After finishing the USAT DUathlon National Championships, Doug Landau shows the medal he earned in Bend, Oregon Saturday

National Championships Results: In the End at Bend…

 

USAT race organizers were ready with EMTs equipped with Electric bikes and stretchers in case of injuries caused by treacherous winds, steep descents and/or altitude.
USAT race organizers were ready with EMTs equipped with Electric bikes and stretchers in case of injuries caused by treacherous winds, steep descents and/or altitude.

A sunny race day greeted duathletes with temperatures in the 30s, winds gusting so hard that several port-o-johns were knocked over and the Finish Line becoming airborne ! With the long descent on the middle, bike portion of the USAT Duathlon National Championships, the wind would be buffeting athletes all over the scenic road leading back to Summit High School in Bend, Oregon.

Luckily for Landau, who races poorly in cold temperatures, the sprint race was to be contested at 1:00, when the temperatures were in the mid-70’s. He watched the morning Standard Distance race, where there were several falls, even on the run, and some DNFs. Getting taped up pre race by the folks at K-T Physio Tape, and making use of the Race Day Transport equipment, Landau was going to give full value with the level of fitness he had. Lining up for his race, he heard his name over the PA system as podium finisher last year, and, with his signature “Lawyer Landau” kit, was immediately recognizable by his competition, many of whom also wore World Championship TeamUSA uniforms.

As usual, Doug Landau made friends with race crew and volunteers, (like big Ron here, who worked 10 hours straight!), without whom, safe championship races could not take place.
As usual, Doug Landau made friends with race crew and volunteers, (like big Ron here, who worked 10 hours straight!), without whom, safe championship races could not take place.

When the gun went off, Landau’s heart rate shot up due to the altitude, and he tried to keep the top runners in his category within range without re-injuring his soleus or “blowing up.” A fast transition put him on the bike pedaling at over 90 RPM in order not to make the mistake of trying to “grind” up the ascent. However, his Cervelo P3 racing bike is not equipped with “Granny Gears” for steep climbs, and so he had to monitor his cadence, effort, heart rate and hydration carefully, while ignoring the pedestrian pace he was holding up the hill.

After getting up to the turnaround point, Landau threw his chain into the big gear, went into the drops and held on for dear life. The winds pushed him all over the road, and with oncoming bikes to his left and motor vehicle traffic on his left, it was like running a terrifying gauntlet ! Landau pedaled a bit to keep his speed, heart rate and body temperature from falling too precipitously, and went through the second transition almost as fast as the biker he had just passed who was utilizing “pyro platforms.” The pyro platforms allow duathletes to wear their running shoes of the entire race, as they provide a hard surface to push off on when cycling, that are secured with straps. That athlete had the fastest combined transitions of the day. Landau was out of his bike shoes before the “Dismount Line” and into his running shoes in less than a minute. He passed the athlete ahead, and was running well for the first half mile, but then his hamstring seized up at the top the first incline, and he could not bend the leg. Stopping to try to counter stretch, and even trying to run backwards did not help. Other runners were now passing Landau, who struggled to try to keep moving forward. Eventually he was able to jog a bit, and leaning into he down hill to the water station, he re-passed several duathletes. However, the leg kept locking up and he was not able to get near racing speed. After crossing the finish line (sans Finish banner because of the winds), Landau went to the ice bath, not because he was overheated, but because it helps reduce post-exercise soreness.

After finishing the USAT DUathlon National Championships, Doug Landau shows the medal he earned in Bend, Oregon Saturday
After finishing the USAT DUathlon National Championships, Doug Landau shows the medal he earned in Bend, Oregon

Finishing in just under 74 minutes, some 5 minute slower than he had anticipated, Landau then went to the computerized results board that could instantly reveal placings at each stage of the race via the computer chip affixed to every athlete’s ankle. The instant finisher’s receipt showed that he had finished 10th in his category; not good enough for an automatic World Championship spot. Several of the athletes ahead of him in the listings were within a minute of Landau’s finishing time.

However, athletes were told results were not official until penalties were assessed for unsafe conduct (i.e., passing on the right, drafting, dangerous equipment, failing to wear helmet properly, etc.). Landau then re-hydrated, turned in his bike to the great team at Race Day Transport for shipping back to Virginia in his hard plastic bicycle case, and headed back to the hotel to clean up before the official awards and TeamUSA selection ceremony. Just as was the case after the New England Regional Championships, where his hamstring seized up after the bike portion of the race, Landau was not sore or in pain after the race. However, he was disappointed with his performance and finishing place.
`
While Landau went to celebrate friends podium finishes, he was told to check the Worlds final listings. When he did, his name was 8th, as other athletes had aged up and others had aged out of the men’s 55-59 category. Landau quickly went to the USA Triathlon staff to register his intent to compete for his country at the sprint duathlon World Championships again next year. So, while no podium or additional medals this year, it was “mission accomplished” for lawyer Landau. He will return to the law Shop in Virginia this week before going to Connecticut for a much anticipated July 4th Independence day (& birthdays) celebration with his extended family.

Checking out the course before a major event is part of Doug Landau's pre-race preparation.

Preparing for the Challenge of the Duathlon National Championships

Checking out the course before a major event is part of Doug Landau's pre-race preparation.
Checking out the course before a major event is part of Doug Landau’s pre-race preparation.

After struggling with injury, and unable to train at top speed in preparation for the 2016 USAT Sprint Duathlon National Championships, Herndon Virginia lawyer Doug Landau nevertheless made the trip to Bend, Oregon in order to once again qualify for the ITU Duathlon World Championships. A windy, hilly course, at altitude, would present a challenge for lawyer Landau, who has done well in local and regional competition, but was not at the level of fitness he had planned for when setting his goals for 2016. Remembering the phrase, “half of winning is just showing up,” and relying on his experience at top level competitions, Landau ran (and drove) the 2-lap “up & down” run course. Landau also drove and biked the 6 mile uphill (at 4% grade, climbing 1,200 more feet in addition to being at 3,700 feet above sea level & Washington, D.C.) and then 6 mile down hill bike course in the days leading up to the big race, so that he would be familiar with the terrain. While biking from the transition area several days before the big race, Landau passed dozens of young, extremely fit cross country skiers on rollers training on the slope and altitude!

Landau's bicycle was "race ready" thanks to the expert mechanics at the Green Lizard Bike Shop in Herndon & the folks at Race Day Transport. (Note the snow-capped peaks in the background !)
Landau’s bicycle was “race ready” thanks to the expert mechanics at the Green Lizard Bike Shop in Herndon & the folks at Race Day Transport. (Note the snow-capped peaks in the background !)

Once again the experts at Green Lizard Bike Shop in Herndon had adroitly packed the “Lawyer Landau” Cervelo racing bike for shipping to the West Coast, and the pros at Race Day Transport re-assembled the carbon frame and wheels so that Landau’s bicycle would be “race ready.” Additionally, he underwent taping of his legs by professionals at the K-T physio tape expo booth, bought some warmer clothes and made sure to stretch, nap, taper, hydrate and load up on salts in anticipation of a difficult competition. As Landau noted to his mates back in Virginia, “the hay is in the barn, no use worrying about what could’ve or should’ve been, the work that’s done is done.”

IMG_6472The USAT rotates venues for national championship events, so Landau has competed in the Duathlon’s top Run-Bike-Run races in Ohio, Richmond and Minneapolis/St.Paul. Having this year’s event in the Pacific NorthWest would be a good prequel to the 2017 World Championships in Penticton, Canada. The top 8 in each age group automatically qualify for Worlds. After that, there is a”roll down” process, but slots are not announced until the late Fall, and none of the finishers after the top 8 are assured of making TeamUSA. So while Landau was not expecting to be on the podium like last year, when he finished 3rd, his goalfor 2016 was to finish in the top 8.
Stay tuned…

With the Quassey Amusement Park roller coaster behind him, Doug Landau shows his AG runners up medal at the USAT New England DUathlon Championships  held in Middlebury, CT at the Pat Griskus races.

Pat Griskus Races Add Duathlon: New England Regional Championships

With the Quassey Amusement Park roller coaster behind him, Doug Landau shows his AG runners up medal at the USAT New England DUathlon Championships held in Middlebury, CT at the Pat Griskus races.
With the Quassey Amusement Park roller coaster behind him, Doug Landau shows his AG runners up medal at the USAT New England DUathlon Championships held in Middlebury, CT at the Pat Griskus races.

Doug Landau was scheduled to spend Fathers Day in Connecticut after trying three difficult Social Security cases in Washington D.C. in the week prior. Having signed up for the Sharon Mudge Pond Triathlon, he was looking forward to seeing friends, family and “training through” the event on the nearby sprint distance course. However, the race was cancelled and Lawyer Landau went looking for another event to test his healing soleus. The Pat Griskus triathlons in Middlebury, CT were the same date. Landau had done the very challenging and hilly Olympic distance race, usually coinciding with his reunions at the Hotchkiss School, and he had competed in the evening mid-week sprint race July 4th week as well. When he saw that a Duathlon was added for this year, and that it would serve as the New England Regional Championships, he knew he had to give it a shot. However, the distances were daunting. The race started with a 2-mile run, then went into a 40 km. hilly, technical bike ride on an unfamiliar course, ending with a 2-loop steeply hilled 10 km. run. Would Landau’s recovering leg be able to manage over 8 miles of hilly running ?

Further complicating Landau’s last minute preparation for this race was the fact that his racing bike, helmet, shoes, etc. were already shipped to Bend Oregon for the USAT Duathlon National Championships in Oregon at the end of the month. Because he was taking the Amtrak train North to visit his sister, nieces & nephews, Landau arranged to borrow his brother’s road bike and bring his own pedals and clip on aero bars. However, trying to reach the aero bottle straw on his borther’s 6’2″ sized frame was difficult. Nevertheless, Lawyer Landau kept a ceiling on his efforts in the opening run and bike portions of the race. Then, going out at 7:30/mile pace, his hamstring started cramping such that he stopped 7 times on this hard “ally- oop” run course. Nevertheless, his car work on the bike resulted in a 2nd place finish in the age group and the 8th overall spot. Now let’s see if his aerobic fitness can carry over to a speedy performance at the USAT National Championships in Bend, Oregon on June 26th.

While his swim was abysmal, and his overall time was 11 minutes slower than his 3rd place Age Group finish in 2014, Landau kept his effort below the “red line.” Lawyer Landau ran with his leg taped up, flat-footed and finished with a kick that garnered the last spot on the podium. Greg Hawkins, Janie Langford and the rest of the VTS crew did an outstanding job on a very hot day (wet suits were not legal). There was food, beer, games and music after the race, and a festive atmosphere made for all age family fun. For full results, click here. A podium spot for Landau at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Olympic Distance Triathlon Regional Championships was not expected, but bodes well for the National Sprint Duathlon Championships the end of the month.

Barely making the podium in Jamestown, Virginia, Doug Landau raced well despite injury at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Olympic Distance Triathlon Championships

Mid-Atlantic Triathlon Championship Contested in Virginia

Barely making the podium in Jamestown, Virginia, Doug Landau raced well despite injury at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Olympic Distance Triathlon Championships
Barely making the podium in Jamestown, Virginia, Doug Landau raced well despite injury at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Olympic Distance Triathlon Championships

This years Mid-Atlantic Region Olympic Distance Triathlon Championship was contested in Jamestown Virginia. Hosted by the Virginia Triathlon Series, top multi-sport athletes from Maryland, the Carolinas, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia came for top level competition on the safe Tidewater area course. Returning to Williamsburg to test his fitness at this longer distance race, Doug Landau hoped to see if his healing Soleus could hold up. This was only Lawyer Landau’s second race in the Virginia and Maryland Triathlon Super Series, as he has been concentrating his training and racing on Duathlon.

While his swim was abysmal, and his overall time was 11 minutes slower than his 3rd place Age Group finish in 2014, Landau kept his effort below the “red line.” Lawyer Landau ran with his leg taped up, flat-footed and finished with a kick that garnered the last spot on the podium. Greg Hawkins, Janie Langford and the rest of the VTS crew did an outstanding job on a very hot day (wet suits were not legal). There was food, beer, games and music after the race, and a festive atmosphere made for all age family fun. For full results, click here . A podium spot for Landau at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Olympic Distance Triathlon Regional Championships was not expected, but bodes well for the National Sprint Duathlon Championships at the end of the month.

IMG_6286

Police Presence at Hutchison Elementary School Protects Children

Delegate Jennifer Boysko and Doug Landau
Delegate Jennifer Boysko, shown here with Lawyer and “Putting Lids on Kids” co- sponsor Doug Landau, enthusiastically helped at the free helmet giveaway held at Herndon’s Hutchison Elementary School.
Fitting helmets
It was all hands on deck to make sure each student was properly fitted with a brand-new Bell bicycle helmet.
Members of the local police and teacher Connie Peterson, shown here with Doug Landau, know the importance of brain injury prevention.
Members of the local police and teacher Connie Peterson, shown here with Doug Landau, know the importance of brain injury prevention.

Local bicycle police officers fitted the entire sixth-grade at Herndon’s Hutchison Elementary School with brand-new bicycle helmets.

This was the latest stop on the “Putting Lids on Kids” program, jointly funded by the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd.  and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Foundation.

This worthy program distributes free bike helmets and brain injury prevention materials to local students who cannot otherwise afford afford them.

In addition to the officers and Doug and Melissa Landau, world-class athlete and James Madison University physiology professor Connie Peterson and her Team USA were on hand to assist, as well as Abrams Landau attorney Lisa Beaman.

Also showing up to speak to the soon-to-be middle school students was delegate Jennifer Boysko, who, although not much taller than some of the kids she was protecting, nevertheless rolled up her sleeves and worked hard to make sure every student got a helmet that fit, a bag to carry, information for their parents, and free water bottles and seat covers for those who wanted them.

“The enthusiasm and support for the program was incredible,” notes Lawyer Landau.  “Having community leaders like Delegate Boysko and members of the local police force present generated a lot of extra excitement.  Principal Ray Lonnett even had his staff members tweet the afternoon’s events!”

Lawyer Landau has visited this elementary school — located just down the street from his Law Shop — several times.  In the last month, he has presented brain injury information and distributed helmets to students at Herndon Elementary School and at the Guilford Elementary School bike rodeo.  New helmets were also donated to teachers training to hold future bike rodeos in Loudoun County.

The hope is that students riding bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards, or skates use the free head protection given to them by Landau and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Foundation.

If you know of a group, school, or other organization whose children cannot afford appropriate head protection, please contact us at once at 703-796-9555.   Anything we can do to save even one child or family a traumatic brain injury is worth it!

 

 

"Sometimes insurance policy language seems to be written in a foreign language," notes Prince William County accident lawyer Doug Landau, shown in front of McGill University Law School during the morning run before his injury law speech at the American Association for Justice annual convention

Are Mopeds, ATVs, Forklifts, Snowmobiles, Go-Carts “Motor Vehicles” that are Covered Under Accident Insurance ?

"Sometimes insurance policy language seems to be written in a foreign language," notes Prince William County accident lawyer Doug Landau, shown in front of McGill University Law School during the morning run before his injury law speech at the American Association for Justice annual convention
“Sometimes insurance policy language seems to be written in a foreign language,” notes Prince William County accident lawyer Doug Landau, shown in front of McGill University Law School during the morning run before his injury law speech at the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”) annual convention

The answer, my friends,  is not “blowing in the wind,” but rather to be found in the insurance contract.

In order to determine whether an accident is covered by insurance, one must bite the bullet and actually read the insurance policy. Sometimes the text of the insurance contract seems to be written in a foreign language !  Even worse, “What the insurance companies give you in the large, bold print, they often take away in the fine print at the back of the policy,” notes Manassas area vehicle injury lawyer Doug Landau.

The insurance companies will look to avoid coverage, especially in catastrophic and brain injury cases.

This is especially true when permanent injuries are caused by vehicles with limited use on public highways. The number of wheels, gross weight, or number of passengers may not be dispositive. The language of the contract for the insurance will be critically important.

Under Virginia law, the insurance carrier must exclude coverage in a clear and unambiguous manner.

Lawyer Landau notes that the courts will often interpret a contract in an ambiguous situation AGAINST the party that drafted the document.

Landau, a Contracts Book Award winner, recalls that his grandfather, and firm namesake, William L. Abrams, taught him to be careful when drafting contracts, because the courts in the United States will construe a contract AGAINST the person who drafted it.

In the vehicle insurance context, it is important to gather ALL of the possible insurance contracts that may apply to the injuries sustained, so that counsel can determine coverages.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured and become disabled as the result of a car, truck, moped, forklift, ATV, or motorcycle crash and there are questions about Social Security Disability Income, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Bikers from all over the world, like these bicycle tourists visiting Colonial Williamsburg, need to know the "rules of the road" in order to avoid injury.

Cyclists Must Pedal Safely!

Last fall, a student at the University of Delaware was struck by a bicyclist while attending a busy outdoor campus event. The collision caused the student to fall backwards and hit his head.  The resulting head injury has left him unconscious for several months. The family has filed suit against the University of Delaware alleging the student was injured because the school failed to create rules to keep bicycles off busy campus walkways.  The cyclist — also a student — is also a defendant in the case.

“Just as there are ‘Rules of the Road’ for cars to be careful around bikers, so too, there are rules for cyclists to safely maneuver around pedestrians,” notes Virginia bike safety lawyer Doug Landau.

Bikers from all over the world, like these bicycle tourists visiting Colonial Williamsburg, need to know the "rules of the road" in order to avoid injury.
Bikers from all over the world, like these bicycle tourists visiting Colonial Williamsburg, need to know the “rules of the road” in order to avoid injury.

It is important for bikers to know whether or not they are permitted to ride on the sidewalks or paths BEFORE they cause needless injury. Because pedestrians cannot hear a bicycle coming from behind, even where cycling is permitted with walkers and joggers, a safety bell is a good idea. Giving an audible warning in sufficient time to avoid a collision (or startling a pedestrian) is a common sense way to avoid causing unnecessary harm. Even a whistle can be an effective warning device when used properly. A cyclist need not “echo locate” by constantly blasting warnings, but should instead ride “defensively” just as one would behind the wheel of a car or truck.  Especially in this day and age of “distracted walking” with iPods, ear buds, texting, etc., giving other sensory warnings could be the difference between permanent disability and a “close call.”

If you or someone you know has been injured by the unsafe actions of another, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703)796-9555.

Snap Chat

Is Snapchat to Blame for Car Crash?

Snap Chat
Distracted driving is a problem. In an interesting case, an injured driver has sued the makers of an app for encouraging drivers to speed while using its “speed filter”.

A Georgia man was left with permanent brain damage after a teenage driver crashed into his car while taking “selfies.”

The injured man filed a lawsuit in April claiming that Snapchat’s “speed filter” was to blame for the September 2015 crash which has left him unable to work or take care of himself.

The teen driver admitted trying to get her Mercedes Benz up to 100 mph so she could post a picture using the filter on her phone app.  She was driving 107 mph at the time of the crash.

“This is yet another case of a distracted driver inflicting harm on an innocent victim”, notes Herndon Virginia car crash lawyer Doug Landau. “Any time a driver takes his eyes off the road, he is posing a danger to himself and those drivers, pedestrians, highway workers, and others around him.”

But while this case is reminiscent of other incidences of distracted driving, it is unique in that the injured man is accusing not only the driver, but also the app for encouraging the driver to speed to achieve social status.

In any case, it is the innocent victim who suffers and is entitled to justice.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Lawyer Doug Landau took a break from racing in this year's Salute Tri and instead served as a race volunteer.  This event provided lots of fun for both adults and kids alike.

Rev 3 Salute Tri Saluting our Military for Memorial Day

Lawyer Doug Landau took a break from racing in this year's Salute Tri and instead served as a race volunteer. This event provided lots of fun for both adults and kids alike.
Lawyer Doug Landau served as a race volunteer at the Rev3 Salute Tri. This event honoring our military provided lots of fun for both adults and kids alike.

The Rev3 Salute Tri sprint triathlon in Fauquier County boasted beautiful weather, friendly race staff, a safe staging area, and athletes as young as six years old! There were teams from Charlottesville, Richmond, and Northern Virginia. Prior to the Rev3 involvement, this was a Bristow Swim and Triathlon (BRATS) event.

Apropos to the day before Memorial Day, the event was a chance for participants to salute to military personnel and veterans.

Held on a former military base, this was an ideal set up for the kids’ races, which are over 10 and under 10, during which Doug Landau acted as a run course volunteer. In years past he has been a bike course safety Marshall, but a slight change in the course set up and airplane flight the same day to the West Coast necessitated the change.

Landau did well in the Rev3 races Westfields, and recommends the Rev3 race later this summer, formally known as the BRATS “summer sizzler” scheduled for July 17 at the Vint Hill Pool and surrounding community in Warrenton, Virginia.

Landau had previously was the Masters champion, as well as an age group winner. However, having torn a muscle at the Richmond sprint triathlon several weeks ago, he has not been doing any dryland running, and none of the intense training he would normally undertake in preparation for the National Championships at the end of June.

Rev 3 PodiumNevertheless, with only swim training, water running, and some light indoor cycling under his belt over the last month, he was able to easily win his age group and be competitive in the race. He looks forward to possibly taking on the Marine Corps 10K obstacle challenge at Camp Pendleton when he travels with his son to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego California, following Ensign Zachary Landau’s graduation from medical school.

Thereafter, Landau is registered for the mid Atlantic Olympic distance triathlon championships in Jamestown, Virginia.  It is likely that Landau will not be able to race full out because of the distance, injury recovery, and his overall goal of once again finishing in the top group, repeating as an All-American triathlete, and scoring well into the top 20 the sprint triathlon national championships in August.

Just as with his trial practice, sometimes short-term concessions are necessary in order to achieve long-term goals.

Landau’s race, court, and teaching schedule can be seen in the Abrams Landau, Ltd. newsletters, as well as the client education section where newsletters are saved on the Landau Injury Law website.

Pacific Infant helmet

Infant Bicycle Helmet Recall

Pacific Infant helmetOnly a couple weeks after another successful helmet distribution and brain injury prevention program at a local Fairfax County elementary school,  Abrams Landau, Ltd. attorney Doug Landau was made aware of a recall of potentially dangerous helmets.

Pacific Cycle is recalling approximately 129,000 Schwinn “No-Pinch Buckle” Infant Bike Helmets due to a choking hazard.  The small plastic covers and magnets on the chin strap’s magnetic buckle can come loose and be ingested by young children.

The helmets were sold in Target stores and online from January 2014 through April 2016 for between $18 and $25.

Consumers should immediately take the helmet away from the child and contact Pacific Cycle for a free replacement:

  • Call Pacific Cycle toll-free at 877-564-2261 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday
  • Email customerservice@pacific-cycle.com.
  • Visit online at www.schwinnbikes.com and click on “Support” then “Safety & Recalls” or www.target.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information.

For more information, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

If you or someone you know was injured while using a defective product and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).