Oro Sprint Valley Triathlon Race 5th/164


Sunday Evening. 7:35pm. I’ve got my Normatec’s on and I’m surrounded by Zipp wheels and Garmin’s charging while listening to smooth Jazz from our 75” LG. Because what else should you pair the 14 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky from Oban with but something smooth? After all, this is the first time I’ve really relaxed all weekend. So lets get into this!

Friday night I wasted 90minutes of my precious time driving from work near the Tucson airport to the Oro Valley for pack-it pickup for Saturdays Oro Valley Sprint Triathlon. I once again didn’t read the instructions with so much going on; I could have checked in, race morning. I stopped at Home Depot on the way home to make it worth my time but got home closer to 7pm and took the day off of training. We had dinner and split a bottle of wine. (Fiona has one glass, I kill the rest). We had some vegan indian food from Trader Joes but I was full from the half a pizza pie I ate for my second lunch at work.

Needless to say, I woke up the next morning at 5AM, full. I had 2 slices of raisen toast, a macha tea for the car, and a banana. We drove 45min to the Oro Valley, racked our bikes, checked in, and saw our friend Hollie from Sahuarita who was the first person we met; a 70.3 triathlete. The youth race started at 7:30AM followed by a High School Championship, and then it was the Sprint Athletes. We had to provide a predicted 800meter time which I estimated at 12minutes. I was bib 182 so it was 9am, or 4 hours after we woke up that I finally jumped in the water.

ORO VALLEY SPRINT TRIATHLON: 800 Meter Swim: 12:47, 1:36/100m, 14/164 Overall

I am sad I’ve been disappointing Coach Robbo with my swim training. I haven’t had the motivation or the upbeat attitude to wake up early and swim. It has then faded and come 3rd to bike and run. I’m trying; but not hard enough.

I might be putting too much pressure on myself though. In November 2016, a week after Kona, I won the Alice Springs Masters Games Triathlon. I covered the 750m swim at 1:34/mile and had my own lane. In Saturdays race, my first ever serpentine swim really threw me off trying to swim under the lane ropes. I was passed by two swimmers unfortunately and my eye was out on one bloke wearing a swim skin. Why didn’t I think of that? In April I went 1:29/100m for an Olympic and 1:30/100m for an Ultra in a 50m pool w/ wettie. So I’m about 5s/100m slower wetsuit to non-suit.

I was confident on the swim but arms were sore. Fiona went off a few minutes before me but I would only again see her on the run and then at the finish.


My timing chip got hosed but no dramas. I got to my bike that had my WheelScience full disk, I was wearing my Scody Sleeved Australia Tri-suit and put my Rudy Project Aero helmet on.

Bike 14.93 miles, 34:03, 25.26MPH, 307NP 2/164 Overall

My goal was just to go as hard as I possibly could. And by all metrics, I can prove that! That guy w/ all the energy in the speed suit was the only one to beat me by 22seconds on the day. Strava shows it as 26seconds. I’m 6th overall on the Strava leaderboard.

So the start was fun passing athletes on their second lap at 38MPH. But at times, the hilly course had me crawling at 10.8MPH during its 522’ of climb. Obviously by coming in 2nd, I passed many while I was out there in the well blocked course. I did lose a waterbottle out there and finished one bottle of water. I had pre-gamed the race with ARO Caffeine and a package of Clif Shot Bloks.

This was the 2nd most intense of 34minutes or longer that I’ve ever done. I went 312NP for 48minutes 2 years ago on my way home from work in Australia. It’s my 7th fastest ever ride. I went faster when I won the 31st and 32nd Alice Springs Sprint Triathlon which were completely flat. In terms of HR, it’s probably my 4th highest HR. And this is the real indication for me personally. If I can put out a high HR, it shows I’m rested and am building leg strength. Did the ¾ bottle of wine prevent me from going harder, I don’t believe it had any effect; it’s about the training.

So my bike was great and it’s coming along nicely but requires a lot more. I only held 3.7watts/kg for this effort.


On the ground again to put socks on and stretch hamstrings on the ground. Out and on the 2 loop run.

Run 3miles, 21:22/m, 7:07/mile, 13/164 (LOST TO WIFE FIONA by 12 seconds).

I really wanted to run hard and I did the best I could but my legs of course felt yuck after the effort. It was truly impressive to see the leaders in their way to 16:29, 17:52, 18:08, and 19:16 3mile runs, WTF? Amazing. The athletes were great especially many of the ppl I met before hand. It was a tad warm but I just didn’t have the speed; something that has forever plagued me. Something that is a struggle when you’re 183 pounds. Another excuse. Strava has me as 16th of 106.

On the 2nd loop with 800meters to go my damn shoe lace came undone. I debated to run w/ it but didn’t want to bust my ass. It Garmin says it cost me 7seconds, Fiona still beat me!

I crossed the line pretty tired from the Anaerobic effort. It’s the highest HR (145) that I’ve held in a triathlon. The speed wasn’t there but intensity was!



Ok, so all of this earned me 5th Overall, and 1st in the M30-34 division. Sean Anderson smashed me and I realized once home that I follow him on FB, (he soon started following me after the race!) I’m happy w/ the intensity of my overall effort but know I need to get way faster on the run. In the meanwhile, my competitors will have to hunt me down because I’m going to smoke that bike. (As you should when riding a bike worth more than $12,000).


Am I getting faster? The Tri Act of Kindness Tri I won a month ago was faster on swim of half the distance at 1:31/100, the bike was lower at 291 vs 307 and speed  of 23.5mph vs 25.2mph, but the run was faster at 6:59/m vs 7:07/m. Close enough.

Fiona had a great day too winning her division, just one better than our friend Hollie.


After the race we head to The Loop where we’ve seen Heather Jackson post many pictures of her training for the IRONMAN World Championship from. We ran 2hr5min at close to IM Race Intensity (131HR). The pace was awful because we were running in 95F heat at 12-2pm. Costco pizza and soda replaced 75% of my 1,500 calorie burn.



Sunday at 8AM I headed on a loop from  Sahuarita south towards Mexico, past Patagonia, through the vineyard lands of Sonoita and back. The 128mile loop took me 6hrs40min covering 298TSS which is  nearly 30TSS greater than the effort I will put out for IRONMAN Arizona in 6 weeks time. It was pretty exhausting as the legs were pretty zapped from the long run and race, but I got it done!


Finally attended Church giving thanks for all that I seek pleasure in like my family, home, and lifestyle.

What else? TrainingPeaks has me at 127CTL Fitness. I’m not really increasing much fitness above and beyond Kona, IMNZ, or IMCairns which shows me that I’m peaking unless I pick up the volume and get back to 25hour training weeks. I only trained 17hours this week. Well, I’ll have to pick up on that.

Thanks for reading. Please find me on Instagram at viper30ma, Strava Kevin Coyle, FB, and on the roads of Sahuarita, Arizona. Stay tuned.


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