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Race Result

Racer: Matt Taylor
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 22, 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 25 - 29
Time: 2:52:06
Overall Place: 571 / 1245
Age Group Place: 42 / 76
Comment: 34 Minutes

Race Report:

34 Minutes? What the heck does 34 minutes mean? Is it a swim split? Personally, I hope not. Is it a record setting 10K? Not in this life time. 34 minutes was the gap between my start time and my friend Duane's start time. His age group went off at 7:11. My age group 7:45. 34 minutes. If I were to bridge the gap, than I was racing they way I felt I should be. So this race I was spared the music stuck in my head, no elmo, no wiggles. All I kept saying was 34 minutes, nobody else on the course mattered except the guy with this number taped to back of his jersey. Some of you probably saw him as well, he was my target goal.

I was lucky this year. Since moving to Charleston, I have kept working in Columbia. My apartment is 5 minutes from the race site, so I did not have the usual pre race trek or jitters. Setup was a snap and I got a good warm up in. The energy at columbia is fantastic and I really enjoy this race. This course definitely has my number though, and for whatever reason, I find it difficult. This is usually my first race of the season, and to have a tough course with a high level of competition is a lot to put into a first race when you have not worked out all the kinks yet.


The water was a bit chilly but the new long sleeve wet suit took care of that. My shoulders were stiff at the start of the swim, I think in part to the temp of the water. I loosened up though and felt good reaching the first turn. I had started near the back of the swim, and now found myself comfortably in the mix of it. Somewhere around the next buoy though, I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. I swam to far outside the buoy and got of course. It took a bit of siting to get back on target but the damage was done. I got back into the mix, but had already added extra time. I finished the swim strong and felt good entering T1.


T1 went so smoothly I was convinced I was missing something. Thankfully, I was not and off onto the bike. The course is very hilly with some significant climbs. Gravity is definitely a friend to the heavier cyclist because of the number of descents. The bike course went fairly smoothly. I had had my bike shipped from SC, and put back together. In transit, my rear derailleur was slightly bent, and I do not think my bike setup was 100% of where I wanted it. I had taken it for a a spin a few days prior to make some adjustments, but I still fell slightly off for the ride. No sign of Duane on the bike course, so that meant he was holding his own. He knew I was gunning for him, and was using the same motivation. 34 minutes....34 minutes....as I enter T2.


T2 was just as smooth. No missed bike rack this year. I had an end slot with a tree to mark it. I was in and out in 1:30. This is the second year I started the run feeling bloated. I had only a bottle of accelerade on the bike, so I do not think it was to much liquid. Of course that does not count for lake water. But after a few 100 meters it started to subside. The legs to a little longer than I would have liked to kick in. The bike I had taken its toll, and being slightly off in positioning had tightened up my lower back. Working through the stiffness, and jelly legs, I ran on. 34 minutes. As I entered the neighborhood I still had not seen Duane on the course. At the intersection of the big hill on Carillion, I was guesstimating that he was on the back side of the run course somewhere. 3 miles to go, if thats the case, I could still catch him. I did not want to believe that he was further ahead so I ran on. On the back side of the course my quads starting cramping. This happened in Reston, and a few times more recently. I am not sure if running wise I am doing something wrong or if its nutrition, but the cramps are becoming more common. I continued to run through them. I re-entered the park, my go for it point on the course. I kicked in whatever had left, cramps and all. My legs hurt, and I was not speeding along at the usually "go for it" pace. I hit the final hill before the finish chute. I like this hill. At this point a lot of runners are struggling to climb thinking of only finishing. I see it as an opportunity to pass, and I push it harder. Then it happened. The runner in front of me moved to the side and 5 ft ahead of me on the right was 34! in red tape. I could not believe it. I continued the sprint up hill as I passed Duane and yelled for him to kick it into gear. As I crossed over the downhill, I realized the tank was empty. I used the free ride as best as I could, but if Duane had in fact jumped on my heels he could pull off the pass. I held on thinking he was right there. I crossed at 2:52:06, and Wendy my wife was right there at the finish. All I could say was I past him.

34 minutes. That's what this race was about for me.

Congratulations to my buddy Duane on completing his first triathlon!! Thank you for the motivation for this race. Thanks for reading.

SWIM: 29:43
BIKE: 1:25:19
RUN: 53:00
FINISH 2:52:06