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Swim4Purpose: Doug Saar

Race Result

Racer: Melissa Emery
Race: IronGirl Columbia
Date: Sunday, August 27, 2006
Location: Columbia, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Female 40 - 44
Time: 2:48:45
Overall Place: 1161 / 1274
Age Group Place: 213 / 233
Comment: TOUGH Course for a Sprint Tri!



Race Report:

Well, this was my A race for the year Ė the Big Kahuna Ė the race I signed up for in September 2005 that got me into this crazy triathlon sport to begin with. Overall, Iím happy to have finished it and have to remind myself that my only real goal that I set at the beginning of this race season was to simply finish each race, which is what I've done.

Arrived at Centennial at 5:30, got a good parking spot on the grass and headed over to body marking. Set up transition pretty much in the dark. Man, it was crowded in there! Holy cow, I donít think I had but a 1íx2í spot for my stuff. Definitely the most crowded transition area Iíve ever seen. Brought way too much stuff with me and wound up making 3 trips back and forth to the car Ė maybe a good thing, since it distracted me somewhat. Headed over to the great MMTC tent to hang out until the swim and get nervous with the other racers!

Swim (1,000 meters): 32:31 (1199th place)
Not the swim I was hoping for. Pretty disappointed with these results. Was hoping to complete the swim in 25 minutes (I know, thatís still slow, but Iím a slow swimmer). Talked with swim guru Adam Rutz after the race and determined that I probably: 1) went out too quickly to begin with and never really caught my breath; 2) do not have good sighting technique (which caused a sore lower back and neck that lasted the rest of the race); and 3) lack the confidence to stick with freestyle the whole time and not take ďbreaksĒ with other strokes. The swim is where Iím going to focus a lot of energy on improving over the winter. I know itís the shortest of the 3 race legs, but I get off on a bad foot in every race with the swim and need to improve it to get my confidence up.

T1: 4:34 (852nd place)
Was pretty winded after the swim and wanted to catch my breath, so didnít really run the whole way into T1. Took my time here too, so room for improvement in future races. Iíve done faster transitions, but wanted to enjoy the experience, so didnít feel like rushing. Got a nice shout-out from Scott Fisher as I ran up the hill to mount my bike!

Bike (25K): 1:15:31 (907th place)
Was really pleased with my bike. I think this was the first time I really had FUN doing this bike course! In practice was completing the course in about 1:15 every time, so knew thatís what I was shooting for. Mike Stone told me a couple months ago to just keep doing the course and it will get easier, and he was right. What fun to ride it with all of those people! Got to say ďon your leftĒ and ďcoming throughĒ a lot too (especially going downhill on the aerobars). Did see a few guys on the course who maybe seemed to be riding along with someone (but Iíll leave that up to the race officials). Came sliding into T2 waaaaay too fast, hee hee. Didnít engage my front brake for the race (it was rubbing a little) and the road or my tires were still a little wet, so unclipped one foot and did a Fred Flintstone. No crash, though!

T2: 2:28 (792nd place)
Nothing eventful here Ė pretty pleased with my time. Could have been faster, but I had new running shoes without my trusty Lock Laces on them so had to actually tie my shoes. Plus, again, just wanted to gather myself before heading out on the run.

Run (5K+): 53:22 (1227th place)
Yeah, OK, donít even tell meÖ.I could have walked faster, ha ha ha. Man, this hilly frigging course just wasted me. I guess Iíve got to practice running hills (Doug Mock will see this and hold me to it, I hope!). My legs were just toast by this point, so I walked a lot, obviously. Loved seeing the MMTC water stop cuties out there, especially Grant!

I just wanted to thank all of the MMTC members who helped make today such a fantastic day:

To Kristen & Jesse for the tent - great food!
To Bob Reid for the smoothies - best post-race drink ever!
To Bob Bartolo for giving me a hand out of the water - love seeing your smile at the end of the swim!
To Scott Fisher for giving me a verbal push out of T1 - you're an Iron inspriration!
To Chip Warfel for giving me a push at the end of the run, and for the best tapering advice!
To the Village People for keeping me hydrated - nice firehose, Grant!
To the Luau Boys - great encouragement for those "back loop" killer hills!
To everybody at the finish line for giving me my most memorable finish ever!
and
To my fellow racers for all of the words of encouragement before, during & after the race!

Thanks to everybody who got up in the middle of the night to make this the Best Race Ever! And to Vig, you throw a helluva party. Now I know what everyone means when they say they don't hear their name being called at the end of the race. How did I miss that!? :-D