2016 Race Report #1: Conquer the Canal Time Trial

My first race of 2016 was the Conquer the Canal Time Trial, held on the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, Chesapeake, VA, a flat 12.1 mile out-and-back course, Saturday, April 2, 2016. Just like last year’s race, the weather was terrible. But rather than cold and windy conditions, this year’s race was completed during a heavy rainstorm, with winds gusting up to 12 miles per hour.

Like last year, I was unable to successfully complete my 57-minute warmup. At roughly the 30-minute mark, my rear tire started to lose traction on the trainer’s roller because of the constant rain. I also had to add a longsleeve undershirt, just before heading to the start line, to ward off a chill from the rain and wind.

I started out at 23-24 miles per hour, and was able to maintain a cadence of 90-95 RPM and heart rate around 140 BPM (103% MHR) outbound. Inbound, I shift into my next higher gear, and dodging puddles of standing water, maintained a similar cadence and heart rate to the finish. My finishing sprint was at roughly 25 miles per hour.

Race replay: Conquer the Canal Time Trial

This was the fifth consecutive year that I’ve entered this particular race. I won last year with a time of 0:31:47 (22.84 mph average). With the addition of two younger, and slightly faster, competitors in my age-group, I finished third with a time of 0:31:29 (23.05 mph average). The first and second place finishers were my two new competitors. The winning time was 0:30:43 (23.63 mph average). The second place finishing time was 0:30:58 (23.44 mph average).

Next race is a hilly 28 km time trial, over rural roads of very poor quality, near Charles Town, WV, on Saturday, April 16.