Friday, September 27, 2013

Working SavageMan 2013

Ok ok, I know.....I've been slacking in the blogging part but I've been running around dietetic interning like no other! I'll get right down to it....several weeks ago I had the opportunity to work (paid work) the SavageMan triathlon located in Deep Creek Lake of the rugged Allegheny Mountains of Maryland. Best part of this triathlon is that all registration and fundraising proceeds from SavageMan go to the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, “the voice of melanoma prevention, detection, and cure.” On their website,, they have on their banner, "A Savage race to fight a savage disease." Very aptly named for this was one of the most intense and physical demanding courses that I had witnessed for a triathlon. When the climbs have names and special signs made for certain know its gonna hurt.

Yes...the final turn buoy is a Swan boat.
The first day was a 5am set up on Saturday followed by the shorter Olympic standard format of .9 mile swim, 22.9 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run.  I worked with a bunch of great college students (they thought I was old when they asked what year I was in school) who were volunteering for their college. It's essential to make sure the right athlete gets the right chip!

So whats all this hype about SavageMan 70.0 of 1.2 mile swim, 55.7 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run? I hadn't even heard of it until a friend, Mike, kept saying it was super close to Pittsburgh and I should race it. Well, I've been in no shape to race but I could work it and I am super glad I did! Now, for Sunday I had the awesome responsibility with another fellow staffer working  "7 mile climbing stretch" that is timed and more importantly working the Westernport wall. To start, if you make it up this section without falling, the athlete gets there named engraved in a brick and put in the road.

BUT to make it up you need determination, luck, and power with an average grade of 25% and a max pitch of 31% at the steepest section. This section has been closed to cars permanently was where we were stationed along with volunteers to be there to grab the one's that fall and unclip them then make sure they're alright. You then sprint their bike up to the top were the athlete will then remount. If you didn't grab the bikes then there would be a big pile up. There's a alternate route that you can take to bypass this section but most go for it. It was inspiring to see the pain faces that meet success or defeat atop that climb. It stirred a desire inside me...that little extra desire to get out and train for the sport I love. Seeing athlete's struggle with their inner demons to conquer the hill was again....inspiring!

Photo credit to Bergin for the photo sequence. Thanks! Got my sprint on all day :)

This person wasn't so lucky.

Which one did he have on his shoulder? The wings or the horns?
There was a very small field of pro triathletes/elite amateurs that could win the prize purse for overall champion=$1300 :)! Break the record and they get an extra $1000. Pretty nice for a grass roots race. Spoiler...the first two male pro's fell on the Wall. This Westernport Wall video can pretty much sum up the race :).

First female finisher for the 70.0 of a time of 5:31:36 goal is to do SavageMan 70.0 in 2014 :)! I know I have used the word inspiring and amazing a lot but the most inspiring part was after the awards had been wrapped up for several hours and we were braking down the finish line, a man savage enough with no arms took on the SavageMan :)

Amazing to be able to cheer this athlete to the finish!
There I also met Bergin from the Pittsburgh Triathlon Club who a week later took me on a smooth/fun 47 mile route. Yayy for future time trial course :). Back to the present, finished up my 4th week of my food service rotation today and looking forward to the weekend!

Your dog pic of the week :)

Steely found a stink bug