Ironman 70.3 Branson - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Branson, Missouri
United States
Total Time = 5h 37m 3s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I consistently trained in very hot and humid conditions with multiple hilly brick work outs. This included a 100 mile training ride with about 2500 feet of total climbing. Much thanks to Thunder for attending this ride! Majority of these training session occurred in triple digit heat indexes during July and August.

My wife and I arrived in Branson on Friday afternoon in order to get through the registration and check in process early. On Saturday, the bike check in and run gear check in was non eventful. Just ran through the normal checks and set up process. The only issue during Friday and Saturday was the GI distress I had started to encounter. This probably was a result of eating chick Fila spicy sandwich for lunch Friday. Note to self, if you do not eat fast food during training, do not eat it on the trip to the race, so dumb!

I awoke at 5:00 am to shower and eat breakfast. I had an 8 oz glass of V8, a cup of coffee, a 16 oz cherry nuun sports drink, a bagel and apple cinnamon oatmeal. Oh, yea, I also exploded the coffee maker while making coffee, so I had to clean up coffee grinds that were all over the kitchenette counter. Learning point, the hotel coffee makers do not use normal coffee grinds. I gather all of my gear, kiss the wife and start the journey to the swim/bike transition area. Get to transition, set up the bike, get the wetsuit on.
  • 35m 34s
  • 2100 yards
  • 01m 41s / 100 yards

Swim: 35:34- through the fog of table rock lake

Not the best swim time, but competitive given the conditions we had to swim in. So, we had about a 10 foot visibility due to the fog, so, needless to say, while you are dogging elbows, feet, and numerous other things you really could not sight that well. So, I just got in my rhythm and followed the group until I could see a shadow of a buoy to sight towards. This leg was normal with the occasional elbow from a backstroker and a kick from the breaststroker. Got to the swim finish and began the longest run, uphill, to transition I have ever en-countered.
Transition 1
  • 04m 24s

T1-Moonshine Beach- right beside the host hotel: 4:24

Transition was smooth. Got out of the wetsuit rather quickly, packed my transport bag and put the bike gear on. The exit from transition not so smooth! As we are all heading out of the narrowest transition areas a fellow age grouper, who thinks he is going to win who knows what, decides to hastily pass everyone and clips my ankle with his bike, and puts a huge gash in my leg! So, I have not even exited transition and I am already hurting. More on this incident to come…

  • 3h 03m 11s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.34 mile/hr

Bike: 3:03:11- Through the scenic “hills” of Branson

After I get over my fury of the inconsiderate A’hole, I mount my bike and began the “rolling hills” Branson Bike Course. Yea right, rolling hills, these were mountains! So, we take two quick lefts and immediately hit, what has to be, a two mile climb and tons of fog. We could not see 50 feet up the road. In addition, people are already walking their bikes up the first climb at mile two. I’m thinking “wow, what did I get myself into?” So, I just focus on my spinning and put my head down and push on. Mile 11, just past the first aid station, my right foot is soaked and I’m thinking, I haven’t even started sweating yet, what is going on? So, I look down to find gushing blood from my right ankle. Remember T1!!! I give a quick finger to that guy in my head… My right shoe has turned red and my leg looks as though a shark has bitten me. Not only did I discover this, but I am just seeing the first real climb of the day! I’m thinking, Holy $$#@, this is not a hill climb, this is a mountain climb! It looked as though it went on for an entire mile. Don’t forget the fact that the decent on the other side of the road looked hellish scary! This type of climb is what we saw for the remainder of the bike leg (6-9 mph up and 40-50 mph down)! When I get to the second aid station (Mile 20 ish) I am able to get a bottle of water and clean my wound, but the GI distress is creeping back up. Remember Lunch from Friday!! So, I am gassy and hurting and still trying to take in my nutrition, so I can complete this journey. The remainder of the bike was non eventful, 4 bottles of Gatorade, 1 bottle of nuun, 4 salt pills and 1 ½ pb sandwich and I just concentrated on spinning up, hammering down, nutrition in, and gas out! I have to say this course should be considered one of the most demanding 70.3 bike courses.
The course was beautiful, scenic and hellish hard! Total elevation was between 3500-4500 feet!

Transition 2
  • 01m 36s

T2- Branson landing- 1:36
  • 1h 52m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 35s  min/mile

Run: 1:52:21- through the shopping district of Branson

Now, we are at my favorite part of the race, the Run! Hit the ground running with quick leg turnover and short strides and gas out. The run was very non eventful and by mile 5 the GI distress has disappeared. I basically hammered out the first 4 ½ at an 8 mile pace. Then as the heat began to creep in I slowed the next 4 ½ to 8:30, and then by the time the fatigue set in the last 4 ½ was at a 9:15. Nutrition on the run consisted of salt pills every 30 minutes, 5 bottles of nuun, water and ice on the head and down the back at every aid station! Overall, the run was strong, I would have liked to have seen a 1:40, but the mountainous bike course took too much out of the legs.

Hit the finish line in 5:37:03! I enjoyed the friends, the race, and the location. Must do, if you really want a challenge other than a “how fast can I go flat course”!

Post race
Warm down:

Nice dip in the 50 degree fountain water!

Event comments:

Very difficuly bike course. Make sure you train with a lot of trainer resistance and or hill repeats.

Last updated: 2009-10-02 12:00 AM
00:35:34 | 2100 yards | 01m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 04:24
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:03:11 | 56 miles | 18.34 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:36
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:52:21 | 13.1 miles | 08m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
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] 3