St. Peters Rec-Plex Indoor Triathlon Challenge (2012-2013)

The St. Peters Rec-Plex Indoor Triathlon Challenge series has started on Sunday afternoons. Full details are available at :
http://www.stpetersmo.net/rec-plex-triathlons.aspx

My first multisport activity at all was a Rec-Plex indoor in November of 2011. I do these every opportunity I get!
Dates:

  • Nov. 11 & 25, 2012
  • Dec. 16 & 30, 2012
  • Jan. 6 & 27, 2013
  • Feb. 10 & 17, 2013
  • March 10 & 24, 2013
  • April 14 & 28, 2013

New start time this year (2012/2013) is 3:30 PM.

Distances:

LONG COURSE:


500-yd. swim in the pool

15-mile bike ride on stationary (Spinning) bikes

5-mile run on a treadmill

 

SHORT COURSE:

300-yd. swim in the pool

10-mile bike ride on stationary (Spinning) bikes

3-mile run on a treadmill

Cost per race:
$15 Pre-reg, $20 at the door

Point System (not shown right on website):
Per age groups (25 – under, 26-39, 40-54, 55-69, and 70+) and gender
Long Course: 18-16-14, then 13 for the rest
Short Course: 15-13-11, then 10 for the rest
Points accumulate for: t-shirt (80 pts), + Rec-Plex Spring Tri entry (100 pts), + Rec-Plex Fall Tri entry (150 pts)

The Inside Story:

  • These events are very low key and quite a lot of fun. A mixture of skill and experience levels (last year this was my first multisport event of any kind). There are quite a few regulars who are always willing to make the newcomers feel welcome.
  • The swim is in the diving well end of the pool, 25 yds per length. At the end of the swim, you can catapult your way out of the end of the pool (i.e., pull yourself onto the pool deck), else you should request a lane closer to the ladder, but you’ll still need to swim a ways over to get to it. Most choose to “gracefully” catapult themselves out. You might want to take note of this as pulling yourself out of the end is a bit tougher than it is on some other pools (not much of a lip), so check it out.
  • The swim is done down-and-back with three people per lane, so lousy swimmers like me pick one of the rope sides , and good swimmers split the middle and follow that line on the bottom that pools seem to have for some reason. On occasion there have been four swimmers in a lane and we’ve done a circle swim. Because the start time is earlier, the diving tower is still open so there is a little bit less freedom in how many lanes can be opened.
  • The race starts around regular Sunday closing time for the Rec-Plex, so you get to run in the halls! The bikes are in a separate room, and then the treadmills are further down the hall and up two flights of stairs. Not exactly Castlewood  You may want some kind of water shoe to get from the pool to the bikes.
  • I have yet to see anyone turned away due to being full, although I suppose that’s a possibility (official entry limit is 30 and I haven’t seen 30 people there yet). You set up by claiming a spin bike downstairs. There are 15 bikes, most have pedals with standard SPD cleats on one side and clips on the other. A couple have only the clips. Most people just use running shoes and the clips, but I use cycling shoes and the cleats because I Am A Triathlete and therefore am really cool. The clips are standard SPD. If you do’t get a bike before the first wave, you will go with the second wave.
  • So if you want to be in the first wave, you want to get there early to claim a bike. Otherwise, you wait until someone is done with their bike, set up, and head down to the pool, and then the second group will start when everyone gets there. You might get more lane space in the second group.
  • Like all indoor triathlons, because the spin bikes are uncalibrated, everyone can turn the resistance knob to anything they want. If you are trying to get the best time you can (like 99% of the people are), you usually adjust it to have just enough resistance that you don’t get behind the flywheel, and no more. Some people do put more resistance on to get a better simulation of reality, but obviously will have a slower time. Most people though, will be spinning the things as fast as they can. A secret: the fastest cadence the display will show is a flashing “120” rpm. So it won’t display anything faster than 120 rpm, but if you pedal faster, it will calculate speed and distance at the actual rate you are spinning, not the displayed “120”.
  • The locker rooms and showers are available.
  • There might be music on in the spin bike room; there will be TV’s on in the treadmill room (you need plug-in earbud/phones to hear them). You probably will want to bring something to listen to in order to keep from going bizarro crazy on the treadmill.
  • If you have a waterproof watch, or in particular a tri watch like a Garmin 910xt, this would be a good time to use it. That way you can keep track of your own time, in case mistakes get made on the clipboards. With possibly two waves, and two distances of races, and three equipment locations, occasionally things get mixed up on the clipboards! And obviously, it’s good practice for outdoors triathlons.
  • The t-shirt (after 80 pts) is something you get after the season is over. The website refers to it as being “moisture wicking” but recently they have just been cotton, so don’t get too excited about them.

I highly recommend these for a fun Sunday afternoon workout!

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