Hephzibah Triathlon 2000


Distances: .5mi swim/22-mi bike(?)/3.7-mi run
Location: Macon, GA
Date: Monday, May 29, 2000

Benefits the Hephzibah Children's Home

Decided late Tuesday, May 23, 2000, whether I wanted to do this race. I've

Never done it before and had done Memphis in May [05/21/00], but frankly, I didn't want to miss a triathlon so near to Atlanta.

Never let off from my rigorous training schedule through the week. Wednesday at the river [Columns Drive] was a hard workout on the bike (25 miles) and running (4 miles).

My mind was set to get a good workout at Hephzibah Triathlon and not punish my body. The best way I thought to do that is not set any time goals. NO pressure!

Many Tri-Atlanta friends showed up for this race. It is interesting how different people respond pre-race. To detail individual emotion under the conditions of pre-race would take too long. Remembering my……NO goal……No pressure attitude, I set up my bike quickly, no different to the way I had at Memphis the previous Sunday. Now there was time to absorb the surroundings. One hour before the bus would take us to the start on the other side of the lake.

Wandered around the transition area and walked to the water exit point with Karin [ daughter] trying to explain in simple terms what daddy was doing. The inquiring mind of a three year old is quite a challenge. On every answer the big question……WHY? To go fast……WHY? It’s a lot of fun……WHY? "Let’s go swim", she says excitedly. Not now……WHY? Because mom does not know where we are. We head back to the transition area with lots of resistance. Hand Karin over to mom and confusion is written on her face.

Have some time to talk to Catherine Fuss, who invites me for a warm-up jog. That is a first for me but WHY NOT. The bus ride, to the swim start, soon followed. It was nice to talk to Jim Rainey in transit. As soon as we got off the bus my adrenaline pumped and the race had started for me, mentally. Only my feet were not wet. Saw Jane Fratesi in the water and wade waist deep over to her. You what? "Swam over here from the other side". The thought drains half my energy. Jane with all due respect, "That is a class above my capability". Wish her a good race and swim out about 100 yards as a warm-up. The agony of waiting for the start. There is a red cap amongst all the green caps. It is Roger Partee. I swim over to say hallo. Roger is too busy talking to other participants who joke with him. With no wet-suit on I feel the 78 degrees and shiver for ten additional minutes.

This is the run down of the race.

SWIM [0.5Miles]:

Start with vigor. Slapping the water with fast arm turnover and feel after a minute that I am not getting anywhere. Sense anxiety as I slowly fall behind those next to me. Breathe only to one side as the demand for more air increases. Look up to get orientation. Horrible I am over to the right and outside of the right side buoys. Someone else has followed me. Had to make a correction every ten strokes, by lifting the head through the breath stroke. It is one sure way to ware yourself out. It’s all bad mechanical motion. But little time to settle in and find balance. Fortunately it is over quickly. Swim time 13 minutes .


I am drained from the swim and the uphill to the transition area is tough. The little water tubs at the top of the hill are slick. One foot slides through while the other flies over as I catch my balance. A gasp from a spectator. I comment, "Damb that is slippery!" The only piece of clothing that will not co-operate is the Tri-vest. After a 2:15 transition I'm crunching the pedals.

BIKE [22Miles]:

Bike route is pretty hilly. Don't know how to pace myself. Give the first hills a strong run. It surprised me how many were already out on the road and proceeded to pick off one at a time. It bugs me how slow I was in the water. Determined to make up the lost time. When I passed Catherine Fuss a sense of relief comes over me. Gulped two mouthfuls of water. Joe Predue pulls up along my side. We exchanged words of encouragement and both pick up the pace. A third cyclist joins after being passed on a long hill. Miss the next sharp right turn at the top of the hill. The other two don’t make the same mistake. Did not take long to catch up. The side wind catches me a little off guard. Only need to contend with it for a few more minutes. As we approach the transition area, Reed McCormack shows up before my eyes. It is a big surprise. Appeared he was OK. Normally get left behind by him on training rides. Loosen the Velcro straps to the cycle shoes as we all freewheel into the transition.

Bike time 57 minutes.

T2 :

45 seconds. Nice going I think to myself. Four of us leave the transition.


It’s uphill all the way to the turnaround. As we leave the transition area, a fellow with some gray in his hair, moves rapidly past. Observed he is not wearing a hat and think, "Let the sun be my friend". There is plenty of shade along the way. Realized my thoughts were not going to materialize. Evidently, since he could not be caught and the gap grew bigger and bigger. Two minutes was the difference at the finish. Tried to run down Reed McCormack but he held the distance between us. I could catch and pass Joe Predue and another within the first mile and a third participant 300 yards out from the finish.

26 Minutes for the run.


½ mile SWIM - 13 minutes – Did not go well!

[ no wet suit - 15 min wait in the water before start, was a factor ]

T1 - 2.5 minute – Good considering the location!

[ spent mostly running up a hill to the transition area - also mainly the reason I did not want a wet-suit ]

22 mile BIKE - 57 minutes – Awesome!

[ hilly but a great ride for me ]

T2 - 0.5 minute

[ little tired from the bike ]

3.7 mile RUN - 26 minutes – Good effort!

[ met my goal - Note: the guy that beat me, overtook me three hundred yards into run, was two minutes faster overall ]

TIME - 1:39:11

[ 2nd in age 40-44 ]