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Race Result

Racer: Mike Guzek
Race: Lums Pond Triathlon
Date: Sunday, September 28, 2003
Location: Bear, DE
Race Type: Triathlon - Sprint
Age Group: Male 25 - 29
Time: 1:25:57
Overall Place: 18 / 500
Age Group Place: 1

Race Report:

I, like many others, was supposed to do the Make-A-Wish race last weekend that was postponed due to a silly little hurricane thing that came through. Since I am going to be out of town on the new date for the race, I went scrambling to find another race to fill the void and Lums Pond was the race I found. The last race I did was the Lake Placid IM and the next race I am doing is the Dook IM, so I was not too sure what to expect with a sprint race.

I went down there the night before and drove the bike course. I remember being slightly concerned by the conditions of the road. Much of the course was not the normal asphalt, but concrete sections….fairly old concrete sections with holes and cracks where the sections came together. When you drive the course you get that "thump, thump, thump, thump….." as you pass from one slab to the next. Overall though, things seemed ok so we headed back to the hotel…..thump, thump, thump…..

Race Morning
We were up at 5:00 and at the race site by 6:00. Since we checked in the night before, things were very smooth and I managed to get a nice 15 minute warm up jog and a 15 minute bike ride in before the race. It had rained right up until the moment we got there so I had my fingers crossed (and bike shoes crossed, and running shoes crossed, and wetsuit pant legs crossed, and race belt ends crossed, etc) that we would see no more rain. Fortunately, we didn't. At 7:45 we were all by the swim start on the outside of a locked gate. They were planning on letting each wave onto the beach as their start approached. The spectators were already on the beach lining the path over the timing mat and I felt like a hoops player at the start of a game at the MCI center as I made my way past the fans on the beach. In my head I heard the PA: "…and here he comes….from Arlington, Va…..standing at 6'5"….215 lbs of twisted steel….number 7 in the program, number 1 in your heart….. Michael Guzek!!!!! [insert the flashing lights, the roaring crowd and a chest bump with Shaq]. Wow, I was fired up by the time I got to water's edge.

We got a 60 second warm up and then the 29 and under male wave took off. I was planning to dig and try to stay with a lead pack as long as I could. I knew the top few guys were much faster than me, but I hoped to tag along for the first 300-400 yards and perhaps find another swimmer who might slip of the back to pull me the rest of the way. Well, I dove in the water way to early and had to get back up and keep running. My start was a mess and by the time I got going the lead guys were gone. I swam alone in the "chase pack" with no one around to draft off. I was straight as an arrow which was great, but my goal was to see nothing but the bubbles of the swimmer in front of me so I was a little bummed I was on my own. I held my position and came in 5th, I think, in the wave; well behind that early pack that took off.

I hurried through transition and got on the bike. It's a pretty flat bike which I do well with. But it was also very wet and I get a little nervous with wet turns so that was not quite ideal. Overall I felt good and as expect much of the ride was "thump, thump, thump…." Over the concrete slabs. I passed quite few of the duathletes, but I really had no idea if any of them were in the triathlon…I suspected not. No one past me until we got into the park with about a mile to go when out of no where (and I mean that literally….I looked back, no one was there and then seconds later…) I hear, "on your left" and barreling down my grill is Troy Jacobstrong. Humbled, I did as I was told and got over. He was gone (btw, he was in the wave 5 minutes behind me).

I had a good transition and got out running. I found this to be the most difficult sport of the 3 to do as a sprint when most of my training has been geared towards longer races. I still felt good….but it just felt….well, different. As is usually the case there was a slow trickle of people that past me on the run. It was nothing too bad, maybe 4-5 guys??? One of the trickle was Steve. The only thing we said was--- Mike: "You see Troy?" Steve: "He's a fast mofo." And stv was gone. The run seemed to be over before it even began which was disappointing and great at the same time. I posted a 19:50 and like most people was pleased with my run.

It looks like I would have been 4th in my age group, but since I raced as a clyde I was fortunate enough to walk away with some first place hardware. I was 18th over all, which is a little lower than I hoped going in, but there were some super fast "mofos" there so I can't complain at all. Our team The Reston Area Triathlete (RATs) was second in the team competition and that was an added bonus.

This race was not without tragedy. On they way home on the BW Parkway a car decided to do a U-turn in the median. There was not a shoulder so he slowed down quickly in the left lane setting off a chain reaction. We steered clear of the swerving cars ahead of us as brakes were locked all around us, but the car behind us could not stop in time….BAM! Smacked from behind. I was fine, Melanie was fine…but guess what was mounted on the back of the car. MY BIKE! The rear wheel was crumpled but the frame seems to be ok, but it's being looked at now. Fingers crossed (and bike shoes crossed, and running shoes crossed, and wetsuit pant legs crossed, and race belt ends crossed, etc) the wheel is the only problem. The silver lining in all this is that right before we left I decided to take my Zipp 404 race wheels off and put on my training wheels, so I at least still have those. I was sad the rest of the day…almost like a relative was put into the hospital. Thanks to all of you for keeping my Seven in your prayers. I know that will help him throughout his recovery. In his honor, I ask all of you to pour a sip of your Endurox out as a show up support. We love you Big Seven.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.