Beach 2 Battleship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up
60'sF / 0C
Total Time = 13h 52m 35s
Overall Rank = 356/490
Age Group = Male
Age Group Rank = 292/387
Pre-race routine:

This was only my third ever triathlon. I did a sprint and a half Ironman earlier this year, so I don't have much of a routine yet. Set the alarm for 4:30 but was awake then already, too nervous to sleep much. Ate two bananas and a granola bar. Got to T1 by 5:30. The car thermometer said 46 degrees then which was better than the 38 degree weather prediction. In line for the bus to the swim start by 6:15.
Event warmup:

About a 400 yard walk on the sand from the bus drop off to the swim start.
  • 59m 51s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 25s / 100 yards

National Anthem played, then Eminem's Lose Yourself as we entered the water. I did two training swims in the wetsuit in water colder than this so the water did not seem cold to me at all. Swimming with the current is awesome and makes for a fast swim. This was my longest ever swim in distance but not in time. My sighting was reasonable until close to the end. I hit a permanent channel marker (very sturdy pole that does not budge when hit). I saw it coming and thought I had it to my left and then smack into it. Small cuts and scrapes on my hands but otherwise ok. Felt stupid though and now I was officially shark bait with blood in the water and looked like a seal with my black wetsuit on. But I didn't have to outswim the sharks just the people behind me. Glad to see the finish sign before any fins and got up the ladder quickly.
What would you do differently?:

Hmm, oh yeah not hit that #*&@%! channel marker. Otherwise nothing.
Transition 1
  • 10m

Used the wetsuit strippers and the fresh water shower then about a 400 yard path on pavement to T1. Changing tent was full so stayed outside. Had tri shorts on under the wetsuit and left on the tri shorts all day. I had packed a lot of warm gear for the bike but the weather was not as cold as I expected so only put on biking shorts, short sleeved shirt and redneck arm warmers (tube socks cut open at toes). I was not cold on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Could have been faster and more efficient but I just wanted to not forget anything or trip on the path to T1.
  • 6h 40m 57s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.76 mile/hr

Wind was light to zero early in the morning but picked up late morning. On I-40 I got off to the right and over the deep bumps that are supposed to wake you up before you crash when driving. I woke up all right. Those bumps are bad enough in a car and worse on a bike. Then no choice but to go back over them and onto the road again. Was feeling pretty good until about mile 73 or 74 and we turned into a headwind coming back to town for the last 38 miles or so. The headwind hurt me. I was ready to be done at the mile 84 aid station but kept going. I believe that most days it would be a tailwind back to town but not that day. The wind kicked my butt.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. The longest I rode before the race was 85 miles. Possibly take in more calories but my stomach didn't feel like it could take much more.
Transition 2
  • 09m 28s

Volunteers took my bike and helmet for me and got me my T2 bag. I was not feeling well so I took my time changing. Got more to drink and had a Power Gel in my changing bag. Started the run with only shorts and short sleeved shirt.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I didn't feel good enough to get through transition any faster.
  • 5h 52m 20s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 27s  min/mile

Walked the first 3/4 mile and started to feel a little better, but I had no gas in the tank at that point. Walked the aid stations, the uphill part of the bridges and the steep hills into and out of downtown. Slow jog / waddle on the rest. Miles 5 - 8 and 18 - 21 in a park. Had some portable lights in the park but still dark in the park at night but that didn't affect my slow pace any. No potholes to avoid in the dark. Got my special needs bag at mile 13 and put on long sleeve shirt and hat/toboggan/tuque. Chicken broth at the aid stations on the 2nd lap was nice but my GI tract did not want to digest everything that I put in it. No puking, just heartburn. Could have made extra money by renting myself out to local farmers as a salt lick. The closer I got to the finish, the miles didn't seem as long because I knew that I was about to be an Ironman finisher. I have wanted to finish one of these since I was a teenager and I finally decided to get in shape enough and train enough to do it (was at least 50 pounds overweight two years ago). Got cheered on by the wife and kids and mother-in-law at the finish and it felt great to be an Ironman.
What would you do differently?:

Train more on the bike so that I would have more left for the marathon.
Post race
Warm down:

Delirious stagger to get water and pizza in the finish area. Family had all my bags and bike at that point. Once I recovered enough we got on a water taxi back to downtown (not much of a wait after 9pm).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Needed more long training bike rides and no headwind the last 38 miles. I was very happy to finish and keep my promise to my wife to not need any medical assistance. I made my realistic goal time of finishing under 14 hours.

Event comments:

Race was well organized and aid stations had plenty of everything. I would recommend this race to anyone especially as a first ironman length or attempt at a PR.

Last updated: 2009-09-11 12:00 AM
00:59:51 | 4224 yards | 01m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/387
Overall: 0/490
Performance: Good
Suit: Full Sockeye rented from FTR
Course: Channel swim, so saltwater but no waves. Mass wade in start. Straight shot down the channel for 3/4 of the course, then left turn and to the yacht club. Ladder climb out of water.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 10:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:40:57 | 112 miles | 16.76 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/387
Overall: 0/490
Performance: Below average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Flat course with very few hills. The only steep hills are the bridges. Rode about ten miles on the interstate (only time I can do that legally). One loop course with five aid stations (at 30, 48, 65, 84, 102 miles). Great majority of the roads were nice but some were pretty bumpy.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 09:28
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
05:52:20 | 26.2 miles | 13m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/387
Overall: 0/490
Performance: Below average
Course: Two laps around an out and back course. Two bridges in the first two miles were the only long hills on the course. There was a steep but very short hill into and out of downtown. Otherwise fairly flat course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 5