimmers from later waves (at least one wave during an olympic event and two to three waves for longer triathlons). You'll certainly improve at sighting and drafting with more open water swim practice but you can always count on the fishmen from later waves to come through. That's fine. Draft and use them while you can, then let them go. These are the guys you get to say "great swim" to when you pass them on the bike and hopefully never see again until you're eating orange slices at the finish. :)

Coming from a cycling background, I think I can put myself in the "wolf" category and speak for most of the "pack". ICE Breaker is a very technical bike course. The only things a wolf is concerned about on a course like that is finding the right line through a corner, avoiding other cyclists and road hazards, and hopefully not losing too much speed. ICE Breaker is very much a road bike course -- you need to be able to shift often, feather the breaks, stand up and power, and take aggressive lines around the turns -- all things nearly impossible to do on a triathlon or TT bike with cow horn bars and bar-end shifters. Anyone on a TT bike was at a serious disadvantage. Anyhow, for general bike handling skills, Phil Casanta, a local bike and triathlon coach, puts on decent skills clinics. I grew up as a bike racer and can actually say that I learned a few things about cornering and descending from Phil. More at: http://www.hypercatracing.com/clinic_dates.htm

As for hunting down other cyclists, in most triathlons I hardly ever notice other cyclists out there unless they are passing me, at which point I'm interested to know what age group they're in and if I think they can maintain the pace. Regardless, I closely monitor my pace (based on watts/power output) so there is very little I'm going to do to adjust based on what a faster cyclist is doing. Hopefully, they're just misjudging their output and will blowup later during the bike or on the run.

For the run, sounds like you did great. My friend Andreas and I ran the course to take pictures of Jaime, Andreas' wife, and other people from the Golden Gate Triathlon club. The ICE Breaker run course seemed more like Xterra than a typical triathlon run! I can only imagine how much that hill must have hurt after powering through the bike. Great job on keeping your pace high.

Congrats again on a great first tri. Looking forward to seeing what other events you decide to do. J&A puts on some pretty popular Olympic events, the best being San Jose International Triathlon and the Folsom International Triathlon. Jaime and I will be at both racing each respectively. Hope to see you there!

Brian

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