Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 16h 47m 16s
Overall Rank = 2144/2997
Age Group = M20-24
Age Group Rank = 87/
Pre-race routine:

First, a little background: My father (Pa), my brother (Jed), and I decided to do this for our first Ironman, and made the agreement to finish together no matter what. We all knew we were "just finishers," and knew that if we did finish, it would be between 16-17 hours.

Knowing that it was a time trial start, and that we were going to need the full 17 hours, we woke up at 3 a.m. and got in line at at the swim-start at 3:30. We were the 3rd, 4th, and 5th athletes in line. And just as file in the "please obey the rules" file, we were 200th to jump in the water because of all the people that cut in when they opened the gates to go down to the water. Very annoying, but only a matter of two minutes.
Event warmup:

None, just relaxing by the river.
  • 1h 40m 11s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 22s / 100 yards

During training I focused mostly on my biking and running and only did long swims about once a week. I averaged about 10,000 meters a month in the water, so I was a little concerned heading into the swim.

All my apprehension was dashed, though, after about 500 meters. I had settled into a nice rhythm of slow, steady strokes. Not always freestyle, either, just whatever felt good at the time (breast, side, back etc...) If I felt like I was pushing too hard I would just remind myself to take it easy and that the swim wasn't going to make or break my day. I just made sure to relax and it worked perfectly for me.

I had misjudged the distance from the end of the island to the turnaround point, but told myself that it was 2.4 miles no matter which way it happened, so I didn't get upset.

The planets aligned in regards to the other swimmers and me; no kicks, no punches, nothing. The occasional phantom hand on my foot, but nothing else. It was great.

I did know that the exit was between the 2nd and 3rd bridges and those darn bridges never seem to get any closer, but eventually they did, and I got out.

I glanced at my watch: 1:40, and gave myself a pat on the back. I had predicted a 1:45-1:50.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 12m 55s

My only plan for the day was to relax and not screw anything up that I had control over. This involved taking my time whenever I could afford it, and since I had a bonus 5-10 minutes coming out of the swim, I used them here to make sure I was ready for the 112.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I loved the downtime in the changing tents.
  • 7h 12m
  • 112 miles
  • 15.56 mile/hr

Coming out of transition, Jed's wife told me he was about three minutes behind me. This is very important, because we've done a few practice 2.4s and he's NEVER come in under two hours. So to hear her tell me he had notched a 1:43 was both promising and a little frightening. Either he got lucky on a strong current or he got too excited and "hammered" the water.

Oh well, I thought, whatever happens happens. I came out and stuck with my "keep the heart at 130 bpm" strategy. Spin steady and don't push.

Jed caught and passed me at mile three, but I didn't try to catch him. "Stick to the plan" I kept telling myself.

Nutrition and hydration went wonderfully. I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I packed in my backpack and drank Perform that I got at every aid station. I made sure to get off the bike at each aid station and take my time filling everything up.

Pa caught me at the out and back aid station and we rode together for pretty much the whole race.

About mile 60, I started passing a lot of the hammerheads. It was a little concerning to see all the people laid out on the side of the road, but we did most of our training in 110-115 heat index here in Arkansas, so the 92-94 felt very nice comparably. Heat was never an issue for me.

At mile 80, after Pa and I had caught Jed, he started struggling really bad. A too-strong swim plus an eager first half of the bike made for some bad cramps and morale issues in the late stages. Pa and I talked to him and made sure he was okay before leaving him, assuring him we'd be at T2 waiting.

From miles 80-112, I averaged 18 mph (unheard of for me) but it was never an over-exertion. Just felt that great.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 2
  • 22m

I got in about 10 minutes before Pa, and still felt wonderful. We discussed the section and made sure we had everything ready to go. Now all we had to do was wait. We had had a perfect day so far, so it didn't look like time would be an issue, so waiting, while a little impatient, was the only thing to do.

Eventually he came in looking pretty beat up. It was the first time I was worried about whether or not he would make it. While we had the agreement to finish together, we also said we wouldn't wait for each other if it meant missing the cutoff. We finished up in T2 and all three of us walked out to the marathon together with 7 hours and 45 minutes till midnight.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, it was nice to cool down and relax.
  • 7h 10m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 16m 27s  min/mile

We decided to walk the first mile and then start into our jog-a-tenth-walk-a-tenth method. It went well for the first three miles, but Jed was consistently slower than Pa and me. Not only was I concerned for Jed, I was worried that if I wasted how good I felt now and didn't put some bonus minutes into the bank, I'd be setting myself up for disaster if something happened late and I needed to slow down a lot. We all talked it over and Jed said he understood and felt confident enough that he could do it without us. Pa and I then began jogging at about a 12 minute pace putting five minutes into our bonus bank every mile.

The course is a little boring, but the excitement of almost being done with an Ironman kept us going. It was also nice to see Jed at each turnaround to check-in and make sure he was okay.

Miles 4-18 went well with a nice run/walk combo, and by mile 20 we decided there was no point in running when we were going to have to wait on Jed anyway.

Mile 24 came and we were excited about the motivational messages but were disappointed when we realized they had packed up for the night. Shame on you, Ford.

A half-mile before the finish we stopped at the aid station to wait on Jed. I started getting dizzy from standing still after going for 16 hours straight, so I told Pa we needed to walk. We walked to the corner where we could see the finish line and watched people pass us and cross. A few spectators kept yelling at us telling us we were really close and that we shouldn't give up. We got worried, but Jed eventually came with 12 minutes to spare.

We psyched each other up and ran it in. Very emotional and awesome to do it with dad and brother.

Crossed the finish line and got tears in my eyes soaking it all in.

A great day. No mental or physical breakdowns.

What would you do differently?:

Pa and I calculated that we could have done a 15:45 or 15:50 if we had been doing it for time, but it was well worth it to finish together for our first one.

Post race

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-08-30 12:00 AM
01:40:11 | 4224 yards | 02m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2997
Performance: Good
Suit: Spandex shorts.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 85F / 29C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 12:55
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:12:00 | 112 miles | 15.56 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2997
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 22:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
07:10:56 | 26.2 miles | 16m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/2997
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]