This is my 8th E-man in 9 years (did Bay Swim in 1 of those years, instead), and did 2 Cambridge Triathlon in 1990-1991, before that. In the old Cambridge Triathlon years, we actually swam across the Choptank, then ran 13.1 to a high school, then rode 55 miles! Old Fletch Hanks directed those races, and there was NO race support on the bike, so whatever you needed for fluid /nutrition, you had better properly prepare (an ex-Marine mentality)! Usually, racers were out of fluids by mile 30, and 1 of the reasons I didn’t want to do the Cambridge race again. Thanks Vig for making the bike ride supported with lots of awesome volunteers.
Jason Woo (club member), and I traveled to Cambridge / Salisbury together. Jason doesn’t have a car and he offered a hotel room in exchange, a good deal all the way around, and the drive company makes the trip go quicker. While I have a bike roof rack, for long-haul trips, I normally put the bike in the trunk (with part going into the folded down back seat) and room in the back seat for the other transition paraphernalia. Jason’s bike is smaller so rather than fit his in the truck also (which could have happened with padding)we were able to put his in the back seat, so it worked out great, considering that there was intermittent showers the whole trip down, and some heavy rain, at times.
Leaving about 10:30am, we arrive in Cambridge about 12 noon, and were surprised at how many others were already there, and parking lot was full. This year registration process was much improved, where USA Triathlon membership verification is separated from photo ID check at packet pickup. Line seemed to move quicker as a result. This year’s premium was an outstanding transition bag, with LOTS of room, and something we can all use. Last year was a travel bag, which was nice, but not something that could be used on race day, other than for an overnight bag.
Also, this year, there was a separate Ironman tent outside, with lots of merchandise (with accompanying premium prices). I tried not to spend too much, (which can be hard with Ironman logo merchandise) and wound up spending well over $130, with only a few items.
By the time we registered, bought some Eagleman gear, ate lunch, and racked bike in transition, 4hrs gets burned quickly. We saw Mark Yost, who we planned to meet for dinner in Salisbury, and headed to Salisbury around 4pm, for a 6pm dinner date. Stayed at Sleep-In near corner of Rt. 113 and Rt. 50, (which is being seriously remodeled). Registered and relaxed for about 1.5 hrs before dinner. Only 3rd floor was open and the hall carpet still had a new carpet smell. Really nice upgraded rooms and everything was new. Hallway still had brand new mattresses stacked up in original packaging. 3rd Floor even had new washer/dryers, and when we got back from dinner, some kids were playing in the outdoor pool.
The restaurant Mark original was planning to go to, was closed up, so we tried a different Italian restaurant near Salisbury State U. (Fratelli's), which has really good food at very reasonably prices. With Mark, Jason, Wade Gaasch, and I were joined by 3 other triathletes friend of Mark's. We were finished dinner by 7pm, and were back at the hotel by about 7:30pm. Plan for race morning was to get up at 3:30am, and be on road for 30 min drive by 4:00am. We were both asleep by 9:30pm.
Everyone who knows me, know that I am all about the parking spot on race morning. By the time we got close to race site, there were already LOTS of cars parked, but always go to down and was lucky to find a spot at the end of the street, and under a tree for shade for a relatively short walk to transition.
Swim time: 45:19. Swimming is my challenge, and I have been doing Master’s AM swim practice for almost 2 years to help improve stroke, which has help, but there is still much more room for improvement! Triathlon philosophy is that you can win the race in the swim, but you certainly loose it. I am clearly giving up too much time in the swim to make up later. Started with Sergio in wave 6 (7:15AM) and came out of water about same time, and even though he is a Clydesdale, but being much younger, he swims much faster than me at Masters, so was glad to see me keep up with him, at least.
Prior swim Splits:
2005 - 44:20
2006 - 44:41
2007 - 35:58 (favorable current)
2008 - 42:28
2009 - 41:25
2010 - 57:50 (no wetsuit)
2012 - 41:28
Knowing the wet conditions at The Great MOSH Park the day before, I placed tap over my bike shoes’ cleat, knowing that I was going to wear my bike shoes out of T1. This worked great, and just pulled the tap off at bike mount, and running though the mud, did not put that in the cleat. I wish I had thought to carry my bike rather than push it through the mud. The way back was much worse than the trip out of the entrance to transition.
Bike Time was very respectable 2:36:34 avg 21.5mph. Two problems that I experience on the bike. First, my bike computer was not registering correctly, and did not realize it until I was about mile 22 but my bike computer only showed me riding only about 35mins! Checked my stopwatch and noticed I had ridden about 1hr, though I checked it in transition and look OK. The other problem was when I had was going around a turn, about mile 15, hit a rumble-strip and lost my full water bottle on the left side of my rear holder, and was half way through the first, so my nutrition on the bike was only going to be water and the gel flask I had. Part of my run suffered from that.
Prior Bike Splits:
2005 - 2:44:29
2006 - 2:45:25
2007 - 2:35:27
2008 - 2:40:16
2009 - 2:45:07
2010 - 2:44:06
2012 - 2:36:03
Some of the E-man bike course is only 1 lane road with no shoulder, packs sometimes can’t helped to be formed, mostly ad-hoc. But some pack I saw were not speaking English and it seemed that there were lots of Europeans coming to E-man for Kona spot, and were working together in pack AS A TEAM and not ad hoc!!! Some of these packs were going well over 23mph. This also was evident when there were announcements that someone needed a helmet, and it was due to their helmets not being USA compliant.
Took my time in T2 (4:38), and got shoes on at bike spot rather than carrying them out and washing feet of at water stop just out of T2. Again, lesson learned.
Run splits: 9:55, 9:10, 9:08, 9:37, 9:34, 10:20, 11:19 (port-o-potty and had to wait for 1 to be open) 10:17, 10:13, 11:33, 10:42, 11:25, 10:53 (including .1), Total: 2:14:06 As a sign of how crazy this death march can be, I was starting to do a little “Marty Python” stick….”bring out your dead…I’m not dead yet..I can’t take him, he’s not dead…he will be soon….I think I’m feeling better….”
Prior run Splits:
2005 - 2:12:14
2006 - 2:03:41
2007 - 1:50:45 (mid70s, not humid/ideal conditions)
2008 - 2:20:24
2009 - 2:07:40
2010 - 2:27:09
2012 - 2:08:56
Like everyone who raced and relaxed at the MMTC tent afterword, Captain Elysia and Joann took such amazing care of everyone and the iced towels were amazing. Also, THANK YOU FOR PROVIDING BEER…and Homer Simpson would say…Beeeer, my love for you will never die.