Eagleman Race Report



Hey group - I haven't seen any race reports for awhile. I thought I'd throw mine in. In brief, my
first half-iron so a guaranteed PR just by crossing the line, which I did in 5:08:21. It was a real
blast. I had fun all day.

After a dismal race at the Columbia triathlon in which I got sick the night before and then raced in
frigid, rainy conditions; I became increasingly worried about the weather leading up to this weekend
which was predicting rain (the constant state of affairs here in the NE US of late). The race
directors predictions of 62F water temp in the Choptank river didn't help either. By Weds before the
race I was having vivid recall of shivering until 3 miles into the run at Columbia. I called and
ordered a long-sleeve top to put under my longjohn wetsuit. Luckily the people at Promotion wetsuits
sent it out jiffy overnight express! Unfortunately, my pool was closed for cleaning, so it meant
breaking the cardinal rule of triathlon - don't try anything new that you haven't tried in training.

I went down to the race sight in the pouring rain to meet my brother. We hung around and listened to
the pro forum featuring Tim DeBoom, Laurie Bowden, Andrea Fisher, and Jamie Cleveland. It was the
first race I had been to with such talent. My 11 year old wanted his hat signed by Tim (as did I)
and he and the other pros graciously obliged. The rain continued turning tomorrows transition into
slop. Pre race prep went well and although nervous, I fell asleep by 11:30 or so.

Race morning and NO RAIN! It was bound to be a good day! Transition was sloppy but other than that
no worries. I was in my wetsuit and ready to go. But boy did that bouy and sailboat look an awful
long ways away. 1.2 miles here I come. I was in the 3rd wave @ 7:15, my brother wouldn't start until
an hour or so later. I hate the swim, but it went OK. Didn't get clocked in the head. I had to stop
to clear some fog from my lenses or spit out some brackish water, but all in all survived an
essentially out and back cou rse. The boat support was good and the yellow bouys were easy to sight
off. Mostly I just kept in the middle of the pack. The water was a little choppy, and by the way I
got away with breaking the cardinal rule, the new wetsuit top kept me nice and warm, although did
not help my T1 time as I had to wrestle with the sleeves to get it off much the amusement of any
onlookers. I think I must have looked a bit like Jim Carey in "Liar, Liar" where he beats himself up
in the men's rest room! Transition times - horrible. Note to self. Work on transition. Even though
every thing was laid out the grass/slop seemed to get everywhere.

The bike was fast and flat. I mean flat. When Tim DeBoom says it's the flattest course he's ever
raced I guess it must be true. I used all of like 3 gears from my 21 to choose from. While I usually
get passed by a ton of people on the bike, today I held my own. To be sure I heard enough "whoosh
whoosh" disc wheels flying behind from behind, but I also passed a number as well. It was mostly my
own age group and the 2nd (older age groupers), but there was an occasional younger type who went by
earlier that I caught back! The weather actually was really nice - mid to hi 60's with cloud cover.
There was a bit of a head wind on the way back to Cambridge, but nothing that staying aero couldn't
handle. I followed DeBoom's advice from the day before to stand up in the pedals, pushing higher
gears to use different muscles and stretch my back, but I felt like I had good power throughout. And
I've never seen my average mph as high as 21 before! I train mostly in a hilly area and 18 is good!
The scenery was beautiful and the encouraging "Good job" and "Lookin strong" by competitors in
passing had me grinning with enjoyment numerous times. I hate getting up early, but boy did this
feel good. How many people know the comraderie of doing what we do, of pushing ourselves, of
challenging our potential that we get in triathlon?

Now note to self #2 - Don't drink so much on cool days. Who has to pee 3 times in a half-iron? Well
me apparently. I had never stopped to pee in every event up to marathon, but today was different. My
pre-race nutrition was about the same, Preformance drink, coffee, a little OJ, poptarts, banana,
powerbar but I think in an effort to keep the carbs coming I drank too much sports drink on the
bike. So 2 stops on the bike, and one in T2 which involved running thru more slop and off course to
get over to the port-o-potties - Ridiculous. Refer to note #1 improve transition times. It didn't
help that I circled back to my bike rack position to drop off the arm warmers that I had forgotten
to take off either.

Oh well - Hi fives out of transition from the Tri-Speed folks and on to the run. My favorite! Now I
knew it was downhill (only figuritively (sp?) - remember the course is actually flat), and I started
off with a 20ish year old age grouper and we hit a 6:20 first mile (way too fast) so backed off. My
run was great! I felt like I had energy throughout. My spirits were raised and I'm sure I picked up
the pace a bit when I saw others on the out and back course. First is was "who's that guy?" - Luke
Bell behind the lead car heading in to take the win, NOT Tim DeBoom who took 2nd. Then Laurie Bowden
looking great coming past for her win. Then my brother coming in off his blistering bike (remember
he started about an hour behind me - and I encouraged him to catch me (which he didn't luckily)).
Then some other folks from Pennsylvania that I knew and finally my brother on his way out on the run
as I was thankfully on my way back. Note to self #3 - don't wear tri-shoes with orthotics without
socks. My feet were really hurting by mile 8, I could really feel the blisters forming and my left
foot especially was really sore. The damage was not to be entirely clear until the next day however
when oozing clear stuff started to leak in to my socks! Next half marathon I'll definately wear
socks. Sockless only for sprints and Olys. Any way I pulled off a 7:32 min/mile avg. after doing the
whole 56 mile on the bike thing. It's basically my speed for my best marathon, so I was pretty
pumped. Finally, the line. The cool, heady feeling of coming in to the line. It was there. My first
half-iron in 5:08:21!!

Splits - 41:48 (clam speed) swim, 2:38:49 bike, and 1:38 half marathon. 69th AG, and 433rd overall

Then food - Pasta, cookies and more pasta! Yum. There was great race support throughout. Thanks to
all the volunteers, Robert Vigorito and the TriColumbia organization - ya put on a good show, and I
for one had a blast. Thanks to all who yelled encouragement and to the weather gods for not raining
on race day at least! Now for a little break, only an Oly in about 5 weeks. I suppose the feet might
heal by then. Train well.

Walt S 12FeDoc York, PA

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Old Timer

Great report Doc! I passed on racing this year, so I missed Eagleman, its only an hour away from
home. I was thinking about you guys on Sunday - at least it wasn't rainy.

I love that flat bike course, but that one little hill kills me. Its maybe 4 inches of elevation
over the 100 foot long hill. Gets me every time.