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ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon - Triathlon

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Cambridge, Maryland
United States
Columbia Triathlon Association
75F / 24C
Total Time = 13h 19m
Overall Rank = 71/144
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 1/6
Pre-race routine:

I ended up in this race as a result of volunteering for my tri club. We do a lot for tricolumbia, and they gave us three free entries as a result. I put all my tickets in for this race, and I won!! Had a choice of the sprint, half, aquavelo, or the IM. Well heck! I'm going for the big prize! At $450, it was the biggest prize I have ever won!
Plus, all my friends were doing Florida, and I knew I couldn't afford that. So it was awesome to be able to train with them!

It was a very tough year. I started off in January with NO training, only walking, as I was healing from surgery. Finally got the ok to start training in February, and was signed up for TTT, so it was a really fast build up to May. By March I was doing 3 hour trainer rides, and by April 4 hour rides. Did a century May 6, and was able to run up to 12 miles! But then on Fathers day in June I had some horrendous back pain out of the blue. Got to PT twice and my chiro, and took the week off since I had Rev3 Williamsburg half. I made it through the race amazingly (PT was shocked I was even walking when I came in that week) and took another week off. Finally went to a back doc who had me get an MRI, and it was not great news. I have some normal degeneration. I got a few injections and a rhizotomy (that burned off the nerve endings). Finally, after a month of only running twice and biking only an hour at a time, I was able to train again!!! It was another huge climb up from August to an IM in 7 weeks.

I jumped from a 30 mile ride, to a 50, to a 70, then rattled off 5 consecutive centuries and one 80 miler (on the hilly Civil War course) and was able to get up to one 15 mile run. Not great training, but I could do it! And that was all I wanted, the chance.

Kathi was able to get us a house, and it was INCREDIBLE. And cheap! I also was so so so lucky to have so many friends to race with. They were all doing the Aqua Velo as training and I got the "good" room by myself since I was doing my A race. :) Seriously, I couldn't have asked for better sherpas. I even had my friend Kim make me pancakes as my pre race dinner!!
Event warmup:

Long morning, got there at 5:00, took the shuttle from the high school where the finish was over to the swim start at 5:30. Then basically hung out. I didn't feel well, was kind of sick to my stomach! first time, and I'm not sure why. Maybe b/c I was the only one really just racing, so I didn't have anyone else to feel jittery with? Didn't do much of a warmup, just hung out with my awesome friends who did a great job distracting me.

Finally was time to get into the wet suit and into the water. This was nervewrecking since we had swam the day before and saw the number of jellyfish!! And thank god I had and knew to use my long sleeve!

Soon, it was go time.
  • 1h 16m
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

Brutal. Really slow start, somehow all the slow swimmers got up front. I had nowhere to go. With only about 300, you'd think it wouldn't be so rough, but it was ridiculous. I got kicked in the face and lost my goggles for a second. I finally was able to actually swim, and then the chop hit me in the face on the way back to the boat ramp.

I finally got around the first loop, swam by the dock, looked up and waved to no one in particular just to amuse myself, and headed back out again. Pretty clear water, however, I got repeatedly stung and touched jellies. At one point one got in my nose and stung me! Then on the forehead, the hands, etc. I touched one putting my hand in and recoiled in disgust once. That caused me to cramp for a second. Great, just what I need!!

Finally got around to the pier, praying not to encounter the 30+ jellies I counted yesterday that were hanging around, ready to be DONE.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, the swim the day before was essential to determine goggles and wetsuit to use. The water was glass like the day before. Oh well, such is the weather and triathlon!
Transition 1
  • 04m 52s

Moved rather quickly through this. Saw several friends, including my transition angel Susie who had helped me at Ironman Louisville last year. She helped to turn on my GPS unit. I was impressed how quickly I moved through this, even with a wetsuit and putting on gloves.
  • 6h 16m 58s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.83 mile/hr

This was a really lonely course. Very few people. I have my report and it says I only passed one woman and was passed by 19 men. I don't think thats too bad, but I don't know how many MEN I passed. I know quite a few. :) I was first on the bike out of my 6 and 4th out of 21 women. Biking on the flat clearly is my strength, but this was about the worst bike I've had in a long time. I felt miserable the whole time. Couldn't get comfortable, and my inner thighs were aching the whole time, maybe b/c I got them grastoned two days before. In any case, I was never happy on the bike. And the 30mph wind gusts and 20 mph sustained winds were so disheartening.

I did see two turkeys cross the road in front of me on Smithville, and when I turned onto Andrews (that horrid road of bumps) I saw a sign for "Crapo Road". I said it out loud and the police officer laughed and said "yes, its actually Crapo Rd". You know, its the little things you have to do to entertain yourself! I said hi to a couple of horses, FREAKED out at a snake that was streaking along the shoulder, and looked for eagles (didn't see any, boo). I sang a little (don't remember what songs). Generally, it was a boring, hard ride. I am impressed that I maintained as fast a speed as I did, as it was a crosswind or headwind about 98/112 miles!

I had a terrible headache when I finished from the 4 bumps we had to go over on Andrews Road (there were 8 feet wide gravel portions that had huge bumps in and out of them, and we had to go over them on two loops!). When I got off the bike, I was so sore in my inner thighs that I was bowlegged the first few steps!! Oh boy, and now I gotta run a marathon.
What would you do differently?:

Not really sure. I trained on a lot of flat, and in winds. You definitely have to get used to going on the flats, and this course has nothing but flat and wind!
Transition 2
  • 05m 48s

Stumbled off the bike, carefully put away my helmet, gloves, sunglasses, and away I went. Was surprised how slow this was. Time moves quickly in transition.
  • 5h 29m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 34s  min/mile

So the run. I was only able to get up to 15 miles, and I knew this would be a crap shoot. I actually felt pretty good the first loop, ran with a buddy I made in the beginning, then I "surged" ahead. The wind was ridiculous on this loop--it was actually hard to run out b/c you were running into a strong headwind. One of the water stops tents even blew over!

Went around the loop and met two friends that were out running, and they ran the second loop with me. It was a great distraction, and they had gotten permission from the race director. Unfortunately I think it cost me a penalty (which I found out the next day I got!). Thats disappointing, b/c there were a ton of folks that had people running with them. In any case, to run 6 miles with some friends made it enjoyable, and I'll take it!!

I had a discussion with the boy scout stop about the Steelers and Redskins, chatted with the Terps running their stop about the football team, and felt pretty good, minus some pain in my achilles and knee. At one point I realized I was at 16 miles, and it was the farthest I had ran all year at that point. I was concerned not seeing any lights and the road was OPEN to traffic (hello, there is only 3 different races on one road, with us doing multiple loops!). I also didn't see any lights, and that greatly worried me.

On my third loop out I stopped to ask my tri team if anyone had a light, no one did, but a biker that was helping to sweep the course gave me his blinky light to put on my belt. On that way back it was miserable. Pitch black. The water stops had taken their cars and turned on their lights. You couldn't see a person running 5 feet in front of you, and you certainly couldn't discern any bumps in the road. And at this point it either drizzled or rained or was humid, then the bugs all came out! I had a glow necklace that I threw off only because the mosquitoes and moths were attracted to it. Allowed myself to walk a mile, from mile 24-25, and then ran in, past the unlit tiki torches (rain put them out), and had a glorious victory lap around the track, get a huge ovation from my tri team.

Thank god they were there, there isn't much of a finish! But b/c I had such a raucous group, I literally sailed around the track, much like I did back in 2007 at Placid. Through the finish when I saw my time, and was ecstatic--I had taken 70 minutes off my PR.
What would you do differently?:

well, not run with my friends for any of the course if I knew it would cost me a penalty. However, I don't know what I got the penalty for (its not WTC so they don't hand you a card)...and it couldn't have been drafting (it was an empty course!). Its my first penalty in 13 years of triathlon. With such a low key race like this, and low number of participants, I think they partially were looking for reasons to give penalties out of boredom. Whatever the case, I'm still pleased and in my mind, since I wasn't ever told or made aware of the penalty till the next day, I'm keeping my PR 13:13.
Post race
Warm down:

Thank god for friends doing the aquavelo! they were bored I guess and got my bags and my bike, already in their cars! And for being so lowkey, I only had to walk about 1000 feet to my car, get my bag, and could walk another 500 feet to take a shower in the high school.

My main goal was to finish and get a mudslide from Snappers, one of my favorite Cambridge restaurants, before midnight. I was already in the car and heading out by 9:15---win! Thank god I was "fast" because they were closing at 10! We all got mudslides, I got a hamburger and fries that I actually ended up not eating, I wasn't that hungry for once! Hung out at our gorgeous house talking about the day and finally got to sleep at 1:00 am.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think I did pretty darn well considering all the curveballs my body threw at me. as my good friend (who is such a good friend she lent me her wheels--thanks Kwed!) I gave my body the finger. :) I'm pretty proud that I can still knock out a decent race on limited training. I'll never be fast, but you'll also never see someone like me do the race with as big a smile.

Event comments:

Hard to rate this race. It is a LOW KEY event. I think best aimed at experienced triathletes. It is such a different experience than the IM events, very little cheering and not nearly as much offered to eat/drink. But it was also the most relaxed one I've done. It didn't even hit me it was an ironman distance until the morning of! I love that it was only 2 hours away, and of course, it was free for me. I would recommend only for folks that want the distance challenge and don't need the pomp and circumstance. I for one love all that, but I also love the Cambridge area.

I did NOT love the jellyfish!! :)

Last updated: 2013-05-23 12:00 AM
01:16:00 | 4224 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/144
Course: two loops of a clockwise course, with the current for about 1/4 of the loop, cross current 1/4, and against the current probably 1/2 of the loop. And continuously stinging jellies the rest of the time!!
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:52
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:16:58 | 112 miles | 17.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/6
Overall: 59/144
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Two loop course, but you only did an out and back on the first loop. A shame, b/c there was a bit of a tailwind on the way out. However, I was happy to not have to do an out and back. They are miserable!
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:48
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:29:00 | 26.2 miles | 12m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/144
Course: The worst marathon ever. Go around a track, go out 4 miles, come back, go 7/8 around the track, past the finish, and go out again. Do the loop 3 times. There were NO lights on the course, and I ran the last 4 miles in pitch black, getting chased by mosquitos and moths.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-10-10 2:08 PM

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Subject: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon

2013-10-10 2:30 PM
in reply to: #4874657

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Canton, Bawlmer City
Silver member
Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon
Congrats on your PR...awesome race report.
2013-10-10 5:22 PM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Gold member
Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon
Well done Amy and congrats on the PR
2013-10-11 8:51 AM
in reply to: Socks

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Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon

thanks Sue and Jim is it?  I can't remember...I think I met you once at one of our happy hours! 

I loved the ease of this, but I'm totally a pomp and circumstance kinda girl.  Give me 1000 people cheering. I just did a hard race!

2013-10-11 9:08 AM
in reply to: turtlegirl

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon
Great job on your race and AG win! I have always been interested in doing the half at this race. Maybe one day soon but I also hate the jellies...
2013-10-11 11:23 AM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

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Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon
I've done the half three times--love it! the Jellies are a crap shoot.  The thinking was that there wasn't any rain for quite awhile, so the salinity level was higher than usual.  I would totally recommend the half.  Again, not a lot of fanfare at all.  If anything, you kind of get shoved out of the way for the ultra folks.  and thats how it should be!

2013-10-11 2:13 PM
in reply to: turtlegirl

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon
I am ok with that. I just did Half Full last weekend as my first half and I didnt see anyone cheering and I still had a blast. Probably more volunteers on the roads at Half Full but no spectators.
2013-10-13 7:54 PM
in reply to: #4874657

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon

Congrats on a huge PB!

You overcame a lot to start the race and obstacles during the race you overcame as well.

I have done the AV twice and always get stung. Are they nettles? If I do it again I am going to try SeaSafe to see if that helps with the stings.

The course is flat, windy and rural. Did you have flooding on the road after the little bridge about 40 miles in? One year it was flooded on one loop with water maybe 2-6" deep for about 1-1.5 miles.



2013-10-15 10:25 AM
in reply to: KathyG

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Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon

Originally posted by KathyG

Congrats on a huge PB!

You overcame a lot to start the race and obstacles during the race you overcame as well.

I have done the AV twice and always get stung. Are they nettles? If I do it again I am going to try SeaSafe to see if that helps with the stings.

The course is flat, windy and rural. Did you have flooding on the road after the little bridge about 40 miles in? One year it was flooded on one loop with water maybe 2-6" deep for about 1-1.5 miles.




I did Skipjack that year!  I thought it was always that case, but in my 4 years that has only happened once!  That road is still really banged up though, and this time with 4 more ditches of gravel.  Its a shame, I love this course, but that one road just kills me.

They were definitely jellies--is there a difference? you could see them EVERYWHERE on Friday. Thank god for my long sleeved suit.  Others got stung in their armpits!


And thanks! I know what its like to struggle.  I'm still feeling it since it was a huge effort based on my training!

2013-10-17 7:03 AM
in reply to: #4874657

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Subject: RE: ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon
Congratulations, that was a long journey to Ultra this year. Inspiring.
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