Beach2Battleship Half Iron Distance Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
53F / 12C
Total Time = 5h 37m 14s
Overall Rank = 166/520
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 45/120
Pre-race routine:

Stayed at the Wingate Inn in downtown Wilmington. Got up about 5:30, took advantage of the hotels free breakfast...a muffing, a banana, a pop tart and some coffee for me, and was out the door at 6:30. Got to T1 to set up my bottles and change bags, pumped up the tires, and overheard someone mention their timing chip...OH SHIT! i left my timing chip at the hotel!! so i frantically found my dear wife and asked her to go like the wind to find it at the hotel and bring it back. this was at 7:15 and the last trolley to the swim start left at 7:45. well, she didn't make it back in time for me to make the trolley, so we had to hike back to the car which she had to park literally a mile away, and she dropped me off near where the swim start was. i made it in time since i didn't start until 8:30, but my nerves were a tad frayed by that point.
Event warmup:

the mad cap route to the swim start was all the warm up i needed.
  • 26m 12s
  • 1900 meters
  • 01m 23s / 100 meters

wow, this swim was reedonkulous! got in the water 2 minutes before our wave went off. it was a little chilly but after some treading water it was fine. for the start, we tried to form a line out in front of the dock, but the current was taking hold and everybody was floating down the course. the horn blew and we were motoring. i swear it felt like i was in the water for 15 minutes and i look up and see people climbing out of the water. i was like "no way this is the swim finish". but sure enough it was.

there was definitely some chop in the canal, a foreshadowing of what was to come on the bike. i think without such as strong current, this would have been a difficult swim. there were a number of times i turned to breath and got a mouthful of wave, and i was getting a little dizzy towards the end. i tried to make sure to not swallow any water as i didn't know what that would do to my stomach.
What would you do differently?:

nothing really. i did veer off course once b/c i was following another group of guys. somebody in a kayak was yelling at us to get back on course. may have cost me a minute but nothing major. it would have been hard to have a bad swim in that current.
Transition 1
  • 07m 7s

long, long run to transition. once i got to T1, i took my time to dry off. then i attempted to get my arm warmers on. what a cluster trying to put those things on wet arms. got the first one on, realized it was on the wrong arm, took it off and repeated with the other arm. finally got all geared up, then had to worry about putting all my swim stuff in a bag that the voluteers collect. it seemed like 15 minutes, so 7 minutes is good.
What would you do differently?:

nothing. before the race i was debating arm warmers or not, but i'm glad i had them. i also wore wool socks and toe covers, which i am also very glad i used. kind of wish i had gloves too.
  • 3h 04m 15s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.24 mile/hr

man o man. to say the first 35 miles on the bike was miserable would be an understatement. i've never ridden in wind like that before. it was stiff and it was relentless and it was cold. on the way out of town, i felt like i was pushing pretty hard, but i was maybe going 16mph. that lasted for about 9 miles, which is also the time i realized my front brake was rubbing. i disengaged that, and noticed an improvement, but that was also the time we hit the interstate for a very long portion of the bike. the wide open interstate where a headwind just blasted us for miles and miles. then it start to mist, then rain a little. my toes were numb, even with wools socks and toe covers. my hands were numb and beet red and my dexterity was suffering. i remember one point trying to get a gel out of my back jersey pocket and fumbling for at least 2 minutes b/c i couldn't control my hand.

at the one hour mark when i hadnt even gone 18 miles, i didn't know if i would make it. my mindset changed from racing to just finishing. my legs were tired, my spirit was down, things just weren't going well. i kept hearing comments from other athletes about how awful things were and it was hard to stay positive. at one point i saw a bunch of signs that people put up on the side of the road for the racers had all blown over and were all soggy and scattered and i was thinking "man, this really does suck". on top of that i had to stop to pee 3 times, which for some reason really aggravated me. i'm sure i didn't lose one drop of sweat due to the cold, so all those liquids i had been downing were going right through me. i would ride as long as i could stand it, pull over and find a tree, and get going again. rinse and repeat. i wasn't aggravated at the lost time of having to stop, i was aggravated that every time i stopped was more time that i would have to be out on that bike course.

Somewhere b/w mile 35-40 things got better. we had been on some backroads shielded from the wind a little and i got some rhythm going. then we got back on the interstate going the opposite direction with the wind at our back which was smooth sailing. with about 15 miles to go i decided to crank it up again. i figured if i went down in flames in this race, i would go down swinging. the sun was starting to come out and my mood lifted. i caught a lot of guys that passed during my pee breaks, and i actually finished the bike feeling strong.
What would you do differently?:

come up with a wind proof bike position. focus on staying positive
Transition 2
  • 02m 43s

short and sweet. left the arm warmers on b/c it was still chilly, but i wish i had left them in the the bag, as i ended up taking them off right away and stuffing them in my jersey pockets.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 56m 59s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 56s  min/mile

the sun is out now for the run, which made things a whole lot better. i started out really well, running mid to low 8's at a fairly easy effort. i planned on water and gel every 2 miles, and i stuck to that for the most part. the first half of the run was probably net downhill. there were some hills to climb, but it seemed like for the most part we were trending down. great for the "out" portion, not great for the "back". all those sections that i thought were flat really were gradual downhills, which were now gradual uphills. my pace was hovering right under 9's now, and i was starting to wear down. also, most of the way out the wind was at our backs. now it was in our face again. damn that wind. i bargained with myself to keep running until mile 10, then i could walk an aid station. i did make it to mile 10, and i did walk that aid station, but i also walked the aid stations at 11 and 12 too. i will say that i did start running again as soon as possible, so the breaks were short. the aid station at mile 12 was the hardest. that one was right before a big climb over a bridge going back to the battleship. man i wanted to walk that so bad, but my inner dialogue kept saying "c'mon, lets see what ur made of", so i kept running. i was hurting and i was tired, and at the top of the bridge, the wind was still whipping and almost caused me to trip twice b/c i could barely balance myself. but when i crested the top i felt instantly better. i had about 1/3 mile to go, and i picked up the pace as best i could. i even passed a couple people. wound around T2 until sprinting through the finishing chute. i was so glad to be finished!
What would you do differently?:

again, nothing. this run went as well as i could have expected.
Post race
Warm down:

walked around for a bit. went into the warming tent. fought the urge to purge. walked around some more and finally sat/lied on the grass for a while. i was tired, but i also hurt all over. my ankles, knees, hips, hamstrings, quads, even my shoulders just hurt. i couldn't believe how beat up i felt.

after about 10 minutes i started to feel a little better. got some food, a lot of food, hung around a little more, picked up my gear and bike and started the trek for home.

realized after i got home, i did not pick up my swim bag which has my wetsuit, goggles and swim caps. hopefully i can get those back.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

the wind.

Event comments:

crazy race. tons of volunteer support, very well organized, and it is executed exactly how it is planned. however, in my opinion, the plan is a bit "over extended". there is just so much the athlete has to do to get to the starting line. having 2 transition areas and gear bags was confusing. and for spectators it is a nightmare. or rather i should say, having a wife and 2 small kids try to spectate is a nightmare. they can't watch the swim start, or the exit from the water. they can watch T1, but have to drive across town to go to T2. and they can't actually drive to T2 b/c its the battleships parking lot and can't accommodate all the cars, so they would have to take a water taxi or bus to get there. then after the race when all you want to do is be home, you have to either ride your bike a couple miles back in to town or wait for a uhaul to take your bike and a bus for yourself to ride.

like i said, they never misrepresented anything. that was the plan the whole time. its just a lot to take in, especially for the first time doing this race. i'm certain for people that have done this race before it is a piece of cake.

Last updated: 2011-08-15 12:00 AM
00:26:12 | 1900 meters | 01m 23s / 100meters
Age Group: 21/120
Overall: 0/520
Performance: Good
Suit: sleeveless
Course: point to point in a canal
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 07:07
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:04:15 | 56 miles | 18.24 mile/hr
Age Group: 59/120
Overall: 0/520
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:43
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:56:59 | 13.1 miles | 08m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 52/120
Overall: 0/520
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4