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2009 Eagleman Half Ironman 70.3 Triathlon

Screech and Pokey made the Rebels proud as they swam, biked and ran.

Eagleman takes place at Great Marsh Park on The Choptank River in Cambridge, Maryland. The event started in 1981. Participants battled heat and wind on Sunday 6/14/09.

Eagleman Triathlon website

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Screech's Race Comments

First, thank you to everyone for all their phone calls, messages emails and good luck wishes!! It was great to hear from so many of you before the big event!

Here's my story....
We leave Saturday a.m. to head down to Cambridge for the Expo and bike racking but had to stop at Darlise's to pick up race belt. As we pull up to her house, I said "o shit!" I forgot my wetsuit!! No kidding! So we head back home to pick up my wetsuit and as we were almost back I said, once again, "o shit", I forgot my running shoes!!! might say I was a "tad" nervous!! But, shoes, wetsuit and we were back on the road again. A short while later we arrive at the Expo. HOLY CRAP! I was out of my element - there were cervelos, women w/ arms like Popeye, all these extremely fit people walking (strutting!) around in there TRI SUITS, riding their bikes (and there's geeky me w/ my bike WITH reflectors STILL on my bike!), totally not knowing what to do, where to go and I'm like..omgosh..where are the people like ME?????? I was totally intimidated...but all that was soon forgotten when I saw stuff to buy!! Loaded up on Eagleman attire and, of course, my 70.3 STICKER - woo hoo!

Then we headed off to the park to check my bike in. Wow...again...major athletes, many full ironman athletes (the stickers on the car, their gear etc..), everyone seemed to know how to put their sticker on their bikes, except for me! Someone was helpful in letting me know where I had placed the bike sticker would be in my way when riding (duh). It was very well secured - only I was allowed in the transition area - we were identified by red tags on our wrists that were put on at the expo. Police guarded the area through the night - trust me - it wasn't my Fuji bike they were protecting - all those major pricey bikes! Once again, I was intimidated - people were biking, SWIMMING the course -and running - I'm like no way!

Oh, how cool is this - my racking spacing had my number 1920 and my name on it!! Felt kind of special for a minute :-) I did find out the transition from swim/bike/run and walked it to make sure I could find my transition area easily (seems easy when there are only handful of bikes but by the close of the bike check, there were over 2000 bikes racked!). As we walked to the swim start, this was the first talk I heard about the jelly fish - YIKES! Ugh......

Bike racked, completely exhausted and doubting my sanity at this point, we went to the B&B and checked in, unpacked and headed out for an early dinner. Then a night of NO sleep - I got up at 10:00 and broke into the package of E.L. Fudge cookies - and didn't take a lot of convincing to get Rich to join me!! I mean what the heck, it's carbs right?!

Up at 4:00 a.m, ate, and off to set up transition and body marking at 5:00. And I found, at last, normal geeks like me!! Oh, forgot to tell you, that Saturday I asked a lady who had just come out of the water about the timing chip and placement when wearing a wetsuit - her reply - "are you in my age group"! Uh..NOT kidding!! Maybe she was kidding (er...uh.....). But Sunday morning, everyone around me that was setting up their transition area, were all helpful and nice. First wave (professionals) started around 6:40 - great to see them - wow! They were from all over the world - was lots of fun seeing them. Soon, it was time for me to get ready - I had a 8:03 start time.

I get in line to get "ready" to be called for my age group and start talking (imagine that?!), and if it wasn't for Rich yelling, I might have DQ'd right from the start - it was 8:00 and I was still way in the back behind the last swim wave - talking!! So I had to run to the start and get in the water w/ the rest of my "blue" cap age group - it was good - I had a couple of minutes to spare!

At this point, NOT one bit nervous - didn't even go to the bathroom - NOT EVEN ONCE DAN! Something about swimming & biking that makes any intestinal issues non existent!! woo hooooo! The horn goes off, and off we go! Swim was great, despite a jelly fish stinging me right on the lips! A man swimming OVER top of me, kicked pretty hard several times - all good. Of course, the water, which at 6:40 was calm and smooth like glass, as the time wore on for the 8:03 start, the wind kicked in and it got rough. It was pretty choppy (hence, the name choptank river!), so much so, that I had to really pick my head up far to sight or I couldn't see the buoy's because the waves came up too high. I veered off course, several times but the next thing I knew, I could see the shore - I was surprised I was there already. Of course, several times, I "felt" like I was the only one out there and the boat was just following me - the final straggler. I was out of the water and on the beach checking my watch and it was 47 minutes - so I was very happy!! And then I saw the Lori in the DE hat - YAH - that was so cool!!

Ran through MUD to get to bike, off w/ the wetsuit, on w/ bike shorts, shoes, helmet and run to other end, thru more mud, to get out and get on bike and I was OFF for a 56 mile joy ride! The bike was great - I was hitting 19 and 20mph at times, but a lot of 17-18's, felt really good - passing people the whole time (now remember, I was wave 10 but it still made me feel good!), singing "99 beers on the wall" and the 10 in the bed, and the little one said, roll over, roll over - well, you know the one (or maybe you don't!) -but 56 miles and no one to talk to - ugh. I took every opportunity to talk when I could like when I passed someone and thanking the many volunteers along the course.

Ok - so feeling like superstar on the bike until....ugh....the winds really picked up and the last 20 miles kicked my butt (too darn bad the course didn't end at 36 miles)! My mph dropped significantly and I had to work really hard at this point. I also knew, from riding this course once before, that once I was into the wind, I was going to have it for the remainder of the bike portion. I had some guy ask me if I knew when we would turn -and be out of the wind - I said - this is it until the end - there's no relief. He actually stopped his bike - said a few words, and got off. I looked back and he was dismounting his bike! I'm sure he just took a break...but the wind really did make for a really tough last 20 miles. I had only done 56 miles 2 other times and this was better than the other 2 times so I was a happy camper!

Done the bike - woo hoo. Changed my shoes and shorts and off running. Of course, my breathing was a problem when I started, but that's nothing new - figured I could work through that..and I did..but my legs were tired - and, the rookie in me, was like...what the heck (no, not the word I used but this email is "g" rated!) why is this running hard??? DUH - it MIGHT have something to do w/ the 56 mile ride - and I had not ridden that fast before but I kinda look back now and think it had a lot to do w/ the last 20 miles just kickin' my butt! Now, I know why riding LONGER than 56 miles MANY times BEFORE you do this event is probably a good idea! So I definitely struggled through the run, it was hot, hot, hot, no shade - but plenty of ice at every mile of which I ate and strategically placed down my shirt and under my hat! - they had snow cones w/ Gatorade on them and cookies and crackers. The run was boring - and out/back course - but having so many water stops was great. I celebrated each mile I passed and the 2nd half was easier for me and as I got closer to the finish, got ever easier! I felt great running to the finish line and LOVED seeing Rich, Claire, Jordan, Lori and Rachael cheering for me - that was awesome! Thru the finish line and the medal was placed around my neck - 70.3 - and it was all worth it!

Shortly after I finished, Lori asked if I would do a full ironman - the answer was NO WAY - and the answer now is NO WAY - and that will always be my answer - hats off to anyone that can to that - holy cow - can't even imagine....

Lori gave me a beer and between that, Rich, my friends, and my medal - I was a happy girl!!

It was a great experience, I have learned what it means to be sure to not "leave it all out there on the bike", I learned that I should bike a lot more miles, but I completed it and wasn't last! But even if I was, I would have been just as happy to see everyone cheering me and getting that medal!!

We left, showered and met everyone for dinner at the Crab Claw in St. Michaels and had a great dinner! I went to bed with the sun last night and wasn't up until 8:00 this a.m.!! Feel good, arms a bit sore but other than that - I'm GOOD.

Thanks again for all the support and a special THANK YOU to Lori, Claire, Jordan and Rachel who made the trip from DE to cheer me on - oops..and thanks to Shelly too!!!

You guys might be as tired reading this as I was after Eagleman ! :-)


Loco's photos:

Rebel triathlete


Rebel triathlete


Rebel triathlete


Rebel triathlete


Rebel triathlete


Rebel triathlete


Rebel triathlete


Rebel triathlete


Official race photo:
Screech is a triathlete
Photo by Action Sports Intl.


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Action Sports Intl. official photo
Photo by Action Sports Intl.

Pokey's Race Comments

The swim was an act of survival, as usual. The added bonus was getting stung by a jelly fish while waiting for the horn to sound for the start. I had to fight a bit more than usual with others, but only got kicked once in the face.

The bike started out great. I was averaging just below 25mph for the first 35 miles and didn't feel I was taxing myself too much. My legs started feeling a little tired with about 10 miles to go and my average dropped to 23.1 mph. The wind on the way back didn't help either, although it wasn't as windy as I thought it would be. The added bonus during the bike, was having to contend with 3 or 4 others that were in my wave (age group). They were drafting (illegal) and blocking (also illegal). I knew there was a judge on a motorcycle, just behind us. I was forced to slow down to prevent getting a time penalty. The group all got 2 and 4 minute penalties!

The run started out OK. I got to see Lori, Claire, and Rachel at mile 3, which helped, but only for a little bit. I started out averaging about 6:30min/mile pace, but soon fell to about 7 min/mile. I felt stronger at the halfway point, but never got down into the 6:30 range again. With about 2 miles to go, I felt I had to go to the bathroom really bad (#2). I stopped at a spectator's house to use the bathroom which wasted about a minute - it was a "false alarm".

I didn't get a qualifying spot at Kona (not even close), but did PR by 9 minutes. Final time: 4 hrs, 34+ minutes.

I heard Tricia finished in just under 7 hours. She was one of the last waves to start the race, so she had to endure more of the heat on the bike and run (it started getting pretty warm in the afternoon). Congrats to her for finishing her first half Ironman.

"If God invented the marathon to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise."

  Official race photos:

Pokey is a triathlete

Pokey is a triathlete
Pokey puts in a noteworthy effort!
Photos by Action Sports Intl.

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Rebel Spectators

Loco notes:
While we're waiting for Screech to wake up and fill us all in on her amazing day, let me just tell you what it was like being a spectator. Talk about inspiring!!

Me, Claire, Rachel, and Jordan went down to cheer on our Rebels in this crazy event. We saw Tricia coming out of the water looking fantastic. After hearing all they endured in the water with the kicking, being passed on top of, and swimming thru a school of jellyfish, it's even more amazing how great she looked! She hopped on her bike and off she went for her 56 mile jaunt on the bike. We heard the leader at that time come in from his bike ride and spending all of 7 seconds racking his bike up, put on his running shoes, and take off on his run!!! It would take me more than seven seconds just to take my bike shoes off!!!

The 4 of us decided we were going to do our long run while she was out riding. We ran on the course with all the athletes up to mile 5, then turned around. We saw the lead runners coming back in way before we were even at mile 4. These are AMAZING athletes!!!! We saw Pokey for the 1st time as we were coming back in at his mile 3 on the run. He was NOT Pokey. He looked really strong!

We missed Tricia coming in on the bike as she was faster than she or we thought she would be. She did 56 miles on the bike in 3 hours 15 mins, in the heat and the sun burning hotter, and all this AFTER her tremendous 1.2 mile swim! I did manage to see her and cheer for her as she was leaving the transition area for her run. She still looked really good. We hung out and waited for her to come back in from the the run. It was truly inspiring watching all these athletes coming in to the finish. Many had their children jump onto the finish chute and run in with them. It was hard not to get a little choked up.

Tricia came in with the biggest smile on her face!!! And she still looked FANTASTIC!! She was on the course for both the bike and the run during the hottest part of the day, and it was HOT!!
Tricia, Andy, you guys are truly AMAZING!!!! Andy, you qualified for a lot more than Kona on a day like that in my book. Congratulations on your PR!! You'll get to Kona some day- you're too stubborn not to.

If anyone has a chance to spectate at an event like this, I HIGHLY recommend it!! I know there will be an opportunity this September to cheer for a few people we all know. Don't miss it!! - - - Loco

Nessie notes:
I second everything Lori said - it was a really good day and I definitely look forward to spectating the next one!
Fun highlights from yesterday:
Tricia looking great coming out of the water.
Having the leading pros pass us as we set out for our long run along part of the course.
Seeing Andy on the run (we had so many speculative conversations as to where exactly he would be on the course at any given thank goodness we saw him!).

Jordan running over a Gu, the Gu exploding, Shelly freaking out because of the noise, and then freaking out again because she realized she had Gu all over her...
The sheer array of bikes, odd-looking helmets, cool shirts..
Tricia's smile as she finished!!!
Stealing crabs from the table next to us at the CrabClaw (there are starving kids in Africa..). Taking wrong turns and becoming familiar with the Bay Bridge (you don't want me navigating when a GPS isn't around).

Great job, Tricia and Andy. You are both awesome! - - - Nessie

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