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Swim4Purpose: Doug Saar

Race Result

Racer: Stephen Levickas
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 17, 2009
Location: Columbia, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 40 - 44
Time: 2:15:35
Overall Place: 51 / 1519
Age Group Place: 6 / 222
Comment: Get to the race healthy!



Race Report:

Swim: 20:20 (1/222 AG, 44/1519 overall)
T1: included in bike split
Bike: 1:10:25 (7/222 AG, 53/1519 overall)
T2: 1:06 (1/222 AG, 78/1519 overall)
Run: 43:46 (20/222 AG, 134/1519 overall)
Finish: 2:15:35 (6/222 AG, 51/1519 overall)

Woke up at 4:15, got to the transition area at 5:10. Weather was warm, no rain yet. Forecast was for showers until about 10:00. Got all my transition gear together and headed over to the start line. MMTC had three tents together next to the Annapolis Tri Club. Thanks to all the support for the tent Ė it was fantastic, and is always nice to have a place to go before and after the race to drink, eat and chat with friends - too many to list.

Swim: The race went off on time. My wave was the second after the pros, elite and seasoned men and women. The water was a warm 72 degrees. Big difference from the 62 last year where you felt numb for minutes. I settled into the front line and decided to swim straight, hugging the shoreline till the bend. Not much contact except I kept bumping into one swimmer who was swimming stroke for stroke next to me (I hope it wasnít Steve M.). I think I was listing to the right and he was trying to go left. Once around the bend I sighted the first buoy. It appeared that most of the other fast swimmers were way to the right, but I kept the buoy straight in front of me. Once around the corner things really thinned out. Then after the second turn, it was clear open water with no one around. I kept sighting the yellow buoys. It was a veritable log jam the final 300-400 meters as I was approaching the previous wave. Exited the water and heard some one say Ďfirst blue capí. Wow, was I first, maybe, guess weíd have to see. Finished in 20:20 and was first out.

T1: I was worried about T1 only because I had a new full length wetsuit and this was my first triathlon with it. I did a 3 mile swim a couple weeks before to test it, and when I got out of the water I tried to quickly remove it as if I were in a transition setting. It didnít go well and took me 2-4 minutes to get it off. I was very fatigued from swimming 3 miles, and also think I made a couple Ďnoviceí mistakes in taking it off. Besides going up the left side of the transition area when I was on the right, everything went real fast. The wetsuit came off very quickly. Of course I donít know exactly how quick because we didnít get T1 times this year.

Bike: Once on the bike, I slipped my feet into my shoes attached to the bike already. The trick here is to learn to did it on the trainer, then graduate to the real life. Balance is the only thing you have to deal with then. And for further reinforcement, enter and exit your shoes each and every ride so it becomes natural and second nature. It started raining just as the ride started. Didnít seem bad though except for one stretch. The wind was a big factor though, especially those wooded areas that opened to fields. Folks with disk wheels were getting blown around a bit. My heart rate was sky high the entire bike - didnít wear my HR monitor but I could tell. I tried to drift a little on some of the fast down hills to recover but it didnít seem to matter. About 7 miles into the ride, the masters winner passed me. At about mile 12, Geoff Irwin passed me, and about mile 13 Steve M. passed me. Steve ended up passing Geoff, and Geoff and I see-sawed back forth the rest of the ride. I ended up passing Geoff turning onto 108 and Steve in the final half mile of the bike. Finished in 1:10:25 with transition. I figured I took at least 2 minutes on the transition (my ave from the past few years).

T2: My age group was situated in the far back corner this year. It was near the bike exit which was great for the S-B transition, but sucked for the B-R transition. We had to run all the way to the bike exit, then back the full length to exit the run. I didnít feel that fast but ended up in 1:06, first in AG.

Run: The issues I had with my achilles continued, and even though I didnít feel too much pain from that, my reduced fitness from not running much at all over the past 6 weeks took its toll. Heart rate was so high I had a stitch almost the whole time. Hills, both up and down, were torture. Itís amazing how much you loose in such a short time. Got passed by 5 runners, the last was within half a mile from the finish, but I just couldnít go any faster. Finished in 43:46, not bad considering.

Overall: Finished 6th in AG by :20 with 2:15:35. Would have been nice to take home a piece of hardware but I pretty much knew it wasnít going to happen from the start. As they say, the hardest thing about racing is getting to the starting line healthy. Now I need to take the time to heel so Ironman Florida is not a bust.

Again, thanks to the MMTC for the support tents, and all their hard work.