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SavageMan Triathlon 70.0 - Triathlon

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Swanton, Maryland
United States
"Win-The-Fight" Events
70F / 21C
Total Time = 7h 36m 46s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Let me say first and foremost I was there to finish and get a brick. I accomplished that. We arrived Friday and set up camp in a little cabin at Deep Creek park. It was small, but cozy. Let me warn you. I am only 5'10" and those bunk beds in the cabin were built for someone under that height. I only had 1 inch at either end of the bunk. Anyway enough about the silly bunk beds.
Saturday we went down to watch the 30 mile race and get a sense of what we were up against. After checking out the race set up we decided the mount line would be the most fun to watch. You see Kyle (the race director and designer) is a cruel man. He put the mount on a huge incline so most folks can't even get on their bikes. The walk up to the line delirious from the swim. Jump on their bikes and promptly fall over. Lesson learned I put my bike in the easiest gear I had before Saturday mornings race. The really cruel thing is the dismount line is the same spot except now you are trying to stop on that huge incline. Needless to say the area smelled like burned breaks and rubber after the race was over. I was now starting to feel that little bit of anxiety about just how hard this race would be.
We decided to go into a full blown anxiety attack. How you might ask. We drove to Westerport to see the wall. Holy sh--! We drove up and looked and promptly drove away. It was scary steep. I don't think I slept much that night. I just kept thinking about gearing and how the hell would I get up that wall? I woke up race morning and ate a banana, a PB and J sandwich and had some water. I loaded all my stuff up and gingerly rode my bike down through the campground and to transition. I packed way too much stuff. It was cold out in the morning, so I packed stuff to be ready for a cold bike ride.
Event warmup:

I got in the lake pissed in my wetsuit and swam for maybe 10 strokes to be sure I could still swim. The course was covered in fog and the first section you swim into the sun. I could not see any buoys going the directions I knew we were swimming. Race strategy changed to just follow the crowd like a lemming. 39:57
  • 39m 57s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

I'm a mediocre triathlete and the swim for me has always been trouble, but I have improved my ability to deal with the swim and now I'm relatively relaxed during the swim. These swims usually take me 40 minutes and guess what this one was no surprise. I did get kicked in the head twice and slapped a few times, but I'm an oaf so blows to the head are no big deal. Water was nice. I couldn't see till the turnaround turtle then we went away from the sun so I could see fine till the last 100 yards or so which went back into the sun.
What would you do differently?:

Take a boat....
Transition 1
  • 06m 42s

I sat and talked. I ate a MOJO bar. I lazily put on way too many clothes. As you can see I wasn't in a rush. I was nervous about the bike ride especially the descents so no reason to rush out there. I did however stay upright during the mount.
What would you do differently?:

Take a car.....
  • 4h 20m 42s
  • 55.7 miles
  • 12.82 mile/hr

Holy crap. Just wander over to the website and look at the profile. It looks bad, but seeing it on paper is nothing like riding it. I thought maybe this would be hard and I would struggle. Wrong. I was in survival mode from the get go.
The first 15 miles are a net downhill. Sure that sounds great, but lets add in hairpin turns. It was intense, but fun.
When you get to the bottom you get to the sleepy town of Westerport. Nice little town with great folks cheering you on. You cross the timing mat at the bottom and start your attempt at the wall. Now the wall ends in a 31% grade, but it is doable. I had a compact front crank and an 11-28 rear cassette. Per someone else's advice I put it in the 28 right away and just kept my cadence up. The hard part about the wall is all the other bike riders in your way. Don't they know about my goal? I could see I was in a bad spot. all my dilly dally had put me with some really weak riders. Heck two guys in front of me were paperboying right at the beginning. Not even the steep part yet. The line for the wall is on the right side where the pavement is good. That line was full of people and bikes so I took the middle and then when I passed the mess I moved to the right. I know this will sound like a brag and hell it might be, but the wall was one of the easiest hills. That is not the hard part about the brick. The hard part is surviving the rest of the bike course and then finishing under 8 and a half hours. I know you are laughing right now. Who takes 8 and half hours to do a half iron? I almost did. IT was tough. The rest of the bike went like this:
Huge hill followed by huge descents.
At mile 40 when all the big hills were done and I had not walked my bike a little hill arose. I started pedaling up it knowing I was getting tired, but I was 16 miles out no big deal from here. Wrong! That little hill at mile 40 crushed me and sent my legs into full on cramp mode. (total nutrition fail on my part) I had to struggle to not fall over. I stood on the side of the road for about 10-15 minutes trying to straighten my legs that now had a mind of their own and had decided my race should end here. I would have none of that so I got those bastards working again and started on my merry way back to T2. I did however take a moment to wish very bad things on the course architect. I might even have said them out loud. I did CDA this year and I thought I should be ok for this race. I think to train for this race you should take your bike, put it on the roof of the nearest hours with a steep roof and do intervals till you fall off the roof. Then you might be ready for this bike ride. IT is the hardest thing I've done in my highly decorated triathlon career. (that was a joke.. the decorated part not the hardest thing part.)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing in Michigan could prepare me for this. I did Michigan Mountain Mayhem and it boast 10,000 feet of climb. Ha. Take that 200K compress it into a 56 mile race and then make all the hills twice as long and you still won't realize how tough this bike course is.
Transition 2
  • 05m

Love these questions. Jump off moving bike? on a 8% grade. Nope. Lock up your breaks and make a flat spot on your tire? Above average.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 24m 27s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 02s  min/mile

Got some salt and tried to run everything that wasn't uphill. I think there is 1200ft of climb in the run course so you don't get off easy. The fire break trail and the camp ground seem to be where the big hills are and I walked those. I've never been prouder of a 2:24 HM. I didn't cramp and I felt pretty good at the end.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Get some ice cream. Graham cracker ice cream was soo good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I am not a billy goat.

Event comments:

I know I cried lick a little bitch during this race report, but it was a bucket list race and rated the hardest triathlon in North America. If you like pain and suffering and you love to climb mountains not hills. This is your race. great support and the town and area is wonderful. I would do it again some day, but only after I suppress the memory that I ever did this race. Also goal reached. I got my brick and finished. Check.

Last updated: 2013-09-16 12:00 AM
00:39:57 | 2112 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Wetsuit
Course: rectangular
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:42
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
04:20:42 | 55.7 miles | 12.82 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: To hell and back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 05:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:24:27 | 13.1 miles | 11m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Hilly.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
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] 5

2013-09-16 6:41 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Chelsea, MI
Subject: SavageMan Triathlon 70.0

2013-09-16 9:52 AM
in reply to: #4856299

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New user
South Central PA
Subject: RE: SavageMan Triathlon 70.0
That's an awesome race report! Congrats on getting your brick and being an official "Savageman"!
2013-09-16 10:46 AM
in reply to: Kenny-A

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: SavageMan Triathlon 70.0

You had me cracking up pretty much the whole way through - great RR!

Congrats on a bucket list race and surviving what must be a horrific course.  Each time I read something about it, it sounds worse!  Nice job on the steep, and overall.

And being an oaf has its advantages, no?  Wink

Congrats again!


2013-09-16 8:36 PM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Extreme Veteran
Chelsea, MI
Subject: RE: SavageMan Triathlon 70.0
Thanks for the kind comments. In retrospect most bucket lists don't have things like attempted suicide on them.
2013-09-17 9:38 PM
in reply to: #4856299

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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: SavageMan Triathlon 70.0
"I am not a billy goat". That needs to be on a race t-shirt.
2013-09-17 11:22 PM
in reply to: #4856299

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Parker, Colorado
Subject: RE: SavageMan Triathlon 70.0
Great race and report, and congrats on the brick.

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