SavageMan Triathlon 70.0 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Swanton, Maryland
United States
"Win-The-Fight" Events
55F / 13C
Total Time = 5h 24m
Overall Rank = 19/525
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 3/40
Pre-race routine:

So…I moved from Minneapolis to the DC area and my triathlon Guru and good friend Carl told me about this race…”Savageman”….in western Maryland…he said it had some climb that peaked out at 31% and if you made it up without unclipping or crashing you received a personalized “brick” that was placed in the Westernport Wall…for all of Triathlon eternity…this sounded frickin amazing…so what the hell…Justine and I moved out here so why not race the “most difficult triathlon in the world” (Thank you Triathlete magazine for that one)
My training leading up to Ironman St. George this past May and up to this past weekend has completely taken a new direction. I was a volume guy before…long rides, hours upon hours upon hours of training…perhaps I was bored with Dental school…who knows…but life happens, new jobs, new experiences, new cities, and an amazing new addition to my life…my Fiance Justine . Thus, ultimately the amount of time I had to devote to hours of training has become…mid distance hard effort training. We’re talking 5-10 mile runs at 10k pace, 20-30 mile rides at race pace, swims…well as often as I can..and weights… and well…its working! Had a great result in Utah and I’ve been ripping up on the east coast….although I was terrified of the “Savageman”

Event warmup:

PRE-RACE: Justine and I decided to camp out for this one…it was a three hour drive from Bethesda, but absolutely gorgeous! Maryland has some east coast mountains! Awesome…rocking out to Mr. A to Z all the way there. The 30.0 race was just finishing up so we set up our camp site, registered, and took the new Kayaks out for a paddle on the lake. Deep Creek State park is very much like Northern Minnesota…beautiful!! Found Brenda’s Pizza in town (I default to Pizza for pre-race now…superstition or a great combo of protein, fat, and carbs…)…This place was pretty amazing, New York Style and delicious. We settled in, Justine (CAPT Marshmallow) made delicious S’mores and off to sleep in our little tent.
Race Morning: It was very nice camping at the race site, great camp ground and only a 5 minute walk or so to transition. I loaded up Roo with a Bento box full of GU Chomps and my Peanut butter GU’s (Had to load up race morning due to threat of Blach Bears!) , 1 aero bottle of Gatorade, and slithered into my TYR Cat 5 with the help of Justine. She had to get on the bus to Westernport for the wall party, but I was happy to be in my wetsuit early….it was a bit cold….thinking 45-50. I got a little warm up in and waited for my wave…I opted to race Age group rather than try to toe the line in the Elite wave for this one….like I said…this race scared me a bit.

  • 32m
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

Swim: The swim was a long narrow rectangle with a turn around a large Turtle and a large Swan. The conditions were great…this was the only flat section of the race however…if the race director could find a way to make the swim uphill he would. I had a great swim, good lines, and was able to find some feet to get a little pull. Overall great swim, I was thinking 35 minutes but came out in 32:00 for the 2000 meters…oh yea you run uphill to T1…
What would you do differently?:

Learn to swim faster, but this was a good time for me and put me in contention.
Transition 1
  • 01m 30s
  • 3h 09m
  • 55.7 miles
  • 17.68 mile/hr

Bike: Well here we go…how will this “Savageman” live up to its hype…well…there is a short steep climb right out of transition, so no flying mount…a flat section…then up Toothpick hill (9% with a max of 16%)…so within the first mile your legs are screaming….on top you get a flat section for a mile or two…then an absolute ripper of a descent into Westernport….if you’ve never descended mountain roads before…practice!! This was awesome! Luckily this last year I had the opportunity to do a lot of work up and down Bogus Basin in Boise this was just frickin awesome!! I was hitting 45 to 50 mph in westernport!! Average speed at this point 24mph for the first 20 miles! The approach to the Wall is flat, but you turn up an off ramp and there it is….The Westernport Wall!! Lined with spectators, devils, goblins, taunting signs, hundreds of people laughing at the carnage… this is Alpe’dhuez!!! I wanted to be out front as much as possible to have a clear shot at the wall, the left side is treacherous, cracks, cobblestones, etc….I spun up the bottom section feeling great…I hit the last 4 blocks and exploded!! Out of the saddle, people everywhere and riders lying in the street still clipped into their bikes!! This was EPIC!! I had to maneuver a bit and ended up on the left side to avoid crashing riders, but made a big push and made it!!! I GOT MY BRICK!!! Goal #1 accomplished!! I didn’t see Justine unfortunately, but I knew she was there and that made it even better……once you crest the wall… you look up and in front of you in another 6 miles of climbs….steep climbs…the bottom of the wall to the top of Savage mountain has its own KOM competition…I was the 18th fastest overall, 7th fastest amateur!!! I was feeling great…Riding to the Beat…Heart Rate that is...Jason Mraz has a song “you fuckin did it” this was in my head all day long…Thanks Justine . Anyway..just keep climbing, just keep climbing…ups and then rippers down…just frickin awesome!! Oh and the roads are absolutely perfect…no irregularities, just fast..well when they are flat or downhill…Killer Miller was the worst climb at mile 38 (22% max). But once you crest that one, you only have one short climb to go before a flat and a descent into T2…I wanted to hold 18.0mph average…came it at 17.6mph (3:09:00)….third fastest in my age group…18th overall. I was still feeling pretty good into transition…the run…is just as hilly…here we go!!!
What would you do differently?:

I could have gone a little harder
Transition 2
  • 01m 30s
  • 1h 38m
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 29s  min/mile

Run: Good dismount and ran into T2, I had been jockeying with a guy for most the bike course and wanted to take him in T2…Got him…I had started in Wave 3, 14 minutes back, but was pretty much out front onto the run…great feeling…The first mile was flat before entering the camp ground and our first climb on the run…I busted out a 7:10 first mile just running HR…I thought this was too quick, but I ran the hills up to mile 2.5 under 7:30 pace as well….Hmm this was going very well… controlled HR, and feeling strong. Out of the campsite and out to the firetower road…BIG HILL trail style!! I was still running at about 7:30 pace….I was starting to think about a Sub 1:40:00 Half here…which is slow, but considering the course, it would be a great time….completed lap 1 in just under 50 minutes…here we go…time to bust out a huge final 10K… I saw a calf of a guy ahead of me….31….get’em…got’em….I was thinking I was top 10 AG at this point and top 30 overall…I had no idea where I was on the course….Damn wave starts….but the field was very thin after the final turn around…I was passing many of the Elites and even passed the Pro woman leader with about 5 to go (Des Ficker was there, very cool but DNF’ed)…this amped me up even more…the best guys and girls were imploding from a very difficult day….goes to show you that you need to race your own race sometimes…..With 5K to go I knew I could break 1:40:00…so picked it up a bit, one more time up the firetower road and downhill to the finish…I ran a 1:38:00!!!! Fastest AG 30-34 run split by 4 minutes!!!! The finish was great….A very accomplished feeling.
Post race
Warm down:

POST RACE: I knew I had a good day, but I have never been on the podium at a Half Iron. So I thought maybe top 10, possibly top 5…But I got the Third Position…..3rd Place at SAVAGEMAN AGE 30-34…Only 61 seconds behind the winner!!! Frickin awesome!!!! I was 19th overall, and 10th Overall in the Amateur Race!!! This race was EPIC!!
Savageman is exactly what Triathlon should always be, a well run event, good pro field, great volunteers and a brutal course. There was not a competitor there that complained about too many hills, draft packs, too hilly of a run….we all wanted a brutal course…no one cared about a PR. Ironman is amazing for so many reasons, but races like this are something special. A festival atmosphere and people competing just because they like to compete!! This is a must do for the triathlon purest, the masochist, and for anyone and everyone that loves this sport….I’ve done a lot of big races, Ironman’s, Marathons, etc…but this was far and away the greatest race experience I’ve had yet!!
Thanks Justine for being the greatest Spectathlete ever!!!!

Event comments:

One of the best races in the world!

Last updated: 2012-09-20 12:00 AM
00:32:00 | 2112 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/40
Overall: 80/525
Performance: Good
Suit: TYR Cat 5
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:30
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:09:00 | 55.7 miles | 17.68 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/40
Overall: 18/525
Performance: Good
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:30
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal
01:38:00 | 13.1 miles | 07m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/40
Overall: 12/525
Performance: Good
Course: Hills lots of hills
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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