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Race Result

Racer: Steve Smith
Race: Colonial Beach Triathlon
Date: Sunday, July 11, 2004
Location: Colonial Beach, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 1:37:25
Overall Place: 1
Comment: Converted into duathlon: r: 17:34/3 b: 59:01/2 r: 19:16

Race Report:

So Aaron & I managed the double. A few people asked me: "Why?" The answer was, alternately, "Because I can" or "Well, I couldn't decide on which race, so I chose both."

Anyhoo, after leaving Coleen's fine party, Aaron & I made the journey down US-301 to Colonial Beach. We registered, I got some ART treatment (yay!) and we headed to Fredricksburg to crash for the night. We'd debated driving home & crashing at home. Staying in Fredricksburg would only save us an hour at the most, probably less. However, two things made the hotel appealing: 30 minutes of additional sleep and we wouldn't have to unpack the car. More importantly, comfy home with comfy beds and comfy routines would make the double harder ... ya know, once you're in the racing zone, it's best to stay there until you're done racing.

As we drove toward Fredricksburg somebody hit both Aaron & me with the hungry stick. Aaron details our journey to the Waffle Hut more poetically than I could hope, so I'll leave you with his Diamond in the Rough race report to get the details. For the curious, I had a waffle, a Fiesta omlette & a double order of hash browns covered & smothered.

We hit the hotel, sleep, wake up, feel tired. I'm feeling pretty ragged, but I know it'll pass. We get a little lost on the way there, but arrive with enough time to get ready. Duathlons are a little easier to prepare for, so no worries there.

I amble up to the start line and hang back a bit. I like to let a few guys set the pace for the first few hundred meters while I hang back and check out the situation. We start. I feel okay. A couple of guys go out ahead of me. I give 'em a few meters while I check out all the systems. All systems are good, and I decide I can run faster, so I take off and chase the young cross country kid. We trade off pulls for a bit ... I think he's surging/fading and I'm the steady target, but I cannot tell for sure. Whatever the cause, we had a good little pace line going and it was fun. About half-way thru Aaron comes by like he's out for a Sunday stroll. He motors on by & I lose the kid for about 500m trying to keep up with Aaron. No way. The kid catches up, passes me & we race into transition (he's on a relay team I figure, giving his running shorts) about 30 seconds behind Aaron.

Aaron & I leave transition about the same time, but he's pointed in the wrong direction. I'm about to say, "Other way" when gives me the signal to pass ... just then one of the volunteers & I direct him to the exit and eveything shakes out well. The relay member is about 200m ahead of me, and I pass him in short order. Then I settle in for a lonely ride.

This is a great bike course (maybe a little short from what I heard, but my odometer wasn't working). It's flat for the initial miles, then some rollers to the turn-around. The retun trip seems much faster. I never saw anyone behind me during the bike. There was a group of about six cyclists that I saw after the turn-around, led by Friend-o-RATS Rob Cook. They seemed closer at the turn-around than they seemed later in the race, so I think I picked things up on the return trip, knowing they were in the hunt. I wasn't surprised that my HR was quite depressed (about 140-144, instead of the usual 158-164), but I was trucking along with no one in sight, and I had a pretty long view of the course behind me.

Into one of the two most beautiful sights in multisport: completely empty bike racks, and out onto the run. I knew I was way ahead of the M39 & Under wave, and I wasn't sure of the competition in the 40+ wave. About half-way thru the run I was so ready for this race to be over. I have to admit, it was a little hard to keep the pace respectable. Aside from being tired, I just didn't think there were many guys over 40 to worry about. I would be wrong.

To make a long story short, there were two guys in the 40+ wave that gave me a run for the money (literally, this race has a cash purse and, starting this year, the age group awards were cash prizes $35-30-25). Marty, who placed second and, much to my dismay, took 0:33 out of me on the bike for the day's best split, used to ride in Reston with our buddy James Thompson. Aside from being an excellent duathlete, Marty is a super nice guy. The other 40+ finisher was Doug Marocco, who always pushes me in these races down 'round Quantico. Doug's a great athlete across the spectrum of distances and always a challenge.

Not too surprisingly, I felt MUCH better after the race than I did before the race. Well, maybe not 5-10-25 minutes after the race--I felt pretty tired then. But a half-hour after the race, in clean clothes and out of the beating sun & ridiculous humidity, I felt pretty darn good.

Also at Colonial were RATS Doug Steele, Matt Talbot, and Steve Giorgis. Matt & his pregnant wife would leave soon after the race and then Doug, Steve, Aaron & I sat around consuming the tasty pizza and awaited the awards. They posted the bike splits before anything else, and I was surprised to be 0:33 back from Marty. Then they post the first run splits, where I put 0:54 into Marty ... I never saw the second run results before the awards, so as we arrived at the Men's overall, it was kinda exciting. I knew my last run was not that great, and I thought it would be close. And it was: 0:36 ... only 0:08 different from my second place less than 24 hours earlier. Pheww!