Urban Epic Race Report

On July 26, 2008 I raced the Urban Epic in Portland Maine. This is the second year of the race which is put on by Tri-Maine. Also as a bonus Becky Lavelle is racing. They also offered $100 primes for the swim, bike, and run. I was initially hoping to get all 3 but when I saw that Derek Treadwell was racing I knew that I was not getting the run.

The race starts on Mackworth Island and we swim an S-shaped course to East End beach. We are supposed to go through 4 sets of buoys. Easy enough right? Not exactly! The elite wave was going first so, about a dozen of us started the swim. I knew that we would not have the current with us to the first buoy then we would have the current of the water flowing out of the Bay to take us to the beach. I got a great start and was on the feet of Becky and another fast pro woman from Canada. Things were going great. The first buoy was maybe 600-800 yards away. After we were about 200 yards away I started to loss there feet slowly. No big deal, I just told myself keep swimming hard to the buoy. I kept looking up and I was not getting any closer to the buoy and the two leaders were slowly pulling away. Keep swimming harder! After what seemed like an eternity, which it was I got close to the buoy. The problem was that I was a bit below the the buoy. I had to make a hard push to curve my body around the buoy. The problem is when I did my body got caught half way on either side of the rope holding the buoy. The current was so strong that I could get my legs around the buoy. After a bit of a struggle I get my legs around. I look up and the two leaders who were 25 yds up were 100+ yds up. I had lost major ground on them. I let the current pull me to the next buoy. As I was approaching the next set of buoys I had to make sharp right to try and make it through the buoys because the current was taking me way left of the buoys. As I was approaching the beach a group of swimmers appeared around me. By this time I was exhausted and just wanted to get out of the water. I came out of the water just behind 3 good swimmers from Maine, my swim coach Larissa Boddie, Catherine Sterling and Angela Bancroft. In the mini T1 and T1 I moved into 3rd place. A ways down from Becky and the Tenille(the fast Canadian).

The bike was a real struggle. I had no power at all in my legs. I averaged 278 watts on the bike with a NP of 285. I also had many close calls with cars. After going through the first couple intersections with minimal traffic control I decided to slow down going through every intersection just so I was safe. I ended up catching Tenille at the half way point. With about 2 miles to go I was about 20 seconds behind Becky. Then I see she hoped off her bike. I wasn’t sure what happened but later found out she got a flat. My coach Kurt Perham gave her his rear wheel so that she could continue.

Leaving for the run

The run started and I knew that I had about a 6 minute lead on Derek Treadwell. I really wasn’t sure if it would be enough. This was by far the worst I felt in any tri. I managed to get across the line first and even carried Jack across the line. Here is the picture that was on the front page of the Portland Press Sunday Paper.

Jack breaking the tape!

I ended up having the fastest bike, but only by the skin of my teeth. Below are the results. There are two divisions because after the race director saw that only 3 people in the elite wave(Becky, Tenille and myself) were going to make the 1st buoy he sent all the other waves straight to the beach.


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One Response to Urban Epic Race Report

  1. Hi Mike! I know you don’t know me. I just did this race too, and so read your account with great interest. I think Larissa and Ange and the others did make that first buoy. In fact, Ange said she got stuck on that buoy line too! Check out her blog at http://www.angesdrivetotri.blogspot.com/. She actually thought she was going to drown she got so stuck! Check out my account to read about how you guys looked out there as you fought the current and then finally made it around the buoys!

    The bike was tough because of the cars and the intersections–not an easy bike to hammer.

    Congrats on your win and on getting the fastest bike split!

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