Pre-race: Met up with Heather B. on Saturday at the Expo and we drove most of the bike course so we could get a feel for it. The course has some good climbs and descents but they are short compared to the hills of Howard County.
Race day: Got to the race site by 5:30 to hear the swim was cancelled. Huh? Why? Well, it turns out an athlete from the Saturday sprint race never made it out of the water and the police were still doing a search and rescue in the river. How horrible. I couldn’t believe it. The swim was replaced with a 5k run. Fast forward: The police recovered the body of the 40-year old Delaware man around 5:30pm on Sunday. It was his first triathlon. No news on how he drowned. None of the kayak / boat support saw any signs of distress. My heart goes out to his family.
The heat and humidity of the day was already miserable at 6am. I was sweating just standing around. I knew this was going to be painful, especially the last run.
Run 5K (26:28) 8:32 pace – the timing mats seemed off. My Garmin had me a minute faster for a 8:15 pace. I tried to stay controlled knowing I had to use the same legs to bike 25 miles and run another 6.2. So I was happy with my pace.
T-1 (2:18) including pit stop. I know I started the race hydrated!
Bike (1:20:16) 18.5 mph – the 5k run and heat did more damage than planned. Instead of swimming and using upper body strength, the 5k depleted some of my leg strength. I should have been able to go about 5 minutes faster, but the short climbs plus the heat just zapped my energy. I saw a few crashes on the bike, one of them pretty nasty with blood dripping down his face. Lots of Team in Training were doing this race and had lots of support around the course. I had a bottle of HEED, one water bottle, and a gel on the bike. I forgot my Endurolytes in transition, ugh.
T-2 (2:34) again the timing mats seemed off. I didn’t see the mat until I was out of transition and already running 100+ yards.
Run 10k (1:10:10) 11:19 pace. The worst. It was so HOT and Humid. The first few miles were pretty shaded. Then it was intense heat with the sun pounding down. My HR was nuts. I just couldn’t find a stride and succumbed to a walk / jog. I was cursing the heat and found it hard to get positive thoughts in my head. I saw medics next to a guy who literally passed out on the run. David Matusow passed me and looked great. His mental toughness was working! Great job, David! I finally finished after pouring so many cups of water on my head at every water stop. They had towels soaking in ice water which felt great on my neck / shoulders. I really wished they had ice on the run course.
Post race: I stayed with my friend who lives in Philly. We waited for Heather to finish then we got some post-race food and relaxed for a little bit before taking off. Spent the rest of the day making sure A/C was cranking! Traffic coming home on 95 South was horrible. My outside temp gauge hit 104 at one point! Really hoping the rest of the racing season will have better weather.