2013 Appleman Triathlon Race Recap

The 2013 Appleman Sprint Triathlon took place on Sunday July 14th at 8AM in Littleton, MA.  Registration was $70 plus $12 USAT fee that every triathlon does. I haven’t done any triathlons but I think that’s relatively inexpensive for sign-up a month before.

The race was sold out to 600 people according to race directors.  However, race results show only 470 individuals which includes the disqualified individuals.  I think maybe the others were in team relay.

I set the alarms the night before always in constant fear of oversleeping.

I woke up well before 5:40 since it was hot, I was excited and nervous and my choice of food and beverages from Saturday’s pool party were probably not the best (but still totally worth it).

Luckily, I packed all my gear (besides my clothes) and bike into the car the night before.

The “gear”

Swim – Speedo goggles, pink swim cap the race gave, sports bra and shorts,

Bike – Jamis Coda Femme Hybrid Bike, Old most likely expired helmet (I ordered a new one after I noticed the foam was separating from the plastic.), Wave Sayonaras, my favorite old navy running tank, camelpak filled with water a nuun tab.

Run – Same mizunos I biked in.

Misc. Two towels, One to lay out my transition items, one to wipe my feet, extra pair of socks in case I spilled water or something, Gu, a cap (in case it rained?), a bottle of water to wash my feet. Babywipes, to freshen myself up before getting brunch.

Since I spent all of Friday night prepping my list and setting up a tri-pile in our living room, I was able to get dressed and make a peanut butter sandwich and shuffle myself and my favorite partner out of the house in 20 minutes!  We got rewarded with a fairly easy drive to Littleton in about 36 minutes.  I guess not too many folks are out on the roads at 6AM on a Sunday.  I wonder what they could be doing ;).

At 7AM, an hour before gun shot, about half of the athletes already showed up.  I got my number, my time tag, and began setting up my transition area.  Failure #1: I set up my transition towel on the wrong side of the bike before a volunteer tells me I did all wrong (in a nice way).  Good thing I got started with everything any hour early.

Failure #2 – Everyone with road bikes used their drop bars to attach their bike.  Mine didn’t have any and it took me a while to figure out how I too can secure my bike to the mount.  Luckily Tony was there before I started crying.

The slogan for this photo is “triathlons, best cure for hangovers”

I was set up and ready to go with 40 minutes to start time.  I know T would have liked more sleep but I didn’t mind being early too much.  It was nice to relax and watch all the triathletes set up.  Plus I got to do another race with my friend Anna.


The swim was a half mile in Long Pond (doesn’t it seem like every pond is “long pond”).  You see that orange buoy to the left, we swam there, then across of an orange buoy so far to the right it didn’t make it to my photo.

The swimming was in waves broken up by age and gender.  Male/Female, Under 40/Over 40 and I’m not sure what the 5th wave was.  What the race also offered was a swim angel if you wanted one.  This amazing individual will swim with you and a noodle the whole race. You can rest on the noodle when you need to and as long as you don’t swim with it, you are not disqualified!

The offered it to the first wave, the men under 40 and no one took one.  As soon as they offered it to my wave, my hand went straight up!

Somewhere all the way to the left and the back is me in that pink hat wave!  I might have gotten a little too much to the left and paid the price in slowly having to swim back around across.

Visibility was nonexistent in the pond.  I’m not sure if water in a lake is any clearer.  I did hit someone by accident while I was underwater and felt awful.  Although I did get hit a few times myself.  My swim angel warned me whenever the other waves were catching up but luckily I was able to avoid most crowds until the end.

I ended up not using the noodle once, but it was nice to know that if I got kicked in the head, someone would notice if I couldn’t resurface!

And yes, towards the end I was checking every second if my feet could touch land and as soon as they did I gave up swimming in the mass of bodies and ran!

T1 was interesting.  I don’t know why a lot of people were walking over to their bikes so slowly.  I don’t know if I was being rude, but I ran past the people that would stop dead short and walk in the narrow transition walk out of the area. I think I did a great job of running while removing my goggles and cap.  Face of pure determination right there.

Total Time 25:59
Division 15/19
Overall 431/470

Total DFL was all I could think.

Pulled my shirt on, snapped on my camelpak, shoved my feet into my socks and shoes, helmet secured and walked my biked, well ran my bike over to where we could start the bike part at the bottom of a small hill.

The bike

While I did 2 or 3 bike rides while training for this race, one thing I never biked on was hills. For some reason I imagined the course to be fairly flat.  Well, the hills forced me to learn my gears quickly.  Big gear, little gear, I was switching back and forth.  I got passed by a lot of road bikes, and I passed a few of them back on the uphill.  My legs definitely didn’t expect biking to be as challenging as it was.  The downhill part was fun and while I was always terrified of a sharp turn at each bottom and a helmet that would probably shatter before it would protect my brains, for the most part I blazed as fast as my little bike could carry me.

Overall, had I done a few hill bike rides and learned how to use my gears faster, I think the course would have been a blast! And a road bike would have helped.  Dear summer Santa, bring me a road bike.

Total Time 40:31
Division 10/19
Overall 294/470

The Run

By the time I was getting to the run, I was in the back of the pack and I was ready to get down to business.  The run! I mean it’s only 3 miles.  My 10K PR is 6:45 pace so a 3 mile should be a breeze.  Well as soon as I got off my bike, the definition of brick set in.  I didn’t realize the hills is what makes the brick run, not a relaxing bike ride through a flat road I practiced on.

This is not exact distance but this is how the run appeared to me.  I didn’t see any mile markets so who knows.

Run a mile uphill.  Run half a mile across a flat field trail.  Run half a mile up a muddy trail with boulders (because clearly I didn’t get enough mud in June), run a half mile downhill on a trail with no boulders, .75 miles downhill on roads and .25 miles to the finish line!

It was hot.  I’m not certain but I think by the time I was running weather was around 85 and I ran under every kind resident who offered their hose water.  I took cups of water and poured over my head so I could continue passing people.

The run was a challenge, but I think the variety made it fun, or maybe I was feeling a little better because all those people who passed me on a road bike, well their clip in pedals can’t help them then!

I was determined to not let anyone pass me.  I mean I was in the back of the pack to begin with but I wasn’t going to throw in the towel just because I was losing.

Total Time 26
Division 2/19
Overall 93/470

Overall, I think this triathlon was a great experience.  If anything, my short comings are motivating me to train longer and better for my next one.  I don’t know when or where, but I want to do an Olympic sprint distance next.  Maybe with a few more months of swimming. But first, I need to get a road bike!

Overall Results

Total Time 1:32:31
Division 9/19
Overall 277/470

I’m pretty happy with how I worked myself back up.  Can I call this a negative split race?

14 thoughts on “2013 Appleman Triathlon Race Recap”

  1. Nice job Liana!!!! Very proud of you and glad that you had a great experience. Makes me so excited for my first triathlon in a couple of weeks. Loved that they had swim “angels” that is awesome. I would have raised my hand if I were you too! Biking hills is tough! Luckily if I bike from my house there are a lot, but I still really slow down on them. The bike course for my tri has some rollers, but nothing bad. The “brick” feeling is crazy. I think the more you practice the bike to run transition the easier it eventually feels (knock on wood).

  2. I think your description of the run was pretty accurate, and my fancy road bike’s gears froze up around mile 3 on the bike course, so I lost about 20 minutes because my peddling was so inefficient! I know I can do better, I just need to fix my damn bike!!! I came home and signed up for the Title Nine Woman’s sprint in Hopkinton at the end of the summer- looks like a fun race!

  3. Great job! I like how the guy took a pause before figuring out how to announce your name (that always happens to me) ha. I am participating in the Hyannis Triathlon in September (I’ve heard it’s a very flat course) but as part of a relay. I’d love to really get into training for one completely on my own.

  4. Hi! I just found your blog via twitter (I’m @RacingRobsons). I love it! I’m also a runner getting ready to do a tri or two this summer. Do you plan to do more tris? Great race report, and more importantly…great race!

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