This triathlon is probably Heather’s and my favorite. Supposedly, it is the toughest International distance course on the East Coast. For me, it was my first (2004) and for Heather, it marked her reentry to the sport. Located in Columbia MD, it’s about 45 minutes from our house which is convenient. It’s a big race and popular. If you spend too much time contemplating signup, it will fill up.It always attracts a host of professionals including our coach who has won the race at least 3 times (I believe all 3 were as an amateur before she turned pro). The bike and run course are challenging, especially the run which has 4 significant hills.
The 2004 race is seared into my memory as I had an issue with my shoe on the bike course followed by my chain popping off during one of the nastier climbs. It was about 85 degrees that day and I was not familiar with how many hills were on the run course. I am sad to admit that there was some walking and a horrendous time, but in my defense it was my first.
Heather and I were too slow to sign up this year so we decided to volunteer. The weather was pretty miserable early on which made me happy to not be racing (not to mention I have forgotten how to swim). It was nice to be at the finish line to see the pros finish with sick times that I have trouble even contemplating. In addition to the racing celebs that no one has actually heard of, Mayor Fenty was there and posted a 2:27. This puts him a full 10 minutes ahead of my best time on this course. I will need to work really hard to achieve my goal of beating him one day.
I also did my best to snap a few pictures, but the iPhone was not too successful at catching up with the speedy runners. The first blur is Margie finishing second overall among the women. The second is the female winner (Rebeccah Wassner) and the last is the male winner (Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand) in the background. Second overall was a 20 year old kid from PA named Andrew Yoder. Impressive. My favorite quote of the day was Richie Cunningham (a consummate Ironman finisher) coming in 3rd overall with a big smile on his face and saying “Should we have another lap?”.