SavageMan Triathlon 70.0 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Swanton, Maryland
United States
Tri-to-Win Events
50F / 10C
Total Time = 6h 35m 12s
Overall Rank = 160/366
Age Group = M 50-54
Age Group Rank = 7/23
Pre-race routine:

Let me preface this by saying that I like to write about the journey getting to the race as well as the race itself. Hopefully, it will help folks understand just what I was going through as well as perhaps learn from the entire experience. This will take a while to read. Hope you enjoy!

During the nearly 3 months of training, had to switch from flat training course to ones with hills. There are hills and routes near where I lived that pretty much simulated course conditions. Weekly brick training during August and into Sept consisted of 50-65 mile hilly rides and then up to 8 mile runs also with hills. I also did the Savageman bike course once so I knew what to expect beforehand. And actually got up the Wall that time interestingly enough. As it got cold a few days prior to the race, I tested out what clothing to wear beforehand. Forgot to test how to put it on quickly, though. Pancakes with ham and hash browns the evening before the race. Light breakfast in the morning, bagel, banana, coffee, and a bit of electrolyte drink (Powerade Zero). Timing chip band on before leaving hotel and safety pinned. At race site, pump tires, fill and stow drink bottles, ensure Clif Bloks are handy, bike has low enough gear set to start on the incline out of transition, lube socks, ankles, neck. Grab earplugs, googles, get in wetsuit, head down to the start.
Event warmup:

None this time. I'm not sure that it really would've affected the outcome.
  • 36m 20s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

I also decided to use earplugs just in case as I get a bit of vertigo coming up out of the water if I've had cold water in them. I'm in wave 2 and the first wave is in the water ready to go. While most of me isn't bothered just standing there, my feet and hands are feeling the chilly conditions as it's fairly cloudy with a bit of a breeze too. At the swim start, there's a sign that reads "I see Crazy People" with swim, bike, run figures underneath the words, taking the line from "The Sixth Sense". The 1st wave takes off and we start to get into the water shortly after. It's really not that bad and we're able to wade there, though as we go a bit farther there are rocks that we're stepping on and they're quite uneven in footing. Then a guy near me recognizes me and says "Hey Dave!" He's a friend of Mike Matney and we've apparently been at a few races now. We chat just for a bit and then realize we're up near the front here, where neither of us apparently wants to be for fear of getting run over! So, we move back to lower middle of the pack. Greg Safko rallies a cheer from us a we're nearing our start time. Greg yells "A minute and a half"…I start my watch here so I don't waste time at the start doing so. Greg gets to 30 seconds….I yell out to wish everyone a great race and good luck….10 seconds….annnnddd…WE'RE OFF!! Yup, we're off and swimming in what will be the easiest portion of this triathlon!

Remember when I thought moving back a bit would keep me away from bodies and thrashing more? Well, this DIDN'T HAPPEN! Gosh, there are bodies hitting and bumping me all over the place initially!! Now the nice thing about Deep Creek Lake is that it's pretty clear, so many times throughout the swim I'm able to draft off of someone else for a bit because I was able to keep their feet in sight more this time than in other races where the water's not as clear. As I'm typing this, I now wonder if this helped my swim time overall more than I realized. But hold that thought for a little while. The swim course is a long, out and back mostly line- or thin rectangularly-shaped. We first follow the yellow buoys keeping them on our right going out, turn around at the Thomas , the turnaound Turtle float, follow the orange buoys back (also on our right), turn around again at the Swan boat, and swim a short distnce beyond a rocky jetty, making a dogleg left turn to the Swim Finish arch on shore. Now in the mix of all of these buoys were boating speed buoys. And I saw one guy not too long from when we start run SMACK into one! Ow. I've actually done this myself and they are rather hard. Anyway, I'm moving along to Thomas in the distance and doing okay relatively speaking. Sighting is going okay too and I'm at Thomas before I know it making this long back section now. Problem is they really needed a few more orange sighting buoys here. I could not initially see where the first one was at. I finally did and plugged along, sometimes catching some feet here and there. Y'know, so far, this swim seems to be one of the best I've had in a while from the perspective of sighting and just not seemingly getting all that tired. I remember passing the place where we were to turn to shore for the Swim Finish and that put me in good spirits as that meant that I should be sighting on the Swan Boat not too long from now. Also, I see some caps from the previous wave as well. About here a boat wake hits me! Yeah, I'm rocking back and forth along here for like 30 seconds or so, but it subsides and I press on. At last, I'm at the Swan Boat and still thinking I'm doing okay. But…wait…what's going on around my one ankle?? Hey, my timing chip band has worked its way out from under my wetsuit leg and is slipping to my ankle! The safety pin is still there…it's just that I didn't pull the strap tight enough apparently! Not good! I try to ignore this but then think that if I somehow lose this, I'll be disqualified. So, as I pass the Swan Boat, I turn over to try and fix this. The Swan Boat guy asks if I need help as that's what you're supposed to do if you're in trouble, but I tell him I'm okay and just fixing this band. I can't easily get this though so I bob in the water a bit and reach down to push it under my wetsuit leg. While I'm doing this, someone bumps into me. I look up and he looks up, says sorry and "I thought you were a buoy" (chuckle) I say sorry but I'm just trying to fix this and continue. Finally, with precious time ticking away, I get the band snug under my wetsuit again. I continue on. A few fast swimmers pass me, maybe from the next wave and I latch on briefly. And here I actually have a bit in me to push to the end of the swim. Make the dogleg left to the Swim Finish area, see the bottom, and stand up to jog out of the water. Savageman swim portion is complete!

What would you do differently?:

I guess make sure that my timing strap is more secure. That definitely cost me a few minutes. But also the lack of consistent swim training over the summer definitely hurt.
Transition 1
  • 08m 25s

Transition is a bit of a ways here and I do have to run through the entire length of the area. Still, I'm doing okay getting it off plus my cap and googles. Remember to take out my earplugs as I've actually left them on during other races. I thought about balancing to take the suit off, but thought "what the heck" and sat down to peel the rest off. Quickly dried off with my towel and attempted to get my tri top on…but…its stuck!!! This is a significant wardrobe malfunction in the making! Seriously now??? So, I remove it and try again, this time finally getting into it. It's not that it's too small but it's form fitting and I'm still a bit wet from the swim. So, this was not the best decision in the world and I would've really kicked myself had it cost a podium place later. Next calf sleeves, socks, arm warmers, bike jersey, gloves, headband, (pause to take breath)…helmet, annnnddd riding glasses… "Am I FINALLY READY?" I ask myself. Looks that way at last and I head out to mount my bike and get on the course. AG 20/23 AG 336/366 Overall
What would you do differently?:

The main thing I should've done was to wear my tri top instead of trying to put it on during T1. That was the most significant time waster here. I don't think it would've been nearly as bad had that not happened. The only other thing would be to test putting on so much articles, something I don't normally need to do in warmer races.
  • 3h 52m 14s
  • 55.7 miles
  • 14.39 mile/hr

There's a HECKUVA lot to say here! My clothing choices worked well though I was still chilled at first, especially during the first technical descent. I wasn't overly warm on the climbs and the double layer was comfortable on all the downhills once I started to warm up with the climbs. Until you get to the Westernport Wall, you're basically going downhill for much of the 18 or so miles getting there. And because it was chilly, there was no time to warm up prior to try to scale the Wall. So this may have impacted my performance here a little. So now for my description of what happened at the Wall and beyond. Let the carnage begin! This whole part is 1.2 miles long, avg grade of 12% and max of 31%! I can hear music playing, cowbells and cheers from the crowd as I make my way along the first block. There are words of encouragement in chalk all along the street too. The first 3 blocks are also going up but nothing really to speak of compared to what lies ahead. Now, along with local towns people, your friends/family/supporters could be bused here after transition closed to cheer you on as you make your attempt. Alas, no one here for me in that capacity but you really didn't need it with the Tour de France atmosphere of people standing in thick lines on either side of the Wall. This year, they put up an a flag rope "barrier" to keep people back and off the street so as not to hinder the riders. I'm here at the bottom starting to make my run…I see a sign with the words upside down and says, "If you can read this, flip over" ;-) Okay, I'm going up briefly on the right side as I had done in practice. Some folks earlier had said just to stay here and attempt to ride straight up. The road was also better too and though it too had cracks it it, there were what looked like craters in different parts of the middle! Anyway, I've gradually gotten on the left side going straight and looking down at the road as I'm climbing, really concentrating here on where I'm going. Everything else is blocked out and the crowd doesn't really exist for me. A bit more along and I see what looks like a big crack to my right and I decide to try and avoid this by moving to the right before it. However, this turned out to be too soon to turn! My front tire hits the uneven surface of the path I've chosen and turns more to the right than I intended to go! I look up and see I'm heading straight to the right side of the street! Not good! I attempt to correct and turn back to the left but it's too late…I'm not going to make it. So, as I near the curb I'm thinking of just falling on the side in the grass as I saw others do in videos of Wall attempts in the past and my right hand reaches out to find a soft landing spot….but I'm not over far enough to the side and feel myself tipping over to the right! ARRGHHH!! DOWN…I…GO! My right side hits something HARD enough to make me wince and cry out "OWW!" The next thing I know, I'm lying on my left side on the street. Knowing that I hit hard, I decided to just not move for a bit and assess whether I'm seriously hurt. My right side is not feeling very well at all, but I seem to be okay otherwise. There's a volunteer at my side pretty much right after I came to rest there and asks if I'm okay. I either said "no" or "I'm not sure". He said "take your time getting up". "No problem" I said. Being mindful that I'm injured, I make my way up very slowly with the help of two volunteers. Someone took my bike to the top and they tell me to take my time moving along up on the grassy part here. I'm badly shaken here and in a bit of shock probably, holding my right side as I slowly go up the side. And of all the folks to see here, there's Mark Neubauer in the crowd, a fellow triathlete who I met at my 2nd tri ever and have maintained contact with through local race event organizer and FTC member Ken Racine. As he's helping me up the hill, he finally recognizes me and says "Hey Dave!" I say weakly back, "Hi Mark", but continue to walk up the hill. Once up, I see mechanics working on my bike. Geez! I hope it's okay for me to continue. And I ask those questions – "Is my bike okay?", "Am I good to go?". They quickly finish checking it over (after all, the carnage below continues and more will follow me) and give me the "thumbs up" that I can continue the race. As small sigh of relief. I take my bike over to the side, out of the way, and slump over the top tube and handlebars. The shock of the fall has taken its toll on me and I pause like this in order to recompose myself. I honestly am having trouble understanding what just happened and why I couldn't make it up like I did during training. Disappointment and some sadness cross my mind for a little bit. My hurting right side reminding me of this failure isn't helping. Well, I pull myself together and attempt to get going again. But, because I'm probably still in a state of shock, I'm unable to clip in on my left side. Because I'm starting to go uphill, I'm losing speed and, as I don't really want to fall again, I unclip completely. I think once was enough for today, thank you very much. Walk my bike back down, pause briefly, and start back up again. This time I successfully clip in and proceed onward and upward thankfully leaving the "Wall" behind. Not too long after this is Big Savage Mountain. It is 2.4 miles long, avg grade 6% with a max of 21%. So this is the second longest climb of the day, but fortunately, the first sections start out rather easily. It really doesn't start getting hard until closer to the end. There are signs along the way to help us prepare for the upcoming sectons along the way by telling us what the average grade is ahead and how long before we reach it. At last, the steepest part of this climb looms ahead and I can see all the riders bunched up, some weaving from side to side in order to make it up. While I'm actually sitting for a good bit, I'll also have to stand here as well, but I'm getting the job done with the 30-27 gearing combination and actually passing people as I make my way up. This is quite a change from other races where I'm the one usually being passed as I go up the rollers. And probably because of my gearing configuration, it's a bit easier than when I did the course a month ago. It's here that I pass Dave Murray who I met in transition and is in my AG. Chat briefly about what happened at the "Wall". Dave was unable to make it as well but sounded like in less painful manner than myself though I think he got scraped a bit. I press on ahead. And next there's a person in what looks like a gorilla suit giving folks "five" as we make the climb and pass the timing mats which will later let us know how long it took to get from the bottom of Westernport to the top of Big Savage Mountain. 3rd climb done, 5 more to go.

Big Savage Mountain climb time – 49:54, 8.5 avg mph 203/329 Male triatheletes

Going move forward a bit through the next few climbing segments. There's the second long technical descent after this with the main issue being 2 S-curves which you really have to slow for as you round them. At the bottom of this starts the Savage River State Forest climb. It's rather long at 2.8 miles but the grade is very manageable at 4% avg and max 7%. I don't think I got out of my middle chainring for it. Next is Hill five is McAndrews Hill, 0.6 mile long, avg 9%, max 19%. The interesting thing about this hill is that it has a hairpin S curve in it. And it is SLOW going now for a good number of folks around me. I think except for the short hairpin S curve, I actually stay seated most of the way here though I am in my lowest gear for this hill. Reach the top of McAndrews in relatively short order and zoom down into the middle of New Germany State Park. After New Germany and a pretty nice downhill, though, is a right turn onto Otto Lane. This is the 6th climb and is 0.6 miles long, avg grade 8%, max 17%. No sitting here initially and I stand to get myself going upward. Lots of folks around me again too. And again, I'm able to pass a few folks here and there and even able to sit back down as I get nearer to the top. Shortly thereafter, we turn onto the 3rd technical and potentially dangerous descent of the course. During training, this road was pretty badly chewed up and sighting ahead is a problem here and there. However, the county did a good job of putting down some asphalt and smoothing the rougher spots, though it wasn't a smooth ride overall. Still, I did fairly well with this downhill and didn't have to feather my brakes quite as much as during training. Coming near the end of this section there's a sign that says "Don't Look Left". But of course, I do and there's Killer Miller, our 7th climb of the day. Gotta get down this hill first, though, and return my concentration to that task. At the end here, you really have to slow down as it's a hairpin/very sharp left onto Miller Road and the beginning of Killer Miller.

Killer Miller is the second toughest climb of the day. It is 1.3 mi long with an average grade of 8% and a max of 22%. As if this wasn't enough of a challenge, the other difficulty with Killer Miller is that it comes at mile 38.1 into the ride and one has already been through 6 other climbs. So, my legs aren't nearly as fresh when I faced this hill during training. The first part of this climb isn't too bad though I'm definitely standing, but making steady progress. Some great signs along the way too here -> "Westernport? Whatever…", "Outta Gears?" followed by "Outta Luck!" "Need SAG? 1800SUKITUP" (though this might'be been somewhere else). We get a bit of a respite reaching a place with some tall pine trees (nice scenery!), but after coming out of this, the real teeth of Killer Miller are bared ahead! And this is TOUGH! Like the Wall, I'm just looking down at the road and maintaining concentration to keep pushing/pulling on my pedals to get up this second monster climb of the day! There's a bit of a crowd here to cheer folks on and give encouragement which is VERY welcomed. Folks call out my number and say "you got this 288…only a bit more to the top, 288…way to go 288!" Man, now heart rate has jumped significantly and the sweat is dripping as I slowly creep along to make my way up. Others are not doing quite as well and I saw one guy just had to stop. My legs are also NOT very happy and I have to give quite an effort to keep them going. Push/pull, push/pull, push/pull….thank goodness for one-legged drills on the trainer! At LONG last, I reach a slight leveling off area of this climb and am able to sit to catch my breath though I'm still climbing. It was either here or just before this that I see a photographer and give a big smile for the camera. And shortly thereafter, I reach the top! I actually feel elated and give a "whoop, whoop, whoop!" while waving my arm around. Bottle exchange comes up ahead and I discard my Heed bottle for a fresh one. As I'm moving along the summit, another guy is slowly passing me and we start commiserating about the climbs for a bit. We both pass a gal up ahead, she overhears us, and says "Quit your bitchin', boys"…and we both get a laugh out of this! I yell back "Okay, and next time, I'll bring cheese with that whine", which gets a bit of a laugh out of her. We're treated to some grand views at the top here and a nice downhill once again before coming to the last highlighted climb of the day, Maynardier Ridge. It is only 0.25 mi long but has an average grade of 12% with the second highest maximum grade of 23% of all the climbs. It's also at mile 43.8. Sooooo despite its short length, its going to take a good amount of effort here to get up it. Yeah, umm, legs are DEFINITELY not happy as I'm standing and puffing here. There are some supporters again along side the road who clapping for all of us out here today. Hah, sign here says to save something for the run. Too late now…And there's another that says "Slow"! Really? No kidding, huh? Well, I'm over the top in farily short order and now it really is pretty much downhill from here! Despite my legs not being happy, I'm motoring along this last part fairly well and actually passing a few folks here and there. Still a few rollers to deal with during the last 11.9 miles but nothing that's very tough after what I've been through. I remember looking at my riding time thus far and was pleased that it looked like I'd be able to come in under 4 hours with perhaps around a 15 mph average, which would be better than my training run. And after mile marker 50 comes up, my spirits really brighten as I know that's only about 20 some minutes or less to finishing the bike course if I'm doing better than 15 mph at this point. Come down a nice downhill which I recognize leads to the left turn into Deep Creek Lake SP and I'm motivated now to finish this very tough bike course, but still need to be careful as the road is a bit winding. Make the left turn into the park and it's only a couple of miles left. Have to be a bit careful as there are folks on the run course merging with the folks still on the bike here. The 55 mile sign come up during a bit of a hill and the turn to the upper boat launch is just after this. Come down a hill into the parking area, moving along a coned off corridor for the bikes, and drop down to the road leading to the turn to transition. At this point, I start getting out of my shoes. My legs try to cramp up but I'm able to convince them that I need to do this and am able to pedal on top of my shoes as I make the right turn leading down the hill to the transition area. Just before the dismount, swing my legs over and very nicely balance on my one pedal gliding to the dismount area. Stop the bike right there and quickly stepped off the pedal for the short jog to my rack area. The transition volunteers at the dismount area comment as I step off – "Perfect!". I wish I had a picture because I really have gotten quite good at doing this now. And at last, I have for the most part successfully completed the Savageman 70.0 bike course!

What would you do differently?:

Well, I think that if I had not made the Wall during training, I wouldn't have done it. Plus, as soon as I turned too sharp left, I should've just unclipped and quit. It would've saved some time and agony from the fall.
Transition 2
  • 03m 12s

After the dismount, I'm right there at my rack spot and getting rid of several riding articles and pieces of clothing. Helmet off, bike jersey with the sticky goo OFF, headband off, riding glasses off, running shoes on, grab my race belt, my hat, the two gels, and I'm outta there! Unfortunately….I REALLY have to go! So, have to stop at the porta johns, eating up some time, but there was no way I could go out on the run course like this. 10/23 AG, 195/366 Overall

What would you do differently?:

Not sure. Can't always control nature. Think I did pretty good considering.
  • 1h 55m 12s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 47s  min/mile

Wish I hadn't needed to stop and use up more time, but I had somewhere around 2 hours to deal with on the 13.1 mile run course and didn't need other distractions. Interestingly enough, my right side is not complaining and I didn't really notice it at all during the entire run. Perhaps endorphins kicked in and just blocked the pain. Whatever, I like the fact I'm not being affected by my earlier injury. Now unlike the first part of the bike, the sun had come out and though it was still around 60 degrees (perfect for the run), we were still in the shade through much of the run. So arm warmers were still on for a few miles. The first part of the run course is pretty level parralleling the lake shore. We make a turn up to the road, transversing the only muddy patch of the course here before that. Don't want to slip here and bound over that. Emerge from the woods a short time later and get onto the road. Then a nice downhill greets me to a turn around point. I bound down this hill a little but my quads are starting to tell me they're not happy and start to cramp up on me. Fortunately, I'm able to fend them off of completely freezing up and am able to keep going. I thank the supportive volunteer at the turn around and let her know I'll see her again on the second loop. Now back up this hill I just came down and mile 1 marker shows up. I'm at a 8:30 pace or so as I recall and again wondering if I'm going out too fast for this type of a course. But, other than my quads, I seem to be doing okay and just decide to keep going at this pace. There's a water stop ahead and I gulp down some Heed. No water belt as I decided I didn't want extra weight for this courrse. But, as I run while drinking, I do splash water/Heed on the front of me quite often. So now the first time up into the campground area is ahead and this IS a climb! Quads attempt to cramp again here but I'm able to relax them and push upward. I quicken my steps but shorten my stride and lean into the hill to let gravity help get me up. Folks in the campground are along the way to help provide support to the racers and I again appreciate this. Finally make it up and now it's a challenge to maintain footing going fast down. Many folks slow up on such downhills and I do so during training too. But during a race, I charge down them which really helps my overall pace. So much so that I'm able to pass a guy who passed me just a bit ago. He comments that I'm doing well and I say the same and that he'll probably catch me here after the downhill ends. Take in more Heed at the aid station. Gotta balance a bit with water too or else I'll start going into GI distress I think. I'm taking the Heed more for electrolytes and to prevent cramping vs the carbs, though those are probably helping with the latter too. Now we're along the park road and it's mostly rollers here with a couple of good downills. Arm warmers come off as I no longer need their warmth since the pace I'm setting plus the warmer air of the afternoon is doing that just fine. Just beyond mile 3, I decided to take a gel more for the caffeine it had than anything else. I could use the stimulant right now and I wouldn't take another gel until around mile 9 or so. At 4.38 miles, we have to go up on Thayerville Fire Tower Road which isn't really a road, but a 1/4+ mile rocky trail full of loose rocks and crevices due to water wearing down parts of the path. Many folks are walking this but I'm doing a greatly shortened stride run, leaning up this and using gravity again to assist as I did up the campground hill. After the tough bike, this climb is tough and I think to myself that I'm going to have the "pleasure" of doing this again during the second loop. Reach the top, grab a bit of water to wash down the gel previously, and then bound down the hill! As I'm a decent trail runner, I'm able to navigate the steep rocky trail down pretty well, jumping here and there and moving side to side when necessary while picking a route to go down. Emerge off the trail and back out onto the road. Thank the police and park folks here as they tell me it's okay to cross. Still bikes on the course at the merge point. Come up a couple of short hills and kinda of suddenly, this one guy blows by me. Look at his calf and he's got an "R" meaning Relay. So, this is his only part and no wonder he moved past me like that. I comment about this to him and he says "Yeah and I got to sleep in this morning too" (groan and chuckle). Next turn right going down to a flat part of the course that will take me back to start the second loop. Pass a few folks here who are also on their first loop and they're not having very much fun with this run course either it sounded like. There's a short wooded area with some roots we had to be careful on and also a ditch to jump over as we get back onto a road which goes through the boat launch area, along a gravel road path, passing the Finish area, and back to along the transition area to start my second loop.

Second loop, same as the first, a little bit more tired, and perhaps just a little bit worse(?) Well not really. I'm doing okay though I know I'm slowing a bit. I definitely saw that I had made the first loop in like 52 or 53 minutes which gave me a real mental boost! So, now the goal was to come in under 2 hours for the run course. That would make me very pleased if I could accomplish that after such a tough bike and a fairly tough run. Come to the place with the mud and there's a photographer I give a Savage pose for. She laughs just a bit as I pass and says she got it. Emerge from the woods and tell the Park official thanks but I don't plan on seeing him any more today. Back up and then down to the supportive turnaround volunteer. I give her the same words of thanks and same apologies that I won't be returning a third time which gets a laugh out of her. Grab more heed as I turn again to start tackling the campground climb. Oh gosh, this has just gotten tougher and I'm starting pant up this hill just a bit. But, make it without stopping or walking again and bound downwards to the bottom so I can even out my average pace. Now I saw this guy earlier and pass him on this downhill but imagine the Geico caveman from the commercials and that's EXACTLY what this guy looked like! I commented as such when I pass him and he tells me he grows his hair and beard like this just for this race. Too funny! Well, water at the aid station this time, bound down another short hill to the park road, and back on the rollers for a bit. Mile 9 marker appears soon thereafter and I take my second gel. I've not had this flavor before which is supposed to be Espresso with a good amount of caffeine. A lesson here is to test your nutrition cuz this was VERY thick gel and I really needed to wash it down with some water, which I didn't have just yet as I was between aid stations. Gag! I took as much as I dared but I had to discard part of it or else I would probably get a bit sick if I took it all. Thank goodness the next aid station came up a bit later and I took a couple of waters to wash this down to settle my insides. And on the other side of the road, there's Relay guy and I say this to him which brings a bit of a smile to his face. Mile 10 comes up and I look at my watch. I'm at 1:27 or something like that and think if I can maintain a 9 pace or better here, I'll make my under 2 hour goal. Barring anything significant happening, I was confident that I could achieve this now. Shortly thereafter, the the turn for the fire road climb comes into view. And I…AM…REALLY…BREATHING…HARD…NOW!! I'm sure my heart rate is redlining and folks who are walking here turn around at the sound I'm making coming up this hill! Yes, I am breathing that loud! Short quick steps going up….just a bit more….and…at the top and turnaround! Yes, thank for that water! Gulp down, recompose, and again bound down as much as I can along this rocky trail to the road. Had to tell one gal ahead that I was going to bound down on her left so as not to startled or impede her progress. And now back down on the road…Yes! It's now a mile and a half to go to the Finish! Up the two hills ahead and mile 12 marker comes up. I think my watch read 1:45 and I'm thinking, "Yup, just under 2 here!" Turn right and now I'm on the mostly flat stretch that'll take me to the finish. After navigating the short wooded area and leaping over the ditch, I come up to the boat launch area again. Get onto the gravel road and I can now see the yellow Finish flags in the distance. And I start a final push with whatever I have left! Come up a short crest and now I can hear the Finish area crowds cheering and the loudspeaker calling out names. Continue to pick up my pace, so much so I'm catching someone up ahead. I almost catch this person but he is only on his first lap and I make the slight turn into the Finish area. I'm now kicking it and really making a big final effort to finish strong…see the timing mats ahead….hear my name being called ("David Miller of Middletown Maryland!")…crowds cheering…arms, legs pumping to the Finish arch ahead….volunteers put a finishing ribbon in front of me as I raise my arms in triumph with a big smile as I cross under the arch!!! DONE!

What would you do differently?:

Perhaps some longer runs and more hills during my long brick training. But honestly, I thought I did quite well on the run considering. I probably should've tested that Espresso gel beforehand because it did upset me just a bit.
Post race
Warm down:

Had water and a banana immediately after the finish. Grabbed the boxed lunch with a hot pull-pork sandwich and some ice cream. Eventually got a nice massage as well. Chatted with a few folks about the race and my problems at the Wall. Met BT friend Matt Olsen after he finished as well! Got my arm cleaned up at the med tent and took some Advil for my right side.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

- Lack of consistent swim training over the summer
- Stopping to fix timing chip on the swim
- Not wearing my tri top during the swim and wasting too much time getting it on
- Too much clothing needed in T1
- My weight on the bike, though the bike and components itself might be a bit of limiters

Event comments:

To be sure, the Savageman 70.0 event takes adequate training in order to prepare for the challenges that one is faced with on different parts of the course. Despite not climbing the "Wall", I still got a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction out of conquering not only the other hills on the bike, but then also coming back to have a great run and conquer the hills there as well. Savageman is well-run with plenty of volunteers and amenities for the racers. Crowd support is just super too, especially at nearly all the significant climbs. Plus, the whole festival takes place in an exceptionally scenic area. And the event in one for a good cause too. If you think you'd like to challenge yourself in ways that you've not experienced in other triathlons, then consider signing up for Savageman some year. Though I don't know when/if I'll be back, I'm glad I was able to participate and finish at least once.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-04-21 12:00 AM
00:36:20 | 2112 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 16/23
Overall: 239/366
Performance: Average
Suit: 2XU Team full
Course: A thin-rectangular shape course. Wade out from the beach and start going south parallel to the shore keeping yellow buoys on right. Round Thomas the turnarond Turtle and head back north again paralleling shore, keeping orange buoys on right. Round the swan boat and head back south again for a short distane until past a rock jetty, hang a dogleg left back into the beach to finish.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:25
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:52:14 | 55.7 miles | 14.39 mile/hr
Age Group: 14/23
Overall: 199/366
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: An out and back loop over probably the hilliest and toughest climbing course for a road triathlon! The course has 8 climbs, 4 of which are significant with max grades above 20% with the Westernport "Wall" at a max of 31%! 3 technical and potentiall dangerous descents as well.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:12
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
01:55:12 | 13.1 miles | 08m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/23
Overall: 99/366
Performance: Good
Course: 2-loop course running parallel to shore at first, then on the road to a turnaround at one end, turn into the campground area going up a couple of steep hills on top of one another, looping back around down the hills just climbed, turning to run on the park road, coming to a fire trail "road" which has lots of loose rocks and eroded areas and making a steep climb up to another turnaround point. Head back down this "road" and back onto the park road headin back the way you came. Turn right to run parallel to the shore again and eventually running along side the transition area. Repeat for second loop and turn right to Finish instead of left running along side transition for first loop. Tough course after all the climbing on the ride.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4