My first Triathlon
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Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Lake Placid, New York
Ironman North America
= 13h 44m 26s
Age Group Rank
Last year on June 6th Dante and I completed our first triathlon. Our first triathlon was a sprint consisting of a .25-mile swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. A month later we signed up for Ironman Lake Placid. The Ironman is the ultimate of triathlon distance; it consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile marathon. To get into a Ford sponsored Ironman event you must sign up a year in advance because they sell out with in minutes. Although we knew it was ambitious to try to do an Ironman with little over a year in triathlon we had a group of friends sign up for the race and we knew it would be blast to all do it together.
After months of training it was finally time to take off to go to Lake Placid. We flew into LP on the smallest plan I have ever been on. The plane sat 10 people, including the pilot and Dante sat co-pilot. We arrived safely to our rented house. He house was amazing and it was right near Main St. and the race. In the house we had 12 people, 9 of which were doing the race. The other 3 people, wives and boyfriends, are what we call Sherpas. The Sherpas are not doing the race but are there to help transport us, feed us, take care of us after the race and about a million other things. Sherpas are invaluable and we could not have done the race with out them. We arrived Tuesday night and went for a swim with our wet suits Wednesday morning in the lake. The lake was flat and beautiful to swim in. Thursday our bikes arrived and we went for a ride on the bike course. IMLP is know has one of the toughest bike courses because it goes thru the hills of the ariondoks and has a 6-mile decent. Our group practiced the 6-mile decent into the town of Keene. I am a huge wimp on the bike and do not like to go fast down hill, needless to say I was the last one down the hill and everyone was waiting on me. The important thing is that I made it and knew I could do it again on race day. We rested Friday and Saturday and got ready for the race. For this race because of the long distance we had 5 bags to fill. Two transition bags
(swim-bike, and Bike to run
), two special needs bags, and a morning clothes bag. We spent many hours packing, repacking, and second-guessing what we put in these bags before we turned them in Saturday.
Each night at the house we had been having huge dinners filled with loud conversations and lots of laughter but on Saturday night our dinner was pretty quiet. I think we all knew that Sunday was going to be a long day and we were all a little nervous to see how we would hold up at the Ironman distance.
Sunday morning my nerves woke me up at 2:00 am and could not go back to sleep so I just waited for everyone else to wake at 4:00 am. Once everyone was up and moving we got the whether report. It was forecasting a 20% chance of rain in the morning and then 60% chance in the afternoon. I figured this was k as long as it wasn’t raining on the bike course, especially on the 6-mile decent into Keene.
The Sherpas dropped us off at the race and we headed down to Mirror Lake for the swim. I become a ball of nerves when I saw 2200 people piling into the Lake for the swim start. At an Ironman there is not a wave start but a mass start. Yes that means all 2200 athletes male and females start at the same time. Needless to say I was a little nervous and knew it was going to a rough start
1h 00m 18s
01m 26s / 100 yards
My heart was pounding during the national anthem and then Mike Riley
(the famous Ironman announcer
) said, “Have the best day or your life” and boom the gun went off and so did we.
I knew the swim was going to be rough with a lot of contact so I went in with an aggressive attitude. I was going to swim over people; people were not going to swim over me. The swim was rough and I got a few kicks, punches, and scratched but nothing serious. The swim was a two loop course and after the first loop on the run to start the second loop another athlete ran by me and put both his hands on my shoulders as if to help steady me. For some reason this has stood out in my mind as one of my favorite memories from the day. I am not sure why perhaps because it felt like a fatherly gesture encouraging me that I could do this. On the second loop the rain started but I continued to concentrate on swimming a moderate pace and drafting off other swimmers. I had a great swim and excited the water in 1:00:18 an awesome time for me. I was 8th out of the water for my age group
(out of 92
) and 215th overall
(out of 2200
We had a long run to T1 and it was really starting to rain. I grabbed my T1 bag and headed into the changing tent. A volunteer helped me get dressed and asked do you want your arm warmers and I said no. I have no idea why I said no, I guess I thought it would stop raining and I wasn’t that cold yet. Another volunteer got my bike and as I was mounting my bike I guy in front of me wiped out. It was pretty wet out so I took my time getting adjusted on my bike. T1 took me 7:01 minutes.
7h 28m 24s
Bike Course profile
(can you say hills
IMLP bike course is a very hilly course!! Florida does not have a lot of hills. Needless to say I was worried about the hills – especially going down hill
(in the rain!!
). Now add the rain, and then add some more rain. Biking is not my strength so I was prepared to be passed by a lot of people on the bike. But I got passed by a lot of people. I mean like herds of people like Disney land. My plan was to take it very easy on the bike and follow my power meter data. From the start of the bike it was raining and rained the entire ride with maybe a few moments of a drizzle. It was pretty awful and dangerous out. My new plan was to survive the bike and not crash. Doing the decent in the rain was definitely scary for me but other races flew down them at speeds topping 30mph in the rain. I was amazed and wanted to ask them if they had a death wish. To me those guys are nuts! The bike was cold and wet and long!! But I made it through the big Keene decent, mama bear, papa bear, and baby bear, as well as little and big cherry
(names of big hills in the race
). Also since it was cold out and we were not sweating as much as we normally due
(especially in Florida
) everyone was peeing! I saw so many men pull over on the road and go it was actually pretty funny. For me I surprised myself and mastered going on the bike. I know how gross but your in the pouring rain anyway so it just washes off. And if I didn’t I would have had to stop like 5 times, it was actually quite liberating. I witnessed a few nasty crashed but never got stuck in any of them. I made it through the bike and got passed by pretty much everyone but I was expecting that. After the race we did some math and it turned out I got passed by over 1,500 people. That is really funny. At the end of the bike my hands were numb from the cold and my fore arms were killing me from squeezing my brakes so much. The bike took me 7:28:24 with an avg speed of 15 mph. I was now 68th in my age group and 1872 overall. See I told you a lot of people pasted me.
I was happy to get off my bike and change into dry clothes to warm up in T2. When I got into the change tent the volunteer said to me “we though we lost you out there”. Now that is net very encouraging when I have to now run a marathon in the cold rain. Anyway I got dressed, went to the bathroom and was off to run my marry. T2 was 5:36.
5h 03m 9s
11m 34s min/mile
It felt so good to have dry socks and clothes on but that only lasted for a mile because by mile one I was soaked again. The run course was a two-loop course that goes through Main Street. I couldn’t believe the crowd going through Main Street and the crazy people out there. Didn’t the know it was raining? It was really fun to run through the crowd. Once you got out of Main Street you were on your own. I felt good the first few miles and threw up a little bit but it didn’t bother me, I just stopped eating and drinking for a few aid stations. I finally saw Dante I mile 8 and he looked great. I then saw him again at mile 14 on Main Street and we stopped and hugged. It was a great boost for both of us. The aid stations were incredible they had watermelon, grapes, pretzels, Gatorade, water, flat cola, and my favorite chicken broth. Oh the chicken broth was so warm and salty it was so good. My goal was to run the whole marry and walk the aid stations and some of the big hills. I did that and finished with a time of 5:03:09, an 11:35min/mile. I was 52nd in my age group and 1355 overall.
The finish was incredible, coming down the chute and hearing the crowd and Mike Riley say “Kelly Clothier you are an Ironman”. I finished in 13:44:26.
Some of my favorite memories from the race are seeing Dante and mile 14 and getting to stop and hug him and when I got out of the swim some tall man putting his hands on my shoulders to move me out of the way. I don’t know why that sticks with me but I guess most people in the race would just push me out of the way but he was kind and gentle and it made me feel somewhat protected for just that one second. I know weird but whatever.
My real favorite memories came from spending the week with our tri group in our rented house. I have never laughed so much in my life, especially after the race, when we were all sharing our stories. LP was such a great experience because we did it with friends and the race was more about that than anything else.
Last updated: 2008-11-08 12:00 AM
01:00:18 | 4224 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:28:24 | 112 miles | 14.99 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:03:09 | 26.2 miles | 11m 34s min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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