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Race Result

Racer: Steve Smith
Race: Eagleman
Date: Sunday, June 12, 2005
Location: Cambridge, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 4:14:49
Overall Place: 11
Age Group Place: 2
Comment: That's more like it ... 28:51 / 2:13:36 / 1:28:44

Race Report:

A hot & humid day awaited all at the 2005 Eagleman Half Ironman. Three days before the race I realized Eagleman 2004 was my career's only "bad" race, so I went into the race with one quiet goal: make things right again. I came out with 11th overall (so close to 10!), a half PR (4:14), a Hawaii Ironman slot (declined), the fourth fastest bike split of the day (only a few seconds from 3rd), and, for the first time ever, a swim split (22nd) that placed higher than my run split (27th). Between the kick-ass bike split and the improving swim, I'm not sure which brought a bigger smile to my face. The run was hot, hard, and brutal, but I held it together, even splitting most miles (walking every aid station after mile three). But, most of all, I made things right again.

I had a lonely, good swim--a great swim if I fix some sighting issues (and an interesting encounter with someone from "right field"). Bad T1, but not as comical as Columbia. I nailed the bike, riding strong and within myself most of the day (wooo hooo! those tail winds were fun coming home). As for the run, I held it together ... and on a day like we had that's saying something. Lastly, I learned some interesting things about ice and racing suits.

We tailgated after the race and I really enjoyed hanging out at the tent cheering people in. I had a few beers (the first since I hopped on the wagaon April 1) and many good talks. Big thanks to Mike Smith & Bill Goodrum, head cheerleaders; especially Mike Smith who added chief caterer to his cheerleading title.

Key take aways

1) Nutter Butters go soggy in less than 4 hours in 90-degree heat and 90% humidity. But they still taste mighty good. Tents and food are good after a race.

2) I seem to race better when I constantly chasing people. Whether this is a pro just outside of my capability or the masses in waves ahead of me, I like rabbits. I wonder how I would have biked in the pro wave?

3) Don't try & swim with a flask of hammer gel; it may stay in your wetsuit while swimming, but it will likely fall out as soon as you strip your wetsuit.

4) For me, a half-ironman is a race against my bladder. If I can finish before I have to pee it's all good.

5) Gotta get the run mileage in before Timberman.

6) I *can* race on only two bottles of Accelerade during the bike. But I wouldn't want to try it again

Lastly, before I dive into the details, congrats to Nancy Toby for finishing her first half in tough conditions. I got into the water fairly early and my admiration goes out to all those folks who started later in the day and were out there in the worst of the sun and heat. Y'all are amazing.

I will try & write up a full race report, but if it slips past this weekend, it may be several weeks ... there are lots of interesting stories to share.

Looking forward to reading how other people's days went. Cheers!