Eagleman can be a very humbling race. In my opinion, it’s not the most redeeming course, it’s boring, it’s hot, there’s little shade, strong winds, and often an abundance of race vermin, from jellyfish to deer flies. That being said, it is one of the best races around. CTA has again demonstrated why they are the gold standard for muti-sport event management on the east coast!
Oh yes, back to me. My first attempt at E-man.
Amy and I went down on Friday and got in a quick run on the opening part of the course with Desiree Ficker (okay, maybe not with her, but she was out in the course). Dinner at Big Mario’s Friday night and an attempt at a good night s sleep. Saturday got in an early swim, played bumper cars with Dave Wheeler (see Amy K’s race report), got in a short ride, then went to dinner at Snappers ;) with the brothers Wheeler, Amy, Megan, Michelle, Tim, Chuck…….. that group. I was really relaxed and ready to go. It was a great pre-race weekend. I woke up at 4:30 Sunday morning still feeling psyched.
We rolled into Great Marsh at 5:30, got a good parking spot (oh so important), and set up my transition. I had a choice spot in the transition area, right on the end of the row on a middle rack, feet from Shaun G and not too far from Arnat. I hit the club tent for some coffee and pre-race trash talking. No pre-race drama……just how I like it.
Swim: 33:58- felt really relaxed, no major problems although I had the same concerns that seemed to be prevalent on the day. I thought there supposed to be 2 orange buoys at the turn-around. I wasn’t totally convinced when I came out of the water that I hadn’t missed a buoy and was going to be DQ’d and was doing the rest of the race as a formality, but I pushed on. I came out of the water feeling really fresh and managed a fast run up to T1 and quick transition overall.
Bike: 2:35/21.7mph - went out hard on the bike. Like everyone else, I was flying through the first 35miles or so pushing about 23mph, and then Egypt road and that wind set in. I think my time would have faired better if I had gone a little easier on the first half of the bike, my cadence dropped off a bit the last 10 miles or so and my average speed suffered. It was nice to cheer on a few MMTC folks and pass some DC Tri guys on the bike (I kid…sort of ;)
Very Fast T2 (1:51), I wanted to get out on the run.
Run: 1:36 / 7:21mm – my goal was to put in a run with a 7:00mm pace. I felt good leaving transition and decided that I would relax and run a comfortable pace to the turn-around then push it to the finish. I got the first half of that plan right. I ran the first 6.5 miles at about a 7:20 pace but when I turned around and headed back, I just couldn’t get comfortable pushing it. Miles 9-11 felt sluggish but I recovered for a strong finish.
The best part of an out and back run course is the ability to see your friends during your race. I was excited to yell at Chip as he blew past me headed home as I was on my way out. Scott Fischer looked cool as a cucumber as always in the late miles of his run (although he suggested later he was struggling with leg cramps). Steve Meininger, Tim Coulson, and Jeff Wheeler all looked sharp headed home. On my way back, I got the high five from my boy Shaun G, cheered for Dave Wheeler, Bob Reid, and so many others! With a few miles left I passed Amy headed out on the run…….smiling….. a good prognostic sign for the drive home.
I was a little disappointed with my run but it was such a nice day and everyone seemed to be having such a good time (or at least as good a time as you can have covering 70.3 miles), how bad could it have been, really?
Like so many others, I can’t thank Melissa, the Bartolo’s, Dawn, and everyone else at the tent enough. You all make that race so much more fun, and so much less stressful. Special thanks to team Warfel (Jane and Andrea) at the expo as well. And yes, to Amy, my favorite Z1.
Eagleman is a humbling race. Where else can you run a 4:50 half-IM and still be 40th in your age group and 251st overall. I can’t complain, I loved every minute of it.
Now on to Lake Placid.