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Race Result

Racer: Mike Guzek
Race: Diamond In The Rough
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2004
Location: Perryville, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 25 - 29

Race Report:

A wise triathlete once said, “bike splits are like armpits…everyone’s got one and yours stinks!”

I made the 1 hour and 30 minute trip up to Perryville, MD the morning of the race and found myself unloading my bike an hour and fifteen minutes before the race start. “Hey, that’s plenty of time” I thought. However, the line to check in was long and the only line that kept it from being the longest line of the morning was (nope, not the Port-a-Loo line) the line to get your bike inspected. After about 45 minutes, and still several bike lengths back from the check in table, I was starting to run the risk not being set up in time for the race start. Luckily, quick thinking by Kyle Yost and stv who snagged my bike and waited in the bike check in line for me whilst I finished up registration, saved the day. I hurried through setting up my transition while constantly seeing RATs faces pop up…hey, there’s Brady and the new girl Katie….Frosty, what’s up…Aaron Schwatzenrunningtwigenbard……Glover! Etc. I made it to the swim start just in time.

There was a little confusion as to where the swim start was and two canoers eventually claimed that they represented the swim starting line so we reshuffled behind them. There was some small talk about how much time we had until the race started and suddenly a whistle blew…and the wave of 29 and unders plus some other groups set out for the wesuitless swim in water that was in the upper 70s. Conditions were generally good with fairly smooth water. We were swimming a counter clockwise circle with the sun starting off to our left which kept it out of our eyes until returning on the opposite side of the loop. I started off under control and slowly slipped away from the first two swimmers in our wave as we approached the first two buoys (away = behind, unfortunately). I latched on to two other swimmers but felt very uncomfortable….short of breath and a little uneasy in the stomach. I very reluctantly lost contact with those folks and faded a bit as another group containing Ken Glah rolled through. I latched on there and existed in XXXX. I was not very happy with my swim. I had trouble sighting and maintaining pace and in general didn’t feel too snazzy. The swim also featured an exist the required swimmers to climb up a very very steep wooden ramp to the pier. Fortunately, volunteers were there to offer a hand. As always, a clyde in this situation is very nervous. Most volunteers don’t expect to have to haul 220+ lbs of beer and muscle out of the water so there was a risk of one of the volunteers taking an unexpected dive back in the water. As luck would have it, no involuntary baths were had.

Although my T-1 time does not look as horrific as it felt, it seemed to me at the time to be a bit of a mess. I decided to try to put on my jersey in T-1 which resulted in the predictable “Rolled Up At The Top Of You Back” (RUATTOYB) situation. Ken Glah ran out of transition with his bike, realized he forgot his bike shoes, ran back to his rack to rifle through his bag to retrieve his shoes and got back out of transition before I could simply get my things and leave T-1 on my first try. Not good. I sentence myself to reading 3 articles on fast transitions and 20 driveway T-1 simulations for penance. What the heck, let’s toss in a message board posting asking for quick T-1 tips and a new set of tri specific cycling shoes just to be sure I am back to a clean slate for my next race.

I tried to start off a little conservative on the bike since I didn’t know the course and I also wanted to finished strong and try to put up a good run. In retrospect, I think I might have started off too easy. I left transition right behind Ken Glah and rode the first several miles not far behind him. Although I have never liked his use of the Speedo while racing, I couldn’t help but feel a little tickled to be racing wheel to wheel with an icon of the sport. On one of the climbs he began to inch away and I found myself all alone. Several miles later a dot appeared on the horizon behind me. The dot became a spot, which became a blot. Moments later, I was caught (the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain! By George I think I’ve go it! ). It was stv. We chatted briefly and rode several miles close together. Eventually, he put his big calves to use and left me alone once again. Besides being a boost to get my tempo up to where it probably should have been all along, he also noted that we were coming up on the dangerous descent which helped take the guess work out it. After managing the dangerous (but manageable with plenty of advanced warning) descent, I made a left turn and started down a nice flat stretch of road. I looked over my shoulder and once again I saw a dot…(Now once again, where does it rain?). Several minutes later Glover cruised by. I road behind him for a few miles and then remembered his habit of throwing up during races so I slowly dropped back. Unlike the first half of the bike course, the remaining miles were mainly flat, save one long steep hill. The rest of the ride was uneventful and I managed to pass a rider just a few miles outside of T-1. My split was XXXX and I felt good at the time, but looking at the split now, I am not too pleased.

I started out on the run and immediately 3 fellows ran right past me. That was a little discouraging, but I just tried to stay focused on my own race. An occasional look over the shoulder showed no signs of any runners in sight (although I have recently slipped from my 20/20 vision so that might not be saying much). As I approached the turn around I saw the leaders heading back for home. Right about 3rd position I saw stv trucking back home. There was a quick low five exchanged and no sooner than I could get my hand back in a running motion I saw Glover. Another high five and as quick as I could get my hand back in the running motion I saw Brady passing from behind…this was the RATs corner. I made the turn around and quickly saw quite a few fellows nipping at my heels. Yost and Chip were not much more than a minute or so back, although they started 3 minutes behind my wave. They were going to beat me on time, but I was going to risk kidney failure to not give them the satisfaction of actually passing me on the run. The run back was a blur. I saw Katie and several other RATs cruising out on the run. While running up the finishing chute a volunteer was yelling “you gotta go…you gotta go…you got 3 of ‘em right behind you!” I think subconsciously my basketball skills kicked in. Although I never saw him, Brady later told me that I was boxing out the guy who was running up my back. Finally, a basketball drill pays dividends in this sport! Thanks coach Blalock!

I finished in xxxx which was 25th overall. I managed to hold of Yost and Chip. When folks asked me how I did I lamented how my swim was crappy, but after looking at the results my swim, while not great, was not really the problem. My bike split is what let me down. It was not a great race for me, but it wasn’t too bad.

The experience of the race was fantastic. To see so many RATs….and to see so many FAST RATs made this one of my most enjoyable races thus far. There are too many congratulations I could throw out and for fear of forgetting one I’ll just throw a blanket “congrats” out there to all you folks who show up and raced.

Our club barely missed taking the club championship and we ended up in second place behind the Baltimore tri club. Next year perhaps we can take the crown.