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Race Result

Racer: Amanda Shuman
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 22, 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Female 20 - 24
Time: 2:42:32
Overall Place: 50 / 393
Age Group Place: 4 / 19
Comment: Great weather for a nice bike and run!

Race Report:

**edit : I was called by the tricolumbia people to inform me that I was actually 4th place and not 5th (how cool is that!!) -- they're mailing me the award :)

SWIM: 30:34
BIKE: 1:19:56
RUN: 47:52
FINISH 2:42:32


Pre-race thoughts:
I tapered for this race the right way, the first time in literally a year that I've done this. Eagleman last year I tapered and I knew that if I wanted to feel good I better do it right. (Like most people, I have that overtrained athlete tendency to say "...oh just a few more seconds/minutes/miles won't hurt me".) Two weeks ago I did a 5k less than 48 hours after having done a long brick. My legs were so tired I did the race slower than last year, which, given that I've been on an upward trend, was a big disappointment.

Anyways, the same weekend of the crappy 5k, I drove up and rode/ran the Columbia course (thank you to Alex who already knew the course). This helped immensely, particularly for the run. I knew where the hills were, I knew that we would be turning a lot, and I no longer feared the great big "hills" everyone talks about.

The day before the race was the Girls on the Run 5k. I had volunteered to be the buddy runner for a 9 year old on my team. It turned out to be the right move, we only ran about half the race (saved my legs for the next day!).

Day of/Race:

Woke up in the middle of the night (4am, ugh) to meet my gym buddies for the ride up to Columbia.

After setting up, watched the pros and those who should be pros finishing as I walked to the start -- saw Susan Williams first (man she was flying), then saw Steve and cheered him on, he was running so fast out of the swim (how do you do that anyways? I almost fell on my face when I made it out of the water).

At the start saw a bunch of people I know, nerves were running high. I wasn't nervous. Maybe it's because I just signed up for the GRE and that makes me a helluva lot more nervous.

My wave was told to get into the water (yelled at is more like it :) ) and as I fell into the water (I have a dock bruise) I had the fun cold water shock. As I stood there chattering, my toes in muck, I thought I should warm up. I started to swim - right into a dead fish :( "EWW!! DEAD FISH!" and scores of shrieks and laughing followed.

Race itself:

Swim: I do what I can, which is never much. However, I felt alright after about a 1/4 mile. Only problem was that after the turn, I got off-track and had to get back into line with everyone else; pretty frustrating and I lost a few minutes there. Ran out of the swim and literally almost fell on my face on the grass. T1 would have been shorter except I couldn't run while doing the wetsuit without falling...

Bike: Felt great. After a mile or two I started passing people. Time to catch up! Beautiful course, rolling hills and things to look at, quite the opposite of Eagleman :) I remembered to eat and drink at the right times, no problems!

T2: Much quicker thanks to practicing this brick often, the duathlons I've done, and lock laces...

Run: As usual, my favorite part of the race! You can actually pass by people and say hi to them, see people you know, and of course, I love to run. I passed a lot of people just in the first mile. After I could feel my feet again around mile 1, I picked up the pace. I didn't see many people on the run, but I paced off two women in the 30-34 age group who were going at about the same rate. That neighborhood might have been hilly, but months of practice on the hills where I live and an off-road half marathon a few weeks back helped -- I never felt like I wanted or had to stop. Someone yelled my name on the way out, didn't see who but Keith confirmed it was him later on :) As I made my way around the last bend someone in my age group was right next to me and we sprinted through the last 500 yards or so together. I heard Shandra yell "Go Amanda!" , helped me push right through to the end.

Felt fine. Maybe too good? Probably. But I really enjoyed the course and will definitely do it again. A little disappointed to see that I didn't make top 3 in my age group (next year's goal!) but it was mostly my swim time that dragged me down (go figure). How much would it cost for me to join the reston masters on Saturday mornings?

Saw a lot of people post-race: Steve, who looked like he hadn't even raced (but who was temporarily beaten by a 50+ man), Shandra who was her usual friendly and happy self :), Alex who was analyzing results already ;), Keith who told me he yelled at me on the run, Dave who had a plate full of food already (must have finished WAY ahead of me :)), and a host of other RATs and my gym buddies. I got rushed out of there before the awards ceremony (note to self: drive yourself if you want to stay longer) but I heard everyone did really well - congrats!! :)

I had a fantastic time at this race and plan to do it again next year -- see you all soon on the bike rides and DITR!