Monday, June 2, 2008

The Eagleman Post

This post will serve as the "Everything I Need to Know About Eagleman" post. I will reference this post hereafter as "TEP." If you are thinking about coming out to spectate one of the most grueling and intense venues of the sport of triathlon this weekend, be prepared to know the following:

The race takes place this Sunday in Cambridge, Maryland, which is about 75 miles/90 minutes from Baltimore. Directions are real easy; take 97 South to 50 East, go over the Bay Bridge ($2.50 toll I think on the way out, no toll on the return) and stay on 50 East through Easton. You'll approach Cambridge by going over a pretty big bridge (not as big as the Bay Bridge, obviously, but it's sizeable and you'll know it). You'll see signs of the race, e.g. people swimming in the water to your right, and probably signs for parking, as I have no idea how they handle that.

My swim wave is scheduled to start at 7:00 am, which is the third wave behind pros and then some old people. This is nice because there won't be many people in front of me all day, and it will make it easy to distinguish others that are in my age group for when I need to hear time deficits!

Here are my anticipated times, I'm allowing for variations in weather/ability:

7:00 swim start
7:28-7:32 exit water
7:30-7:34 exit T1 onto bike
9:45-9:54 return from bike (this is the longest part of the race, but fortunately there will be lots going on to keep your attention)
9:47-9:56 exit T2 onto run
11:06-11:18 finish

Now the reality is that I won't finish in 4:06. My goal is under 4:10, but I know even that's going to be very, very hard. Last year was a fast year and 5th place overall in the amateur ranks (non-pros) was 4:08:xx. I don't think that highly of myself that in my first long-distance tri I'll do that. But, I'll have to be close to it if I'm going to get the result I want.

I am heading down there on Saturday morning, probably pretty early. I have to do all the pre-race stuff like rack my bike, registration, etc. Then Emily, Bryan and I are staying down somewhere in Salisbury, which is about 30 minutes farther east of the race site. I'll then look to arrive at transition by 5:15 on Sunday morning.

After the race I will be very tired, but have to stay through the awards ceremony. As some of you are now aware, this is a dual-qualifier race, which means that there are spots for both Ironman World Championships (Hawaii, October 11th) and the Half-Ironman World Championships (Florida, November 2nd). Top spot in the 25-29 age group picks up the Hawaii slot, the next two get Florida spots. I am only interested in one of these. If I do not win the age group, never fear, because slots can roll down if people aren't interested in the slot or aren't there to receive it. There are about 6 or 7 people that I've identified as capable of winning, so once I get bib # assignments I'm going to write them down and anticipated times so whoever shows up can let me know just how fast I'm going to need to run.

IMPORTANT note: during the race, spectators are to have no contact with competitors. Unfortunately this means you cannot run alongside me for encouragement, hand me food or water, etc. If an official were to see this I could be receive a time penalty or even be disqualified. So even if it looks like I'm going to die, just stand there and smile.

I'm obviously excited and very nervous for this race - I've been doing triathlons now for 7 years but haven't done anything longer than an Olympic, so I'm tacking on two additional hours of racing. Anything could happen. It could be like today and the weather could be great and I could kill it, or it could be super windy, cold, rainy and I could really struggle. For those of you who are planning on coming, I appreciate it, as I'll need some support out there. If you have any questions during the week just let me know, I'll probably be a little spaced out this week.

Oh and don't forget - the after party will be at the Bay Cafe on Sunday afternoon/evening. We'll be celebrating a successful completion of the Survivor Harbor 7, Bay Swim (OJ) and Eagleman.

3 comments:

Johnnie Cochran said...

This sounds like it is going to be awesome, wish I could make it. Best of luck.

Andy G said...

I will be there in spirit... no seriously, I'm working on some voodoo shit that should allow me to actually do this.

Don't get too nervous. The training is there, and you can rip the course. If an alcoholic can run 2:53:53 in a marathon, anything is possible.

Motivational quote: "Seek and destroy!" -Metalica

RM said...

Thanks Jake, it's definitely going to be an experience.

The website for the event is www.tricolumbia.org, on the right hand side you click on Eagleman. They have the information for parking and stuff. Don't forget light colored clothing, sunscreen and a hat!