Beach 2 Battleship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set-Up Events
58F / 14C
Total Time = 11h 44m 41s
Overall Rank = 132/490
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up race morning at about 4 am ate and took a long hot shower. I was concerned it would be a while before I was warm again. I had some anxiety over it being in the 30's when we started. I had the morning planned out so that everything was done early and I could relax on the beach a while before the start. Point to point course so all my bags except the prerace clothes bag were checked the night before. I was very thankful that I made it to race morning healthy.
Event warmup:

Checked my bike and pumped up the tires. Checked my swim to bike transition bag and took one of the first shuttles out to the beach. Dressed warm and was going to wait until the last minute to get the wetsuit on. Relaxed and talked to a few other racers. Funny to hear the stories of what the families had gone through over everyone's training. They really do sacrifice with us and it reminded me of how great and supportive my family is.

So time to get the suit on. Everything I had done was early to avoid any scrambling last minute. The first thing I realized was I forgot to get body marked. Then I went to put my backpack into the prerace bag and my number fell off it. The only bag i didn't mark with a sharpie. Wouldn't you know that was the only bag the number fell off. So, there wasn't a single black marker at the race start. I dropped the unmarked bag into the bin and walked to beach.

The sunrise over the Atlantic was unreal. One of those lifetime moments, all the training and sacrifice to be here and I get a view like that to start it off. Awesome.
  • 54m
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 24s / 100 meters

No warm up because of the cold. As soon as I hit the water I never remember it being an issue. Perfect water temperature for a wetsuit swim for me. First buoy was hilarious. Way to close to have a turn and not have a pile up. I felt really relaxed though and never felt out of breath the entire swim. Typical open water issues with people on your legs and a few jabs here and there but over all great swim. After the first buoy I went wide and swam right down the buoy line in the center of the channel. Siting was good at this point. I saw a Coast Guard Cutter going by on my left at one point, that was cool. Pretty crowded the entire swim. Tried to make the left around the squiggly man boat and ran got pummeled by swimmers. I think I was the only one in my area that saw it. I tried to direct people left but straight on by they went. I believe they were all heading to the outside buoy which added some real distance to the swim. Got to the ladders, wet suit strippers on the ready (aren't they the best!) and began the 1/4 mile run to the transition. Over the mat, 53 minutes and change (website didn't have my splits), Holy Moly!!! Didn't feel that current but it was definitely there. Race director said expect 10 minutes off swim times, very happy with the swim. Felt great out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

I had some chafe on the back of my neck. I never had it before but expect the salt water had something to do with it. More body glide next time.
Transition 1
  • 05m

This could have gone better. I got my bag and into the tent. I guess I need to be faster to get a chair or a table or even an area to bend. Tent was packed. My transition plan was shot. So I just dumped the bag at my feet and did the best I could. I wore my Oomph trishorts under my wetsuit and planned to wear them the entire race. All I needed to do was put my cycling jersey on, (it was still zipped), my arm warmers on, (one was inside out), helmet on, and carry my shoes to my bike. The transition was in grass and looked a little soft. Put my shoes on at the rack and found Allen Wrenches inside one of the shoes. Gees.
What would you do differently?:

I missed some details on this transition but I made it through. I was happy with my clothing choices.
  • 5h 54m
  • 112 miles
  • 18.98 mile/hr

Again no splits on the website. The first half of this course was just awesome, flat, no wind, and a perfect temperature. I ran at a comfortable pace and was spot on 20 mph average at mile 56. I got passed and passed a few but was really right where I should have been. Coming up on mile 56 I knew it was time to pee. My plan was to stop at special needs, take care of business, stretch a little and add some Body Glide to my chafe on my neck. Really felt great at mile 56. Mile 57, 58, 59, still no special needs, did I miss it? I really have to pee now. 60, 61... alright, have to stop. Off the bike and into the woods, couldn't be helped. Felt really good again, special needs was at mile 65, wasn't worth a stop now.

Right after Special Needs is where I started to have problems. It was a really rough section of road, like washboard rough. My right knee started to really hurt. Outside of the knee where I have had IT Band issues but never on the bike. Did I put the bike back together right? Was it the road? It got worse the rest of the bike. My nutrition was spot on. Love the Infinit. I carried only three bottles of it which I drank over an hour each. I had 2 Cliff Bars and then Heed and water from the course. I had one more pee stop and felt good off the bike except for that right knee. The 35 miles or so had a nasty head wind. Slowed down quite a bit which was ok. The hard part was I had to push harder on that knee the last couple hours on the bike. I kept telling myself I could let up as long as I gave myself a shot at a 5 hour marathon to go sub 12. That and thinking "Linda isn't slowing down" (she was doing IM Florida at the same time).

I was thankful for the nice weather and no flats or mechanical problems. It was really nice coming over that last hill and seeing the Battleship. Bike done!
What would you do differently?:

I am not sure what caused the knee to flare up. I will get to the bottom of that. Overall happy with the bike. It is where I made the most progress this year but still have a ways to go.
Transition 2
  • 03m 38s

This transition went much better than the first. Volunteers took the bike (they were awesome the entire race), and I hobbled over to T2. Sat down in a chair this time! I dumped my stuff, made a complete change and was off. I enjoyed the fresh clothes. It was a mental boost for me.
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 48m 3s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 59s  min/mile

Four steps into this run I told myself "this is going to be a long marathon". The right knee was screaming. I had to keep it almost straight to tolerate it and that slowed the pace significantly. I got into a groove and just plodded on. I really felt good though other than the knee. Heart rate was still down and I felt energized. Up over the bridge at mile 1-2, steep and got steeper the second time. I got to see my family at mile 3 and got a big thumbs up from the kids, I smiled for 2 miles thinking of them. At mile three the knee got much better. I couldn't bend it still but the pain went away. I had tinges going down the 2 STEEP hills in the downtown area. I felt much better going up them. The run took us out to a lake and onto a path. Very pretty area. Turn around was there and was feeling better at mile 7 than I had since about mile 60 on the bike. I saw Tracy after the turn around and got to say hello. It was amazing how much seeing friends and family helped my mental state. I saw the family again at mile 10. Jill ran with me for a while to ask how I was doing. What a great wife she is!

So I really started doing some math. I hadn't had to walk yet and I was way ahead of my 12 hour goal. I kept just under a 10 minute mile until the bridge going back to the Battleship. I slowed a bit but the bridge is steep. At the turnaround I got questioned about my fluid intake. I think I started to look worse than I felt. I had been alternating between water and coke each mile with an occasional gel. My stomach was a little upset and the coke was just what I needed. I had never tried it before but man did it work well for me.

Time to turn around for one more loop. Again, I liked the course. No surprises this time and it was all manageable. My overall goal for my first Iron Distance race was to run the marathon. I was still running and feeling good at the halfway point. It was a little slower than I anticipated but I had no doubts about finishing the second loop without walking.

I realized going over the bridge back to downtown though that i lost the ability to do math. I laughed out loud when I couldn't figure out how long it would be until I saw my family again. 3 miles, 10 minute miles...??... Yep, nothing. OK, just finish before 7pm. At least I could still tell time. My mantra the whole race was "suffer now and forever live my life as an Ironman". It worked well but what really kept me running was "don't let Aidan see you walking". My 6 year old son was at mile 16 and 23. No way would he see me walking!

I got a full row of high fives from Aidan and Abby and their 2 cousins. Jeff, Karen, and GG were there cheering and taking pictures and of course my lovely wife ran with me a little while. Loved the course. I was hurting a little more now but still running ok. Jill took the family over to the finish line then so I wouldn't see them at 23. Bummer.

Mile 18 is when the sun was going down. The sunset was beautiful. I had a minor meltdown here. 18 months of training, support from family and friends, and a little luck had gotten me to this point. I new I was going to finish and I was pretty sure I was going to meet my 12 hour goal. I couldn't stop the tears. I will never forget that moment. There were 3 moments in this race, sunrise on the beach just before the horn, this one and of course the finish.

The last 6 miles were tough but wonderful. Slowed a bit but never walked and just soaked it up. Talked to a few out on the course, passed a few, got passed a couple times. Everyone was great.

Coming up the bridge over to the Battleship I saw a women with a prosthetic leg running in. I believe she was doing the half and I had seen her a couple times on the course. Tough as nails she was. She only had about a half mile to go. As I ran by I blurted "great job". As I got in front of her I noticed how much pain she was really in. She was frickin' Superman and all I could say was "great job". I needed the right words but just didn't have them.

So down the hill I go and into the finish area. They asked first or second loop and I proudly yelled "I am DONE!!" Took my hat and glasses off and grasped them in my hand. I put those tired hands in the air and finished my first Ironman!!!
What would you do differently?:

Figure out the IT Band issues but that's it. Loved this race!!!
Post race
Warm down:

Pizza, family, and enjoyed the moment. Even tracked down the unmarked gear bag. Today was a good day.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

I loved the fast course, organization, the point to point, and the racers. Hated going down those steep little hills in downtown. Great race!

Last updated: 2009-01-02 12:00 AM
00:54:00 | 3862 meters | 01m 24s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/490
Performance: Good
Suit: full Orca Sonar
Course: Mass start from the beach. Swim out 100 meters right around a buoy and straight down the Channel with the tide. Left turn around a boat with a squiggly man on it, a couple more turns to the marina and you are there. There were wooden ladders to climb up and a LONG run to T1.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 05:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
05:54:00 | 112 miles | 18.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/490
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: One loop, point to point. Flat with a couple small hills. Beautiful area and great place to ride. One section of rough road between miles 65-75. Headwind the last 35 miles in.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:38
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:48:03 | 26.2 miles | 10m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/490
Performance: Average
Course: Hilly, 2 out and backs. I enjoyed the course. People were bummed about the change of course but it made it so nice for my family to get to see me and that REALLY helped my run.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5