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Race Result

Racer: Rob Weitzel
Race: Duke Blue Devil
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2005
Location: Durham, NC
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 5:21:00
Overall Place: 1
Comment: Bike Leg of Relay

Race Report:

Well what can I say this year has been a total disaster. I have been either sick or injured for most of the season. This coming off of the most spectacular season I have had. Last year everything went almost to good, and I was in the best fitness I have yet to achieve. I think my body (entering older age) could only stand so much high intensity training and racing and eventually cracked.

With my race season taking a big dump this year I decided I did not want to have it end on a totally horrendous note. I had not raced since Eagleman in June, and I wanted to try to keep some semblance of my consecutive ironman distance tri streak alive. With that said I posted to employ a relay team with the proposal that I do the bike leg considering that with my achilles problems that I could not do the run.

I found Dave Cascio who would do the run, and he dug up what had been an unknown swimmer named Dave Druzynski. We decided to enter as Team TRIRATS in the all male relay at the Blue Devil Triathlon. We really had no expectations, but I suspect that we each had underlying goals that we were not quite ready to profess out in public.

With approximatley 3 weeks to race day I developed a serious problem in a place that shall remain unnamed and to which required surgery. It took almost 2 weeks to completely heal, and I was scared that biking might reinjure the "area". Biking sure takes a toll on certain parts of the old anatomy! Now, I was not sure I could do the bike so Dave C and I bantered about him doing the bike, and I doing the run. I was able to get a couple of test rides in without pain, and we decided to keep the team as is.

When we all met up in N.C. we discussed strategy, and what we might be capable of. Dave D suspected that he would go close to one hour, I had no idea what kind of bike time I would ride considering my lack of training, and that the course was not tuned to me, and Dave C said he would alter his run depending on the status at the time he began the run.


Our unknown swimmer definitley made a name for himself. Dave Druzynski was third after the first of (2) loops tucked in right behind Mike Guzek. Another relay guy was first at that point. The relay guy began taking a wide berth while Guzek, and our guy swam the buoys. Dave D stayed right with Guzek through the second loop. The pressure was now on me. Dave D was 2nd out of the water and into T1, what a strong swim from a guy who had never done the 2.4 mile distance before.


T1 was easy. I was ready and waiting for the chip handoff. We had planned and strategized beforehand how this would go down, and it went to perfection. I was literally first out the gate with another relay biker right next to me.


I had bantered with the other relay guy beforehand and asked about the bike split he hoped to achieve and I thought to myself "This guy is going to drop me within the first mile!". I was not really worried by any of the other relay guys that I saw for some strange reason only this one guy. I took the first mile behind the pace truck, but I quickly let this guy go and slip in front of me. We hit the first hill no more than 2 miles out, and I took it to him. I dropped it into an easy gear and hammered it up the hill to slip back behind the pace truck. After I had ascended the hill it leveled off nicely and I dropped it into a bigger gear and put the hammer down. The guy fell off the front almost instantly and I never saw him again. The bike course was undulating, no big hills, but plenty of rollers (much like Columbia) but 112 miles worth of it and 2 loops. This was a new experience for me, and psychologically helped because I simply followed the pace truck, and had no worries about turns intersections etc. I figured that the uber bikers would be on me within the first 10-20 miles, but, everytime I looked back the road was empty behind me. This cat and mouse game went on for 3:45. I was deep into the second loop of the ride when the eventual winner, Keith Davis, comes blowing by me like a freight train (he ended up having a sub 5-hour bike split), and he took my beloved pace truck with him. My lead was finally relenquished. About 15 minutes later Dave Glover came up alongside me. We bumped fists chatted briefly, and he hammered on ahead. Only one other biker passed me, and he eventually DNF's out on the run course after having a great ride, and being in a comanding third place overall. After that pass I lapped about 6 riders on their first loop. It was tough, there were no mile markers out on the course that I could see, and none of the course marshalls knew either when I asked. the second loop was much tougher as I had expended an enormous amount of energy trying to hold those guys off,and the weather conditions went south with a nice drizzle constantly coming down. I think I calculated that my first half split was somewhere around 2:28, and I knew that I would not negative split on this course, particularly after how I was feeling at that point. I was able to keep a steady pace albeit I lost my groove several times on the second loop which cost me time. I ended up coming in 4th overall on the bike leg, and within roughly 3-4 minutes behind Glover. This was close to where we wanted to be with fresh legs hitting the run course. All I can say is thank god I did not have to run a marathon as the run course profile looked very demanding. Bike time on my watch said 5:21, they gave me 5:22 on a course with over 4000 ft of climbing I was very satisfied. It was now in the hands of Dave Cascio.


Well I can not speak directly for Dave, but he gained ground quickly. He looked strong, and eventually passed everyone, we were in first place overall. What we did not count on were the 4-man relay teams. The format for the 4-man relay is that they split the run between (2) runners giving fresh legs to the team with 10.4 miles to go. There was no way to counter that. The 4-man relay came in first overall with our team TRIRATS taking second overall. We went 9:38 total with our swimmer Dave out of the water in 55. We beat all of the relay teams except the one 4-man relay, and we beat all of the individual times. Congrats to David Glover for a great second place victory, and to Mike Guzek who suffered through a very hard run. Also congrats to the winner Keith Davis whom we had a chance to sit and talk and part bread with at the Sunday awards brunch, he seemed like a really great guy. I still have not calculated Dave C's run time, but considering the type of training he did this year amazes me how he was capable of pulling off a run like that, I'd take that with all of my run training!

This is a great race, a great venue, and a great cause. I asked myself why I had not done this race before, and I guess the ONLY reason that I could come up with was that I was scared of the hills. I might change my line of thinking on this, but this bike course was awesome, the support crews were great, and just about everything you could expect out of a race like this was top notch. I hope the low entry rate does not cause this race to succumb. It truly was a great team effort. If you read this, and have desires, but trepidation about doing an ironman distance triathlon, a relay team is s surefire way to get the experience of both competing and spectating, and being indoctrinated into this distance.


PRERACE: (2) cans Ensure Plus (total 700 calories) (1) can Spicy V8

BIKE: (2) gel flasks with main flask containing 5 Apple Cinammon Carbooms, second gel flask containing (3) Apple Cinammon carbooms (2) banana halfs, (2) bottles Cytomax, (1) bottle gatorade part of (1) bottle water (1) can spicy V8 (1) quarter Cliff bar.