This was the 3rd year that I have raced Eagleman 70.3. It is a great race and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is flat and fast. This was my first race of the year so I was a bit unsure of how I would do especially since I have not trained much since my 2nd son was born in the beginning of April. I had also had a problem with my calf cramping so I have only run a few times during this time. The plan was to fly down on Sat morning and fly back Sunday afternoon. I would need to race fast just to make my flight. My flight was leaving from BWI at 2:45 on Sunday and the race was 80 miles away.
My father and I arrived on Sat to blistering hot weather. We saw a temperature sign that read 98 at 4:30pm. It was hot! The pre-race stuff was pretty uneventful. The pro meeting was at 4:00pm so we hung around till then and headed to our hotel to check in. We grabbed a quick bit to eat at Olive Garden and I was in bed by 8:45. Which is really early for me.
Race day morning: The alarm went off at 4:15am and I was ready to go. Normally the night before a race I don’t sleep that well. This night was one of the best nights sleep ever. We packed up my stuff and headed to the race. When we arrived we were told that pro’s would not be allowed to wear wetsuits. It actually didn’t surprise me at all. I don’t know why but I thought that would happen. During my warm-up jog I felt my calf starting to cramp up again. I tried not to worry about it and hoped that 56m of racing would “loosen” it up.
The race started at 6:45am and immediately I lost the group. That was my main goal of the day. To stay with the lead group. I spent the whole swim swimming alone. I could see a group of women swimming a bit behind me and to the side. I got out of the water a saw 30:47. Out of the 3 disciplines swimming is the only thing I have been really doing the past 8 weeks. So I was very disappointed. Nothing I could do about it now, just get my bike and try to catch some people.
I race with a PT and was hoping to race around 290 watts. With the heat I decided to back that down a few watts. After about 15 minutes on the bike I realized that 280 was probably more realistic because of my lack of training. I had adjusted my aerobars a bit the day before, this made my hands to far forward so I kept sliding down the seat. So every 30 sec or so I had to slide back up to the top of the seat. Which was super annoying. The bike rolled on and I felt good easily pedaling along. I picked it up a bit near the end to finish in 2:11:21 about 30 seconds slower than last year. Not bad although not at all where I wanted to be. I averaged 277 watts and 279 NP. And my VI was 1.00, very impressive huh? I had moved into 11 starting the run and new that there would be a few drop outs so if I had a good run I could move into the money (7th).
The first step of the run my calf started to cramp up. I thought about just dropping out since I wasn’t sure I would be able to run 13 miles. The only way I could get it not to cramp was to land on my heal and push off with my heal with my heal. So there was no calf contraction of my left calf. I knew this wouldn’t be fast but hopefully it would get me to the finish. My 1st mile was 5:33 which was very surprising. My next 5 miles were all between 5:40-45. I had pasted a few people and had moved up into 8th. I felt good, except for my calf. Things started to get a bit tougher between 7 and 8. This is where I passed 3 more people who were really struggling in the heat. And by the time I got to 9 I was really struggling. The last 4 miles I was running 6:15-30. I knew at mile 9 that I was not going to catch anyone in front of me and most likely nobody was going to catch me. I finished in 04:04:49 good enough for 5th. Not bad all things considered.
I hung around for a few minutes then jumped in the river to try and get my body temp below 100. Within 30min of finishing I was disassembling my bike and heading to the airport. Luckily there was no traffic and we made it to the airport with plenty of time. We were dropping off the rental car at 1:00pm after finishing at 11:00am. The flight was on time and I was at home in Maine at 4:15pm with my wife and two sons, Jack and Hunter. It was great that I was able to race and still spend an afternoon with my kids.
Overall not a bad day. I raced last year and thought I raced the perfect race. This year I had a similiar result but felt I could improve in all three disciplines. Hopefully I will be able to find some more time to train so that I can start racing with the top guys.