Total time is the best of 7 times I have done this race, except for the ideal condition in 2007, when I when 5:09:14.
To get a what seem to be a great parking spot (at the end of a street next to the Great …Park), left hotel at 4:00 and race site by 4:20 a.m. Then reclined and listen to music for about 1 hr. As it turns out, some folks who arrived later, actually parked on the grass at the park (this hasn’t happened in many years, but grass was extremely dry, so it was the premier spot. I guess with a 2500 field, some of the other off-site parking was full.
After setting up transition area, went to club tent for socialization and some good early morning coffee/bagels. Only need to wait for about 1.5 hrs. before wave start, at about 7:50. Pros start at 6:10, so racing in more of the heat that was expected. One benefit of the cool temps all week is that Eagleman was “wetsuit legal”, where its hadn’t been legal in the past 2 years! It was legal by only about ½ degree.
As wave was getting ready to start, it was announced that the Choptank was in a “flood” tide, so the first “leg” of the swim has a current advantage, though final “leg” would be into the current, but closer to shore, so not as strong. Tried to follow some swimmer, but some I followed did not navigate well, so switched between some.
On way back, stoked into a jelly-fish and though it stings, it is more disconcerting rather than painful, as the sting goes away after a few minutes.
Exit swim in 41:30, so generally please with time though would have liked to be under 40.
T1 was 4:13, which is fairly slow, as I was only 4 racks from the T1 entrance and had a hard time with zipper, so did not get the suit down until I was at my bike. Suit off, socks / shoes on, sunglasses, and had trouble with chin strap, then get to mount area. Onto bike and notice my bike computer is not registering speed, and only cadence So no telling speed/avg speed/distance.
As usually happens when you put about 2000 triathletes on a one-lane bike course, packs begin to form! There was no exception at Eagleman. The only question becomes, do you join in (and cheat), or race “legal” and watch as the packs go by? I chose to stay with a group of “chicks” (did not want to be “chicked”), and because I wear a “third-eye” mirror, am able to see when a race marshal is coming and make sure I get out of the draft zone.
Bike time of 2:36:03 was an average of 21.5 mph, and generally coasted into bike dismount, with my feet out of my shoes, and leg over the bike, so that I am standing on 1 pedal for the “running” dismount.
When I got off the bike and into transition (T2), that is when I noticed the heat…OMG was it HOT. Got shoes on, drank some fluid and pretty much waked to run start. T2 was a VERY slow 4:13.
Plan was to run slow on ½ of 13.1miles, then pick up pace at turn-around. At every mile aid station, took in water, and put ice in my cap, and 1 down my tri-shorts, to help keep me cool. As a result of this strategy, averaged only 9:51/mile, but at least was not walking lots by the last 2 miles, as has happened in the past. Run time: 2:08:56.
By finish, was extremely hot, got to massage tent to put myself on the list, and went back to the MMTC tent for some good food, good company, and to rest in the shade. MMTC’s tent was stocked with lots of good food and took advantage of the pork bar-b-que and strawberries / banana fruit salad. Dawn and Heather rocked the MMTC tent.