Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
53F / 12C
Total Time = 11h 30m 21s
Overall Rank = 302/2439
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 4/121
Pre-race routine:

Pre-Race Prediction (8-3-06)
S: 1:10:00
T1: 7:00
B: 5:45:00 (19.5 mph)
T2: 4:00
R: 3:45:00 (8:35 per mile)
T: 10:51:00
  • 1h 21m 54s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

There was a nasty chop on the water and I was told later that many of the buoys were blown far off their original line, causing "some" athletes to take a bad line. I must have taken a bad line as this was a horrible swim split for me. I felt fine and felt fast, but was demoralized when I got out of Lake Monona
What would you do differently?:

Learn to swim straight
Transition 1
  • 08m 12s

Seems like a long T1, but you must run a long way up the parking ramp "helix", then into the change rooms. Not much time I could have saved here
  • 6h 01m 58s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.57 mile/hr

Wisconsin is famous for it's 2X40 Mile hilly loops. It was as advertised, unrelenting, undulating terrain that really wears you out. The high headwinds, the pounding rain, and the cold weather all added up to a very diificult day on the bike.

I held back on the first loop as best as I could, and I am glad I did, as I really had to dig deep on the 2nd loop. The last 16 miles coming in were into a very strong headwind. What a way to end a 112 mile ride
Transition 2
  • 04m 34s

My hands were frozen, so I struggled to tie my shoes for a bit
  • 3h 53m 45s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 55s  min/mile

There are a crazy number of turns on this course, and you climb Baskum Hill 2X which is a bear, a BIG BEAR.
Post race
Event comments:

August 14th, 2006

I turned 50 today. I feel like half that age. I feel so blessed to have my health, an awesome family, a great job, and I get to do an Ironman! My birthday party was terrific; my wife “knocked herself out” to make it a special evening for me. My only regret is that I didn’t ask “Hank” to come to the party. (Hank is the owner of “my” bike shop….Edge Cyclesports’). He has been a huge help to me in getting my bike ready to race, and I can’t thank him enough. Kim got me a cool bike case so that I can transport my bike to Wisconsin on the plane. Kim continues to be an unbelievable support to me, and there really isn’t anything she wouldn’t do to help me in my pursuit.

August 21, 2006

Three weeks away from the “BIG DAY”. The most frequent question I am getting is “Are you enjoying your taper”. The taper is where an athlete cuts back on the training “volume” so that the body heals and is in “peak” condition to race. Most people over-do their taper and go their race “flat”, and with a loss of fitness. I will actually start my running taper now. I will keep cycling and swimming about the same as I have been for another week, then I will reduce the volume gradually.

This last weekend was wonderful. I almost covered the Ironman distance on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I swam around 1.7 miles on Friday, I cycled 100 miles of hilly terrain by myself for 6.5 hours on Saturday (got a massage Saturday afternoon from the best therapist in the world….(thanks Kathy!), and I ran a “hard” but focused 15.5 miles on Sunday. I went up to my bedroom on Sunday afternoon and passed out for a good hour and a half! The hard work is over…now I just need to stay healthy and focused.

September 8, 2006

We arrived in Madison last night and are staying at a downtown hotel. Kim and I walked to State Street which is the eating/drinking hub for the University of Wisconsin crowd. Very cool places to eat, with a beautiful view of the Wisconsin State Capital building. We ate late at an Indian restaurant and it was really good. I got my bike cobbled together (yup, just me doing the wrenching) after the long flight from California, but, I am bringing it to a bike shop today just to make sure things are “in order”. Busy day for me….just ate breakfast. On my way for a swim at the Ironman venue. Then to the bike shop, go register for the event at the Ironman Village. Then I will be heading out after lunch for a 1.5 to 2 hour bike ride on the course. The Ironman Welcome Banquet is tonight. I should sleep well tonight.

September 9, 2006

Had a good 35 minute swim and an enjoyable 1 ½ hour bike ride yesterday. I was riding and “lucked” into an area called the University of Wisconsin Arboratum. It was amazing; I nearly hit a huge deer in the road, and saw two humungous long legged turkeys. Less than 24 hours until the cannon goes off and I will join what is expected to be the largest field ever to start an Ironman race in history. Nearly 2,700 athletes will be racing tomorrow in what promises to be far better weather conditions. Last nights carbo-load dinner and welcome banquet was made better with friends Brian and Angie who drove over to Madison to join Kim & I. We sat with about 20 other triathletes who I have met previously on a web forum called “Beginner”. Lots of really nice people who encourage one another and help with race and training tips and advice.

We went out for coffee (decaf) after the dinner and had a nice time laughing and reminiscing. I got to bed at 11PM and slept soundly for 7.5 hours. Yeah! Kim is sleeping and I am typing this in the dark. I have been receiving some nice “good luck” emails from friends and training partners. I have been asked a lot of questions about if I “plan” to qualify for Kona in this race. Funny, I have been “planning” that ever since Kim and I went to the World Championships in 2004. That said, Kona is really not something you can just “lay claim” to. Many variables have to go right tomorrow for me to reach the podium in my age group. All I can do now is rest up, stay relaxed, and do my very best to execute on my race plan. I also plan to smile and celebrate the day throughout. I am severely PUMPED UP…..and all I can say is this is a MAJOR….BOOOOOOO-YAAAAAAAA!

Today I am having a BIG breakfast….Eggs, oatmeal, banana, English muffin….yummy. After it digests, I am going to do a quick 15-20 minute “shake the legs out” run in. Then I am going to “Ironman Village” for one last final bike look-over, followed by my “guided tour” of the Wisconsin Bike Course, courtesy of ultra-nice guy, Mike Bender (Beginner Triathlete friend).

September 10, 2006

Holy Cow! (no pun intended!) It is race morning….that’s all for now, until I have completed my mission!

September 12, 2006

The race is over, and I am in Minneapolis visiting friends and family until our return to California on Thursday.

Let me remove any suspense right off the bat. I won a slot to Kona as I had planned. So many plans we make in life simply do not go as we wish. I know this from experience. This just happened to work out precisely as I had hoped for.

Race ReCap:

The weatherman predicted a high of 63 degrees with a 30% chance of rain developing in the afternoon. He was wrong. I am not sure what the high temperature got to, but it was unbelievably cold. It rained all day long. It rained very hard at times, but mostly, just a steady rain. The winds were kicking all day as well. I have NO idea how the volunteers or spectators could handle being out in it. It was bad enough racing in it!


Expected time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Actual time: 1 hour 21 minutes
Age Group out of the water: 47th out of 121

2,400 of your best friends all starting at the same time. The first ½ mile was quite brutal with getting kicked and hit. I tried to get in a grove, but it was hard to stroke cleanly. The water was very choppy, but I felt I was doing fine. Much to my amazement I came out of the water in over 1 hour 20 minutes. I had done the Florida Ironman in 1:11, so this was shocking. I tried hard not to let this get me down, but that was hard. I ran to T1 and told myself that the swim was history, and it’s time to go for a 112 mile bike ride.


Expected time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Actual time: 6 hours 1 minute
Age Group off the bike: 12th out of 121

The bike course at Wisconsin is amazing. It is 112 miles of hills, hills, and then more hills. The wind kept coming, the rain was unrelenting, and it was cold. I had driven the bike course in a car 2 days before the race, but this was my first bike ride on it. I must tip my hat to all of the hard-core volunteers (there were supposedly 4,000 of them), who braved the elements all day. My coach (Michael McCormack) told me to “hold back” on the first loop of the bike course. I obeyed his command and did what he said. Thank goodness I did.

I made sure that I continued to hydrate on the bike. Due to the cold weather, I was not sweating like I usually do. That being the case, I peed 7 times on the bike….now that’s a Lar Dog World Record. I saw a lot of people fixing flat tires in the cold and rain, and there were a lot of people with hypothermia that were being attended to. I couldn’t believe I was surviving with just a tri-tank top and arm warmers. Seemed like lots of people with jackets/windbreakers.

I passed hundreds and hundreds of people on the bike throughout the day. I could not even have begun to keep count.

The headwinds coming back into Madison were “silly”. It is sort of a demoralizing thing to fight a hard head-wind when you have ridden 100 miles already. I was pretty happy to see the Monona Terrace and come into T2. Now I get to do what I do best…..RUN!


Expected time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Actual time: 3 hours 53 minutes
Age Group off the run: 4th out of 121

I saw my wife, my friends Brian and Angie, my cousin Cory, and my brother Rob. They were all screaming for me. I had no idea where I was at in my age group, but I just wanted to “get it on”. Thanks to Kim for getting some gloves in my T2 bag so I could keep my hands warm. I am actually a “weather wimp” and was surprised I was handling the elements so well.

Running is by far the hardest thing in a triathlon. You are exhausted, and running is just the hardest thing to do in a triathlon….PERIOD.
I was amazed, I felt like my running legs came around just fine. I started passing people like crazy.

The rain kept coming, the winds were not as bad on the run, but it wasn’t getting any warmer. There were lots of people walking, and some were running so slow they may as well have been walking. I just kept saying, “As the race gets longer, Lar Dog gets STONGER”. “Smooth and Fast”….”Fast not Hard”. It worked.

At the half marathon split I saw Kim, she had a big beautiful smile and yelled, “Larry, you are doing REALLY well”. That gave me ALL the encouragement I needed. I just figured a bit more suffering, and I will be finished and can be with my friends and family. My cousin Cory came out on the run course with his bike and kept encouraging me. I climbed the Baskum Hill and with 6 miles left felt sort of good knowing I would be finished in the daylight and yet still oblivious to whether I was going to be on the “podium” (top 5 in my age group).

The Finish

There is nothing like the Ironman Finish Line…..NOTHING. It is glory, it is a year of training behind you, it is screaming people, loud music, Mike Reilly announcing that “Lar Dog Davidson….YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”.

I thrust my arms to the sky, crossed the line in jubilation, saw Kim and she kissed me like she did when we got married over 25 years ago…How sweet it was!

I finished this race in 11 hours and 30 minutes. I was told that I finished 4th in my age group. I got into warm clothes as my body temperature had dipped tremendously. I got a massage, then got some food in me.

I knew for sure the top 3 guys would get slots to Kona, but not sure if there would be 4 slots. I went to the official score keepers table and asked the guy how I could find out the “slot allocation”. He told me there were “4” for my age group. I knew then I got my slot! WOW….Mission accomplished. Kona 2007….Here we come!

I am so blessed to be able to train and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. God has been so good to me, and my family, and my friends. My brother Rob mentioned to me how interesting it was that we live in a country where we can pursue this kind of sport with such passion.

Going to the World Championships is a dream come true for me, and one that I dared not even think about when I began this sport.

Thanks for your friendship, your encouragement, and your support.

Dana Points Iron Dog….

Larry (Lar Dog) Davidson

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-03-15 12:00 AM
01:21:54 | 4224 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 47/121
Overall: 1240/2439
Performance: Bad
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: High
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:12
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:01:58 | 112 miles | 18.57 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/121
Overall: 355/2439
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 04:34
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:53:45 | 26.2 miles | 08m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/121
Overall: 271/2439
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]