Ironman 70.3 Branson - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Branson, Missouri
United States
90sF / 0C
Total Time = 6h 21m 21s
Overall Rank = 423/1357
Age Group = M18-24
Age Group Rank = 19/57
Pre-race routine:

Me and theresa took off friday early morning from madison to go to cary to see schmize and holly to see how he was doing. after seeing him and visiting for a while, we took off for the long ride to branson. got into branson friday night and just went to sleep. woke up saturday morning to head to the check in and expo. after that also went to t1 to check in the bike and see the swim. swam for a little bit without a wetsuit and the water temp was 75 and felt great. drove around and saw the bike course. got dinner at a italian restaurant off the strip, ate, and went back to watch some football and head to bead early.

Got up around 4 to get something to eat and coffee. Made the coffee at the hotel and had a bagel and a breakfast shake. Got all the stuff together in the hotel, and headed to the transition 2. There was two transitions so had to stop at T2 at around 5:15 to drop set that up. It was already humid in the air so I knew it was going to be a pretty hot day.

After setting up t2, took off and t1 was about 4 miles away. parked the car at the hotel where the beach was for the swim and t1, and me and theresa walked about 10 minutes. Bike was already checked in so just set up the area and waited patiently for the start of the day.
Event warmup:

Took the bike for a quick spin to make sure everything was ready to go and also loosen up the legs.

Also swam for a little bit before the race started to make sure wetsuit was good and stretch out.
  • 42m 44s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

Plain and simple, i really didnt put the time in on the swim, and had only one race of OWS this year compared to a lot more last year.

The first 100 was just fighting for position, the wave was 18-29 so quite a large group, and we were the second to last group to go so i knew throughout there was going to be a lot of jockying for position. After the first 200, i found some feet to follow, knowing the last OWS i had was way way off course so i wanted to focus on just swimming straight. I mostly focused on that and just staying calm. I felt like i was doing a good job at that, until i got kicked in the face. goggles slid to the side and took in water. turned on my back and fixed that and then took off again. found some more feet and took them for about 300 yards id say. I made the first turn and figured i was about a half a mile in. It was pretty foggy so finding the next buoy wasnt easy. Rounding the next buoy before i headed in, i got punched in the rib and it took my breath away and swallowed some water. caught my breath and got back on path. I really didnt know where i was on pace but i felt like i was about 300 or so away and tried to push it the last stretch.

As soon as i got about 50 yards out, my hand hit the bottom of the water and i saw others standing just walking in. I must have hit a traffic jam and it took about 30 seconds to hit the mat. It was just a group of us walking knee deep in the water waiting to get out. That part kind of sucked but at that point i was ok cuz i was 1 sport done, 2 to go.
What would you do differently?:

Practice practice practice. Put more time in the water and OWS more. Plain and simple.
Transition 1
  • 03m 46s

This was a very long run up a hill, and then a long snake around to get into the transition area. I also was on the other end of the transition area, so the t1 was going to be long, but t2 i knew would be better. Walked up the hill and then once got the ability to jog to my bike i did. Lots of people getting in the way and were taking their time, and since i was one of the last waves, lots of people in the area to get around.

Happy with this transition even though the time wasnt great, had a lot of people to get around and long way to go to get there.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 08m 6s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.86 mile/hr

The course started off with climbing for the first 6 or so miles of 1050 ft of climbing to get to the loop. It was pretty foggy so took off my glasses as i couldnt see. It wasnt easy to get the HR down with the climbing so just took that into consideration and didnt worry about it too much. Once i hit the highway it started off with a downhill so that was nice to get my HR back down and catch my breath. The sun was out and it was hot already. I had some goals heading in from what i thought the bike course looked like, and what ive done with comparable climbing...after about 15 miles....i threw those out the window. I have never ridden a course like that, it was not stop hills. You were either going up, or going down, and it takes half the time to go down a hill as it does to go up. And the hills were no joke.

First 11 miles avg 17.14. I was going for 20...haha. At first i thought i was going slow, but i wasnt getting passed and was passing a lot of people up hills. So thinking to myself, throw my goals out the window, and just keep passing people and keep the pace up. It was pretty much the same for the next 20 miles, and i was keep the same pace so i wasnt getting slower so that was good. I was keeping on track with my fuel and infinite, so that was good. I also was grabbing water bottles at the aid stations to get some cold water in my mouth and pour on my head and body to cool off. the stretch of miles 39 to 46 was climbing...thats it. It was a long climb that got you off the loops and then it was down hill. This is where i got a little worried, climbing the hill my left quad starting cramping. I grabbed it and tried to massage it out. It went away thank god but a little scare right there. I avg 16.24 on the mile 28 to 46, and then avg 20.59 the last 7.2 miles. That was nice to have to recover a little bit heading into the run.

The bike was just down right hard. I did HHH 200k, and the IM WI course countless times this year, this was something different. Hands down the hardest bike course on a tri i have ever done. The no recovery stretches was hard. I dropped my chain at about mile 20 which was just a dumb move on my part. It only took about 15 seconds to fix but just a dumb move. I was down at first about my pace, but i knew i was passing a lot more than getting passed. So i just told myself its the course not me and it was high 80s with a heat index of 95...warm
What would you do differently?:

Hill repeats non stop haha

Really, not a ton, I am stronger on the bike this year than i was last. I cut 11 positions in my age group on the bike and was in the top 30% overall on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 02m 6s

This went really good, i came in with about 4 others so it wasnt packed. The t1 area wasnt busy at all either, so not a ton of people to get around. Racked the bike great, and changed shoes and put on visor. I ran with my fuel belt and and race belt and put on as i went.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 24m 28s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 02s  min/mile

Started off feeling pretty good. I stretched out well on the bike and legs felt better than i thought. The first mile was through the shopping mall so very inspiring and energetic area. I hit the first aid station and grabbed water, drank some, and poured some on my head to cool off. Thats when the heat hit me like a ton of bricks. It was so hot, the no clouds at all in the sky, and no breeze. I wanted to do a sub 9 heading in...again, throw the goals aside and do what i could. After about 3 miles in, and seeing so many athletes look like death and walking, i set a new goal. I was going to walk the aid stations, get my fuel, stay on top of my fuel, and run the rest. I had two monsters for calories on my belt, which worked out perfect for me. Doing a straight liquid form of calorie intake works great on my stomach and great to take calories throughout the race.

I saw theresa at about mile 4, gave her a big hug and kiss and she gave me an update as far as my age group. After that, i felt pretty good, i really thought i was getting killed, but everybody was struggling. I told her it was going to be a bit longer than expected and laughed. I was completely melting away. There was plenty of aid stations and they were prepared which was awesome. I had a great method going on at every aid station. I walked through, grabbed two waters, cup of ice. split the ice in between the water, drink one and put one on my head to cool off. Take the left over ice, poor monster in to cool off, drink that, and then take off running again. The walking got a little bit longer each time, but as soon as i got rid of my liquid i took off running. I was doing around a 9'45'' while running and tried to keep it there.

I just really took it in and had fun with it, ya it was hard and really really hot, but i just wanted to enjoy it as much as possible. There were great spectators, and great volunteers. They really made the race, hands down. There was also a guy outside his home with his sprinkler spraying athletes down, that felt great. It was great to see theresa so much, and having as many aid stations made it easy to keep going, Just kept telling myself just get to the next station. I hit mile 12, and ran the rest of the way in to finish it.

Crossing the finish line was one of the best feeling i have ever felt from a race. It was a very hot and hard course, and finishing that race at a decent time compared to age group felt awesome. The whole day was a mental struggle, and the hardest race i have ever done.
What would you do differently?:

Not a whole lot, again my legs were stronger than last year at racine. maybe ask mother nature to cool it off.
Post race
Warm down:

As soon as i crossed the finish, grabbed a gatorade and water and choc milk, and there was a huge water show area that athletes were sitting in. As soon as i jumped in, i knew why, it was freezing cold water, and it felt so good on my legs. Theresa came over and we talked for a while and talked to some other athletes. It felt so good on the legs, it was like an ice bath. Stretched out and then picked up my t2 area and took it to the car. i then hit up an ice cream shop on the strip because it sounded awesome, and it was. went to the finish area and watched the athletes for a while.

Comparing from last year, this was a much tougher course than racine, and also about 20 degrees hotter. And last year, i felt like garbage and could barely stand after the race and about two days after. I was thinner and maybe in better shape last year, but a lot weaker. I really was stronger in all areas (except swimming) this year and it showed. I was walking around pretty good and felt alright.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat and the hills.

Would i have liked to have done better and finish faster, ya...was i disappointed at all...not the least bit. This race built a ton of character and really glad i got to do it. Hardest race i have competed in, but also probably the best race ive seen put on. They really gave the Ironman experience and they were on top of their game. Awesome scenery on the bike course, and the run was at an awesome location. Would do this course again in a heart beat.

Event comments:

Really would have loved to see schmize kill this course as he was on top of his game and hes got the best support crew! Glad he is going to be okay and on the road to recovery, but i would have loved to see him eat this course up as he was going to.

Here are some quotes from some pros to show im not joking...

“This bike course is the probably the toughest bike course I have ever done, it was just one huge hill after another, they just never stopped.”
- Kelly Williamson, Woman Pro Winner

Reflecting on the race yesterday: this Branson course really should be a world championship event. Fair, tough, and fun.
-Michael Lovato, Pro Men 4th place finish

That link also had some good posts on what the athletes thought on the race that schmize sent to me.

This proved how much i love this sport. I drove over 10 hours to do this event. I got kicked in the face during the swim, cramps, sunburn, a long day in the heat, and practically got my a$$ kicked for over 6 hours, but the second i crossed that finish line....every pain goes away, and your on cloud nine. So much satisfaction. Seeing my wife, my biggest supporter, cheer me on and so happy for me, that is why I love this sport!

Last updated: 2010-07-18 12:00 AM
00:42:44 | 2112 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 31/57
Overall: 686/1357
Performance: Average
Suit: full sleeve wetsuit
Course: A triangle out and back in
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:08:06 | 56 miles | 17.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 20/57
Overall: 395/1357
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: It was a stick to get to the loop, do that twice, and then a stick to get into t2. Rolling hills it was not. Rolling mountains more like it. The longest stretch of straight away was under a mile, maybe a half my guess from my garmin. Ascent - 4741 Descent - 5020 Thats a lot of climbing in 56 miles... The course was on highway roads that were blocked off, so they were in great condition, and lots of room for us when going downhills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 77
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:24:28 | 13.1 miles | 11m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 19/57
Overall: 423/1357
Performance: Average
Course: Flat run through their outdoor shopping mall called Branson Landing. Gave a state street like course with running through a popular area. The run was along a river so beautiful run and scenery.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5