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Race Result

Racer: Charles Barnes
Race: Brierman Half Lite 50
Date: Sunday, October 12, 2008
Location: Boonsboro, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Other
Age Group: Male 40 - 44
Time: (DNF)
Comment: A long pleasant walk...

Race Report:

The Venue / Course


The venue, Greenbrier Park, is a very nice park between Frederick and Hagerstown, MD. It sits atop of South Mountain adjacent to the Appalachian Trail. The lake is similar to Lake Arrowhead in Luray. Just out of T1 there is a 12% climb out of the park to begin the route proper. The bike course is a 21mi loop around South Mountain crossing the ridge twice which makes for a scenic, hilly course. The Half course does two loops. The major ridge crossing is a 1.5mi at 7-9%. I never saw the 9.3mi run course, but from all the groaning in T3, none of it was flat.

SWIM - 0.85mi

The Half Lite 50 (1/3 iron or thereabouts) began with 72 racers in a mass in water start. Brrr. The water was 66deg cold, which wasn't really so bad as the air temp was about 50 at the start. It was a normal (read slow) swim for me taking about 32min. It seems to always take me the first quarter of any swim to get my rhythm.

T1 - Approx 3 days, perhaps more.

I'm going to cut my wetsuit legs. I'm sure I looked like somebody wrestling an alligator trying to get my wetsuit off. I can picture myself rolling and writhing with the damned thing. It just took forever. Must fix (or replace) this.

BIKE -- 15mi of 42 down, lots of walking...

I was doing really well, having passed many, many that swam faster or were just better wetsuit wrestlers. The bike course is hard enough to really sort cyclists. I rode by road bike with compact gearing. I strongly recommend at least a 27t cog for the climbs. I was able to spin by many that were clearly suffering on the hills.

Unfortunately, I punctured my front tire 15mi into the bike. I was flying along at 50.4mph at the base of a "roller" and BLAM! Fortunately, I was able to stop without losing the tire from my wheel. It would have been quite the ugly crash. I had kit to change the tube, but I had ripped the sidewall of the tire, so race over for me. After inspection, I still have no idea what caused the blowout -- the tire itself is only a few months old. Ironically, I was on Pleasant Walk Rd so I pleasantly began to walk the 6mi back Greenbrier Park while the race passed me by.

After about an hour, it was less pleasant.

Eventually, SAG wagon got me and saved me the long walk up the mountain to the park.

I opted against doing the run just for the sake of it. After my long walk, it just didn't seem worth the effort.


This was the first year of the Brierman Tri and my first DNF in 6 years of triathlon. Brierman was to be my first foray into longer-than-Olympic distance races. I was really looking forward to doing it and am naturally disappointed I didn't finish. I thought the course was well suited to me as the hills neutralized the aero advantages on the bike. Still, I've had a great racing season that included a 1/2 marathon, 3 road bike races, 1 duathlon, 1 open water swim, 4 sprints tris, and 2 Olympic distance. It's time to turn my sights to the off-season and cyclocross.