Some memories that stand out from the last 10 years or so. Many dates are approximate.
If you have big memories of your own, fond or otherwise, post them:
2001(?)—The club’s first webmaster, Ed Zastrow, at his own time and expense, patches together a primitive web site, the first of three that will be rolled out. The many glitches and the tardiness of the web site start a club tradition of constant complaints about the site…
2001—Many clubbers race at the old Spud Triathlon, the site of the current Gen. Smallwood Tri.
C. 2001-2002—DCTri begins a tradition of large, boisterous happy hours on Thursday nights, usually around Capitol Hill where many early members and club officers reside.
The club culture is sort of punk-like: many ride to the HHs on hand-me-down bikes, some look like weightlifting extras from Mad Max films, and with few organized swims some pick random spots in the Potomac to jump in for workouts.
2002—Clubber Ed Moser and Zastrow patch together their first Olympic triathlon. An informal affair on a 90-degree day, they swim a mile at Ed’s Arlington apt. pool, then bike 28 miles, without Gatorade, along the Mt. Vernon trail. Then run a 10K without water. Zastrow bonks, and Moser collapses under a tree at the end, beginning a personal tradition of collapsing at the end of races. Other clubbers begin to think that race day hydration and more formal training programs are in order.
2002(?)--After a crash of a club member at the Civil War Century, club president Marc Schneider rides 40 or so extra miles into cell phone range to call for an ambulance, giving him 140 miles and making him guardian angel for the year. After leaving the Marine Corps, Marc decided to try something more dangerous—not triathlons, but banking…Marc and other leaders help set up regular club features like a board of directors and membership dues.
2002—Due to a weird weather spike during the Columbia Triathlon, temps suddenly jump to 95 on an already boiling day during the very hilly beginning portion of the run. All at once, hundreds of runners begin to walk. Near the finish line, Ed Moser collapses under a tree, which is surrounded by poison oak; he itches for weeks.
2002-2003(?)--The first club race clothes can be ordered, with a smashing red, white, and blue design. However, it takes forever to order and deliver the stuff, starting an enduring club tradition of waiting, and waiting some more, for the arrival of club colors.
2003—In the freezing year of Hurricane Isabel, the Columbia Triathlon starts with a swim in the low 50s. (Wetsuit legal.) A number of shivering pros, unable to continue, drop out of the race at the bike transition. Other racers are barely able to grip or operate their gears for several miles, so numb are their hands.
2003—With the hurricane devastating the Mt. Vernon Trail and the C&O Canal trail, some clubbers take to doing their long runs at night on the National Mall, and discover one of the most scenic running courses in the nation.
2004—The club’s fun annual meetings are usually held in the movie house of the Arlington Draft House.
2004(?)—DCT hosts a annual presentation of club ironmen who speak on how to train for and race in an IM event. One inspiring speaker around this time is Sean Ward, who races at medal pace with a strict dietary regimen due to insulin problems.
2004--About this time Olwen Huxley is organizing long runs up the hiking trail from Key Bridge to Chain Bridge, on the Potomac's Virginia side.
2004(?)—To help clubbers gain experience, and to defray the expense of the sport, DCT is by now holding inexpensive, well-attended training sprint tris at Hains Pt.
2005--After a terror alert due to some nitwit leaving a package on the 14th St. Bridge, the course of the Army Ten Miler is changed at the last minute—without informing the runners, including various clubbers. The event turns out to be 11.2 miles, which enrages elite runners keeping to fast, precise paces before bonking near the end. Many not-so-great runners, however, are overheard at the finish line exclaiming, “Awesome! That’s the longest I’ve ever run!”
2005—DCT founds the New Triathlon Club (NTP). It becomes an efficiently run model for fun, inexpensive training for new participants in the sport.
2005(?)—Club webmaster Eric Goetz sets up one of the country’s premier long-distance bike events, Total 200. Goetz also helps establish one of the most humbling, for non-elite bikers, biking events: the frenetically paced dawn workouts at Hains Pt.
2005—The club is by now putting on regular lectures around the region by experts on nutrition, bike maintenance, transition, running form, and more. Representative of this trend is Rob Falk, who completely alters his running stride, becomes a running and cycling coach, and goes on to put on 3-hour spin sessions.
2005—DCT wins its first of 5 straight Mid Atlantic championships, and 6 out of 7, often by overwhelming other clubs in the region by sheer numbers. The towns of Northeast, Maryland, Princeton, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh, PA are among the venues for the title events. USAT is later forced to change its “each racer counts” scoring due to the huge number of DCT participants.
2006(?)—Under club president Chad Lewis, and vice-president (?) Cory Churches, and organized by Gary Dean, DCT holds its first bric-nic, in Centennial Park in Columbia, MD. The popular bric-nics are later expanded to Rock Creek Park, and held multiple times a year.
Membership in the club, maybe 12 in 2001, explodes to many hundreds during this time, especially in the spring when the fat club discount on buying a bike is often employed.
2006—The inaugural Nation’s Tri, organized by Chuck Brodsky, is held, despite many doubters, in Washington, DC. When the swim is cancelled at the last minute, due to failure to get a permit from the city, and fears about sewage flow into the Potomac, the future of what becomes an annual classic is cast in doubt.
2006(?)—A precursor to today’s popular Montgomery County and NOVA subgroups of DCT, a southern Maryland group is established by Anathea Powell, “Lazy Bones” Mike Bowman, and others. It often holds runs at the National Zoo, followed by burgers at the Zoo Bar.
2006(?)—On a dare from Angie Deveraux (now A. Neilans), burly future club president Joe Coyne races the Mid Atlantic title--in a tutu. Few doubt his manhood, though, as Joe probably shaves 5-6 times a day…
2006—Adding a spring marathon to the fall Marine Corps classic, the inaugural National Marathon and Half Marathon are held, with many DCT racers and vols.
2006(?)—During a swimathon at the Eastern Market pool, clubbers are thrown out of the place for hogging too many lanes. Paul Contino manages to swim 10,000 yards, though, mostly via the butterfly.
2006-2007(?)—With a big boost from DCTers like former club president Nic Jafarieh and Michelle Harburg, the Achieve charity for young, inner-city triathletes is set up. Over time, annual fundraisers raising thousands of bucks are held.
2007—With major administrative and participatory support from DCT, and triathlete mayor Adrian Fenty, the second Nation’s Tri is a big success.
2007(?)—The winter Club Challenge was taken more seriously back then. To nail down most bike miles nation-wide, Kip Pierson rides a century—in January. Yet the Challenge is marred by apparent cheating by members of other clubs who post “typos” that claim impossible mileage.
2007—During a swim clinic, Sarah Thorpe directs Casey Creech and Ed Moser into the “penalty box” for 30 minutes of the doggy paddle, as punishment for “having the worst strokes I’ve ever seen.” Sarah has obviously never seen Tuan Nguyen swim…
2007(?)—The first, epic SavageMan training weekends are held in the wilds of Deep Creek, Maryland, often organized by Simon Hernaez, on the course of the SavageMan Half, founded by Kyle Yost.
2008--A tradition becomes entrenched of big groups of DCTers training and traveling together for goal races like TimberMan half, and Lake Placid and Florida IMs.
2008—In Race Across America, a San Diego to Annapolis bike competition, the mixed team of clubbers Phil Schmidt, Andrea Vasquez, Eric Goetz, and Patrick Serfass finish second—in the men’s completion. Clubbers follow them intently on the Internet as they race over the Appalachians and approach a climactic finish, setting the mixed group record en route.
2009—Building on the success of NTP, the club begins a Half Ironman training program. More training programs, staffed by elite coaches, will follow.
2009--With considerable aid from DCT, the ITU World Championship is held in DC. Due to recent heavy rains, the pros karate-chop their way thru debris in the Potomac swim; the men's thrilling finish features 4-5 Olympians in a tight run race.
2009-- During SavageMan training weekend, Glenn Elliott veers sharply on his bike, to avoid a cyclist who’s braked to avoid a bear in the road, and crashes down a steep ravine, momentarily knocked unconscious. He gets up and finishes the ride.
2009—Many clubbers begin helping out with a series of High Cloud charity half-marathons and tris put on by Matt and Adriana Anderson.
2009—After the opening of a beautiful pool at Wilson High, some in the school demand the 50-meter lanes be changed to 25 meters, touching off a lengthy and heated imbroglio on the club web site.
2010—The inaugural PeasantMan tri, supported by many clubbers, is held at Maryland’s Sandy (Chiang) Point. Founder Tuan Nguyen is targeted by MD’s notorious, brown-shirted park police, who cancel the run the morning of the event after giving its approval months before.
2010—Race coordinator Hugh Harris, in running the time trials and sprint tris at Hains Pt., survives a flood, overflow crowds from Mall demonstrations, and the city’s brown-shirted park dept. workers cancelling use of the Hains pool at the last minute.
2010—The inaugural Washington, DC Triathlon is successfully held. A logical race for NTPers, it boosts a great many DCT volunteers, often organized by former club president Travis Siendhel.
2010—The EagleMan half ironman in Cambridge, MD takes place with an irregular 1.35 swim leg due to drifting buoys, causing some competitors to miss the swim’s time cutoff. The run takes place in record heat, causing most to start walking in a fair imitation of the Bataan Death March. A typically fun EagleMan…
2010—Hillary Peabody expands a popular series of weekly track workouts at Wilson High. They feature involved active stretching which some mistake for the contortions of bikram yoga.
2010-2011—Phil Schmidt, Kelsie Beebe, Olwen Huxley, and others qualify for the Kona IM world championships.
2010—A chartered bus breaks down three times bringing a large contingent of clubbers to the Myrtle Beach half iron championship. The bus limps into town at 11 pm; almost everyone on board has a substandard race. By trying manfully to arrange alternate transportation by spending 15 hours on his cell phone, Steve Carlson assures his later election as club president. An obscure team from Columbia, Missouri, not Maryland, somehow wrests the title from DCT.
2010—Under president Julie (Onassis) Kennedy and others, the club adds Ironman and Olympic Distance training programs. To reassert a stress on top performers, it also sets up an Elite Team.
2010—At the Beach to Battleship IM, Stephanie Ewert and blind athlete Tina Ament swim 2.4 frigid miles tethered together.
2011—The club takes back the Mid-Atlantic title at a sweltering Rockett’s Landing Olympic distance race where the water temps in Richmond’s James River hit 93 degrees. (Wetsuit not legal).
2011--Ben Winterroth cops an age group crown at the USAT national championships.
2011—Faulty Garmins lead to a 6.0 mile run leg of the Nation’s Tri, and yet another web site imbroglio, per club tradition. Carrie Campbell is volunteer coordinator for her fourth-straight city-wide tri. Club racers and vols again make up a huge contingent of the annual classic.
2011—DCT lays out extensive plans to take the half ironman national title at Myrtle Beach…
Ed, this is amazing. I had no idea we were just barely 10 years old. National Championships here we come!!!!!!!
Ed ... thanks for all your years of service and contributions to the club. It's truly not where it is without folks like you and all of the other older members that you mentioned in the post.
Perhaps the club could create a "life member" category whereby if you belong to the club 10+ years like Ed, you don't need to pay annual dues EVER again ... just a thought.
Ed....good stuff, my friend. It was 2007 when Joe ran in the pink tutu. And I can recall the 10,000 swim workout. We did 100 x 100s that day and pretty much got kicked out after three hours of intimidating others in the pool.
Ed, that was awesome!!
Very informative. You should expand this and add it to the website on a more permanent basis. I think many people would like to know more about the history of the club.
FYI-The Washington DC Triathlon started up in 2010, not 2009. 2009 was the ITU World Championship Series race in DC. That might be worth noting too. I think it was the first ITU WCS race ever in the U.S. (HyVee is a separate ITU race, I believe.)
Looks good. :)
I think we started the training tris in 2005, if not earlier. We had at least one in June of that year, the weekend before the sprint goal race for NTP (I remember it well, both from learning that pulling tight spandex over wet skin is near-impossible, and from breaking my wrist on the bike ride home after the event).
Love this, Ed. I'm glad that the bus charter to Myrtle got a mention, and even the short run at this year's Nation's! I'd add that Ben Winterroth won a national age group title this year, which I wasn't sure if has been previously done by a Club member. I'd also like to mention that the Serfass/Goetz/Schmidt/Vasquez team STILL holds the national record in Race Across America in the 4-person mixed division:
Wow, that is pretty fascinating! As a new Club member, reading this makes me even more excited to be a part of this group:-)
thanks for the lovely history!
One minor formality, for your history books: The track workouts started in mid november 2009; however, it started as a subset of DC Capital Striders, many of whom I had just conned into agreeing to test out the triathlon thing with me...it was I believe early January 2010 that we got our first DC Tri members onto the track workout listserv. Now we have over 200 people on it :)
Looks like folks are piling on with revisionist history. I'll add my two cents. PeasantMan didn't start out in 2010. It actually started in 1975 shortly before the fall of Saigon. Under the cloud of war, the American imperialists blatantly took the idea from the Nguyen Dynasty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguyen_dynasty) and brought it to Hawaii to make what is today known as Ironman Hawaii - Kona.
For this and other fascinating stories that your govt does not want you to know, please go to Amazon.com to purchase one of my books.
Great post, Ed. As a DC Tri Club member since 2004, that brought back some memories. -- TJ