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Race Result

Racer: Bill Goodrum
Race: Eagleman
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2004
Location: Cambridge, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 45 - 49
Time: 5:09:54
Overall Place: 491 / 1387
Age Group Place: 3 / 28
Comment: Good Karma

Race Report:


3 out of 28 (there was an added Clyde not shown on results) in over 40 Clydesdales

Swim: 38:32
T1: 3:35
Bike: 2:31.29
T2: 2:28
Run: 1:53:52

This was my first attempt at the half IM distance. I had been very upbeat all week because the weather forecast was calling for cooler than normal weather and for those of us in the heavyweight division that is a good thing. (Good Karma benefit #1)

My wife and I drove over Friday night and stayed in Easton at the Tidewater Inn which is located right in the middle of the historic part of the city. Unfortunately we got there and they did not have our reservation for Friday. Super nice people though and they managed to rearrange rooms to accommodate us. (Good Karma benefit #2). This weekend the Eagleman athletes would be sharing the hotel with the Maryland Chapter of the Vietnam Vets which made for an interesting combination of body types (most seemed to have trouble pushing away from the table/bar) and lifestyles (lots of cigars and alcohol). Their hospitality suite was rocking until 2 or 3am Sat morning and they closed the bar (which was directly beneath our room) Sat night. They were a very friendly crowd but it did make for less than optimal pre race sleep.

Saturday we checked in at the race, cruised the Expo, napped and hit the pre race meeting. Had a light dinner and hit the bed. Sunday was going to be an early morning.

The Hotel opened their coffee shop at 4am for us which meant I could have my Starbucks (Good Karma benefit #3). Had my usual pre race meal of 2 smores poptarts and a banana. We hit the road about 4:40 to get to the park which was about a 25 minute drive from the hotel.

All the Clydesdales were racked in a small section next to the swim entrance/run exit part of the transition area. Long way to run with the bike but with the ground being dry it really did not matter too much. Chatted with some of my OFB mates from last year’s season, said hi to Guz who was racked across from me (figured it was the only time I would see him until the end) and got myself organized. We were not scheduled to go off until 8:09am but had to vacate the transition area by 7:15am. Did not get in my usual warm-up but figured for this race that was not really too important. Put on my wetsuit bottom, grabbed the top, cap and goggles and headed over to the porta potty for one final visit.

While it was great to be able to see the pros come out of the water, I could feel my anxiety level build waiting to go off. All the usual stuff (I must be an idiot for doing this.etc. etc.) would creep into my head to be quickly erased as another group hit the water and the excitement of the race took over. Finally it was time to hit the water and within the first couple of warm-up strokes I felt great! (Good Karma benefit #4). I’m not sure I ever felt so comfortable in the water for a race.

The swim start was very shallow so we had to dolphin/flying fish (or whale I guess)/ leapfrog whatever you want to call it for a ways. Going out was into the sun but I did not have any trouble sighting the buoys and was able to keep a pretty good line right along the buoys. I felt great when I made the turn at the sailboat. At this point I was really getting into my zone and having a wonderful swim. This would also be where I lost focus on what I was supposed to be doing (staying on course) and unbeknownst to me started sighting on the outbound buoys rather than the return trip buoys. I estimate I swam about 200 yards into the inside of the ‘V’ before the race official on the jetski appeared in my path and pointed for me to go back the way I came. That would be another 200 yards perpendicular to the course line to get back outside the buoys. While it was momentarily mentally deflating to waste time that early in the race, my next thought was concern about my wife sitting there watching all the green caps exit the water and wondering what happen to me. That thought made me swim harder and although I never really felt comfortable with my sighting I did finally see the exit buoys. It seemed to take forever to swim up the ramp and at the exit I tried to go up the wrong side (thank you Catherine for yelling at me). I finished in 38:32 which given the course correction was a great time. I did not let going off course mess with my mind except in a positive way (Good Karma benefit #5).

I was able to get out of my wetsuit top on the way to the bike but struggled a little getting into socks and shoes. No question I could improve on this one Time 3:35 which includes the half mile run with the bike to the exit.

The bike course is flat although I do think there were some areas of false flats and the ever-present wind that seemed to change direction so that it was always in your face. I use a PowerTap that gives me wattage, cadence and heart rate. I had targeted my heart rate in the low 150’s about 5 beats below LT for me and my cadence above 90. I also had set my watch to go off every 10 minutes so that I would shift down (up?/harder) 2 cogs and stand for a few pedal strokes. I alternated Gatorade and Hammer gel on this interval and took water each time. Every hour I took Endutolytes and some other supplements I use. This system worked well for me. The first hour I was keeping about a 20mph pace and staying in my target zone. The last 2/3 though I could not keep my heart rate up and maintain cadence. I decided that for my legs on the run, the cadence was more important and since I seemed to be keeping the same wattage even though my heart rate was falling, I figured this was the best course of action. The only time my heart rate went back up was when I did a classic dumb move and tried to do two things at once. For some reason I released my right hand from the handled bar and tried to stand. The front wheel jerked left and I could hear the tire skidding. I managed to get it under control but I cannot tell you how. (Good Karma #6). I do not recall being passed by anyone and based on the bikes in T1 I felt pretty good about my place. Also I could see that my time was going to be far better than I had expected so I was very upbeat at this point.

Rolled up to T2 at 2:31:29 and dismounted. My legs were having an out of body experience trying to run through transition but I managed to get there and make a very quick change for me. T2 2:28. The run exit was right near my rack. I knew I had been hydrating ok because I need relief at about mile 10 on the bike. Still have not been able to do that while moving on the bike.

My only focus at this time on the run was Aid station 1 for a potty stop. With my heart rate up and the pain in my bladder mile 1 was awful. After a short stop at Aid one I felt better and my legs felt very good. My plan was to walk as needed through the Aid stations to save my legs. I figured I should be able to complete the run in 2 hours and at that I would have a 5:15 which was 15 minutes better than planned. Again in T2 the bikes of my known competitors seemed to be absent so I felt confident I could hang on in the run to bring home hardware. Somewhere around mile 4 I picked up a 48-y/o man who was not a Clyde and we started the back and forth routine. I would pass him and then he would catch me at the Aid station and pass me. We did this for awhile and then started running together. At the same point I passed Frank Prein who was a fellow OFB and good swimmer. Frank was suffering with cramps and I made a mistake at that point that would cost me later…I wrote him off. My 48 y/o running partner and I ran together all the way until mile 10. I was feeling good and relaxed but could tell my quads were just going to make it to the end. I had a 57 split at the turn around and was getting periodic spasms. At the aid station around mile 10 I slowed and walked…I was pretty sure that 5:10 was possible and then it happened…Frank passed me. What a let down…I started back up and managed to reel him in by mile 11. Now I was trying to stay about 5 yards behind him and pace him with the hope I could muster enough to pass him in the finish chute. It was a great plan but he must have seen me and started to pull away…by mile 12 my quads were shot and now I was concerned as I looked back that there may be others that could close the gap in that last mile. My focus switched to maintaining my pace until the chute. Run time 1:53:52.

It had stayed overcast during the entire race for me (Good Karma #7) and as soon as I was done the sun peaked out again. It was a great race and a wonderful experience. Congrats to Guz for top YFB, Brad and Gwen for their first long course finishes and Brady, Steve and Dan for great finishes in their groups.

See all of you at Diamond in the Rough!