This was my first Eagleman experience since 2005. Ironically I had a DNF in 2005 due to a plantar fasciitis tear suffered in training and I knew going in I would not be running. This was the year before AV became official. I decided to do the AV because I knew the run could be difficult. At the time I thought it was a smart move. On Saturday Lizzy, Kate, and Laura stayed at our Bethany place. We stopped by the awesome expo, racked our bikes, saw friends, and headed east for a relaxing evening of grilled chicken and corn. Up at 3:30 we were driving by 4:30. Should have left sooner. It was a little tense. We got to the shuttle and Vigo had mucho busses. We got to transition with 30 minutes to set up and pump up. Lynn L one of our MidMD volunteers was nice enough to put my endurolytes on my bike as I had forgotten to leave them.
Went to the MMTC tent to wait…and wait…a new experience for a person accustomed to the wave after elite amateurs. I ate, drank, watched Susie Serpico transition out of the swim. Finally 8:20 rolled around Lizzy went off. I noticed that the early morning calmness of the water had morphed into the more usual choppiness of the name. No wetsuit because I knew I would be too hot. The water felt great but there was definitely a current. I had to fight to keep the buoys on my right . A male swimmer kept getting so close I finally did a little sprint at the orange turn buoy and got ahead or at least away from him. The rest of the swim was uneventful. I enjoyed it knowing it would be the coolest part of the day. I almost missed the last buoy because I was sighting ahead to the finish, but was able to swim by it before actually passing it. Swim was 51:50 I think. It didn’t feel that slow but the current and wind added to the challenge of it. Oh and I think I got stung by a jelly fish but that turned out to be minor considering what happened.
I got into transition. Dried the feet no sox, realized I’d been wearing my sunglasses at the (awesome) MMTC tent Thanks Dawn etal. It was too late to do anything about it. It didn’t seem to bother me. Knocked back some gel; sprayed some sun block; shoes; helmet go. I stopped at the run mile 8 portopot. Pristine. I was the first user. My bike computer wasn’t registering mph so I fiddled with it and it seemed to work but then didn’t. I had the Garmin. After passing returning runners and bikers over the first 7 miles or so I was alone on the bike course. I recently had the custom bike fit and a new saddle (thanks Stoney and Princeton). I felt great. It was hot, but I was drinking G/ade and eating gels. Really thought I was ok. Started passing a few relay or A/Vers ahead of me. I’m in my aero bars thinking “I’m so comfortable I could fall asleep!” I had suffered through the Six Pillars century pre-fit and I was enjoying the new fit. I skipped hydration at the first water stop. After reading Mark Yost’s report, I realize that was a huge mistake. This was no ordinary day and few had an opportunity to acclimate (although I rode 56 at the beach on the hot Memorial Day weekend). I knew the course. We had trained on it. After the left turn past the Marina there is a beautiful stretch with water on both sides and some gorgeous scenery. I said I’m going to enjoy this stretch. Then it was back in the aeros. I rode up to the intersection and thought, “ I can make the turn in my aeros”. As I turned, I was wide, wider, on the far shoulder… I ran out of road and went down. I don’t remember the impact.
So-My number came up at Eagleman.. After 13 years of triathlon races with nary a flat tire, and a decent 1.2 mile swim in the Choptank, I ran out of road trying to make the turn in my aero bars at mile 40 of the 56 mile bike course. That is something I would not have attempted had I not been impaired by heat exhaustion. It was 95 degrees. Some said the tarmac was 107! The EMT told me I wasn’t even sweating when I initially denied the heat exhaustion. The usual cyclist injury ensued- broken collarbone. I initially wanted to get back on my bike but the EMT pointed out my cracked helmet and I knew my race was over. The EMT,Sean, inserted an IV and took me to the hospital. They contacted Race Directors Keri E. and Vigo and they saw to it that my bike got back to transition. They also notified Lizzy who had just finished. I got a ride back with Larry, a friend of Lizzy’s who collapsed after the bike leg. The ER was full of fallen triathletes. The ER folks were very nice and helpful. Got an x-ray and a diagnosis just like that. Everyone was so helpful back at transition helping us get packed up and on the road. Kate McDowell you are a hero. Ditto Susie Montoya. Larry and Antoine from DC brought me back to the race. If I forgot you I still thank you. It was a bit blurry. I got a pain pill.
On Monday I saw Dr. Joe Layug, the orthopedic surgeon who is also a triathlete based on a recommendation that I got from the Yahoo group. (thanks Aleah for posting). I have a nice clean break that will heal with tincture of time. I will have to keep my arm immobilized for several weeks to promote new bone growth. I have learned that if you engage in sports there will be injuries at times. People fall down their steps, step off curbs, and break their foot. Accidents happen everywhere. I plan to return to triathlon,. It was my mistake in failing to hydrate properly so I plan to return a little wiser. I learned a lot from Mark Yost’s race report. I am so glad it was me and not Lizzy who took the tumble. She fnished in just under 6 hours. Congratulations to everyone who finished. It is an accomplishment.Next year I'll do the Tri