2013 Tri Dunkirk Race Report

HeadshotBy Bill Powers (@billmaxpowers)

Last Sunday I completed my second short distance triathlon at Tri Dunkirk, at the scenic Wright Park, in Dunkirk, NY. My first summer participating in triathlons has not gone as planned.  My second scheduled race turned into a Duathlon and I had to withdraw from my third for personal reasons. So needless to say I was pumped and ready for this race.


I got on the road very early in the morning and made my way to Dunkirk.  On the way there I decided that I had time to drive down Route 5, so that I could do a quick recon of the bike course. Arriving on site at 5:50am the atmosphere was great. I quickly picked up my race packet and went back to my car to get my gear ready. Where I ended up parking was really dark, so I was glad that I took someone’s advice and brought a headlamp. Once I got my gear ready, it was off to transition to setup. The transition area was well lit and clearly marked; I found a nice spot and got to work.

After a few minutes getting everything ready and trying to remember that I was in the middle of the row, I left the transition area and headed for the most dreaded place at any sporting event, the Port-A-Potties. Like at many events, there are never enough of these, but it is just a fact I have come to deal with. While waiting in the ever-growing line, they began to hold the pre race briefing. Since the Port-A-Potties where right next to the transition area, I didn’t miss a thing. The pre race briefing mostly consisted of instructions for the race but it also included a moment of silence for Gary Grant who crashed at the race last year and tragically lost his life 3 weeks later. It was an early morning reminder not to forget about racing safely.

Swim Start

As the sun started to rise, I made way down to the beach for the open water swim start. After a brief group photo, we started to line up. The course was laid out in a triangle and since I was doing the short distance, I would only be swimming one 750m clockwise loop.  Score-This decided that instead of doing a mass start swim, they would conduct a time trial start for this event. I was a little disappointed when I heard they were not having the mass swim start, but in the end the time trial worked out pretty well. The way it was conducted was to let 2 swimmers go every 20 seconds; this enabled me to enter the water how I wanted to and swim the course how I wanted to. There was never a point were I felt bunched in with other swimmers. Really the only time I ever got close to other swimmers was at the buoys. An interested thing about Dunkirk was how shallow it was, the deepest part of the whole race was maybe 4 feet. If you got into trouble or panicked during the swim you probably could just stand up. There were a few kayaks and a boat out there to provide some support just in case. I thought my swim was great and I sighted the buoys fairly well. I exited the water, ran across the beach, up the stairs, crossed the road, up the sandy grass embankment and into transition in 17:17.

On to the Bike

T1 was pretty uneventful, with the exception of sandy feet and someone moving my shirt from my handlebars to my seat post. No worries, exited T1 in 1:50.

On to the bike course, which was my favorite part of this event. The course was held primarily on Route 5, which runs right along the shoreline of lake Eire. The short course was setup as an out and back, with a convenient rest area as the turn around point. The course was not closed to traffic, but the volunteers and police did a great job with the traffic control.  Being that the course was not closed, I rode mostly on the shoulder of the road, with the exemptions of when I was passing. Route 5 is wide 2-lane road with a good shoulder so I felt pretty safe the entire time.  As to the elevation of the course, I would describe it as a series of good rollers, not much flat.  There was a few times I left the saddle to climb some short hills. The course also provided a few spots where I was able to top 30 MPH.  According to my Garmin, the course ran .5-mile longer, but I finished in 38:58 officially (http://www.strava.com/activities/77447124).

I rode hard all the way to the dismount line, dismounted before the line and I was off to T2 and on to the run in 1:13.

On to the Run

Exiting T2, I noticed that you had to be careful, as you needed to go down the sandy grass embankment to the road below. If you were not careful it could easily end your run very early. The run course, unlike the bike, was super flat, but like the bike course, it was an out and back.  The run started along the lake then out the Dunkirk pier, thru a tiny tree covered park, back out the pier and finally back along the lake into the finish chute.  Out and back runs are my favorite because they provide a great opportunity to cheer on the rest of the participants, it gives them a boost and helps to take your mind off your screaming legs.  I finished the run in the 24:03, but also, like the bike course, the run was a bit long clocking in at 3.3 miles (http://www.strava.com/activities/77447121).

My total time was 1:23:21 and I came in six in my age group, 27th male and 30th overall.

Overall it was a great race.  Score-This and the volunteers did a wonderful job putting on a great and extremely professional event. I had a great time, the weather was perfect and was impressed once again with the triathlon community of Western New York.  Although I did not get a chance to hang around too much before and after the race, I saw that the BTC had a great presence.  If my schedule permits and more importantly if my wife lets me, I will be back next year to take on the Intermediate distance.

For more information on this race, checkout tridunkirk.com and score-this.com

Member Photos (Click to see larger images):
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A Note from the President – Jenn Bell

Screen Shot 2013-08-20 at 2.54.22 PMShiny, happy people.  OK, I apologize if this REM song is now stuck on replay in your head, but I think it is a very fitting description of our club members.  I also think it is a testament to one of the reasons we have grown in numbers over the past few years.  We are a fun-loving group who are always willing to help out in any way possible, and we are one another’s #1 supporters.  Whether it be lending a wetsuit, helping change a flat, or offering encouraging advice (“You look fantastic!”  “Great pace!”), we support each other in good times and bad. 
This was especially apparent at the Keuka Lake Triathlon and Tri-Dunkirk, as the BTC presence was overwhelmingly friendly, and our colors were everywhere.  If you are coming last out of the water, or heading to the finish in first, it is always encouraging to hear your name or the familiar “GO BTC” from a fellow racer or spectator. 
With the race season ramping up, I wish you success in your upcoming endeavors.  Support one another, and stay shiny, happy people! 


Lisa and Gary Rock the 100 Mile Beast of Burden


Article by: Lisa Trapasso

I set out August 17th – on a path that would take me to hell and back … nothing prepares one for the daunting distance of 100 miles until you actually hear the horn & start running & running & running … and that I did. I had hopes I would get the Buckle – the almighty Buckle – the Buckle that screamed “I just did 100 miles” … rather my journey did not take me to that destination … instead … a very different destination … one which was heartbreaking, humbling and exhilarating.

Out in a Flash

Although we (Gary & I) had a plan for each loop … I made some huge mistakes along the way. I started off too fast – the excitement, having Gary by my side – doing my first 100 together – the other amazing runners – the laughs & fresh legs … and probably did my 2nd loop too fast as well … I didn’t drink enough nor consume enough calories throughout first 50 miles which snuck up on me and I paid the price …

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 2.23.20 PMNothing prepared me for what I was about to encounter within myself … and I didn’t think I could use the F word more explicitly than I did … the moments came … and continued. As the miles went on – It was a constant battle between my body and my mind … my ego and my pride …

At mile 22 – I could not stand the sound of my own feet … at mile 62 … I didn’t think I had any feet left.

Mile 67 … Gasport Aid station – I found a chair – and lost it … “hitting the wall” was redefined for me.

Triathlete Learns Lesson from Ultra Runner

It was also at this point an Ultrarunner told me to get up – and move – 67 miles was not a “respectable FD” … 75 miles was – Yes, I gave her a big FU in my head BUT it was what I needed … my body got up and my legs moved for 7 more l-o-n-g miles … because 75 miles was FD …

Those 7 miles were the toughest miles I have ever completed. I think I cried for most of those miles … I cried when I saw another runner pass … I cried when I saw Gary – knowing we would not finish together … I cried because I felt like my body had failed me … I cried – because I knew I was JFD … I cried because I knew it was “okay” …

Gary finished his 100 mile

Gary looked strong and his unbelievable legs took him to a 24:46 finish… a hour PR from his last Summer 100 … he remains my strength – my drive and my pride. We will finish together… I know!!!

So what did I learn

  • I learned that sometimes there’s more to running/racing than finishing.
  • I learned that the buckle, as much as I wanted it (and I so badly wanted it) – was an added benefit … because what I got out of this experience was greater …
  • I learned that I had the privilege to be part of an amazing family of Ultra runners who shared this journey with me … and embraced my JFD … seeing what WAS accomplished – not WHAT WAS NOT … and made the most amazing friends along the way … whom I cannot wait to share some miles with again …
  • I learned that 75 miles in 22 hours is JFA (Just F** Amazing)

There were 51 finishers in the 100 mile race and 30 JFD – each one of them with an extraordinary story of glory, guts and determination … miles to tell filled with victory & defeat.

I’m still licking my “mental wounds” from the Beast … but I’m already looking forward to the Winter 100 – where I will again test the path to Hell & Back

Photos (Click to see larger images)

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How About an Extra Thursday Night Brick?

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The end of the Thursday bricks and time trials is sadly approaching.
A few years ago we added a 3-3-3 brick to the annual schedule for the endurance folks that like to go long.  We sometimes get requests for a shorter brick, for the folks that like to ‘sprint.’  We are considering adding a 1-1-1 brick to the end of the North Amherst schedule, on Thursday September 19th.  It would be a 1 mile run, 1 lap of the bike course (6.3 miles), and a 1 mile run.  Watch our web site, online calendar, Facebook, and email for more details!
The complete schedule, results, course maps, photos, and more, can all be found on our web site.
Would you like a 1-1-1 brick added to the schedule?