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EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Cambridge, Maryland
United States
Columbia Triathlon Association
72F / 22C
Sunny
Total Time = 5h 58m 35s
Overall Rank = 874/2000?
Age Group = 35 - 39
Age Group Rank = 158/229
Pre-race routine:

We (my wife, our youngest little bug Aiden and I) got to the race venue on Saturday at about 4 o’clock and got my race packet and had the bike inspected. We then drove over to the actual start/transition area to drop off the bike. They had to stay there overnight. Nothing like leaving over 2000 bikes outside overnight at an average price of around $2,000!! They did have state troopers and local sheriffs there to watch them though. We then went back to the main check-in site and sat through the pre-race meeting which was informative. Afterwards we met up with a few others from the BeginnerTriathlete.com web forum that I participate in and talked for a few minutes and then did a raffle drawing for one of our BT members who was involved in a hit and run accident while cycling just days after he ran the Boston Marathon. We raised close to $1700 to donate to him to help with medical bills, lawyer fees and to help fix his bike.

Miriam, Aiden and I then went to Easton to have dinner and we found this great Italian restaurant called Scossa that had a fantastic chef and really good food! It was a wonderful meal. We then drove to Denton where our hotel was and got ready for bed after I prepped all my bottles and food needs for the race. Didn’t hit the sack until after 11:30, and had to get up at 4:00.

Got up, took a shower and did a touch up shave of the legs for the race, and mentally got myself ready. Got Mir up at 4:30 and we finally got on the road around 5:30 or so. I wanted to leave by 5, but that just didn’t happen. We stopped as we got to Cambridge so that we could get Mir some breakfast as she would be alone with Aiden until I finished the race. But traffic was a beast to get to the race site, and when we finally parked it was 6:40, and the transition area was scheduled to close at 7:00, and my swim wave was supposed to go off around 7:15. Talk about stress and rushing!

Event warmup:

Uhhhhh, walking fast to get to the transition area, rushing to set up transition, and trying to get into my wetsuit before my wave started???
Swim
  • 48m 44s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 19s / 100 yards
Comments:

This was the dreaded event for me. I’ve only been swimming since December and knew that I was not very strong. But I had swam the 1.2 miles in training on three separate occasions with no issues in the pool and felt pretty good about being able to survive and come close to the time I wanted (between 35 and 40 minutes). But Mother Nature wasn’t having any of that ………

There were borderline whitecaps and the wind was very strong. They had said there would be a slack tide, but nobody knew what sort of currents there were. The pros went off first and I found later that they were typically 10 – 15% slower than they normally would be because of the water conditions. So what about me?? Well, we started in the water a few minutes later than scheduled and I positioned myself near the middle of the other 300 people in my age group (35 – 39 men). At the “go” from the race director I tucked into the water and started my swim. Within five strokes I was being kicked in the goggles and swam over from behind. A large field starting like this is always chaotic, but this was ridiculous! Having not done any open water swimming (competitively) in 14 years, this was quite a wake up call.

I said screw this and started to breast stroke as it is my strongest stroke normally and I could “sight” the buoys better and avoid smacking into other swimmers until it cleared out a bit and things settled down. After a few hundred yards of that I tried to freestyle swim again and took a few strokes, bumped into someone else and realized that in just those few strokes I had veered hard to the right. Once again, in the pool I was always very good at swimming in a “straight” line, but this was totally different. I tried to compensate and ended up going too far left. So back to breast stroking ……

At the halfway point we went around a boat and I checked my watch. 24 minutes which was not so disastrous, it could have been a lot worse all things considered. But my wetsuit is not designed to breast stroke so I was starting to get some chafing in the back of my knees where it would bind up on each kick. And I was starting to get some mild cramping in my calves and quads. Great …… I still have another 69.1 miles to go after the swim and I’m already cramping.

The return leg was brutal, the waves would slap you in the face and the current was pushing you out which made each buoy take forever to get to. I finally gave up on trying to freestyle and swam the rest of the way breast stroke. After what seemed like ages I see the boat ramp we come out of the water from and noticed about 100 yards out that a guy was standing in the water. So when I get to that point I also stand and walk/swim the rest of the way (just as fast as everyone else was swimming). Come out of the water at 48:44 on my watch.

What would you do differently?:

Ummmm, let's see ...... maybe do an OWS before my race in all differnt conditions? Swim the damn thing freestyle instead of breast stroke?? Those things come to mind.
Transition 1
  • 03m 39s
Comments:

I jog up the ramp, cross the timing mat and start taking my wetsuit off. I here a “Rick!” and looked over and saw my wife and little one sitting near the chute and smiled and waved saying “thank God that’s over.” Get to my spot, wetsuit off completely, helmet on, shoes on, grabbed my nutrition stuff and running to the bike mount area
What would you do differently?:

Overall not a bad transition considering I didn't practice them at all from the water.
Bike
  • 2h 48m 8s
  • 56.4 miles
  • 20.13 mile/hr
Comments:

Okay, here is supposed to be my strong suit. I had very high expectations for this leg and wanted to put the smack down. I settled in as we rode out of the town and tried to keep my cadence high and speed decent without going out too fast. I got into a groove and started picking off people, probably averaging about 23 mph or so. A little bit below my projected pace, but not bad. When we got out of town that is when the wind hit us. Not just a little bit of wind, a LOT. I’m guessing continuous 20 – 25 mph with gusts much higher. It frickin’ sucked!

I plug along as well as I could and catch some more people but was being passed by others (in the swim waves that started after me of course). Hardly anyone from my AG passed me early. But then again, I was one of the later one’s out of the water from my wave – duh! I had planned on drinking one bottle an hour of my energy drink and electrolyte pills, take a gel on the 20 minutes past the hour and a Clif Bar on the 50 minutes of the hour. I had done this in training to great success and was not so worried.

BUT ….. at the 20 minute mark I whip out one of my gels motoring along and take it. Only to start gagging as it had coated my throat and I couldn’t breathe. After about 30 seconds of sounding like a cat with a hair ball I finally got the phlegm out while almost throwing up. Yummy. Well, needless to say that was the end of my nutrition plan! I did not take any more gels or any of my Clif Bars the rest of the way, just drank three bottles.

So here I am, supposed to be this bike stud. I’m getting minor cramps in my legs, my back and neck hurts from the brutal swim and I’m already tired as s—t only 10 miles into the ride into these brutal winds. I was NOT having fun at all! I knew then that I had no chance of coming close to my goal times. So I just plugged on. I tried to keep a solid pace, but every time I’d get it up over 20 I was getting pounded by the wind and having a hell of a time staying in any kind of rhythm. Yeah, I could have put the hammer down and just sucked it up, but I knew I would quit at the end of the bike if I did that because I would have been totally wiped. My old demons were just chomping at the bit to take me over and I did not want to give in to them yet.

At the halfway mark I checked my average and it was at 21 mph. Not bad, certainly not great nor what I am capable of. I figured on the way back we would get more tailwinds and I’d be able to pick up speed. Nada, ain’t happening. The way the route went it felt it was actually MORE into the wind on the way back, and the wind speed seemed to have increased. Ugh!

I just keep motoring, having to come out of the aero bars because my back and hip were really sore. At about mile 45 or so we finally get some relief and actually have the wind help us. Its at this time that I hear a continuous “vroot vroot” coming from somewhere on the back of the bike that I hadn’t noticed because of the wind and the sound my deep section wheel make. I say to myself, “you’ve go to be f’ing kidding me” and look back at the rear brake. Yes folks, just like Lance Armstrong in the Tour a few years ago my brake was constantly rubbing on the rim. So I reach back and flick the release to open it up more and it stops rubbing. For 45 miles I’d been fighting the wind AND my own stupidity of not checking the bike over in the morning because of being rushed. With the constant loading and unloading of the bike from home to the check-in to the transition area I must dislodged the brake and not noticed it when I put it back together.

I finally get back into town and see people trudging along on the run course (an out and back along the same route) and know I still have a half marathon to go. Ugh. At this point I’m all about just finishing the damn event and doing it in a reasonable manner. See the transition area, cross the mat and stop my watch/cyclometer at 2:48:08. The course measured 56.6 on my cyclometer and the race director said it was 56.4 on GPS, which means I averaged exactly 20 mph. Not bad …….. IF THIS WAS A CASUAL TRAIING RIDE!!! :-P
What would you do differently?:

Hmmm, swim better/smarter so I wasn't wiped before even getting on the bike?? Maybe check the bike out BEFORE riding off into the distance to avoid brake rubbing?? Pay off God so he doesn't change the weather forecast at the last minute and add the wind in like he did?? Work more on eating during really high intensity efforts (thought I did that enough - guess not).
Transition 2
  • 03m 40s
Comments:

Said screw it (for about the 15th time) and took my time getting ready for the run. Helmet off, cycling shoes off, put on some socks, slipped on my racing flats, grabbed my visor, and went off to the run
What would you do differently?:

Have the tranisiton set up better. I ended up running off with all the Clif Bars and gels I took for the ride in my pocket still. Forgot to take them out.
Run
  • 2h 14m 11s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 14s  min/mile
Comments:

This was just a plod the feet one in front of the other. My first mile split was actually an 8:00, and the second was an 8:25. And it just went up from there. By mile 5 I was taking fluids at the aid stations and would walk briefly to drink. From about 5 – 8 I actually felt okay even though my pace was barely in the 9:30 range. I started to really cramp up around 8-1/2 miles and said I would walk some of mile 9 to stretch things out and regain strength for the final push. Big mistake …. I should have just kept running. By walking I allowed the muscle depletion/strain to kick in as walking uses different muscles. So when I tried to start running again at about 9-1/2 miles just about all of the muscles in my legs started to severely cramp up. I basically had the same situation as I had in the Baltimore Marathon last year where I freaky speed walked the majority of the last 4 miles with intermittent running until my legs locked up again. Walk until they feel relaxed, run until they cramp, repeat accordingly.

At 1 mile to go I knew I could break six hours if I moved as quickly as I could. I tried to run more than walk, but that wasn’t happening. When we made the last turn towards the finish I vowed to cross the line running and I did. Got my finishers medal, gave them my timing chip and went to find Miriam and Aiden. Got some watermelon and a Pepsi, grabbed my bike and gear and headed out.

What would you do differently?:

Not be so wiped, get enough food on the bike. Not stop running to avoid the massive cramps.
Post race
Warm down:

None. Walk to the car, load it up, sit around while Mir nursed Aiden, tehn drive to dinner and home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Everything ...... waves, current, wind, nutrition, etc. etc.

Event comments:

Race itself was fine, I was just terrible.




Last updated: 2006-05-04 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:48:44 | 2112 yards | 02m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 186/229
Overall: 0/2000?
Performance: Bad
Suit: Desoto T1 Black Pearl
Course: Out around and back to different point
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: High
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
T1
Time: 03:39
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
02:48:08 | 56.4 miles | 20.13 mile/hr
Age Group: 111/229
Overall: 0/2000?
Performance:
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Loop around the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 100
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 03:40
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
02:14:11 | 13.1 miles | 10m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 180/229
Overall: 0/2000?
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back on same course, running right next to the return people.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %3
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 1
Good race? No
Evaluation
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] 4

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2006-06-12 9:09 AM

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Cycling Guru
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Fulton, MD
Subject: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon


2006-06-12 10:30 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Veteran
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Delaware
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Great race report! I DFL'd the race, and will do my report tomrrow, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one who found the conditions were bad. Well done on what was an excellent performance given the conditions.
2006-06-12 10:31 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Coach
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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

No worries dude this happen to the BEST. You are still the BT bike stud and you'll bounce back fearless, hungry and ready to kick major tail. The bad part of bad races is that we get into this non stop down spiral and everything begins to go wrong, and we should learn from that, but when the elements play against us there is nothing we can do. You still finished a F---ing HIM, 1st Tri in MANY years and you should feel very proud because we are!

2006-06-12 10:52 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Expert
1166
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Northern VA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Nice job. Way to tough it out in the water and in the wind. I was blown all over the place on my run on Sunday. I can't imagine what you faced in an HIM.

Congratulations!

2006-06-12 11:05 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Expert
623
500100
Wye Mills, MD
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Wow, Rick. I know how disappointed you must have been, especially on the bike leg, but you didn't pack it in. Be proud of that! Your first race in how many years? First HIM? Those were very tough conditions. Take the experience,  learn from it, and come back wiser and stronger.  No doubt you'll kick a$$ next year!

Nice to meet you Saturday.

 



Edited by wyecrab 2006-06-12 11:07 AM
2006-06-12 11:14 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Extreme Veteran
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Northern Virginia
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
that swim was rediculous. i'm surprised there weren't a lot more DNF's from that swim. you didn't just finish, you still went on to break 6 after that swim and not eating at all! pretty impressive.


2006-06-12 11:14 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Expert
1205
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Herndon VA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Hey Rick, sorry that things didn't work out better for you.  I was talking to Mir while your wave started.  I agree with you about the waves and the wind.  That swim in was really hard and I didn't think the ride would ever end.  Way to hang in there and finish the race.  I'm sure next time you'll race the way you know that you can.

Ernie 

2006-06-12 11:17 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Elite
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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

At least you didn't pull a " I've gut no puwah!!!" and throw your bike around.  Man, your HIM run sounds eerily similar to mine.  You'll get 'er next time.  Look at all you learned and how much better you'll be next time around. 

And, don't forget you pulled off a HIM my friend...GREAT JOB!!!

2006-06-12 11:40 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Not a Coach
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

You know you can handle the bike & run.  Now you've learned how much impact a tough swim can have on a race.  Take it and use it for next time.

Congrats on toughing it out despite the early struggle and the added drag on the bike (20mph while riding the brakes into the wind ain't so bad )!

2006-06-12 11:58 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Hey Rick!  F- all that nonsense about not performing to what you thought you could do.  You did fantastic!  You did great!  And I can prove it to you.  Remember this thread I started called "You will overcome...." and what you wrote in it?

Letting everyone have some deep inner views into my psyche here .........

I will not let the desire to "quit" in the middle of an intense race take me over. Towards the end of my cycling "career" I was so frustrated at every race that I would usually only last about half the race before I started falling off the back and then just saying f--k it and throwing in the towel. I know this was caused by not being able to train at the level I needed to stay in the 1/2/3 field because of school and work, but it got so bad that it was one of the reasons I completely got out of cycling and sold all my bikes. My mental demons took hold and won.

I tried to excercise those demons with the marathon last year, but found that they are still there hiding in the shadows waiting to throw out that snippet of doubt that lingers in my head.

This Sunday will be another test of that knowing I've been sick for a week and still wanting to perform well ..........
-----
Rick

I'd say you took what the course gave you, raced a smart race and accomplished your A goal which was to FINISH!

Nicely done.

 



Edited by hangloose 2006-06-12 11:59 AM
2006-06-12 12:07 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Cycling Guru
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Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
The demons were definitely calling to me, and working very hard to bring me down. I knew I had to finish despite how crappy I was doing.

Live and learn ..... time to schedule some days in the water at the beach ......


2006-06-12 12:24 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Master
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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Wow, tough race! Great job hanging in there, finishing and learning from the experience.
2006-06-12 3:55 PM
in reply to: #450969

Pro
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yep,
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Rick congrats on the race, and welcome to the Eastern Shore.  And to think all of the complaining I did about the wind, someone finally realizes what I meant.  10-20 mph wind is pretty typical during our training rides.  But you kept a really good pace considering the conditions.  I guess also the swim isnt as easy without the blue line on the bottom of the pool.  Congrats though, hope to see you out riding again.
2006-06-12 4:10 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Pro
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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Race itself was fine, I was just terrible.

And this is why you are a good triathlete ... no excuses, no nothing but accepting that you had a bad day at the races.

Tomorrow, as my fellow Georgian Scarlett has said, is another day.

 

2006-06-12 7:02 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Veteran
118
100
Roseville, California
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Congrats on your first HIM!  Great job toughing out the bad conditions.  That swim and bike put us all to the test, and you came through strong.
2006-06-12 7:50 PM
in reply to: #451904

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Regular
99
252525
Vienna, VA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Rick -- you're still a bike stud!  LOL.  You'll kick MY a$$ on a bike anyday, and don't think otherwise!

My first swim in a pool at at Sprint went bad too, and it set me up for the rest of the race.  Just be proud of yourself that you did a HIM!  My wife won't let me even talk about doing one (but she doesn't know I'm secretly planning...)

You are still an inspiration to those of us who plod up hills and see nothing but a blip in front of us when riding, so don't be so hard on yourself.  You'll get your spot next year, I'm sure....

 Paul D.



2006-06-12 8:50 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Master
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Royersford, PA
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Way to go man! Finding the way to the finish line when everything seems like its stacked against you is the sign of a true champion. Now tell those demons to get off your back!! Now that your schedule will allow it, why don't you come up north and do the Delaware Diamondman with us this fall (Sept 10)?

Edited by southwestmba 2006-06-12 8:51 PM
2006-06-12 8:53 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Expert
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Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Great job yesterday, even though it wasn't your day.  Except for the swim, your times were all a lot better than mine and I would gladly trade times with you

The swim was a struggle for all of us, especially on the way back and I am used to the waves (I do live by the ocean ).  The bike was windy, and I could tell it really impacted people's times.  For the run, I saw lots of people reduced to a walk.  Some were definitely struggling out there.  You finished and as that one sign said by those people sitting by the water near the beginning of the run, finishing was winning yesterday especially under those conditions. 

And you are absolutely hate me for writing this, but at the end of the awards ceremony, they were basically just giving away 70.3 slots for your age group, both during your age group's part of the ceremony, and again after all the age groups, when at least one person in your age group got a slot just because it passed through one of the old men age groups.  Just had to let you know so that next time you can stick around. 

It just wasn't your time yesterday.  Your last tri was in '92 when I was 10 or 11 years old to give you some perspective.  Get some more experience in tris and next year (or maybe this year if you do say Steelhead or something) you should do much better (if only the conditions would be with temperatures like yesterday, little or no wind, and no stupid waves and current- knock on wood).

2006-06-12 9:44 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Master
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Keller Tx
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Rick, I can tell that you were planning to run a better race, but please don't discount what you just accomplished.

You just finished a 1/2 ironman in a very respectable time!

your next one will be better!

 



Edited by Doughboy 2006-06-12 9:46 PM
2006-06-13 6:57 AM
in reply to: #452037

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Cycling Guru
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Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
oceanannie - 2006-06-12 9:53 PM
And you are absolutely hate me for writing this, but at the end of the awards ceremony, they were basically just giving away 70.3 slots for your age group, both during your age group's part of the ceremony, and again after all the age groups, when at least one person in your age group got a slot just because it passed through one of the old men age groups.  Just had to let you know so that next time you can stick around. 


I had told my wife that even if I did stick around and there was a roll down slot that I wouldn't have taken it because I didn't "earn" it in my eyes, so I don't feel so bad about that.

It was nice to meet you and see you on the run, that was unexpexted!

Edited by Daremo 2006-06-13 6:58 AM
2006-06-13 9:06 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Champion
7439
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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Congrats on finishing the race.

My hat is off to you for having the courage to write the race report you wrote. Thanks for sharing.


2006-06-13 9:27 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Extreme Veteran
402
100100100100
CT
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
I am glad that you did not let the demons get the best of you. It was a tough day of racing but you finished it in style, congrats!
2006-06-13 9:27 AM
in reply to: #450969

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Extreme Veteran
402
100100100100
CT
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
I am glad that you did not let the demons get the best of you. It was a tough day of racing but you finished it in style, congrats!
2006-06-13 12:06 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Master
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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Rick

way to stick it out.  It seems we both had a bad day on the bike.  It happens like i said in my report we learn and grow from it.

It was nice meeting you.

2006-06-13 1:53 PM
in reply to: #450969

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Extreme Veteran
321
100100100
New Jersey
Subject: RE: EagleMan Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
Rick, way to go man. Based on the conditions we had thats a solid finish and best of all it gives you a goal to kick its @$$ next time. Keep it up.
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