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Race Result

Racer: Jen Tallman
Race: Patriot's Half
Date: Saturday, September 8, 2007
Location: Jamestown Beach Campground - Williamsburg, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Female 30 - 34
Time: 7:41:15
Age Group Place: 12 / 12
Comment: I DID IT!!!

Race Report:


Swim 1.2 miles: 54:15
T1: 09:13
Bike 56 miles: 03:49:04
T2: 3:44
Run 13.1 miles: 02:45:01

I finished!!! I had 19 minutes to spare before they closed the course. It was an amazing race, and the greatest high to finially see the finish and then actually cross it.

This race was my first open water swim with a current. The course was the typical three sided rectangle, and the first two sides were fast and easy. As I rounded the last turn buoy to heaad for the shore and T1, I sighted for my next buoy and couldn't find one, so I sighted on the sea of bobbing heads in brightly colored caps. The current pushed me way off course and I ended up swimming a huge diagonal against it to finally reach the beach, but I got there. Then I tripped and scraped up the top of my foot real bad coming out of the water.

There was a half mile between the beach and the transition area... a comfy gravel trail with some places covered in a thin carpet. Ouch! Transition went smoothly, and the half mile gave me a chance to get mostly out of the wetsuit before reaching transition. I usually get my hands stuck and falil around in transition trying to get them free!

Five minutes into the bike ride I took in some calories in the form of vanilla Power Bar gel. The flask I was using for the gel malfunctioned and I proceeded to squirt the sticky concoction all over my hand and my bike. Oh well... only 55 miles to go at that point.

Shortly after the second railroad crossing, the cages holding my water bottle behind my seat decided to break off and fall into the road, where I abandoned them. Profile Design will hear about their crappy mounting bracket which failed when the metal snapped in half.

At mile 42, just after the final water stop, I was trying to put the gel flask back in my jersey pocket and steered too close to the edge of the road. Unfortunately there was only a 1" wide strip of gravel separating pavement and a 2' deep ditch, where I found myself upsidedown, shoes still clipped to the bike, with the last water I had draining onto me. I righted the bike in time to salvage enough water to get back to transition, adjusted the rear brakes that had been knocked askew, and continued on my way, carrying a few new scrapes and bruises and a rather uncomfortable right shoulder.

The bike leg turned out to be 58.24 miles and not 56, but I gotta go 112 in July in Lake Placid, so who's counting, right? I made it into transition, to cheers for the "wild thing," as my jersey featured monsters from the children's book Where the Wild Things Are. I got changed and happily ditched the bike to go for a little half marathon run!

The run course was almost totally exposed to the brutally hot sun. I ran the first two miles solid, but the rest of the 13.1 passed in a series of mind games. Start running at that sign and run to the beginning of the bridge. Walk by five cones then run by ten. Near the turn around, I met a lady named Cathy who was playing similar games, so we decided to encourage each other and play together. A third woman joined in for a bit, but fell behind about two miles from the finish.

As Cathy and I approached the last street crossing before the finish, we planned to walk to the beginning of the cones and then run for the finish. As soon as I rounded the corner and saw the big inflatable arch beckoning me, all of the fatigue melted away in the realization of what I had accomplished, and I sprinted. My sister tried to run to get ahead of me to get a picture, but she couldn't beat me. She ran next to me and crossed the line with me holding my hand.

The emotions were overwhelming. I got my cheap looking finisher's medal, but in that moment, you could not have convinced me that it wasn't Olympic Gold. I even wore it to dinner when I left the race. I know, that's really cheesy, but I earned one night of cheesiness!

I defeated so much to cross that line. Self-doubt, disease, limitations of my mind and body, negative thoughts during the race. I pushed myself past every limit I thought I'd never break. I amazed myself, and that was worth more than anything.

So, now I'm sore and stiff, and I'm gonna go eat pancakes, because I deserve to eat pancakes. When my legs forgive me for what I did to them yesterday, I'm gonna wear out a few pairs of running shoes so I can finish my marathon, and hit the bike and the pool hard so I can have my untimate reward in Lake Placid on July 20, 2008.... "Jennifer Tallman, you are an Ironman."