When I first heard about the Nationís Tri I was really excited and looking forward to participating. However, when registration for the event finally opened up and I saw the price, the race lost all its luster. It seemed unreasonable to pay $175 dollars for an Olympic distance race - especially for one that would more than likely end up being a duathlon.
Many predictions came true last Tuesday when the race director announced that the swim had been cancelled and would be replaced by a 3k run. My friend Thomas Dahburah had registered for the race, but due to a minor illness, the lack of the swim, and his proximity to DC (he lives in Hagerstown) he opted not to do it. On Thursday he called me and offered me his spot. He called the race director who said it would be OK to make the switch.
So now I was excited about this race! After just having done Reston on Sunday I was only planning on having a fun training day. I drove down to packet pickup by the Watergate on Friday evening and the first person I ran into was Vig! He was supporting RD Chuck Brodsky and lending his RD know-how to this event. Also in support were George Altieri (who seems to spend more time in Maryland helping out Vig than he does in his home state of Florida), and Greg Hawkins from Set-Up Inc. (http://set-upinc.com/).
Vig gave the pre-race talk and got me pretty pumped up with his announcements about all the roads that would actually be closed to traffic for the event Ė Rock Creek Parkway to Beach Drive, Independence Avenue to 15th Street, Constitution to Pennsylvania Avenue, and a little bit of Pennsylvania Avenue.
I got back to the race site about 5:50 Saturday morning. Parking was difficult, so after driving around in circles for 10 minutes and sitting at red lights with no opposing traffic, I ended up going into the pay garage at the Watergate. Before the race I bumped into just about all the MMTC folks who were either competing, officiating, or viewing/volunteering. Itís always great to see so many familiar faces, and those who share the love of this competition we call triathlon.
Run 1 (3k) - 12:59
Age Place (40-44 male) - 6/49
Overall Place (male) - 70/313
Running twice really takes it out of you. On a short run like this, itís easy to push too hard and Iím sure I did, not having done any speed work since February!
T1 Ė 1:09
Bike - 55:00 (22.3 miles)
Rate Ė 24.3 MPH
Age Place (40-44 male) -3/49
Overall Place (male) - 32/313.
Wow what a fast course! Itís not quite as flat as Eagleman, but close! Major left calf cramp at mile 14 or 15. It was so bad I didnít think Iíd be able to pedal anymore let alone run a 10k. I unclipped my foot and stretched it the best I could. A u-turn on the course allowed me to slow down a bit without losing more than 2 positions on the road. The cramp continued to hurt the rest of the bike, but it was no longer debilitating. At the last u-turn on the Rock Creek Parkway it seemed like 20 dudes converged on me all at once. A mile and a half earlier NO ONE had been back there, now suddenly there was a whole peleton bearing down! It was so bad that less than a mile from the finish some dude decided he would pass on the right. The road is real curvy and wide through here, so itís easy to switch positions going relatively the same speed. It would have been more work for him to do a legal pass. I said something to him the fist time, but the second time I was a little more vocal. Guess I shouldíve gotten his race number Ďcause it was a pretty dangerous move. Overall I found this course encourage me to ďbike raceĒ because it is so flat and wide. Pretty darn exciting, but I probably went too hard on the bike as seems to be par for the course with me.
T2 - 0:48
Run 2 (10K+) - 49:23
Pace Ė 7:36 (6.5 miles)
Age Place (40-44 male) - 14/49
Overall Place (male) - 118/313
My calves were hurting pretty bad from the cramps on the bike. I was afraid I was going to have to walk, but never did. The run seemed long, and my time seems to indicate that. The Army and the Navy both had a large contingent of their triathlon teams at the race. All the guys were between 20 and 29 and those who didnít pass me on the bike smoked me on the run. Thirty dudes must have passed me on the run Ė I felt like I was walking! I had a bit of kick in the last half mile which allowed me to pass a guy in my age group (my real age group). The finish was great as we were literally in the shadow of the Washington Monument.
Free massages were good Ė the food was bad. The only thing to eat was bananas and two different versions of muffins. The only thing to drink was water. The overall awards only went two deep, and the age group awards went only one deep. Iím sure this was disappointing for those who earned their award. Rumor has it that all the distances were a little longer than advertised Ė 22.3 miles on the bike and 6.5 miles on the run. Iíll do this race again next year only if they lower the price. Itíd be a great event to work as a volunteer.
P.S. - I posted my AG place in this RR based on my age group as opposed to the age group I raced in.