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Race Result

Racer: Brad Payne
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 23, 2004
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 2:59:03
Overall Place: 636 / 1166
Age Group Place: 80 / 133
Comment: Its all downhill from here...except for the uphill parts...

Race Report:

SWIM: 28:06
T1: 4:06
BIKE: 1:24:25
T2: 1:36
RUN: 1:00:51
FINISH 2:59:03

Like a lot of local triathletes I signed up for Columbia as a spring board for my Eagleman preparation. I never really thought about Columbia that much, it was a mere formality, a training day. When I heard that RATS were biking off to hill country, and my schedule didn't really fit, I didn't mind. After all, I rationalized, "Eagleman is flat!"

As race day got closer, and the chatter for Columbia increased, I became aware of the course's hilly reputation. Again I rationalized, its eastern Maryland, how hilly can it be? On Saturday, I was more worried about my lack of open water swimming so I participated in swim that never happened in an unnamed lake with certain RATS that don't exist. After a short ride, my fan support (Lisa) and I packed up and looped around the Beltway. After dropping of my bike, we drove the bike course. And then I became fully aware of the respect I needed for any course. I turned to my wife in a moment of self doubt, "I'm not ready for this."

Normally I like to race with my heart rate monitor, but remembering an earlier post this month about "leaving the monitor at home on race day," I thought that would be good advice as I didn't need to see 180+ as I hit the first major incline at mile 4. Oh well, we ate a nice Italian dinner, went to bed early, and got to Centennial Park by 6AM. (And on the bright side, my XXXL Rats jersey, which I had to squeeze into last year, felt awfully "blousy"...not that I know what a blouse fits like...)

The past three months of swimming with the Reston Masters had paid huge dividends as I not only managed to stay calm at the frothy start--but actually managed to shave six minutes of my 1500 time from last year. I couldn't keep up with the first pair of feet I tried drafting, but I did ride the second pair all the way to the last turn. Anyone else notice that the smell of the water changed dramatically in those last 100 yards...as in not in a good way?

I'm notoriously slow at T1. I didn't suffer from the usual confusion, but I physically could not make myself run. New wet suit peeled right off.

I heard a familiar voice as I pulled away from Centennial Park. It was Troy Jacobsen, and yes, he encouraged me to increase my cadence. I took the first major incline conservatively but something happened during that climb, I started to get my confidence back. It wasn't killing me, and I realized that with a little suffering on the incline, I could rest my legs as I zipped down the other side. So instead of taking it easy, I started to "race" and attack the course as best I could. After a long, twisting downhill near the midpoint, I let out a wild yell as my bike hit 40 mph. I was fired up! It made up for my 8 mph climb that followed. Even though my training rides were flat, I did have just enough base to keep my speed up. In fact, my 18.1 mph average is the second fastest ride I've ever done!

Changed shoes and grabbed fuel belt with two gatoraid containers...oh am I glad I brought those along...

Last week I PRd in the Sallie Mae 10K with a 48 minute showing. Once I hit that first cruel hill outside of the transition area, I knew bettering that time was out of the question. As Dan noted earlier, now the sun was out. I wiped my brow and noticed that my watch was now covered with a white film. With all the salt, I looked like a french fry (coupled with the RATS jersey, I guess that made me cheezy fries). I didn't walk that first hill, but it hurt me badly. My first mile was 8:30, but it felt much slower. The next group of hills finally brought me to a walk. Before the race I thought that it was odd to have aid stations at each mile marker, but I wasn't complaining as they appeared as urban oases (oasises?). Not only did I dump cold water on my roasting head, drank a cup of gatoraid at each station, but I would also refill my water bottles so I could rehydrate in between miles. Miles 3 and 4 were pathetic and took me 22 minutes to complete. I remembered the "suffer" thread from the week before and how only a crazy person would volunteer for this kind of "fun" However, during that "down time," I started to rally. When I realized that if I could finish the final 2.2 miles in 21 minutes, I could finish the race in less than three hours. My body temperature was cooler, and I began to run with my usual stride and vigor. (I did have to walk that last hill.) As the finish line appeared on the other side of the lake, I started picking up the pace even more and as I closed in on the finish line, there was my wife and a pack of RATS rooting me on! My longest tri, done in just under three hours. I was tired, and I felt great...ready to go again...

Food was good. Water was good. Shower was good. Nap was excellent. Lisa made a pizza. She ate a slice. I ate the rest.

Seriously, I really enjoyed the race. It was well organized, and the course is quite challenging. My wife, being six months pregnant, was quite the trooper to put up with that heat. She enjoyed meeting you all and promises to bring a tent for Eagleman!