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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p><strong>Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival</strong></p>
<p>South Berwick, Me</p>
<p>September 11-12, 2010</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Race Overview: Pumpkinman Sprint</strong></p>
<p>Swim -1/3 mile</p>
<p>Bike – 14 miles</p>
<p>Run – 3 miles</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Results:</p>
<p>Swim – 6:55 (8 overall)</p>
<p>Hill Climb – 1:07</p>
<p>T1 – 59 (1:56 including hill climb, 11overall)</p>
<p>Bike – 38:04, 22.1 mph (13 overall)</p>
<p>T2 – 37.9 (21 overall)</p>
<p>Run – 19:05, 6:21/mi (23 overall)</p>
<p>TIME – 1:06:39</p>
<p>DIVISION – 8th Elite Male</p>
<p>GENDER – 8th Male</p>
<p>OVERALL – 9th</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Pre Race</strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Of all the races I’ve ever competed in, Pumpkinman is easily my favorite. The atmosphere is unique, the course is both fair but challenging, the field is deep, particularly at the top, and you’d have a difficult time finding a better organized event in the country. For all those reasons and the fact that it’s close to home, Pumpkinman is a race that I highlight on my calendar every year. Moving and jury duty during the week leading up to the race made for less than ideal preparation, but I have raced well throughout the season and expected nothing different this weekend.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>The Race</strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>For the second year in a row I was racing as an elite. Last year I was able to podium and take home a little money. While that was great, I knew a repeat was unlikely when I saw the start list this year. With guys like Dean Phillips, Peter Mallett, Matt Gloeker, Matthew Russell, John Babcock, Andrew Clemence, and Kevin Gallagher in the field I knew there were going to be plenty of fast times put up – I was just hoping mine would be one of them.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The swim was uneventful. I was at the back of the front group for the first half, but was eventually dropped and found myself in caught between the lead and the chase group. Not an ideal place to be, but I was only 20-30 seconds off the leader so it wasn’t terrible either.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I exited the water in 6th place and headed up the massive hill between the water and transition. I made it up fairly quickly and without losing much, if any, ground to the group in front. At the top I shouted a request to the race director, Kat Donatello, that she do something about removing the hill for next year. Not sure if she heard me or not, but I take it back either way! While it sends your heart rate through the roof, it is an awesome aspect of the race and something really unique to this event.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I got through transition and out on the bike without incident. Again, not much happened on the bike. I made a move into 4th place by the second mile or so, but I’d eventually be passed twice before T2 and remained in 6th heading out on the run. I almost crashed on a downhill section over rough pavement a few miles into the course, but was able to keep the rubber down and myself upright.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Pulling into T2 I was surprised to see the chase group just heading out on the run. Dean Phillips had made a move on the bike, but there were four others not all that far ahead of me - maybe 2 minutes. I had no thoughts of catching them, especially with the runners in that group, but it was nice to see that I wasn’t being left behind entirely.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The way the run course is set up, you really have to fly over the first two miles where you’re headed downhill for a bit and then on the flats for awhile. Most of the final mile is a climb back to transition. By that point I’d been caught by 2 of the guys and the lead female, Catherine Sterling. I tried to hang with her for as long as possible, but eventually I was dropped. Overall I ran fairly well – finishing in 19:07 - not as good as Timberman, but not as bad as DAM or Fireman either. It’s still a relative weakness of mine, but I’m making progress. With some work over the winter I hope to get that split down in the mid 17’s on a regular basis by next season.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Post Race Thoughts</strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>This race really allowed me to see how far I’d come in the last year. Last year I would have classified my performance at Pumpkinman as my best of the 2009 season. This year, with what I imagine was a slightly longer swim course, I was about 1:40 faster than in 2009 and thought I raced okay, but far from great. I feel much stronger and faster than ever before and my expectations continue to rise. Though I’m not overlooking the final race of my 2010 season, I’m already excited to get to work over the winter and see what I can produce for the 2011 season.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Up Next:</strong> Mainiac Sprint, September 25.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p><strong>Pumpkinman Half Iron Volunteer Report</strong></p>
<p> </p>
<p>In 2009 Kat offered me about the best volunteer position ever created – lead male run support. When the offer was extended this year, I was quick to answer with an ‘of course!’. But before we could get down to business on the run, I was assigned a few other tasks. Shortly after arriving on site Sunday morning, Kat sent me out in my car to pound some “Runners on Course / Caution” signs along the run course. Simple enough. Then I loaded up with spray chalk and headed out on my mountain bike to mark the run course. I flew around the course marking miles (with nice large, underlined numbers so there would be no confusion!) and getting arrows down on the road anywhere they were needed. Once that mission was accomplished, I headed back to the venue where I hung out waiting for the race to unfold.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Mike Caiazzo was first off the bike with an impressive lead – about 10 minutes I believe. As we headed out on the run I made a brief introduction and explained that I could get the gaps back to the chasers, would alert him to any turns or aid stations, and announce to the aid stations that he was approaching so that they’d be prepared. Surprisingly, he was quite talkative in the early miles. He explained that he’d been injured and hadn’t done any run training in about two months as a result. He was also telling me that his plan for the race had been to get enough of a lead that no bikers would see him in their final mile / his first mile of the run. No problems there with the massive gap he’d opened up. He was also joking about splitting his prize money with him if I let him use the bike for awhile while I ran. I let him know that a tired and injured Mike Caiazzo was still much faster than Kyle Burnell so that plan could backfire on him!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>By the second mile or so Mike had settled in and the small conversation was over. We made it all the way to about the 6 mile mark – which is on the return trip of the first loop of the out and back – before we saw anyone. For Mike to lose the race would have taken an other-worldly effort by the chasers or a total collapse on his part. But the guy’s incredible so the odds of that happening were just about zero.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As we neared mile 10 I was pulled over by a race official and told I was breaking the pacing/outside assistance rule. It took a minute, but I was eventually able to explain that I was acting in an official position as a volunteer and had been sent out by the race director. He apologized and allowed be to catch back up with Mike. As we passed him minutes later, after the final turnaround, the official told me to get even further in front than I already was (probably 15-20 yards). To do so, however, was unrealistic. By this point in the race there were plenty of people running in both directions and it would have made no sense for me to be 100 yards up the road from the leader I was to be riding with and having 3 or 4 people in between us. So we essentially continued on as we had been with me riding a bit ahead, but not so much that I was out of contact.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>During this stretch I got in touch with Kat back at the venue and updated her on how things were unfolding. She told me to tell Mike that the race clock was at 3:45 and that if he broke Tony’s record from last year he’d receive a bonus. Mike coolly said to me, “tell her that I’m well aware of that and that it’s not going to happen.”</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As we hit mile 11 I was stopped by a second official. This time it took a bit more convincing on my part to get back to the front. I had to explain 3 or 4 times that I was on course (in my Pumpkinman bike jersey…) in an official capacity and had been placed there by Kat. I guess I need some work on my persuasive speaking, because I was met with quite a bit of resistance – to the point where I was told that the man I’d been biking with wasn’t leading the race. I calmly explained that, in fact, that was Mike Caiazzo, bib #1. This did the trick and I received another apology. When I caught up with Mike a few minutes later he laughed at the fact that they’d tried to strip him of his race lead. I felt bad for the inconvenience that had resulted from all of this, but he seemed to take it all in stride.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Before I knew it, we’d arrived back at Spring Hill and I wished Mike well as he headed down the hill through the finishing chute. Then I raced off down the outside so I could catch his finish. The guy put in an incredible effort to secure the win. I don’t have the words to describe how well he performed under the circumstances he was facing. I was really fortunate to have a front row seat for that show. And he was also extremely polite and grateful all day long, even approaching me after he’d done his post race interview to thank me. It really was a pleasure to watch him race this weekend.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>After spending another hour and a half watching people finish / talking with various people I headed out for the day. As expected, it was fantastic weekend of racing and volunteering. Kat and Jeff deserve all the credit in the world for producing this top-notch event. I appreciate all the work they do for this race and the northern New England triathlon community. I’m also grateful that they’ve allowed me to become a part of this event in so many different ways – from racing with the pro/elites to marking the course to watching the half iron unfold from such a unique perspective. I’m already excited for the 2011 event.</p>
 

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<p>Congrats on a solid sprint, Kyle!!!  You've had a great season so far!  Fun to read both your RR and VR.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Got to thank you for marking the run course as well as you did!  The mile markers were large and unmistakeable.  I may have seen you round the corner on your mountain bike, as you headed in toward the finish and I headed toward the island and out onto the run loops.</p>
 

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<p>Great job, Kyle.  You looked very smooth on your run - nice flowing stride.  The good part of being a spectator is that you can watch all of the really good people.</p>
<p>Nice to meet you afterwards.</p>
<p>Keep posting all of those workouts.  Gives me something to shoot for (the workout, not the times -TOO FAST).</p>
 

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<p>Wow, Kyle... it seems to me that on your current trend you will be Pro, or damn close to it, within 2 years time. As you know, some of these things take time, but you are really shortening the gap. I feel privileged to have witnessed your ascent. And please, please let your experience in leading Mike on his victory to motivate YOU to one day be in the same position. Very well written report, a remarkable finish in your race, and even a bonus coverage of you trying to stay the lead with race the next day as officials tried to yank you from that perch.</p>
 

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<p>Kyle, 9th place OA in the depth of the field I saw on Saturday is just amazing.  Congratulations.  It's really an amazing accomplishment. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Just a note of caution comparing your run to Timberman: I run that course 2-3x/week in the summer and I can tell you without a doubt that it is a good .1-.15mi short of 3mi.  They keep saying, no it's 3mi but I've measured it everyway I can and it's not.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Nice job on the volunteering too.  Did you not have a sign on your bike?  At T-man the pacers had a sign like "First Place Female" on their bikes so they would be identified.  If you didn't, it be a good thing to suggest to Kat and Jeff.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>This was my first Pumpkinman and I agree it's a great race.  I know I'll be back next year -- and to see you on the podium!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cak73</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70100/pumpkinman-triathlon-festival-race-and-volunteer-report#post_1944929"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Congrats on a solid sprint, Kyle!!!  You've had a great season so far!  Fun to read both your RR and VR.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Got to thank you for marking the run course as well as you did!  The mile markers were large and unmistakeable.  I may have seen you round the corner on your mountain bike, as you headed in toward the finish and I headed toward the island and out onto the run loops.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
Thank you! It may have been me that you saw - there were 2 of us out there (officially at least). I was the one on the blue bike wearing a Pumpkinman bike jersey (the other guy was in an orange volunteer shirt. I was actually trying to look for you out there, but by Mike's second loop things were starting to get a bit more crowded and I ended up just trying not to run over anyone!!<br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Zdoc</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70100/pumpkinman-triathlon-festival-race-and-volunteer-report#post_1945008"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Great job, Kyle.  You looked very smooth on your run - nice flowing stride.  The good part of being a spectator is that you can watch all of the really good people.</p>
<p>Nice to meet you afterwards.</p>
<p>Keep posting all of those workouts.  Gives me something to shoot for (the workout, not the times -TOO FAST).</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
It was great to meet you, too - thanks for picking me out of the crowd!! As for the running, thanks. It's coming along and I think another year or two of pretty regular work should bring it up to somewhat of a similar level with my biking and swimming.<br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thor</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70100/pumpkinman-triathlon-festival-race-and-volunteer-report#post_1945014"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Wow, Kyle... it seems to me that on your current trend you will be Pro, or damn close to it, within 2 years time. As you know, some of these things take time, but you are really shortening the gap. I feel privileged to have witnessed your ascent. And please, please let your experience in leading Mike on his victory to motivate YOU to one day be in the same position. Very well written report, a remarkable finish in your race, and even a bonus coverage of you trying to stay the lead with race the next day as officials tried to yank you from that perch.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
Thanks, Thor! Seeing Mike this year (and Tony last year) was really motivating. It's great to see how those types of guys operate. I pick up quite a bit of information just by watching and studying them while we're out there. It's really a fun experience and it comes at the perfect time of the year as it sort of reenergizes me for the upcoming winter training season.<br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Dougie Fresh</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70100/pumpkinman-triathlon-festival-race-and-volunteer-report#post_1945082"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Kyle, 9th place OA in the depth of the field I saw on Saturday is just amazing.  Congratulations.  It's really an amazing accomplishment. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Just a note of caution comparing your run to Timberman: I run that course 2-3x/week in the summer and I can tell you without a doubt that it is a good .1-.15mi short of 3mi.  They keep saying, no it's 3mi but I've measured it everyway I can and it's not.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Nice job on the volunteering too.  Did you not have a sign on your bike?  At T-man the pacers had a sign like "First Place Female" on their bikes so they would be identified.  If you didn't, it be a good thing to suggest to Kat and Jeff.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>This was my first Pumpkinman and I agree it's a great race.  I know I'll be back next year -- and to see you on the podium!</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
I had a feeling that the Timberman course was just a little short - but it was still my best run (in a race) of the year by far. Even if I forget about the time, I just felt good and ran smooth/fast. I have big plans to bring more of that to the table next year!!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for the sign, I did not have one. I was in an official Pumpkinman bike jersey, though. Last year we had flags on our bikes to make things official and the plan was to use them again this year. When we went to throw them on this year a few parts were missing so we had to leave them behind. I believe the actual conversation went something like "oh well, it's not like anyone would ever stop us out there anyway..." I did talk to Kat afterwards - with Mike actually - and I think we will have signs next year, because it would just make things easier for everyone involved.<br>
 </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<p>Official Race Photos:</p>
<p><a href="http://www.capstonephotostore.com/searchresult.php?p=1" target="_blank">http://www.capstonephotostore.com/searchresult.php?p=1</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>And some from the Lost and Found section:</p>
<p><a href="http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5983011&flag_page=lf" target="_blank">http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5983011&flag_page=lf</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5984728&flag_page=lf" target="_blank">http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5984728&flag_page=lf</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5984729&flag_page=lf" target="_blank">http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5984729&flag_page=lf</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5984730&flag_page=lf" target="_blank">http://www.capstonephotostore.com/athletedetails.php?imgnum=5984730&flag_page=lf</a></p>
 
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