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Race Result

Racer: Brady DeHoust
Race: Diamond In The Rough
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2004
Location: Perryville, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 25 - 29
Time: 2:09:53
Overall Place: 20 / 404
Age Group Place: 2 / 20
Comment: So-so swim, good bike, great run

Race Report:

Pre Race
Diamond in the Rough is a modified Oly distance course (1MS, 27MB, 5MR) in Perryville, MD (approx. 1hr 45min drive from Northern VA). The swim is in calm, warm waters. The bike course offers a taste of everything (rollers, short climbs, long(er) climbs, false flats, downhills, technical turns). The run is more-or-less flat, with one short hill on the outbound leg, and a longer, low-grade hill on the return. Temperatures were warm, but not scorching. The run does get fairly hot in spots, as it offers little shade.

I was out the door at 4:30am on Saturday morning to make the drive up to the race. For breakfast, I grabbed a yogurt, banana, a bagel, some coffee, and a bottle of Gatorade. The drive was easy, but lonely. After about an hour, I found myself bored and began to zone-out. To occupy some time, I snapped a few shots of the rising sun, which helped lighten (pun intended) things up and alleviate the boredom. Soon after, I was on the bridge passing over the Susquehanna, where the swim would take place. I was in the registration line shortly after 6am, and racking the bike in transition by 6:45.

The bullhorn-projected announcement was made around 7:30am to everyone in the transition area getting the gear set-up. “YOU MAY CHOOSE TO WEAR A WETSUIT, BUT YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGABLE FOR AGE GROUP AWARDS AND YOUR TIME WILL NOT COUNT FOR THE TEAM COMPETITION” (the all caps signifies the loud bullhorn). Ouch. The course was already to my disadvantage, with the extra 100 meters on the swim and the shortened run. Now, I’d have to battle the 1M swim without the extra “lift” from a wetsuit; then again, so does everyone else. After a short warm-up swim, it was evident that one would have boiled wearing a wetsuit with those water temps.

The green caps (me) scurried down the dock and leaped into the Susquehanna. It was impossible to hear the race director give instruction, so I thought I’d just find a spot, and tread water ‘til the mass of people took off towards the first buoy. The swim was a clockwise swim with 7-buoys to site. The waves seemed to be fairly large, and I got hammered for the first 3-4 minutes until things strung out a bit. A few minutes after the first right turn (around the 2nd buoy), a couple white caps torpedoed through on my left side. Being a left-side breather, I got a few glances and noticed that the 2nd of the two white caps coming through was Steve --- he was moving well, and wasn’t in site for long. A couple buoys later, we took a hard right and headed back towards shore. I felt pretty good. I didn’t feel like I was expending much more energy than I would when wearing a wetsuit. Due to a glaring sun, it was virtually impossible to see the dock and swim finish on the final section of the swim. All you could really do was follow other swimmers and use the shore as a guide. To exit the water, you had to pull yourself up a rubber pad with holes to grip with your fingers, then continue along the dock and up a flight of ~20-steps.

After about a 300 meter run to T1, I threw on my RATs jersey, shoes, helmet, and glasses and took off. The Big Horse had racked his bike next to mine; clearly a ploy to allow himself a grin when seeing my bike in T1 --- and again, not seeing it in T2...cool friend.

For the first 20-minutes of the bike, I felt pretty bad. It was hard to gauge whether I was having a bad day, or if the course was just set-up to be tough in the beginning. There were a fair amount of low-grade hills to get out of town that made it difficult to get into a good riding tempo. On one of the first, shorter hills, a biker passed me from behind and said something like, “Come on, let’s go”. He was all fired up and, at that time, looked as though he was going to post a strong bike. I stayed with him for the next 500 meters to the next short, slightly steeper hill, where he dropped off and faded into never-never land for good. I guess he used everything he had to pass me on the FIRST hill of the course. I still felt pretty stale, but continued to pass others and was not being passed by anyone. A few miles into the bike, I came up alongside Aaron for a short bit and mustered up one of those out-of-breath “stay strong”. As soon as the initial rollers to get out of town were done, there were some nice, short descents that turned into a long, flat section where you could really set a good tempo. At this point, I had pretty much been riding alone; not knowing how I was doing compared to the others in front of me. I would sporadically pass someone, but very few and far between. In reading Steve’s RR from last year, I was a bit concerned with the bike course being marked well. There seemed to be more volunteers this year and better markings. And although there were volunteers at every intersection/turn, I don’t think one of them ever pointed to the direction you were supposed to be going --- they just sort of stood there and either stared at you or chatted with others standing there with them. Soon, I was heading back into town and felt much, much better than I had at the start of the bike. I felt fresh and began to think about T2 and a strong run.

My bike dismount was far from graceful. I got caught up thinking about the run on the road into the park, and never unclipped from my pedals. I skidded to the bike dismount line and was able to get out of my shoes before tipping over. I was in-and-out of T2 in a flash. My race unfolding as normal, as, there it was...the Cervelzek (le bike de le Grande Cheval). It was time for the hunt.

As soon as I exited transition to start the run, I heard the race director announce that it was going to be a close one between RATs and Baltimore Tri club for the overall win --- a great race was unfolding up-front. I had no idea where my AG place was starting the run. I did know that Guzek was out there somewhere, but I had no idea how far. About a half-mile into the run, I passed an age-grouper who did not seem to be a threat to stick with me. The first mile hurt pretty good, but it usually does. The run continued on a shaded path where you could really get into a good groove. I was running hard, breathing hard…everything at this point was hard. I tried to take a cup of water at one aid station, but choked on whatever actually made it into my throat. The temperatures were getting pretty hot, so at the least, it was nice to dump a little water on the neck. After a very short little hill on a dirt path, the run course takes you through a grassy area and down onto the road. It then heads up a short hill before making a left at the 2-mile marker. I saw the Big Horse up ahead as he rounded the turn at the 2-mile mark, and felt confident about making the catch, and also looked forward to getting a little boost of encouragement. It was on this stretch where the run got exciting. Ken Glah was the first to come through, heading back from the turn. He started in my wave (wave 1), and was clearly the front-runner there. Next through was Brian Benda, then Steve, then Glover. All these guys had started in wave 2, 4-minutes behind the wave Ken had started in, so it was clear the winner would come from one of these guys. As both Steve and Glover came by, we slapped hands and encouraged one-another to keep moving. Shortly before the turn, I passed the Big Horse. I prayed that a tractor hauling hay bails didn’t drive by to give him any incentive to pick up the pace --- I know, I know…I’ve beat that joke to death. I’ll try to come up with some new material. The second half of the run was hard. I felt like I was starting to fade physically, but my pace remained consistent. There didn’t seem to be any threats from anyone behind, and there weren’t any targets I could see ahead. Then, with about 400 meters to go, I saw someone ahead approaching the grassy finish chute. There didn’t seem to be enough real estate to catch him, but I gave it my best effort. I wound up finishing about 15-seconds behind this guy, who would ultimately claim 1st in our AG.

Post Race
I did this race for a couple reasons; (a) it was a good hard effort to throw into the Ironman USA taper schedule, as it fell 2-weeks out and also on a Saturday, allowing for some biking on Sunday, and (b) the club event seemed like a great time to race with a lot of familiar faces and meet some folks that I had only known from the message board. It was a great time hanging out pre and post race. Next year, RATs could win this club championship race with a higher number of overall participants (.5 points for each) --- excellent work done by all who participated.