Three time Marine Corps Marathon Triathlon Grandmaster Champ Doug Landau suggests everyone visit the National Marine Corps Museum, just of I-95, in Triangle, Virginia

Best Grandmaster Three Years in a Row; Marine Corps Marathon Triathlon at Showcases Quantico Base

Three time Marine Corps Marathon Triathlon Grandmaster Champ Doug Landau suggests everyone visit the National Marine Corps Museum, just of I-95, in Triangle, Virginia
Three time Marine Corps Marathon Triathlon Grandmaster Champ Doug Landau suggests everyone visit the National Marine Corps Museum, just of I-95, in Triangle, Virginia

After two years with a pool swim and flat road race format, the Marine Corps Marathon Triathlon changed course, and tripled the length of the swim, made it open water and had racers run a cross country course. With the swimming his weakest event, Herndon lawyer Doug Landau was concerned that he might not make the podium in 2015. Contested on the Marine Corps Base Quantico, each leg of this USAT sanctioned, sprint distance event offered a unique view of the Crossroads of the Marine Corps. The 2015 race featured a start and finish near Officer Candidates School, a 750 meter open water swim in the Potomac River, and a 20K (12.4) mile bicycle tour of the Marine Corps Base, founded in 1917. The event used body number tattoos, ankle computer chips and a timing mat which recorded each athlete’s personal start time. The Quantico Tri concluded with a hilly 5K run through the woods, the distance every Marine must complete annually as part of the Marine Corps physical fitness test.

Despite the significant changes, the race went off without a hitch. True military logistical planning made for an enjoyable day for the hundreds of athletes who tested their mettle on the base. Over 425 finished the challenging course. Lawyer Landau, once out of the murky, muddy water, started passing other racers and did not let up until the finish line. Averaging almost 22 miles per hour on the hilly bike course and running under 7 minutes per mile, Landau felt he had given a good effort. No one passed the Herndon injury lawyer for the hour after he emerged from the Potomac, and he ended up 15th overall, first in his age group. The race is also unusual in that only the best in each group are given awards, at a ceremony held off the base over a week later. Nothing for 2nd or 3rd. Last year, the winners got a wonderful tour of the National Marine Corps Museum  and the year before, the top finishers were feted at the Marine Corps Marathon headquarters.

Doug Landau's bike is ready for assembly noted boxes been opened in the content check. One of the best age of traffic in the country, Gail Waldman, is your bike still in the box with the green lizard stickers

How does Doug Landau get his racing bike safely to events around the world

Doug Landau's bike is ready for assembly noted boxes been opened in the content check. One of the best age of traffic in the country, Gail Waldman, is your bike still in the box with the green lizard stickers
Doug Landau’s bike is ready for assembly!  The boxes have been opened and the contents checked for missing or damaged items. Notice the Green Lizard stickers!

Using a hard shipping box, Doug Landau and other top triathletes are able to ship their bicycles over land and sea.

While these boxes cost several hundred dollars and look impregnable, there have been instances where either pieces were not placed in the box by mechanics at the race venue, or shipping companies have dropped weightlifting sets on top of the box, crushing carbon wheels and frames.

Luckily for lawyer Landau, he always insures the contents, and in one situation, FedEx ended up buying him an expensive racing bike.

In that instance, as the “preferred provider” after the National Championship race, FedEx took possession of Landau’s Kestral racing bike and unique Nimble Carbon Fiber Wheels to ship home from the MidWest venue. Landau took out additional insurance and was given a receipt for the contents .

Wanting to race New Jersey the next week, Landau was anxious when his bicycle did not arrive by Thursday following the National Championships. When lawyer Landau contacted FedEx Ground, he was told a bicycle was lost. Undeterred, Landau located the bike at one of the company’s facilities in Brooklyn, New York! Landau went to New York City, went to where his bike was being kept, and saw that there was a York Barbell weightlifting set sitting on top of his shipping case. Landau’s lightweight Nimble Wheels and Kestrel frame were both crushed.

Long story short: FedEx ended up buying a very expensive P3 Cervelo Carbon bike for Landau to race in thereafter.

For the race in New Jersey, however, Landau borrowed a girl’s bike that was being re-sold at a local bike shop, and raced a biathlon with the “For Sale” sign on it ! Talk about “Exposure !”

While he made the podium in that Garden State race, he also was quite the sight, advertising as he raced.

Bottom line, use a high-quality shipping box whenever sending your expensive racing bike across country or abroad, and pay for adequate insurance to replace it if it is lost, broken or crushed.

Doug Landau on the podium at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships in Luray, Virginia

Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships Features the Best Professional and Amateur Triathletes in Luray, Virginia

Doug Landau on the podium at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships in Luray, Virginia
Doug Landau on the podium at the USAT Mid-Atlantic Sprint Triathlon Regional Championships, which were contested in bucolic Page County’s Town of  Luray, Virginia

With several thousands of dollars in prize money and a challenging, hilly race course, Racine MultiSports’ Luray Sprint Triathlon was the place to be Sunday. Now in its 10th year and set in the scenic Shenandoah Valley near the friendly town of Luray, this weekend of racing is worth the trip for athletes looking to test their mettle against the best competitors on the East Coast. Herndon Virginia lawyer Doug Landau had twice participated in this Page County event, with a hand-etched goblet and podium finish.

Athletes started with a one loop 750m meter swim in Lake Arrowhead, which was followed by a climb out to a 27Km bike ride through the bucolic fields of Page County. The 5Km run was an out and back with rolling hills and some shade and trail. Athletes also had the option of competing in the AquaBike (swim + bike only) category.

Winning her age group made Gail Waldman a Regional Sprint Triathlon Age Group Champion.
Winning her age group made Gail Waldman a Regional Sprint Triathlon Age Group Champion.

Elite and top amateur athletes went head-to-head in what made for exciting races to watch and fast finish times. The Luray Triathlon enabled athletes to see the Town of Luray and County of Page. Lawyer Landau thought that the volunteers were wonderful, as were race staff who help make this race fun.

Race Director Ken Racine put on a first-rate event. Landau had a pretty good day at the Mid-Atlantic regional short course championship. A podium spot despite: driving over 4 hours for appointments and packet pick up; having to off load is bike from the truck returning from the National Championships at 3:00 Saturday afternoon; a pedestrian swim that put him back in the pack; a technical problem that forced him to get off of his bike; and, a lack of familiarity with the run course. As usual, no one passed him on dry land and he did not feel sore or tired afterwards.

Landau remarked, “I do like the useful bottle stopper/finisher’s medal. Finishing 31st out of some 400 racers, including pros, made for a good day. He was 3rd in his division in each endeavor behind 2 superb Masters athletes. Landau’s overall numbers were: 132nd in the swim; 12th place in the 1st Transition; 33rd on the bike; 19th in the 2nd Transition; 31st on the run on a very rough & hilly rural course. For full results, click here.

Bottom line, “It was a lovely venue, scenic drive and a chance to visit with (and race against) my friends and some of the best pro
and amateur triathletes in the country.”

First aid personnel at the USAT race in Minnesota sprung into action to assist an athlete who had become dehydrated during the competition.

Race Medical Personnel Fulfill Vital Roles

First Aid personnel with Doug Landau at USAT race in Minnesota
Thank goodness first aid personnel knew what to do at the USAT event held recently in Minnesota. This knowledgeable physician’s assistant student (shown with Doug Landau) sprung into action to assist a Virginia athlete who collapsed due to heat exhaustion, fatigue, and dehydration.

When a nationally ranked Virginia multisport athlete collapsed from heat exhaustion, dehydration, and fatigue after finishing the sprint race in St. Paul, Minnesota, medical personnel were able to snap into action.

The competitor from Falls Church, Virginia had completed the standard distance race in the early morning, but racing in the sprint event under sunny, hilly and windy conditions in the afternoon took its toll.

Because elite athletes at national championship races have special physiologies, medical personnel needed to know the competitor’s normal resting pulse, blood pressure, and other metrics, as they are not those of the “average” American woman. It was important for the sports medicine specialists in the USAT first-aid tent to know not only her current vital signs, but also what they are when “normal”.

With an elevated core temperature, some dehydration, dizziness, and muscle cramping, it was critical to get her body temperature down, fluids and electrolytes in, and metabolism normalized. Maintaining body temperature, fluid balance, and equilibrium is critical to healthy homeostasis.

Doug Landau’s friend was fortunate to be in the hands of capable medical personnel, such as the young lady shown above, who is a Physicians Assistant student. This capable young medical professional even drove Landau and his friend to their car with a medical cart. This is typical of the volunteers of the US National Championship events who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Lawyer Landau’s friend donated a brand-new bicycle pump to Listening House — the charity supported by the race with the donation of used shoes — as thanks for the medical personnel’s care, attention, and time.

Virginia multisport star Gail Waldman & Herndon's Doug Landau after finishing the USAT Sprint Triathlon National Championship race in Milwaukee. Waldman had also completed the Olympic Distance race the day before !

National Championships: Frigid Waters & Hot Competition

Virginia multisport star Gail Waldman & Herndon's Doug Landau after finishing the USAT Sprint Triathlon National Championship race in Milwaukee. Waldman had also completed the Olympic Distance race the day before !
Virginia multisport star Gail Waldman & Herndon’s Doug Landau after finishing the USAT Sprint Triathlon National Championship race in Milwaukee. Waldman had also completed the Olympic Distance race the day before !

The US Triathlon National Championships were hotly contested, despite water temperatures in the sixties!  For the third year in a row, over 5,000 competitors raced in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It is the largest, most competitive triathlon competition in North America. While Doug Landau would have enjoyed the 90 degree temperatures that greeted the country’s best multisports athletes in 2014, he made the best of the adverse conditions (cool temperatures, overcast skies, rough road conditions, especially over the Hoan Bridge, and no heart rate monitor to make him go faster).

How did he fare, not having raced this course in the prior 2 years ? The Herndon lawyer managed to finish in the top 20 in his category, thanks to a strong bike ride, fast transition times, and a run that enabled him to pass several competitors in his age group. The race gave Landau additional confidence going into the World Championships in October. Not sore or tired afterwards, or in the days that followed upon his return to the Law Shop in Herndon, Landau looks forward to competing this coming weekend’s USAT Mid- Atlantic Regional Championships in Luray, Virginia. His prediction: faster times than in Milwaukee’s freezing froth !

USAT CEO Rob Urbach rolled up his sleeves and helped pull athletes out of the frigid waters of Lake Michigan at the Olympic Distance National Championships

What do the best triathletes in the country do the day BEFORE the big race? 

USAT CEO Rob Urbach rolled up his sleeves and helped pull athletes out of the frigid waters of Lake Michigan at the Olympic Distance National Championships
USAT CEO Rob Urbach rolled up his sleeves & helped pull athletes out of the frigid waters of Lake Michigan at the Olympic Distance National Championships in Mailwaukeee today.

The best triathletes in the United States “take care of business” the day before a National Championship. Doug Landau was no different. Once he arrived in Milwaukee, he checked out the run course on foot, as well as on his bicycle. The Herndon bike injury lawyer also took advantage of the practice swim two days before the US Sprint National Championship and rode over the first third of the bike course. However, due to the venue crossing the heavily trafficked bridge, competitors were not allowed to ride their bicycles on the actual Hoan Bridge itself. “It is a big advantage to be familiar with the race course. Actually experiencing the road surfaces, water temperature, and other conditions, all help to prepare you for race day,” lawyer Landau added.

Landau was invited to watch the Olympic distance and Elite Super Sprint races from the USAT VIP tent. Landau was notified that, “because of his outstanding performance throughout his race season and qualifying for the Age Group National Championship 10+ times,” he had earned his spot with the best triathletes in the country.  Lawyer Landau was able to discuss triathlon history with such luminaries as

Mark Allen & Doug Landau  were able to discuss Triathlon safety before the Sprint National Championships
Mark Allen & Doug Landau were able to discuss Triathlon safety before the Sprint National Championships

Mark Allen, Donna Smyers, and USAT CEO Rob Urbach.  Earlier in the morning Urbach had been helping other volunteers whole swimmers up the ramp and out of the freezing cold water. Truly a “shirtsleeves” chief executive if ever there was one. Urbach not only “walks the walk,” helping out where needed on race day, but he also participates in a number of USAT events. Urbach may even be lining up tomorrow for the Sprint Triathlon National Championships. In the past, when they competed on the VTS circuit & at national championships, Urbach would get the better of his former Maccabi teammate Doug Landau. Noted the triathlon trial lawyer, “fortunately we are now in different age groups!”

Doug Landau checks out the Olympic Distance race finish from the VIP tent. With a Jumbotron and drones, spectators could see their friends and teammates complete the National Championship course.
Doug Landau checks out the Olympic Distance race finish from the VIP tent. Despite there being over 5,000 athletes, a Jumbotron and drones enabled spectators to see their friends, family members and teammates complete the National Championship course in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Athletes are covered with over a dozen (!) numbers and they also wear a computer chip on their ankle. The chip allows results to be printed immediately upon crossing the finish line, with data covering the swim, bike, and run splits as well as transitions, pace, overall, gender and age group placement ! In addition to studying the courses for the swim, bike, and run, Landau also toured the transition areas, rested, stretched, and tried to follow a healthy nutrition plan in order to give his best possible performance at Sunday’s National Championship. For live feed and other Sprint race news, click here & stay tuned !

This sign reminds riders to ensure their bike handles are properly plugged before a race.

Putting the Plug on Safety

This sign reminds riders to ensure their bike handles are properly plugged before a race.
This sign reminds riders to ensure their bike handles are properly plugged before a race.

Safety is at the core of most USA Triathlon rules.

While many athletes focus on the rules involving penalties for cheating, drafting, blocking, cutting bikers off, and passing on the wrong side, there are rules designed entirely for the safety of race participants.

One such safety rule is the requirement for plugs on all handlebar ends.

While taping may seem like a good idea, the metal ends can cut through the tape.  Exposed metal edges can cause deep lacerations when a bike is traveling at high speed. Rough, round edges can cause permanent injuries to cyclists, onlookers and other participants.

The takeaway ? Always check to make sure that your bar ends are properly and safely plugged. Otherwise, you could unnecessarily injure yourself or others.  Safety is important, even in the heat of competition.

Culpeper Races Result in Smiling Faces

Winning the 55-59 age group and holding his chili pepper trophy, Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau's time would have won many other age groups, and made the podium in every age group at the VTS Culpeper Sprint Triathlon
Winning the 55-59 age group and holding his chili pepper trophy, Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau’s time would have won many other age groups, and made the podium in every age group at the VTS Culpeper Sprint Triathlon. “Hands on” Race Director Greg Hawkins, in the hat, escorted the athletes on the course with his mountain bike with the wooden basket. The “Pepper” prizes kept with the theme for the Cul-Pepper races.

Culpeper Virginia’s Mountain Run Lake Park was the venue for a quartet of popular endurance events. This past weekend’s Gran Fondo, Olympic Distance, Sprint and Aquabike (swim, bike, but no running) benefitted several charities, including Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides scholarship grants, educational and family counseling to the surviving children of special operations personnel and financial assistance to severely wounded special operations personnel and their families.

The Culpeper Sprint began in 2005 to a sold out crowd. Doug Landau has competed in this race in the past, despite the fact that the warm water conditions meant wetsuits would not be allowed, and he would be starting with a greater than usual deficit when coming into the first transtion. The curved downhill run finish is popular with spectators, and the park’s playgrounds make for a “family-friendly” venue.  Because of Greg Hawkin’s and his staff’s outstanding planning, hard work and friendly volunteers, the Culpeper races continued to grow. The numbers suggest that it is one of the most popular races in the Virginia Triathlon Series.

Doug Landau competed in the sprint race, which started with a 750 meter swim in Mountain Run Lake, followed by a 16 mile Culpeper County rural country road cycling circuit. The bicycle course had hills, turns, shade and was challenging with an uphill start after the swim. The 5 km run had several hills, but a half mile downhill finish back to the transition area and spectators. Lawyer Landau was able to win his age group again, with a time that was 16th overall and good enough to have been on the podium in every age group! The best part of his day was that once on “dry land,” he passed other racers all the way to the finish line.  What’s more, Landau was on a borrowed bicycle, as his race bike was already on its way to the National Championships.

South Carroll County Swim Club was the Venue for the Meals on Wheels Sprint Triathlon

Doug Landau enjoyed the sunshine in Carroll County, Maryland the day after storms pounded the area.
Doug Landau enjoyed the sunshine in Carroll County, Maryland the day after storms pounded the area.

Isaac Moore and Doug Landau from Abrams Landau, Ltd. got up at the crack of dawn on Sunday, June 15, after tornadoes and storms pounded the area all night.

Participants were unsure whether or not this 7:00 am charity race would even take place. Luckily for the people at Racine MultiSports, the rain abated and the sun came out. In fact it was a glorious sunny day that greeted triathletes of all ages and sizes.  There were two pools ready for participants, who were allowed in the pool as prior athletes completed their laps in their own half lane.

Despite being unfamiliar with the bike course, Lawyer Landau managed a top 10 finish and an age group award, after a 400 meter pool swim, 14 mile hilly bike ride, and 5K run on Liberty Road. The race benefited Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland. Afterwards, Landau and Moore met with clients from Emmitsburg, closer to their homes, in Frederick, Maryland.  Landau often combines client meetings on “road trips” where he may also race, visit accident scenes and speak to witnesses. Since so many clients of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU are disabled and cannot drive long distances, these ‘home visits” and “road trips”  enable clients to have “face-to-face” visits when their injuries prevent safe travel to the Law Shop.

"First Timer" Dr. Tiffani Bright and "Old Timer" Triathlete Doug Landau are all smiles at Buckroe Beach packet pick up in Hampton, Virginia

Buckroe Beach Sprint Race a hit with Tidewater Triathletes

"First Timer" Dr. Tiffani Bright and "Old Timer" Triathlete Doug Landau are all smiles at Buckroe Beach packet pick up in Hampton, Virginia
“First Timer” Dr. Tiffani Bright & “Old Timer” Triathlete Doug Landau are all smiles at Virginia’s Buckroe Beach packet pick up

Over 500 athletes signed up for The Hampton Beach area event that is now part of the Virginia and Maryland Triathlon Series . Race director Greg Hawkins was optimistic for good weather for many first time multisport athletes, after the previous Saturday’s deluge during the Colonial Beach sprint race.

The Buckroe Beach triathlon is one of the shortest open water swimming events in the VTS/MTS series schedule. Plus, the bicycle and run portions were completely flat. Other than some wind and bridge crossings, athletes could put “pedal to the metal” and test their “top end speed.”  Too warm for wet suits, the short 500 yard swim around the pier and then a 2-loop, 10 mile bike ride left competitors with plenty in the tank as they started out on the 5km course on the boardwalk. Friends, family members and spectators vacationing on the beach could see much of the racing action featuring some of the Mid-Atlantic region’s best multisport athletes.

By constantly passing athletes once on "dry land," Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau was once again able to finish on the podium at the VTS Buckroe Beach Sprint Triathlon
By constantly passing athletes once on “dry land,” Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau was once again able to finish on the podium at the VTS Buckroe Beach Sprint Triathlon

The sunny day made for a pleasant time on the water.  Herndon lawyer Doug Landau managed to get into the top 30, finishing 2nd in the Age Group and on the podium again this week.

The only person who passed lawyer Landau during the bike leg was his friend Greg Miller, a terrific Tidewater triathlete. Only one person passed the Herndon injury lawyer on the run, but otherwise, once on dry land he made up for a lackadaisical swim to pass most of the field to finish in 1:00:38.

Melissa Landau finished 4th in her age group and enjoyed seeing the area around Buckroe Beach, Phoebus, Willoughby Spit and Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Racers came from as far away as Rockville Maryland, North Carolina and Dulles Airport. From the smiles at the finish line, this is a winning event for Greg Hawkins and the Virginia triathlon series crew.

For full race results, click here.