This was my first experience in off road triathlon. I have done a lot of mountain bike riding and trail running in the past year so I thought I was well prepared, but not where I needed to be.
My weekend started on Friday. I had reserved a camping spot at Rocky Gap and planned on staying there the 2 nights before the race. Well, I was tired just getting there. With traffic bumper to bumper from about 4 miles before Frederick all the way to Hagerstown. That sucked. I pitched tent, started a fire, ate 2 hamburgers, then went to bed at 9:00 PM. Slept in till 8:30 - well didn't sleep that great being that it was really cold and I was not prepared at all for cold weather. It warmed up quickly though.
I planned on getting there early so I could take a slow ride of the bike course before the race. I like to be familiar with bike courses, especially in the mountains. This ended up being a big mistake. I did the loop with a guy a caught up to who was also doing the same thing. The park is beautiful, thickly wooded.
My brother came out Saturday afternoon to stay the night as he was participating in the race as well. He wanted to see the famed 'Evitt's Revenge' portin of the bike ride, which was just off our camping loop. So like an idiot, I took a second loop on the hardest section of the course - that made it a 10 mile ride just hours before the race. Big mistake.
Woke up early to get over to the bike racks to grab up a really good spot. It was warmer on Sunday morning. I also forgot to take my usual handful of supplements on Sunday morning. Had to pack the tent, etc. and just forgot.
This race is a 2 loop swim equalling .75 miles - had to get out of the water after each loop and run up a small hill across some grass field to the start, bike two 7 mile loops, and run one 5 mile loop.
Swim: I was disappointed in the start as I was expecting a mass start. Being in the second wave meant that I was going to have to pass a lot of people either on the swim or worse on the bike. I took the swim out slowly like I've been doing lately, and passed a ton of people from the first wave. Finished in 22:21.
T1 I think is included in the bike totals so I don't know exactly what time that was. It felt fast as usual though.
Bike: Biking is typically my best sport in road triathlon, so I blasted out the gate for 2 reasons. First, there was about 1.5 miles of riding on the road before entering the woods. After that it becomes more difficult to pass people. So I wanted to pass as many people as possible. Second, I felt strong and usually do on the bike. Well, I expended so much energy on the first 3 miles of the bike, when I hit Evitt's Revenge my heart was racing and I knew I was in trouble. I rode the entire first loop, no crashes, no stopping. Then I slowed the pace knowing I could not sustain. I had to walk up Evitt's Revenge the second loop because the guy in front on me stopped at the bottom impeading the only good path. Finished the bike in 1:21.40 (10.3 AVE.).
T2 is included in the run totals I think.
Run: I knew there was a problem as soon as started to run. I had lead legs. They never really went away during the run. Doing those 10 miles the day before and not sleeping that great really impacted my endurance. Downhills were ok as gravity was with me. But those up hills were a big struggle. The final uphill seemed long but I know it was not, just extremely steep especially with lead legs. Finished run in 54:52 (just under 11 min miles). Not good, but overall I was pleased.
Well run race. Met fellow MMTC member Bob Reid. Thanks Bob for placing me at the top of my AG, but it didn't happen. Next year!!