Eagleman 70.3 Race Report – Before the race
Before the race
I came into the Eagleman race this year with high hopes. It was my “A” race and I had been training and planning this race for months. My goal was to swim in hte 30-35 mins, bike around 2:15-2:20 and run sub 1:40. I wasn’t looking for a miracle, I just wanted to have a good solid race with a finish time in the 4:30-4:40 range.
For those that aren’t familiar with the course, there’s a swim in the Choptank RIver which is typically pretty rough, a nearly perfectly flat bike and then also a very flat run. That’s why I was expecting a PR and hoping to qualify for the 70.3 world championship in Vegas.
I drove up to Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday night before the race and then got up early the next morning to finish the drive on up to Cambridge, Maryland. I checked out the swim site and the run on Thursday. Then I drove the bike course on Friday in the middle of the tropical storm Andrea. I was also trying to pay attention to potential flood areas as most of the course is at or near sea level. I made mental notes of the bad areas for both flooding and road surfaces, It was hard to see the road for a good portion of the ride, but at least I could see what the elevation looked like as well as where the expected turns were. I make it a point to drive every course that I can so that I can know the course at least a little bit before I get out there by myself and try to ride the whole course.
What I noticed from the drive was that the road had great surfaces for nearly all of the bike. The run course was very flat as well and didn’t have much cover. The temperatures weren’t supposed to be too bad, but by the end of the race, I expected that the sun would be pretty warm by the time I was running. The swim looked a bit scary and I’ve read quite a few tough stories from swimming in the Choptank. I was not looking forward to the swim if it was going to look like it did for the days leading up to the race.
I watched for forecasts religiously hoping that the rain would stop and the sun would come to dry up some of the mess left by the rains. As fate would have it, the rains continued off and on through most of the day Saturday as well. My final tune up workout on the course with my friend Bryan was done completely in the rain. It wasn’t my ideal setting, but after putting that much work toward this one event, a bit of rain wasn’t going to stop me. After all, it had rained every race so far this year, so why not this one too 🙂 We were ready!
After my final workout, I dropped off our tent for the next day (I like to claim my space early) and picked up my race packet. I chose a perfect spot between the transition area and the finish line so that my wife and Bryan’s family could easily see everything.
The rain stopped Saturday afternoon or night. I don’t really remember which because it didn’t matter at that point. The damage had already been done. It was going to be wet and messy. Little did I know exactly how wet and messy…