Ironman Canada - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Penticton, British Columbia
Ironman North America
Total Time = 10h 51m 53s
Overall Rank = 314/2588
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 58/218
Pre-race routine:

I arrived in Penticton on Sunday August 19th, a full week before the race. I stayed at the "5000 Motel". I wanted to be there early enough to get used to the heat, and to do one last long bike ride on the race course. I was there two nights by myself, and Tara (my fiance) and her daughter Kiera arrived in Penticton Tuesday evening. My training was pretty minimal for the rest of the week, but I did manage to swim in Okanagan lake 3 times, run twice, and do a couple of short bike rides.

Saturday was a really busy day. I met BusyGirl and Havefun from BeginnerTriathlete in the morning, and I met Tri_K from Runningmania in the afternoon. I dropped my bike and transition bags off around noon, and my ex-wife and my kids arrived in Penticton Saturday so I wanted to spend some time with the kids too.

We went to Pizza Hut for pasta the night before the race, and I was in bed by about 8:30pm.
Event warmup:

The alarm went off at 4:15 am. Ate an oatmeal bar, put on my race outfit, (with heavier clothes over top), and drove down to the transition area. I was amazed at how many people were already there at 5am. I dropped off my special needs bags (which I never ended up using), and got in line for body marking.

Finally made it to the bike racks where I had to pump up my tires, add food and gatorade to my bike and power up my Edge 305. Stop #2 was the the T1 bags, where I just had to add my jersey pocket food to the bag. Stop #3 was the T2 bags, where I added my gels to the bag, and put my Forerunner 305 in the bag (powered on and attached to a USB battery extender with uber-exepnsive lithium batteries I bought the day before) Next I put my sunscreen on, got the wetsuit on, grabbed my goggles and cap, and threw everything else into the dry bag and dropped it off for after the race. I stood in a porta-potty line for about 10-minutes, did my thing, and headed down to the beach at about 6:30.

I hung out in the water and splashed around a bit, and seeded myself about 10 feet back from the front, just to the left of center near a large black HSBC buoy. The cannon fired, and "Beautiful Day" by U2 played as we started.

  • 1h 07m 49s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 47s / 100 meters

My swim was awesome. I wasn't sure what to expect with " of the larges mass starts in the history of the sport..". A couple of times I felt like people were starting to swim over top of me, but then I would start to kick harder and they would quickly back off. I think I got kicked in the head twice, but it was much tamer than I had mentally prepared myself for. I think I probably drafted for about 95% of the swim. I swam with a GPS under my cap.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 04m 53s

Got my wetsuit stripped off, grabbed my T1 bag, and headed into the change tent. Socks on, shoes on, helmet on, race number on, stuffed my nutrition and sunglasses into my jersey pockets. A race volunteer put my wetsuit and goggles in the bag and took it away. Put my gloves on as I ran to the bike racks, stopped at the porta-potty, grabbed my bike, and headed out to the mount line. It was overcast so I skipped the sunscreeners (I already had some on from earlier).
What would you do differently?:

Remember to hit start on my Edge 305 at the mount line. I lost the first mile.
  • 5h 25m 17s
  • 180 kms
  • 33.20 km/hr

My heart rate was at 170 at the start of the bike. I wanted it down around 140. I was passings a lot of people at the beginning. It was sometimes hard to pass without crossing the yellow line. My average speed at the bottome of McLean creek road was about 41km/kr. I passed a bunch of people at the start of the climb, and reached the top with my average speed down to 36km/hr, and my average heart rate up to 151. V02Mike passed me at the top of the hill, and I passed him again on the descent down into OK falls. At OK Falls we were about 30 minutes into the race, and I decided I needed to get my heart rate down fast before I ruined my day, so I backed off a bit more and let some people pass. But I was still passing a lot of people. By the time I reached the bottom of Richter Pass my average speed was about 39km/hr. I knew I was ahead of schedule and I didn't need to hammer up Richter Pass. The crowds on Richter pass were pretty cool.

The rollers between Richter pass and Cawston were pretty windy, but I was still ahead of my game plan at that point, so I didn't let it get to me. I needed my average speed to be at 31.5 km/hr when I reached Becks Rd for the out-and-back, and I was at 33.2 despite the wind. Just before the out and back-section (about 105km into the race), I saw my family for the first time, cheering me on. I almost missed them, and passed them at about 35km/hr.

I got 2 verbal warnings for riding too close on the bike. The first one was right after someone had passed me, and I was waiting the full 20-seconds allowed to move back. The second on the guys said "that's only 3 bike lengths", I must have let myself get too close to the guy in front of me.

All around were people with aero helmets and race wheels. Probably about 85% of the people riding around me had race wheels. On the out-and-back I could see that the crowd was a lot thicker behind me than it was in front of me.

The crowd started getting thicker as we headed up toward Yellow Lake. A few disc wheel guys passed me at the beginning of the climb. then I passed my family again and it gave me a second wind. I passed the disc wheel guys again on the steep part of the climb (150km into the ride). All my 200km training rides were starting to pay off.

The descent back down into Penticton was fun. I was starting to feel a bit of fatigue, so I backed off a little bit so I wouldn't be too tired on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Get some race wheels and an aero helmet, so I don't look like a n00b.
Transition 2
  • 04m 28s

T2 was pretty smooth. I didn't bother changing my socks (which had been my plan) because I never actually peed on the bike. Stopped for sunscreen, and headed out on the run.
What would you do differently?:

I forgot to hit stop on my Edge 305 when I got off the bike. I forgot my nip guards -- luckily I didn't bleed.
  • 4h 09m 27s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 05m 55s  min/km

My plan was to do the first half of the marathon in 1:55, and the second half in 2:05, to finish in 4 hours. I had the virtual partner set on my Forerunner for 5:27/km, and I was using it to pace me all the way to about the 16km mark of the run. Lots of people were passing me, but I didn't worry about it because I was still on pace. I was running through every aid station, just grabbing 1 or 2 cups of Gatorade. My heart rate started out at about 140bpm, and after 3km it was hovering around 145bpm.

At the 16km mark of the run (at McLean Creek road), there is a big long hill. Well it didn't seem that big when I did it as part of a training run, but 8.5 hours into an Ironman it was big. It gains about 45 meters over 2.5km, with some really steep sections. I had fully intended to run the whole marathon without walking, but when I came and saw that big hill, I decided to walk up the steepest part. Even with walking, my heart rate was up to 156 bpm on the hill.

I started running again when the steep section was over, and kept running all the way to the turn-around point at Okanagan Falls. I saw my family again just before the turn-around. I gave George (my 4-year-old) a high-5 on the way by, and ran to the turn-around and back past the family again. Mikaela (my 8-year-old) was standing there with her hand out. She wanted a high-5 too. Then I caught Kiera on the way by, didn't want to leave anyone out.

Just past the family, the climb back up to the top of the hill started. I decided to walk the steep sections, and keep my heart rate down. From that point on, I also started walking the aid stations.

The stretch from 26km to about 35km seemed very long. My tri shorts were starting to chafe me in some sensitive areas. It was just a battle to keep running to the next aid station, where I would be able to walk again. The beverages at the aid stations were starting to get a bit warm, so I would get my gatorade at the first table, and then wait until about the 3rd table and get some ice to add to the cup. Then chug that back and get some pepsi or some water to add to the ice, chug that back, maybe 1 more drink, and then start running again. I stopped to pee once at about 17 miles (only my second time all day)

At about 22 miles, we were back in town and fans were lining the sidewalks. All the people cheering and yelling your name (written on the race number bib) made it a lot easier to keep going.

At 24 miles, I was running with 2 other guys and we were all excited that we were going to beat 11 hours. I ran through the 25 mile aid station and didn't take anything. Then I turned onto lakeshore drive for the last out-and-back section. I saw my family on the corner waiting for me. Just past the family, I started getting stomach cramps. A bunch of guys passed me, but I kept running as fast as I could with the cramps. Did the turn-around ran back past the family, and Mikaela and George came out onto the road to cross the line with me. Then George just stopped. I picked him up and ran across the line. 10:51:53 was my time! I missed my 4 hour marathon goal, but smashed my 11 hour Ironman goal.
What would you do differently?:

Don't walk so early. Get some different tri shorts.
Post race

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-12-07 12:00 AM
01:07:49 | 3800 meters | 01m 47s / 100meters
Age Group: 76/218
Overall: 492/2588
Performance: Good
Suit: Nineteen Pipeline
Course: One loop
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:53
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:25:17 | 180 kms | 33.20 km/hr
Age Group: 29/218
Overall: 141/2588
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: One loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:28
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:09:27 | 42.2 kms | 05m 55s  min/km
Age Group: 76/218
Overall: 556/2588
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5