Rock Hall Olympic – Mike’s First Win!

Mike Stevenson’s Race Report
6/1/2013, Rock Hall, MD
Overall Time: 2:03:51, 1st place amateur

Small races are always a lot of fun. Everybody is always so happy and there is a nice vibe to the whole event. Our shop sponsors Tri360 were there with their tent tuning up the athlete’s bikes and the day had a relaxed feel to it.

The Rock Hall Oly is a young race and only attracts around 350 people. The race is the weekend before IM 70.3 Eagleman, which typically attracts the fastest athletes in our region. Because the fast guys were away preparing for Eagleman, I knew I had a good shot a top finish for Rock Hall with the toughest competition being from my Ignite Endurance teammate, Max Zevin.

SWIM: Time 19:52, 8th overall. The swim course is an oddly shaped, 2 loop trapezoid inside a yacht harbor. My wave was the 5th to start and I knew there would be a lot of traffic out in the water. I had a good start and quickly found myself competing with another guy in my wave. I could tell that he was new to triathlon because it was clear that he was racing against me, instead of working with me to make it through the swim together. An experienced triathlete knows to conserve some energy on the swim. Within minutes, we hit caught up to the athletes from the previous waves and began bumping into them. I was getting frustrated because the 20 something guys who were in the 1st swim wave didn’t have to deal with as much traffic. I didn’t want the fastest guys to get ahead of me just because they were in a better wave.

BIKE: Time 1:02:14, 7th overall. My legs were tight in the first few miles of the bike. I regretted not doing more of a warm up early that morning. It took awhile for my heart rate and power levels to make it up to racing speed. Nonetheless, it was a warm day and the bike felt good. I made it back to the town of Rock Hall and found my way to T2. At this point, I was unaware of what place I was in, but a spectator yelled “YOUR 22nd OVERALL!” Being that I was in Wave 5, I knew that I was in good shape.

RUN: Time 39:54, 5th overall. The temperatures and humidity on the 2 loop run course were scorching. It was a little scary. These are the type of conditions where people can suffer from heat exhaustion or possibly even heat stroke. I made it out of T2 and could not increase my pace in the heat. I kept reminding myself “Everyone else is suffering too. Just keep going”. After a mile, I bumped into my teammate Max Zevin who was in the 1st wave and now on his 2nd loop of the run course. It occurred to me that his wave was exactly 20 minutes ahead and we were running at a pace that would equal a 40 minute 10k. In other words, we were racing head to head! We completed the lap and Max headed to the finish line while I began my 2nd lap. That meant that if I could complete the next lap in under 20 minutes then I’d finish ahead of him.

So what happened? You can probably guess. I wound up beating Max by 10 seconds. He was obviously a bit annoyed that he missed 1st place by so little, but that’s the way it goes! It wasn’t a head to head race so you don’t know the outcome until the final times are released. I keep asking Setup events to have an “Open” or “Elite” wave so people can race against their buddies, but they always say no. I’m sure Max will get his revenge on me in the future.



About Mike

Mike is a USAT Level I Certified Triathlon Coach and ASCA Level II Swim Coach based in Arlington, VA. Mike is a top tier Age Group triathlete and coach for the Arlington Masters swim club. A lifelong athlete, he has competed in more than 30 triathlons, 10 marathons, 5 Ironmans, and numerous open water swims and endurance cycling events. He races as a member of Ignite Endurance.

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