Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
55F / 13C
Total Time = 7h 14m 30s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 45+
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 3:30 after a very light sleep, had a banana and a coffee at the hotel, got dressed and checked all the essentials again as the dear wife was feeding the baby and around 4:30 we headed to Racine. As we arrived Racine looked like a ghost town, completely empty streets, tons of parking everywhere. My wife decided to stay in the car with the sleeping baby and later she walked to the swim finish to take a picture - what a sweetheart... She also made a special T-shirts for all of us with our photos and encouraging texts - Thank you Nina for all you support again, you are a sweetheart!

At 5:30 started to set up the transition items, talked to a few nice dudes next to me and also as we all put the wetsuits on, I realized I was among the very few who had a sleeveless wetsuit and the water temp was announced to be 55F!!!

Around 7:30 or so we started marching to the start of the swim, about a mile North. This was surreal: 2000 people dressed in wetsuits walking on the beach and disapearing into the thick fog ahead. I wish I had a camera then!

As we arrived I met David with his family who most likely saved my life by giving me a set of ear plugs as I was getting more paranoid about the water temp - THANKS AGAIN DAVID!
Event warmup:

  • 36m
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 52s / 100 meters

8:00 the first wave went off. 8:30 was my turn (one hour late!). And so we hit the water and it's f...ing freezing! As everybody was freaking out in a mad frenzy there was not much swimming at first. For another 5 min or so it continues, I can't get the rhythm, breathing is off, I'm drinking water, goggles fog up, but I'm actually passing some people to my amazement. As I couldn't see much , just tried to stay with some swimmers, we drifted towards the beach a bit, I could see the bottom and even touched it few times. Comforting, so we won't drown, great! Did I mention it was cold? IT WAS COLD. The fog was still thick and from one buoy you couldn't see the next, on top of that the officials decided to move some of them closer to the shore... But surprisingly the last yellow ones were in sight and in spite of having to back track a bit to round the last one the time looked really good (they measured the course short for sure).
I was out of the water happy, wife took a picture, I got a kiss and ran to the bike across the sand.
What would you do differently?:

Probably sight the buoys more than just trying to rely on others.
Transition 1
  • 07m

As I managed to take the wetsuit off the hands and feet were lobster red from cold and totally numb, so putting on anything was a trip and half... Since I hate being cold on the bike I put a sweater on on top of the jersey just to warm up a bit. Sometimes I wish I had more blubber on me for the swim, this was one of those times...
What would you do differently?:

Probably organize the things a bit more would have helped.
  • 3h 30m
  • 90.12 kms
  • 25.75 km/hr

Afew miles of bumpy surface on the streets in Racine and we're headed to the countryside. HR was a bit high, 130-140, speed around 29km/hr, but it all looked like fun.

At about mile 8, the road seemed bumpy again to quickly discover that it was my rear tire, not the road. Great... For a while I thought I could just ride it out, but all of a sudden the damn thing exploaded! Stopped, took the wheel off (swarms of mosquitos around) and saw the side wall of the tire partially delaminated that caused the bump. Great... Put a spare tube in, tucked the tire into the rim and pumped it up. The ride was a bit bumpy again, but at least we were going. Few minutes later it popped out again! This looked like the end of my race. Well, I decided to give it another go, just inflated it to 10-15psi to be safer. This time the tire was really half flat, but it worked!

And so for the next almost 50 miles we were riding like that, but I was prepared to pay the price as long as there was a chance to finish before the cut off. Now it felt like we were partners here, I was ready to push harder as long as the bike would hold on.

The sun came out, the birds were singing, corn fields around - life was great again! Hey, we were never planning on winning this thing anyway.
The volunteers were very helpful, cops were doing their job keeping the cars out of the way (at one point a cop told me to go ahead and if the car didn't want to stop, he'd shoot it!). It was fun!

At mile 40 or so things were getting a bit boring and I just wanted to start running. This was when I noticed, that the quads were a bit tired... But you run on different muscles, right?

So riding sort of close to 2 girls, we talked sometimes a bit and we all just wanted to basically go home...

What would you do differently?:

Train harder, that's it.
Transition 2
  • 03m

This was relatively quick, helmet on, gloves off, belt on...
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 57m
  • 21.08 kms
  • 08m 24s  min/km

I couldn't wait to start running. I didn't feel tired at all, so let's make up some time and pass few people! Right...

After 1 minute of jogging both legs (quads just above the knees) vere beginning to cramp very painfully. Crap! I stopped in disbelief, massaged a bit and tried again. Not even a minute and I was stopped by pain again! I couldn't believe it. The legs were cooked beyond repair... I looked at the other runners passing me. How the hell do they do it? Anyway. It was a walk, stop, walk for the first 5k. A bit of jogging later. Very disapointing. And now it was really hot too with 120% humidity.

Time was ticking and I really thought they would close the race before I get to the finish. Did a quick calc and it seemed still OK even if I walked all the way. I had a cell phone on me just in case and at one point my wife called me and asked how long before I finish, 'the way things are going looks like another two hours...' I said. 'What? They're gonna close the race, you better hurry up'. What a darling... This was not funny anymore.

And why all of a sudden this park smells like shit? Tons of it!!! (well, we were running through a ZOO as I learned later).

It was brutal. To feel a bit better I tried to talk to some people, but noticed, that I was annoying some, so gave that up. Strange, most people around were really tired with good legs, me - just the opposite.
At every aid station I was popping those salt pills hoping they would help with the cramps, but I haven't noticed any difference at all. Every attempt to run ended in near total lock up of the quads. The view of the lake was fantastic though, the weather turned out great, kids were spraying us with water, volunteers were smiling.

And so I crossed the finish line, my wife was waving to me from the hill, most people were already gone...

I must say, if nothing else I have a half iron stomach! Gels, bananas, power bars, countless salt pills, heed, gatorade, water - all sloshing happily down there with no ill effects, just occasional burp.

What would you do differently?:

Not have cramps in my legs!!!
Post race
Warm down:

A humble walk to the dear bike, picked up the bag and looked at the whole scene again.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Too much riding in easy gear on flat path with properly inflated tires.

Event comments:

I was really thanking my lucky stars I finished, but the fact they ran out of the finisher's medals put a dent in my feelings. I wonder, did people take more than one medal, like for the kids maybe, or they did not anticipate that many people finishing the race? Mind boggles.

Oh, apparently according to the official results I did not start (among 400 others!!!). Maybe it was all a dream?

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-10-21 12:00 AM
00:36:00 | 1931 meters | 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: sleeveless Neosport
Course: Point to point South. That meant we all had to walk to the start line, which looked awesome in that thick fog.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 55F / 13C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder:
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
03:30:00 | 90.12 kms | 25.75 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: Mostly rolling hills with flat sections.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:57:00 | 21.08 kms | 08m 24s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: Flat. Just what I'm used to here on the lakefront.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3