IRONMAN® 70.3® Eagleman®

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IRONMAN® 70.3® Eagleman®

By Timmy Samec, Klean Team USA Ambassador – Sponsored Athlete

It’s time and I am so excited to let it loose tomorrow on course. Being at race check in just ramped me up even more. I had to go it alone today for the trip, so I’ll fill you all in on how it went.

It was a longer day than expected, but I left the house at about 9am. Now check in was to start at 10am, so I thought that arriving at around that time would be good, right? Wrong. I’m sure I didn’t end up in the worst part, but the line to check in ran outside of the Sailwinds Park building and wound around that parking lot. Thankfully traffic was at a minimum, so I only had to wait in one line for the day. But it was already hot out so I couldn’t wait to get inside. Thankfully I had a Gatorade on hand, as well as my Klean Electrolytes. After some Facebook and Twitter surfing I had finally ended up indoors and the check in wasn’t far after that. Got everything taken care off, received my packet, t-shirt, bag, and timing chip and it was off to the pre-race meeting.

Unfortunately, there was maybe 1 professional athlete checking in at the time I was there, so no photos or meetings in that sense today…so on to the meeting I went. There had to have been at least 300 people at this first meeting, so I’m thankful I was at the early one. It only lasted about a half hour, so I was able to browse around the tents at IRONMAN Village®. I will admit, it was a little bit lonely walking around the shops, but hey it’s my race right? Ok, I had puttzed around for too long, time to get to business…headed back to my car and got everything ready for bike check in.

We had to ride the bikes over to transition so that there wasn’t a massive amount of cars, but a lot of people drove over anyway. There was some more browsing to do, that will seem to be a recurring theme here, and when I had arrived at transition I took my jolly good time getting things set up. One of the perks of going alone I guess =) !! Checked out the swim area and the buoys were still being put out. The swim is going to be a toss up whether it’s wetsuit legal or not…so I had to pack away both my Xterra Vendetta and Velocity-M. I feel like I spent more time messing around and just observing things than anything, but oh well! Off to ride the run course!

I am really happy I did ride the run course. It’s was a scorcher out there. Completely flat, completely open to the sun with ZERO… I repeat ZERO shade on the run at ANY point. Nutrition and pacing tactics  definitely needed to be on point. The ride was nice and easy, all went as planned and before I realized I was returning to transition. Ok, ok, I FINALLY racked my bike and did my little run through of where I am in relation to swim out and bike out. Took a few more photos and started my walk back to Sailwinds Park!

Now like a puttz I forgot my flip flops in my car, so I was walking in my bike cleats. Fortunately the shuttle bus was only about a 10 minute walk away so I made my way over and sure enough it was there. Got on board and waited to head back. I wish it could have been more eventful, I feel like I’m leaving you all on a limb!!

Once we got back to Sailwinds there was only one more thing for me to take care of, so I headed out for a quick 15 min run. Legs felt nice and loose so I think we are going to have a great day tomorrow. Before I left I needed to grab a cold water, the one I had turned nasty warm. Ran back inside the Sailwinds building and who spots me but Tim Felegie! So happy to run into him before tomorrow. We got a few pics and went over some details for tomorrow. All that and it was already 2pm. Time to leave and pack up! I just got back to OP about an hour and a half ago, there are SO many police officers on route 50 so it was slow going. But all in all it was a good day and we are all packed up and ready to roll tomorrow.

Huge thanks to my coach John McGurk for getting me to where I am this year. There has been unbelievable improvements in my training.

It’s go time.

Part 2:

FINALLY OFF MY FEET!!! What a great day all around! It was an amazing experience being surrounded by so many high caliber athletes. IRONMAN® 70.3® Eagleman® is no joke, top notch athletes from all across the globe come together in Cambridge, MD for this race and I see why! The winner of my age group was actually from Quebec! It was so neat to see the pros too, and I’ll hit on that a little bit in the race details. SO without any further ado, here is my final race report!!

It was a VERY early morning (3:30am to be exact) and I was on the road with Shaina tagging along by 420am. We stayed at my aunt’s house, where we live for the summer, so it was about an hour drive to Cambridge. We made it to the shuttle bus by 530 and the only thing that was rough about that was that I had to pee SO bad. Hey, don’t judge me, having to pee all the time is a #triathleteproblem. I didn’t realize how close the shuttle location was to Great Marsh Park, so to my bladder’s appreciation it was a quick ride. Hopped off and speed-walked over to the port-a-john for the mandatory stop before getting into transition to set up.

Now, usually body marking is outside of transition, but it was inside, right in front of the pro bike racks. I got a nice eyeful of all of the rides that the pro’s crush bike courses on, including Tim O’Donnell’s ‘Trident’ (USNA Colored Trek Speed Concept 9.9). I made the mistake of going to a male body marker…so I ended up having a female body marker neaten what was done on my calf so my age was legible haha…poor guy, he did what he had to do!!! I made my way to my already racked bike and heard what I DID NOT want to hear…Ironman 70.3 Eagleman had officially become a non-wetsuit swim. Not to worry though, because I had my Xterra Velocity-M Speedsuit. To eliminate some boring details… loaded all my nutrition on the bike, made sure all the run gear was set, found Shaina, and headed to the swim start.

My age group shared a wave with the 60+ males, so it was pretty large. I started near the front, as I always do and before I knew it the horn was sounding. Here we go!! Now I usually put WAY too much out in the first few hundred yards of the swim, so I was sure to hold back, because there was a long day ahead of me and I wasn’t about to blow it for a few extra seconds in the swim. Everything was going as planned and I had gotten very comfortable, until my wave began to catch the waves in front of us. CLUSTER. There were caps everywhere and no matter what way I tried to go, I was running into someone and swimming over top of them. So now we are at the turn to head back into shore…and I would say with about 900 yards to go, I feel someone hit my left ankle. Off comes the timing chip… not happy. Remembering that no chip = no time, I had to quick stop and quickly feel near my foot to try and find it and thank God I did. It took a few seconds and I completely lost AL momentum, but I saved my whole entire day. But we were still in pretty deep waters, so I couldn’t sit there and try to put it back on with tens of swimmers coming at me. The remaining time in the water I had to swim with my left hand in a closed fist…although later I realized I should have just stuffed the chip down my suit…what a puttz. 200 yards to go. Water is about 3 feet deep so that turned into dolphin diving for 200 yards. Final swim time…37:44…yuck.

Ran into T1 and the legs felt pretty good. I’m really happy with my transition times, so I was quickly in and out and on the bike. I could go on and on about the bike portion, but who wants to hear about the beautiful trees that covered us for the whole 56 miles with shade? Oh wait that didn’t happen…neither did the wondrous weather forecast for today! Anyways, I immediately got into a rhythm and started hammering away. With my Rudy Project Wingspan helmet and Trek Speed Concept 9.9, I felt extremely aero and fast, even in the constant headwinds. My nutrition played a huge role here and I carried 2 GU Roctane Brews, 3 GU Roctane Gels, 4 GU Chomps Gummies, 2 Klean Endurance Tabs, and 3 Klean Electrolyte Caps (although I lost one due to slippery fingers…). It quickly got really hot…and the flats were very unforgiving. It was all effort, all the time. Total bike time: 2:28:17, 22.66 mph average.

T2 was nice and quick as well… and we only had 13.1 miles to go. This was the part I was looking forward too most, to see how far we have come in a year. By this time it was scorching on the roads, and there was ZERO shade… as I mentioned yesterday. So far, almost everything went to plan, aside from the chip being pulled off, so I was in great shape to get right around 4:35. I knew that the run was going to be really tough, and my workouts leading up to this week have been focused on holding the pace back for the first part of the run to save gas for the end. That’s exactly how it went… or so I was thinking. 2 miles in and the pros were coming in. That was so neat to see. They were not even an arm’s length away and I went right by Andrew Starykowitz and Tim O’Donnell battling for the win, as well as the other male and female pros coming in. AWESOME! I held pace (7:15) for the next 4 miles to the turnaround and I was starting to pick people off. Here’s what was my saving grace for the run… ice water sponges. UGH. They were a small feeling of Heaven in what felt like the heat of Hell. Each aid station I was sure to pick them up to replace the old ones, or hit myself with ice water and take in some nutrition. The aid station at mile 8 had the best supply, in my opinion, and I think at one point I took about 6 sponges =). Miles 8 and 9 clicked away smoothly and then 10 came…ouch. Side stitch like no other took a lot of the wind out of my sail. I was slowed to about a 7:45 pace, and it was all guts from there on out. It was a grueling last 3.1 miles but I was sure to not give away too much. With about .5mi left I had caught another person, well almost. What age? 23! Perfect. With 200 yards to go I went around him and gained one more spot before the finish! Total run time, 1:38:12, 7:29 pace.
Total race time = 4:46:40

I am extremely happy with my performance, especially in the rough conditions. My sponsors have helped me unbelievably and I can’t thank them enough. Thank you to Top Gear Bike Shop, Klean Athlete, Rudy Project, GU Energy Labs, Epix Gear, Xterra Wetsuits, RockTape, and Made2Win. Also to my coach John McGurk. This has been an unbelievable year so far and there is so much more to come. Thank you for all the time you have put in to help me get these results I am seeing. And of course thanks to Shaina again. She sat out in the beating sun all day just to see me for a couple of minutes. Boy, she must like me or something? =D! Some other shoutouts to Abbey Sloss (Klean Athlete), Garvin Bixler (Top Gear Bike Shop), Matt Tinkey (Top Gear Bike Shop), Reba Coughlin (Rudy Project), Tomek Barc (Epix Gear), and Travis Champion-Fritz (Xterra Wetsuits). You all have been amazing to me and I am so honored to have you all on board!! The best is yet to come!!

Congratulations is in order for Tim Felegie, Jonathan Bilbow, John Loforte, John McGurk, and Kenny Quigley on their finishes as well!

For those who followed me throughout the day, thank you! My family and friends back home are such a huge part of my support crew because I know they are always watching and cheering!! You all mean so much to me!!!

Thanks for taking the time to read ALL about my day… it was a long one and definitely a hot one. I am glad to be sitting while finishing up this post on a nice comfy couch, the first comfortable feeling all day!!! Be sure to check out my photos on Facebook and Instagram, which will be up in the next couple days! Stay updated on my site as well, you never know when something exciting is going to happen! Thank you for sharing this amazing day with me!! You will be hearing more from me soon!! Next on the calendar, July 20th at the Anthracite Triathlon!! See you in Jim Thorpe!


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