SavageMan Triathlon 70.0 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Swanton, Maryland
United States
Tri-to-Win Events
50F / 10C
Total Time = 6h 09m 18s
Overall Rank = 93/366
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 14/44
Pre-race routine:

We got to Deep Creek Lake on Friday, and then I raced on Saturday. My RR for the 30.0 can be seen here:

After racking my bike for the 70, my wife (B) and I drove to the wall to check it out again and take pictures of my brick from last year. After that, we went back to the hotel and watched the Gators beat the Vols (Go Gators!). I did my best to stretch and hydrate as much as I could, knowing that I would be at a deficit. We went to dinner fairly early, and got some good pasta at Brenda's. I continued to drink as much fluids as I could. The day of, we got up early and I had a PB sandwich and some coffee. We checked out of the hotel, and then drove to DCL.
Event warmup:

After a pretty quick setup of transition, I just started trying to stay warm, as it was very cold. I had felt fine when waking up, but as soon as I started stretching I said "Uh OH." My hammys were very tight - not sore really but definitely not 100%. I guess the race the day before did have an effect. B had to catch the bus at 8, and my wave didn't start until 8:44, so I had time to spare. I put my wetsuit on about 8:15 to stay warm, and then watched the other swimmers start. I was in the 3rd wave.
  • 37m 50s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 47s / 100 yards

For every tri I do, from a sprint to a IM, my swim goal is simple: don't drown. This swim was fairly uneventful, which is exactly how I like it. It took me a few minutes to get a good breathing pattern down, but eventually I just fell into a rhythm. Having done SM last year, I knew what was coming for the day, so just wanted to have a nice easy swim. I was able to draft for almost the whole swim, which helped from an effort level. I was about 3/4 of the way through when the wave behind me starting catching me, but by the time I was finishing I had people from both of the waves in front of me around me. One thing I am happy about, I'm sighting much much better than when I first started. I swam very straight.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing that I can think of. Obviously more swim training over the year might have helped, but I swam A LOT more last year and I only lost a minute this year.
Transition 1
  • 03m 58s

Pretty typical T1 for me. I always have trouble getting my wetsuit over my feet. 58th overall, 9th in my AG. Most people were dressing way more heavily than I did. Between the swim and my T1, I was actually quicker to the bike this year compared to last, which was pleasing to me.
What would you do differently?:

Put on arm warmers so I didn't freeze on the bike.
  • 3h 31m 46s
  • 55.7 miles
  • 15.78 mile/hr

The Savageman bike course is the most brutal, unforgiving "half-iron" you can imagine, and I wouldn't be surprised if it lives up the hype as the hardest tri course out there. I did the race last year, so knew what was coming and when. When I got on the bike, I tried to take it as easy as possible and spin when I could. I tried to take "toothpick hill" as easily as possible. After toothpick, it's mostly downhill (down-mountain) until Westernport. I tried to hold a good pace, but coasted when I could to save strength. The descents are quite technical, so I had to come out of aero several times. I still over 45mph according to the Garmin. Once I approached Westernport, I down shifted and started spinning. I rode the first ~4 blocks into town as easily as I could, while weaving back and forth up the road. When I got to the wall, I saw it was very crowded. I hesitated a second or two so that it would clear out, and then tried to slam up the right side. I was doing pretty well, when somewhat all of a sudden Mr. Lime Green trisuit swerves right in front of me. I hesitated to avoid him, and didn't have the strength to keep going. My cleat came unclipped, so I planted my foot to avoid falling. For anyone curious, I'm in the following videos:

20:13 through 20:24 (mute the ears of the little ones near the end...)

Around 1:00 here:

After pushing my bike up the wall, I kept up the long trek up big savage mountain. There are a few "false flats", but for the most part its ~6 miles uphill. It just keeps going and going. It took me 42:28 to do the big climb (10mph) which put me 87th out of 329.

The rest of the bike was fairly uneventful, as far as Savageman goes. When we got up Otto Lane, there was a guy huffing and puffing and he asked me "was that Killer Miller." I just laughed, and said "No, Killer Miller is like 2-3 times worse." He just looked dejected and said "Oh". I was going hard downhill, and came to a sharp u-turn, and knew Killer Miller was coming up. There's a sign that says "Don't look left" but of course you do. All you see is people struggling up a hill, and you know you're about to be one of them. I rode up Killer Miller as best I could, mainly by spinning and weaving up the road. I did almost get taken out by a girl taking the swerving to an extreme. Once I got up Killer Miller, I knew there was just one "named" hill left, Maynard Ridge. After that, it's mostly just rollers and downhill. I knew my speed was slower than I had hoped, so after I got past Maynard I tried to hammer a bit to make up any time I could. Unfortunately, the wind had really picked up, and was in my face. It was kind of depressing - knowing the easiest part of the ride had a headwind.

5-mile bike split speeds: 17, 23, 23, 13, 12, 18, 12, 12, 17, 17, 20, 18 (.66miles)
What would you do differently?:

Put on arm warmers or sleeves in T1, and drink more during the bike. I was FREEZING for the first ~18 miles. After that I alternated between freezing and dripping sweat.
Transition 2
  • 02m 47s

My T2 would have been a lot quicker, but I had to pee for about the last 3 hours. Overall, it took about an extra minute. But it was totally worth it. I was 156th overall, and 18th in my AG.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I had to pee, and T2 is better than the bike or run.
  • 1h 52m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 37s  min/mile

The run is usually my favorite part of a tri, and I had hoped I had saved enough in my legs to do well. I ran this course last year at a 8:10 pace, so my goal was to beat that. I realized early on that pace wasn't going to happen. At the beginning of the run I just felt beat. My legs were heavy and dead, and I had nothing left in the tank. I saw B around mile 3 and told her I was dying. I kept running, thinking the whole time that I was going to have to take a walk break eventually. Finally, I hit Firetower road, and knew it would be pointless to try to run up that in my condition, so I walked most of the way up. At the top, I knew something was going to have to change or I would be dying the whole run. So, I took and S!Cap and drank my first cup of miracle elixir (coke). I don't know if it was the salt, the coke, or placebo, but whatever it was I started feeling better quickly. I bombed down Firetower, and just kept running. I made it through the first loop, and was feeling better. I did walk a little at the steepest part of the hill going up into the campground, and walked up firetower the second time. A girl in front of me was trying to run up it, and was going the exact same pace I was. After cresting firetower the second time, I tried to run the hardest I could for the rest of the race. I had a bit of energy left, and just pushed to the end. Whew, I was done!

Mile run splits: 7:44, 8:22, 8:09, 7:56, 10:19, 8:38, 8:50, 8:43, 8:49, 8:18, 7:44, 9:54, 8:01, 7:01 (.1 miles)

What would you do differently?:

Not sure really. Probably drink a little more on the bike, and take in a few more calories.
Post race
Warm down:

After sitting for a few minutes, I put on arm warmers and my jacket. I was freezing! I hung around to eat lunch and ice cream, but considering we had a 3ish hour drive home we didn't actually stay very long. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we got home late as it was. The drive home is tough, because sitting in the car leads to cramps in the legs (thankfully, I didn't have to drive).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

In this order, I'd say: (1)Racing the day before (2) General fitness and a distant (3)Higher winds this year compared to last. Because it was so cold, my hydration / nutrition strategy was probably not the best either.

Event comments:

Savageman is a great race - enough good things can't be said about it. The volunteers are great, both pre-race, on the wall, on Killer Miller, and at the finish. The pre-race swag is good (real cycling gloves) and the finisher shirt is a tech tee. I would really love a medal, but that's minor. There's also something that I can't quite put my finger on, but even my wife B commented on how "relaxed" everything felt. It's just a really fun environment. I highly recommended the race, but caution any weak cyclists away from the 70. The course is truly unforgiving.

Of the 27 people dumb enough to do the 100, I was 9th overall with a combined time of 8:44:32. There were 20 men and 7 women.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-06-16 12:00 AM
00:37:50 | 2112 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 31/44
Overall: 273/366
Performance: Good
Suit: Zoot Fusion
Course: An out and back. You swim out to the turtle, round him, swim to the swan, turn, then to the exit. Bouys at the right at all times.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:58
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:31:46 | 55.7 miles | 15.78 mile/hr
Age Group: 15/44
Overall: 97/366
Performance: Average
Avg HR = 143 Max HR = 175
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: A brutal loop of unrelenting hills through Garrett County, MD. It's one of the hardest tris out there, and has to be also one of the prettiest. The roads are great for riding. Many of the descents are technical, and force you out of aero and onto the brakes. The hills are named, and rightfully so. The signs on the course make you chuckle (and cry on the inside).
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:47
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:52:58 | 13.1 miles | 08m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/44
Overall: 83/366
Performance: Average
Avg HR = 150 Max HR = 169
Course: Two loops through Deep Creek Lake State Park. In each loop, there is one big hill up into the campground, and a very big hill heading up firetower road.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5