Jun 9, 2009

Brierman 50 Triathlon 2008

On Saturday, I headed to the Baltimore area to sign up for the Brierman 50 Triathlon. I wish I knew what I was getting myself into. The race venue was absolutely beautiful. The lake was small, calm, and clear. The roads were smoothly paved and the weather was perfect. It could have been the best location for a race....if the course didn't involve climbing a mountain...twice.
My training after Steelhead 70.3 had been going very well. My running is finally coming into form and my swimming and cycling has been getting stronger. Every Saturday I have been doing hard 75 mile bricks and every Sunday Ryan Marr and I have been doing strong 15-18 milers. My fitness is starting to explode and this race proved it.
On race morning, Charlie Mosbrook and I awoke at our Motel 6 after a solid 8 hours of sleep and headed to the race site in the dark. I had never tried to set up transition in the dark before...it was weird. The weather was already starting to warm up and I felt ready to race hard. As I made my way down towards the lake, I was really excited to swim...which isn't usual. We listened to a quick course talk and then entered the cold lake water...it was cold enough to take your breathe away. We all lined up at the buoy and waiting for the horn....we were off.
I took it out very hard...the cold water made me want to swim fast... Surprisingly, I was the first person around the buoy 300 meters away. Soon, I was passed by another athlete....and then two more. I got very comfortable in 4th position and really enjoyed the swim. My swimming is really starting to progress. I exited the mile swim in about 21 minutes. In T1, I struggled to put my jacket and gloves on, my skin was wet from the swim. Once I got on the bike, the real pain started. Out of transition, we started a .25 mile 13% climb. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make it up...this was already brutal. I bike course proved to be very very challenging. It was comprised of 8-12% climbs that lasted .5 mile to 2 miles. And, the downhills were lightening fast. After one loop, I was almost done. The second loop was a challenge. During the entire 40mile bike, I sat in 2nd position. But, I didn't know where the 1st place guy was...out of site, out of mind...I didn't ride very fast. I got too comfortable until a guy tried to pass me at mile 38. This woke me up...what was I doing riding so comfortably. When I got into T2, it was time to race. My transition was 32 seconds....it is always the fastest out of anyone...I like it that way. I got onto the run course with one thing on my mind...winning the race. I just didn't know 1st place was 5 minutes ahead of me. Out of T2, we ran straight up another brutal hill...then straight down. My quads were already mad at me. Once I passed the sprint tri turn around, I was all alone. 3rd and 4th place were nowhere in site and I had no idea where 1st place was. I was all alone running in the middle of the street up and down massive rolling hills...ahhh my bladder! I had to piss really really bad...but I didn't know how far back I was. I took that pit stop. 15seconds and I was back under control. After 4.6 miles, I finally saw 1st place coming towards me...he had just turned around and didn't look like the hills had been treating him well. I checked my watch...I was down 90 seconds. He was mine...Less than 1 mile later, I spotted him ahead. Slowly I reeled him in on the hills....100 ft...50ft...10ft...I made the pass on one of the bigger hills heading back. I dropped the hammer and he faded away. I felt that feeling again...just like at The Miltonman triathlon. I had 3 miles left and I was leading the race! At the point, I had the pace bike right in front of me. Every sprint athlete I passed knew I was leading the 50 mile race...it was a good feeling. I floated through those last miles ignoring the pain in my quads, knees and feet. I looked down with 1 mile left and the side of my shoe was stained in blood. I didn't care...I had proved everyone wrong again...I can win races. As I approached the finish line, all of the days events meant nothing to me.. I had raced hard and beaten everyone. I hit the finish chute with a big smile on my face. My finishing time was 3:30:19...which is impossible to compare to another race because the Brierman 50 is one of a kind....it is truly a brutal course. My run had been 5 minutes faster than any other athlete.
After the race, I did a couple of interviews with local publications, grabbed a shower and headed back home. I need to get back to training because Clearwater is waiting for me. I finally get to prove I had can fair against the best in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment