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Race Result

Racer: Charles Barnes
Race: Savageman
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2009
Location: Deep Creek, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 40 - 44
Time: 6:40:28
Overall Place: 98 / 245
Age Group Place: 14 / 48
Comment: Success, but it didn't feel so good

Race Report:

SavageMan is hard enough in it's own right, but 'stomach' issues made it so much worse... Still, I did it and the Wall to boot.

Total: 14th of 6:40:28 (nearly 1hr after AG winner)
Swim 29/48 at 36:55
Bike 15th/48 3:38:18 at 15.3mph
Run 15th/48 2:17:48 at 10:31min/mi

Calm. Woke early ate an egg, bagel, coffee and yogurt hours before the start. Stretched. Woke the support crew and headed to the race with lots of time to spare. Setup my transition area, more stretching, drank. All normal routine. Feeling good, ready to go.

The swim was just the warm up... mine was a slow, steady cruise before the real race began. I had a hard time sighting the first leg of the swim into the glare of the sun, but with a beacon like that not much sighting is necessary. The funky swan party barge marking the 2nd swim turnaround was easy to spot. I'm embarrassed for whoever owns it.

The centerpiece of SavageMan. The course was savage and quite beautiful, but most of it is a blur now. I pedalled squares up the first climb as the legs were still warming up. I cruised the rollers until the decent towards Westernport passing many. I never had a chance to preview the Wall. I watched some of the video and read the many posts about it. With compact cranks I wasn't expecting too much trouble until I saw it. From below, the view up the hill is daunting. Shift gears, deep breath and up I go. I cruised the first 3 blocks only standing on the last. Another deep breath and up the final and steepest segment. I went straight up only turning to avoid the cracks in the road. I did a few little wheelies, but had no real trouble. The hardest part was the 7.1mi of climbing that was to follow.

The other hills were a blur. Killer Miller was the hardest of the race. The whole course was marked by hand-drawn signs: they were a treat. My favorite was a pair of signs on Miller Rd: "Just who was Miller anyway?" which was followed by "... And why does he hate me?"

Other signs:
"Minimum Speed 15mph" - I passed it doing 6mph
"How are those aerobars working now?"
"Triple cranks $400"

I'm normally pretty strong on the bike, but not today. Around mile 40 or so I began to get little stomach cramps. I kept going up and down the hills, but wasn't feeling on form. Towards the end I just couldn't hold tempo, even on the decents. My stomach wasn't happy. I was careful to eat, drink, and measure my efforts early, so I know I wasn't out of gas. My pace slowed.

My self-esteme got crushed when I was passed by a guy in a flower cyclng jersey that looked like a bad '70s sofa. I tried to convince myself I was 'saving' it for the run... not feeling good at all. I soldiered on and made it in and out of T2 as flowered-shirt guy was leaving.

My "stomach" was feeling unwell so I began my run with a visit to the porto-potty. No help. I plodded off slowly. After about .5mi I really wished I had lingered a little longer in that potty. I spent the next 4mi or so doing mix of running and walking cramping the whole way. I passed flowered-shirt guy. Somewhere near mile 4 there was a potty -- A glorious sight, but occupied. I did the potty dance like my 3yr son while I waited... Come on! Afterwards, my "stomach" feeling much improved was still not right. Off I plodded.

Two miles or so later was by the transition area. I passed flowered-shirt guy on the way. I was having doubts about continuing, so I stopped again at the potty to make sure all was well. Afterwards, I passed flowered-shirt guy for the last time. Somewhere along the way I switched to drinking only water. Perhaps that helped because my stomach began to feel better. For the 2nd lap of the run, I was able to actually run. I cruised at a steady 8:30 pace for much of it, although I did walk the steepest hills. I slowed towards the end, but knew I was going to finish. The finish line was a glorious sight. Done at last. I am a SavageMan. Grrr.