Eagleman 70.3 - Cambridge, Maryland.
Triathlon is made more fun by friends. Always. We had a fantastic trip to Maryland with an awesome group of friends.
We made the near 10 hour drive in the Man-van early Friday morning. Ashley was amused by my picture taking for all of about the first hour.
Hope and Tristan arrived about an hour after us. Bob and Melissa were not far behind. We were all ready for some good food. We stayed in Easton, MD about 20 minutes from Cambridge. It's a great town with a lot of character.
|Dinner in Easton, MD. Beers were well deserved after the long drive.|
Saturday morning was a short bike ride, short run and then head to Cambridge to the race site for Athlete Registration.
We checked our bikes, walked around the race site and then back to the hotel to prepare nutrition.
Saturday night Bob, Melissa, Ashley and I went to dinner in downtown Easton again.
Race morning came early as usual. My swim wave started a little over an hour after the pros so we had a lot of time to take silly pictures, lounge and maybe warmup a little before the start. Before race day there had been absolutely no talk of a non-wetsuit swim, so it was a huge surprise when we arrive Sunday morning to hear no wetsuit. I wasn't thrilled, but what can you do. This only changed my race strategy in that I probably wouldn't push as hard on the swim.
|Body Marking. Wait...what? No wetsuit? You're joking, right? So disappointed!|
Ashley started two waves ahead of me and Tristan one wave ahead of me. They got ahead of schedule starting the swim waves. Ashley was in the water warming up when they called his wave. Hope and I were calling him out of the water and he had to do a nice little sprint swim to the start just as they blew the whistle.
|Race Morning! ICE ready to represent!|
Poor Melissa started and hour and 40 minutes after the pros. This meant that she had a lot of people to pass! She had an amazing race and qualified for 70.3 World Championships. So proud of Melissa and loved seeing her smiling face on the bike and run course.
|Malibu Melissa with race of the day! 4th Age Group!|
Hope and I were in the same swim wave. She was amazingly calm pre-race as she had a great plan in place and knew what she had to do to execute that plan.
|Last hug for Hope as I send her off to the Choptank for her first 70.3! Woot!!|
My first 70.3 was in Augusta with an extremely fast down river swim. I knew there wasn't a chance of coming close to that 25 minute swim time. The swim felt very slow. Ashley said he felt the same. I actually felt better when I realized I was only about 6 minutes off from Ashley's time. Parts of the swim are very very shallow and it was pretty interesting to swim next to people who were walking the swim. That was a first!
Take away from this race: I've got to learn to make it hurt on the bike.
I did not bike hard enough. It's the truth. I suppose I justified it at the time because I was hoping for a fast run. Hindsight is always 20/20 and what I didn't realize was that in that heat I wasn't going to have a spectacular run anyway. What I did do is enjoy the bike, I spent 3 hours of quality time in my aero bars and tried to have fun. I was way too comfortable out there, but with every race there are lessons to be learned. Before the race I was bored with biking. This bike performance has struck a nerve and provided a little motivation that will hopefully carry me through the next 3 months.
|Nice Flat Bike Course, head wind on the way out, tailwind on the way back.|
As I was starting my run Ashley was finishing his run. We really didn't know how the hamstring was going to feel on the run, but he survived with a very respectable time. Despite his injury and not being able to run very well Ashley finished with a 4:29:28. Amazing to go 4:29 injured. His focus for the rest of the year is to get healthy.
|HB the crowd pleaser!!|
It's really quite impressive how Eagleman can put together 70.3 miles with absolutely zero shade. That was the hottest 13 miles I've every run and I pride myself on loving the heat. I just could not cool off. I cruised through the first several aid stations grabbing while I ran, but the last 3 I actually stopped to walk while grabbing every cup I could get my hands on. I felt like I was in one of the Kona videos where you see the pros grabbing everything within reach. It was water over the head, drink a cup of water, ice down the shirt, ice down the shorts, sponges in the back of my jersey, more water over the arms, drink more water. When I was actually running I think I was running pretty well and I was certainly passing a lot of people. Considering the 3-4 walk breaks in the aid stations and the heat, I really can't be disappointed with this run and I don't think I could've run much faster on this day.
I was more than ready to cross the finish line. I do not recall any sort of celebration. I just wanted to stop running and find some shade. Hope's family provided some great last minute encouragement down the finish.
|Headed to the finish. So HOT, seriously...so damn HOT.|
Final Time: 5:42:35
About 4 1/2 minutes slower than Augusta 70.3 last year, but with a 12 minute longer swim and very different conditions. Overall I'm pleased and think it was a pretty consistent race. There's no such thing as a perfect race and that's the beauty of triathlon and what keeps us always coming back for more!
Immediately after crossing the finish-line I thoroughly rinsed off under the cold shower of a firetruck and then took this brief rest in the grass.
This was our first big race together and it was a ton of fun. I loved seeing Ashley out on the course and would totally race the half distance together again. It helps that he finishes well over an hour before me though. :)
I am so proud of Hope finishing her first 70.3. She had a fantastic race, but more importantly she did it with a smile on her face the entire way. I also want to brag on Tristan. He was prepared for an incredible race, but had some unfortunate GI issues on the run. I never once heard him complain about his race and from talking to him you would never know it did not go according to plan. He is always the first to congratulate everyone else. He's a great athlete, awesome training partner, amazing friend and always so positive. Awesome job about there Tristan!
|Best of Buds, loved sharing this race experience with these two.|
Also big Congrats to Johane racing her first 70.3! DART was well represented at Eagleman!
|DART represents at Eagleman 70.3|
Ashley and I were originally planning to drive home after the race, but we decided it would be way more fun to celebrate with our friends. We had dinner Sunday night at a cool little English Pub in Easton. We were in bed early and up at 5am to start the drive home. We each took turns napping in the back of the Man-van on the way home. Chloe even took a turn on the drive from Charlotte to Davidson.
Ashley has already mentioned going back to Eagleman next year, I might just spectate and let him race this one next year.
The last week has been a mid-season break from training. I put in about 4.5 hours of biking and running compared to the normal 16ish hours and zero swimming. I'm getting antsy and ready to get back out there, but patience is a virtue.