Ironman Florida - TriathlonFull Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Panama City Beach, Florida
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 12h 51m 49s
Overall Rank = 1407/2270
Age Group = Mens 40-44
Age Group Rank = 275/378
Pre-race routine:

Being from Panama City has many advantages especially in the months of training before the race, however in the last few days before the race(a word I will use incorrectly througout as I am not really racing, rather enjoying the experience) it is difficult to break from normal routines and paterns of life (Work and Halloween preps and celebration) I worked Thursday, then Friday made some last minute adjustments to the bike(put on the NEW aero bottle on the bike, more on this later) preped bags for drop off. Drop off bike at 3:00 and head back home to finish decorating the house for Trick or Treaters. Had friends over for trick or treat and enjoyed all the great kids and costumes( Yes I wore the Ostrich Jockey costume again). To bed around 1030 or so.

I plan to wake at 4am but wake at 3:15am and lay awake in bed just resting and waiting til 4:00 to get out of bed. Make breakfast Coffee small bagel w/ cream cheese, mini wheats, prep last bottles, . I finish loading stuff in truck and head out at 5:30 arrive and park at public parking behind MS. Newbies
( 1st left turn on course(great place for spectator support vehicle)) Walk to BBR arrive 6:15 get body marking done, go to bike make a quick check of bike, wheels, tires, brakes, fill aero bottle place bottles on bike, attach shades and garmin(so I wont forget them) 6:35 Lady with megaphone is clearing T1 area so I go and get into racing get up, pack dry clothes. One last visit to Jiffy John. Place my BT tat on my right shoulder and head down to the beach.

Event warmup:

Really very little, stay very relaxed stretch shoulders. Get wetsuit zipped, decide where to start left side one or two rows back. Drop into the shallows to get wet. Wait for the gun. Talk to a few people around me normal questions how fast are you planning to go, good luck etc
  • 1h 04m 40s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

Stayed very relaxed moved out with the pack that was swimming on the inside of the bouys. Was struck by the beauty of the sunrise behind the condo's and the start of a great adventure. Mostly followed the feet in front of me with ocassional checks for the bouys. At the turn bouy swam a little wide to avoid the wait next to the buoy. Into the sun for a couple hundred yards. Very hard to sight bouy, just trust that others around me were headed in the right direction(swimming directly toward the sun was the right direction) Return leg used BB Highrise as a good reference worked out very well (swim a little to the left of it). Wade in and make the turn and wade out. At the beginning of the second lap current to the west had picked up, adjusted sighting and moved out. As I swam out on the second lap with a swimmer to my left and right keeping an even pace with me, It made me think of a big three legged race, where when you were in sync with the people one foot to you left and right it was great, but when you aren't....well its not comfortable. Made the turn and started looking for friends in the Kyaks. Turned for the beach and bring it in strong.

Was supprised by the amount of contact, wasnt especially bothered by it.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing was very pleased by the swim. I could have swam harder
Transition 1
  • 05m 48s

I didnt know exactly how the strippers would work, but it became obvious very quickly, Stripped rubber to waist as I ran out. Got to strippers and plopped down on matts strippers grab wetsuit and yank. Run to shower spend a little extra time getting salt and sand off. Continue onto tent volunteers a little slow getting bags to racers(probably just the time distortion of someone in a hurry) Tent too dark and full so straight through to a chair outside the exit. Asked the sunscreeners to help unroll my top (always happens when I put the top on when wet) Put Jacket on and tuck arm warmers down my front. Still was covered by sand all over my backside.
What would you do differently?:

I know I am in the minority here but I would rather put cooking spray on my ankles and then remove my own wetsuit ( maybe get a volunteer to hold me steady) I have done this for shorter races and it works well and takes no more than twenty seconds.
  • 6h 37m 39s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.90 mile/hr

Leave the tent area and start shouting my race number as I get closer to my bike finally a volunteer starts to unrack it ( would have been easier to just get it myself) Run to Mount line, Climb onboard and move a little ways down the chute, water is sloshing around in my NEW(untested/unpracticed) aero bottle,

I pull the little black rubber thing inside to the top. Ok time to move out. Water still sloshing around, and I know this is going to irritate me, so I pull over again to screw with the NEW aero bottle again, unvelcro it dump the water out use straw to fish the yellow mesh crap out pull it closer to the top of the bottle, that should fix the problem. take one of my water bottles and fill the aero bottle, now the little black thing is down inside sloshing around with the water. Ok whatever
I guess I will just have to get used to that, maybe not top off my aero bottle. Untape my shades put them on, Put my NEW gps on swithch it to multisport mode hit start and go. As I am riding the lite bulb goes off,
I flip open the aero bottle lid, the little black thingy has holes....and looky there ...on the lid there are these little post that line up exactly with the little holes,.... sloshing problem solved, now I am free to drink to my hearts content....yes more on this later as well.
Ok now I am ready to get down to business. I just need to switch the screen on my GPS so I can track speed/hr/time/core temp(OK not core temp) but you know, get all the data. But the stupid freaking thing won't switch to those screens, and the heart rate on this screen requires a magnifying glass to read. oh well, it is what it is.
Now to the ride part I was really glad I decided to wear my light jacket
I had a few offers to buy it on the course( they promised they would pay after the race....yeah right. A few said they wished they had it.
Back to "racing" cruising along enjoying the NEW aero bottle, riders blowing by me, I am going to stick to my plan so let them go (honestly I dont think I could keep up if I wanted to...even with drafting) cross the bridge and chat up the few who are going as slow as I am. One guy asked how I got a red number ....what my number is different than the others ?
Just lucky I guess... oh it must be because I am a local "racer" he was gone already...Hey Hey I'm from here. I think "This aero bottle is working great" As I get to the Ebro aid station I get that rythmic tapping sound I really should know what it means after riding and racing for a year(or maybe not... 1 year 1 flat) I continue through the aid station pick up replacement bottles say hello to several friends (this is the aid station I have worked before) and now its obvious what that tapping sound was. I pull in next to the Jiffy Johns and start the process of changing my tire, one of the volunteers holds my bike and asks if I need a pump.....duh...yes please. The Jiffy Johns smell wonderful combine that with all the bikes streaming past, GREAT just freaking GREAT, Slow tire change 10-15 minutes, the good news is my heart rate is down nice and low. Ok lets roll ... did I mention how much easier it is to get water with this cool NEW aero bottle. Still just plodding along. Half hour to the 77/20 aid station This is the Mosley High Aid Station
( My daughters school) I give them a little love and they return it, It really amps them up when you know a little about which group is working a certain aid station and let them hear you.

This is where I started seeing my buddy Mike who was on his Harley with the music playing, we leap frogged for a while and I asked him to turn up the music for me and my fellow riders.

Remember how great that NEW aero bottle is OK now my bladder is full, did I mention my bladder is really full, Couldnt make it to the next aid station, soooo I was one of those guys in the woods .....enjoying one of my best Pees EVER. This was the first of many pee stops for the rest of the daya and I really dont mind cause it means that I am not dehydrated and that paid of for the rest of the race. I did have a officials motorcycle go by when I was peeing in the woods, and since there were not many people with jackets I took it off ( didnt want to be DQed) I put on homemade arm warmers (cut off the toes of a pair of old socks) they worked out well. Finally I make it to the special needs bag and as with the wetsuit strippers I didnt know exactly how it would work( I thought maybe we pull over get off the bike, have a nice little picnic and enjoy the day for a few moments. Nooooooo you stay on your bike grab your bag get your shit and get. I take my bag with me for a minute, get my stuff out, stop ask one of the volunteers to take my bag back to the right box, go a little further remember that I want to leave my jacket here so I ask one of the voluteers to take it back to bag 119. I am not real confident as I leave and rightly soo (I will never see that jacket again) (neon yellow/green specialized wind jacket hint hint)

I really sound high maintenance

As we turn on to 231 the wind at my back is such a pleasurable short 9 mile jaunt. Get to highway 388 the OAB section. This was were you start to see where people didnt check all their nuts before the ride or didnt put locktite on their threads, stuff rattled lose is was like a big yard sale, too bad I wasn't stopping.

The local guys solution for the bumps .....Ride the white line, there is about 12 inches of pavement that is in relatively good shape. You HAVE to pay attention and hold your line because there are spots with a 4-8 inch drop off if you leave the pavement. You also have to avoid the reflector bumps, On the secound section of 388 there are 2 or 3 short sections of white line that just go to shit(little pot holes right in your line)
If you can ride the white line and I know most off you can, you contact points will thank you and you spares are a lot more likely to make it to T-2 with you.

Oh I did have one thing vibrate extension straw on my NEW aero bottle, probably a good thing as I would have started the run with a stomach that looked like an over filled water baloon.
Did anyone see the guy leaning way over to drink from his aero bottle...yep that was me. Rest of the ride was pretty uneventful and enjoyable.

OK OK OK I know what a moron. Hey Im having fun.
What would you do differently?:

As most of you already know dont try new stuff on race day, but for anyone reading this in preparing for next years IMFL or any IM. Try stuff out at least a couple times before the big day. Stupid aero bottle or a new GPS watch could really throw a wrench in your plans. If something does not go as planned (and it will happen to some of you)take the time to fix it, go back and get it, or move on to plan B
10-15 for flat tire, 6-8 pee stops I lost 25-30 minutes, some of which could have been avoided.
Transition 2
  • 05m 46s

Felt good switched to running mode put on fresh runners, sun screen, hat
great help from volunteers got Motrin
What would you do differently?:

Less crap in T bag
  • 4h 57m 58s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 22s  min/mile

This was my first marathon...EVER and my primary goal was to walk only in the aid stations. I did very well with that until mile 26 where I walked for a hundred yards or so.
I had many friends(Mike, Brian, Frank, Mel just a few) on the course taking pictures and rooting me on.
I really had a great run getting many groups to give me a little extra cheer and I would ruturn the love, it was great.
I ran 10:30s for the first lap and I was pretty diligent about keeping my mile times so I could track my pace.(again my GPS wasnt in the right mode so I had to use my watch to track my pace) Second lap it was getting hard to keep track so I gave up on that and just ran by feel(12:20 felt real good).
My buddy got a short video of me running, wow I have to say my version of IM shuffle is very funny/pathetic, one guy just zipps by. Really I need to work on this.
I got to my run Special needs bag and put on different shoes and socks.
I ran the first half in relatively new shoes and had a blister under one of my toenails. I would highly recommend this just as an option.
The crowd was great at the finish line and I was working them just as I had most all of the run Bill saw I was working the crowd as he was announcing me and helped me out with the crowd.

the call went a little like this:

"Here comes racer number 119 from Panama City.....pause... I SAID from PANAMA CITY ...pause ....David Early you are an Iron Man"
What would you do differently?:

Beside be a better runner. nothing was really a great run
Post race
Warm down:

Got pics, taken was congratulated by a friend in the finish line crew.
walked around for half hour with my family and friends, got into dry clothes felt much better, started working the logistics of getting my bike and gear back to the house.
Finally Pizza's showed up had a few pieces

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Besides doing moronic things like a new bike, NEW aero bottle, GPS, shoes, in the weeks(or days) before the race. I have a few sayings for
1. "lessons will be repeated until they are learned" and
2. "Stupidity should be painful"

Event comments:

Sorry for my ramblings and run on sentences, english was always a weak spot for me.

My friends who worked the race said there was one swimmer who wore fins on the first lap and was spotted attempting to put them on for the secound lap, and about 13-15 people who attemted to bandit the course

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-09-27 12:00 AM
01:04:40 | 4156 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 59/378
Overall: 366/2270
Suit: sleevless Ironman
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 05:48
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:37:39 | 112 miles | 16.90 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/378
Overall: 0/2270
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: One loop course with a short(~3.5mi) out and back at mile 70 or so
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:46
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:57:58 | 26.2 miles | 11m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 275/378
Overall: 0/2270
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4