By 2010, I was ready to push myself harder and explore my limits as an athlete. For my first Half Ironman race, no average seventy-miler would do. I chose the Savageman 70, billed as "The World's Most Savage Triathlon." And they aren't kidding. With more than 6,000 feet of climbing over 55.7 miles, the ride truly lives up to its savage reputation. On the race's website, participants are forewarned that "the climbing in the middle 30 miles is savage and relentless. All participants, no matter how strong, should consider a 27 tooth cassette or compact cranks. Average to weaker cyclists should consider compact cranks or a triple front chain ring or risk walking their bike." And, while the two-loop, 13.1-mile run course is not as savage as the bike course, it features three significant hills per lap, including a short but grueling stint up and down the Fire Tower Road.