2010 Eagleman70.3 Race Recap

The 2010 Eagleman 70.3 event in Cambridge, Maryland was labeled “one of the most competitive and grueling 70.3 events ever”. 

It was the first 70.3 triathlon I’ve competed in since the 2008 Foster Grant Ironman70.3 World Championship. I’ve been working very hard this year preparing to set a personal best at Eagleman and I’m very pleased to say that this goal was reached when I crossed the finish line with a seven minute PB. However, what makes this event even more personally rewarding for me is that I competed in the race with a pretty severe head cold that almost kept me from finishing the swim. I knew it was going to be difficult competing while being sick, but I had worked so hard this season  – there was no way I could miss out on this race.  

After swimming for almost 40 minutes through some pretty rough currents, I only had 200 yards more to go and I completely stopped, treaded water for a minute and quickly searched for the nearest rescue kayak. I was in panic mode because I couldn’t breathe, heart rate was very high, legs were fully cramped, and I was incredibly dizzy and nauseous to the point where my arms and hands were becoming numb. I had never experienced this before in a race, but have often heard horror stories from triathletes who have.

After seeking out the attention from the kayakers, they were rapidly making their way towards me when I realized that there was no way I was going to drop out of this race – visions of being in the coma, hospital, and recovery flashed through my mind as well as the thought of all the support I have been given from family, friends and the remarkable people who played a helping hand in my journey back to life. I was going to make it to land whether I had to doggy paddle to the shore.

As soon as my foot struck the sand, I quickly tried to get my bearings straight, while shaking loose the severe cramps in my legs. Being one of the last guys in my age group out of the water, I shuffled through the transition area, found my bike and sprinted out of there as fast as I could. I hopped on the bike and took off, averaging a total of 24.3 MPH throughout the bike segment in some pretty severe headwinds along with a 101 heat index. I knew I had to make up a lot of time to catch up to the leaders of my age group, and after two hours and 18 minutes on the bike, I was amazed to find out that I was the first guy back into the transition area with the fastest bike split of the day in my age group, which was an all time first for my triathlon career.

I soon discovered some trouble in the run because I couldn’t hold my hydration and nutrition down, but I was very happy to still earn a podium finish under these brutal conditions. The fact that I was able to finish at all was the most important thing to me…but I have to admit that it was pretty incredible to come in first off the bike. 

Looking back at 2007 when I began competing in triathlons, I honestly didn’t know to much about riding road or triathlon bikes. Aero bars and bike pedals were a very new thing for me. It took some bumps and bruises to find out how to ride properly, but the hard work has been well worth it.

To everyone who has helped me in my journey back to life, Thank You for giving me the strength and motivation to keep pushing forward yesterday through all the obstacles.


Eagleman Ironman 70.3 Triathlon – June 13, 2010

On June 13, 2010 in Cambridge, Maryland, triathletes from around the world will be competing in the Eagleman Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, a qualifier for the Ford Ironman World Championship Kona and the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 Clearwater.  The race is organized and directed by the Columbia Triathlon Association, and includes a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run.

Over 20 world class male and female pros will be competing for the Eagleman title, and for a slot to the Clearwater World Championships.  New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone, a 5-time World Champion, has an impressive record and will be defending his 2009 Eagleman Champion title against some amazing athletes, like Andrew Yoder (20), a 4th-year pro from Columbia, PA who just won the 2010 Columbia Triathlon (Columbia, MD).   Maryland Public Television (MPT) will also be at the event filming a story on Brian Boyle, aka “Iron Heart”, a Maryland triathlete with an inspiring survival story (https://brianboyle.wordpress.com/).

Among the women, there is 43-year old Natascha Badmann from Switzerland, a 6-time Hawaiian Ironman World Champ who holds the female record time for Eagleman and five 1st-place Eagleman titles, Michellie Jones (AUS) who is the most decorated female triathlete with 200+ major wins, Sam McGlone (Canada), an Ironman 70.3 World Champion and 2004 Olympian, and Desiree Ficker from Potomac, MD, who has finished in the top 3 of twelve 70.3 triathlons.

Named the winner of the Best Race Support category in the March 2009 issue of Triathlete Magazine, this event takes place in and around the Choptank River of Cambridge, Maryland, and begins at 7:00am at Great Marsh Park.  The event draws approximately 2,400 participants, 3,000 spectators, and 900 volunteers each year.

2010 Annual Meeting for the Maryland Hospital Association

On June 4, I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker at the Maryland Hospital Association’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore.  

The MHA is the advocate for Maryland’s hospitals, health systems, communities, and patients before legislative and regulatory bodies.  MHA’s membership is comprised of community and teaching hospitals, health systems, specialty hospitals, veterans hospitals, and long-term care facilities.  

During my recovery, I spent a lot of time being treated in many of the hospitals throughout Maryland, and during the past two years I have also traveled to many of other in-state hospitals to host blood drives with the American Red Cross. 

I was not only able to tell my story, but I was able to represent the many patients who pass through the hospitals throughout the state each year.  It was a great feeling to have the chance to speak to and thank the audience that included the senior leaders of Maryland’s hospitals and health systems, including CEOs, COOs, CFOs, chief patient care officers, medical affairs executives, as well as hospital board members.

It was extremely rewarding to have this opportunity because I was able to show my appreciation for the work that these hospitals and their many employees do on a daily basis.  The theme of this year’s meeting consisted of “The New Normal”. 

 America is just emerging from a series of shocks–from a shock to our economic stability to a shock in our trust of traditional institutions.  “The New Normal” is about exploring where we go from here.  There is no going back to the old way of doing things.  Everything is changing … where is the economy, both Maryland’s and the nation’s headed, and how will it affect you?  Where is health care headed, in the wake of reform?  And more importantly, what does it all mean for you, your community, and your hospital?