Ironman 70.3 Branson - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Branson, Missouri
United States
Sherpa Sports
90F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 17m
Overall Rank = 412/981
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 69/201
Pre-race routine:

Got to T2 about 5:30. Set out my shoes, socks and hat and walked over the catch the bus to Table Rock Lake. Ended up riding a "duck". From my experience, bus service on race morning worked great, with almost no delay or wait. Once at T1, I prepped my bike & gear, grabbed the wet suit, and was off!
Event warmup:

A little swim warm up, but nothing else.
  • 48m 12s
  • 2100 yards
  • 02m 18s / 100 yards

Very little swimming in the last month, so I'm happy with the results. My time is miserably slow, but until I learn how to swim, I'm really just interested in having relaxed, comfortable swims. When I finished, I think I could have done another lap of the swim course without too much struggle.
What would you do differently?:

More swimming is required for me to have any kind of respectable swim time.
Transition 1
  • 05m 15s

T1 brings you out of the water on a sandy beach, and then a fairly long uphill to the bike area. I started to jog this, but decided I was better off walking and getting a little recover time in before the bike. I know I was slow, but I'm glad I did it this way.
What would you do differently?:

Nice and steady was okay with me.
  • 3h 09m 42s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.71 mile/hr

This was a GREAT bike course. It was hilly and tough, but the roads were good and the scenery was fantastic. Compared to the other HIM races I've done, this was the best bike course by far. I live in the Houston area, so I was worried about the hills and went into this race with a compact crank and 11x28 cassette. I was glad I had both of those. I felt like I always had the right gear for these hills, and ended up spinning by quite a few people who looked like they were struggling to mash their way up the hills. I think the compact crank saved this race for me. I would have really struggled without it.

My only complaint about the bike course was that some of the my fellow riders didn't seem to think that they were supposed to ride on the right. This was no big deal on the closed section of the ride, but it made the section into town a little dangerous. A few people I passed weere riding right in the middle of the one lane we had, which made passing a little treacherous. I also thought a little more traffic control on this section would have improved things.

The only other minor issue I had was with some of the rules they went over in the pre-race meeting. They asked everyone to wear their bike shoes in and out of transition rather than leaving their shoes clipped in. I'm fine with that, but not everyone went to the meetings, so some people complied and some didn't. I have a small pet peeve with "rules" that are not followed by everyone and carry no consequences.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. No major issues or problems.
Transition 2
  • 02m 44s

My bike rack was right by the entry to T2. Smooth and easy transition. Sat down to put on socks and tie shoes.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. No issues.
  • 2h 11m 7s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 01s  min/mile

Things heated up by the time I got to the run. I started off running 9-1/2 min miles, but only lasted about 3-miles before I dropped to comfortable 10-min miles. I ended up walked through the aid staions as I gulped down a couple cups per site. While this is an easy run course, the heat and the bike ride made it tough. I kept thinking that the med tents were going to get a lot of business. The course was well marked and easy to follow, and the five aide stations per loop were great. The volunteers did a super job. Again with the rule thing....if the rule is everyone has to wear shirts, why don't people get penalties for not wearing their shirts? GRRRR! My favorite part of the run course was the section in the subdivision where the guys had their hoses out spraying down the racers. These guys were out there for several hours and had a huge impact on people!
What would you do differently?:

I'd like to get a pair of racing shoes, something lighter with drain holes. The Nimbus shoes I train in are like sponges. After 4-miles on a hot day I squish with every step. One or two guys commented on it as I came up behind them.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed a couple bottles to drink and headed to the hotel to shower and pack. We stayed at the Convention Center Hilton which ws literally two blocks away from the finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This was a "B" race for me with the build-up for Silverman. I think a planned taper, and some hill training would help my time. I also think I'm giving up 10-minutes on the swim due to poor technique.

Event comments:

Excellent Race! Very well run and organized! Great swim venue. Very difficult & challenging bike course. Run course is an easy couse, maybe a little on the boring side, but great for spectators.

Of the HIM's I've done, I would say the total experience puts IM Branson at the top of the list. It's a challenging course, but not so tough that it's out of reach for most people.

Last updated: 2010-08-10 12:00 AM
00:48:12 | 2100 yards | 02m 18s / 100yards
Age Group: 128/201
Overall: 894/981
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vendetta
Course: Beach start in Table Rock Lake. Clock-wise rectangular course in a semi-protected area of the lake. Water was calm and clear. Course is well marked with big bouys.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 05:15
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:09:42 | 56 miles | 17.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 66/201
Overall: 377/981
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: This is a HILLY bike course. There's a short section connecting T1 to the "loops" on the big highway, then a short section connecting the loops to town. There are four major climbs per loop, two out and two back. The road surfaces are in great shape, and with the road closed there is all kinds of room for safe high speed descents.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
02:11:07 | 13.1 miles | 10m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 44/201
Overall: 364/981
Performance: Average
Course: Three loops. Each loop starts at Branson Landing, runs along the river for about a mile, then cuts through a subdivision and park for about a mile. Flat, with one short & small hill in the subdivision, and no shade.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5