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Cross Country Skiers have Fabulous First Triathlon

Fri, Aug  24, 2007 - By Mike Muha

Finally received the detailed results from the Island Lake of Novi Sprint Triathlon. All the NordicSkiRacers in the Triathlon did great in our age categories, but I always like to compare myself to the winning time as well.

The swim was half a mile, the bike was 12 miles, and the run was around a 5K. There were 253 competitors. Of those, 5 dropped out after the first or second leg.

Race Times

NordicSkiRacer Swim Trans Bike Trans Run Total
Winning Time 10:19 1:30 28:21 :49 16:58 57:56
Ryan Robinson 16:53 1:19 29:40 1:19 17:34 1:06:44
Yvon Dufour 16:24 1:43 31:44 :33 19:23 1:09:45
Mike Muha 16:11 2:54 31:58 1:18 22:33 1:14:53
Greg Worrel 17:01 2:57 35:29 2:23 26:11 1:23:59


My claim to fame is that I beat my fellow NordicSkiRacers in the swim, and I am probably the least experienced swimmer! Both Ryan and Greg gave me some good technique tips that helped. I also was told about "Total Immersion" swimming by a former pro-triathlete whom I discovered at work. I read the free chapters on the web site from the book "Triathlon Swimming Made Easy" (Terry Laughlin) and picked up some pointers that seemed to make me faster both in practice and in the race. The books was all about technique and minimizing resistance through the water rather than on using power to go fast.

I was very happy with the bike leg. Given the wet roads, I took the corners conservatively. I was happy with an average speed of 22.5 mph. The run? I was hoping for sub-7:30 minute miles. Oh so close...

My first transition was slow. Since I had not swum in a tri-top in practice, I decided not to wear it in the swim leg of the race. Instead, I attempted to put it on over my wet body before getting on the bike. The first attempt, I missed one of the arm holes and had to pull the top completely off! The arms went into the right holes on the second try, but the top stuck tight to the middle of my wet back and I struggled to get it down.

I'll be practicing swimming with the tri-top tonight. Now if I can just get my transition time down to Yvon's incredible 33 seconds...

Overall Rank and Pace

NordicSkiRacer Swim Rank Bike Rank Bike pace (mph) Run Rank Run pace Overall Rank
Winning Time 1 2 25.4 3 5:40 1
Ryan Robinson 101 4 24.3 6 5:52 7
Yvon Dufour 82 17 22.7 13 6:28 13
Mike Muha 72 19 22.5 70 7:31 37
Greg Worrel 106 77 20.3 151 8:44 105



Both Ryan and Yvon had awesome races: a 7th and 13th overall! Two NordicSkiRacers in the top 15! Both had substantially faster run times than me, and Ryan crushed both Yvon and me on the bike.

Feeding for the race went as planned. I had a bagel and cream cheese about three hours before race time, took 3 Race Cap Supremes an hour before the race, then had a water bottle containing HEED on the bike. Never ran out of energy; felt I could have kept on going.

For this coming weekend's triathlon, I'm trying Race Day Boost. The event is probably a little short for Race Day Boost, but I wanted to try it under intense racing conditions well before cross country ski racing season rolls around...