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Ironman Kansas 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Lawrence, Kansas
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 5h 54m 49s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Let me preface this race report with one comment...DAAAMN was this a hilly and tough course! The toughest course I've ever raced of any distance. So the story goes like this...

The day started off by waking after roughly 4 hours sleep on an old sofa. The air conditioner in the house I stayed at was broken so I ended up sleeping in the basement on an old broken down sofa. I awoke with a stiff neck and sore back. This pain was minor compared to what I was about to face. The drive from the house to the race site was about an hour. I ate breakfast while driving, which consisted of two packages of oatmeal and a bagel with PB.
Swim
  • 49m 52s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 22s / 100 yards
Comments:

What can I say about the swim that is good? Well...I finished, although with a belly full of lake water. Fortunately Clinton Lake has relatively clean water...and doesn't taste too bad either. I started out towards the back of my group. As the gun went off I high-stepped the water until it was time to bury my face and pretend like I know how to swim. The swim went like this......3 strokes, site, get hit....3 strokes, site, hit someone, 3 strokes, site, I'm facing the wrong way, 3 strokes, site, here comes the next heat of swimmers about to swim over me. Honestly, this was one of the worst OWS's that I've completed. I could not get the panic to leave, could not get my HR to go down so I could breath and find a rhythm. Each time I stopped to regain my composure I would take in a large mouthful of water. Funny how I didn't drink any lake water while swimming...only when I stopped did the chop punch me in the face causing me to hydrate prematurely. Maybe God's way of telling me to swim and not doggie paddle. After each turn buoy I relaxed a little more and was able to get my rhythm and swim for a period of minutes without stopping. Strange how when I was actually swimming I would pass people. Even when trying to draft off feet I would speed up and pass them, only to be re-passed when I would stop and catch my breath. Maybe a sign that I need to work on pacing and effort? Anyway....I finished the swim with only a couple of guys in my wave behind me. I was surprised to see by my watch that my total time in the water was 47+ minutes. The official split was 49+ because the T1 timing mat was a good 100 yards away from the beach exit.
What would you do differently?:

What would I do differently? I don't know. I have so many issues with swimming that I can't list them all. I think at the "end of the day" my biggest problem with swimming is my Mind. I allow the swim to conquer my mind and intimidate me. I need to work on that above all other aspects of the swim. Stroke technique, kick, etc means nothing if I can't relax and get my mind right.
Transition 1
  • 03m 29s
Comments:

I'm trying to stay away from complaining too much about this race site, or the race itself, but one of my issues with this first time venue was the transition areas. Most everyone was complaining about the T areas. The transition area was in a parking lot, which consisted of broken-up concrete with rocks, stones and shards of sharp gravel. Not very pleasant on the feet. T1 went OK. I took my time and made sure I loaded everything I needed for the ride.
What would you do differently?:

Next time I bring an additional towel to wipe the sand, mud and rocks off of my feet after running from the water.
Bike
  • 2h 54m 53s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.21 mile/hr
Comments:

Ha. What can I say about this bike course. I'll sum it up this way....I happened to be racked around some pretty hardcore athletes. Why I was amongst them lord only knows. Anyway...one of the athletes was wearing Ironman Wisconsin garb. After the race was over I asked how the KS bike course compared to IMWI bike course. They laughed and shook their head and said...."This was much tougher. The hills here (KS) were a lot longer and unrelenting compared to IMWI, which are relatively short and can be rolled over." As apposed to baby-gear grinding for miles on end. They said they would not want to ride this course had it been a full Iron distance race. These comments may give you an idea of exactly how hilly this bike course was. Anyway...on to my account of the ride.
Knowing that the run was going to be a question-mark, I decided to stay in Z-3 most of the ride, which was to go hard enough that I was not pussyfooting the pedals, but not so hard as to blow up. Well...the hills did their job of keeping my HR in Z-3 and Z-4 most of the ride. A lot of people were coasting downhill to recover. A few were walking some of the hills, which is not a good thing. I kept turning over the pedals and tried to maintain an ave/mph of 19. As mile 20 approached I had a sudden urge of queasiness in my stomach. Next thing I knew I was throwing up. I ended up puking twice on the bike course. I didn't feel sick, but something was obviously in my stomach that wanted out, so I let it out. Maybe it was the lake water? These little episodes didn't slow me down or shake me because overall I felt fine. I kept pushing. I knew in the back of my mind that this effort was going to take the zing out of my run. Had I been smart about this race I would have probably dialed my effort back to around 17-18 ave/mph based off of the difficulty of the bike course. There were a few interesting things about the bike course besides its uber hills. One was the number of crashes I rolled by. Not sure what was causing them because the roadway surface was excellent. One crash required a medical helicopter, which landed in the center of the "Iron Cross" to evac it's patient. I was almost taken out by a guy who dropped his water bottle. We were moving at around 20 MPH when I saw him drop the bottle. It hit the ground and went spinning towards my front wheel. For a split second I thought my race was about to end. The bottle went right into my front wheel causing a loud Thunk and Ping. I yelled out "PHUCK!". The athlete apologized as I rolled by. Sorry folks...but PLEASE hold the phuck on to your water bottles. Your sloppy handling of your bottle could ruin a guys race, or even a season...or worse. Moving on.... I had a good chuckle at a spectator on the course who was standing on the side of the road out in the middle of no-where wearing nothing but a banana-hammock with three XXX tattooed across his lower belly. He was cheering racers as we passed by. You could hear the laughter for blocks.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the bike course. It was challenging to say the least.
What would you do differently?:

Had I had more consistent run and brick training I would have gauged my effort differently. I did not taper for this race because IMWI is a couple of months away. How my body was going to react was a big unknown so I made the decision to push a little harder than I should have.
Transition 2
  • 02m 47s
Run
  • 2h 03m 45s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 27s  min/mile
Comments:

I'm sure everyone is aware of the flooding issues that the Midwest has been having. Lawrence was also effected. Clinton Lake, where the race was held had flooded parts of the area around the transition zone. The run course was changed three times over the period of a week due to flooding. We found out at the Expo that they had changed the course once again because areas were under water. The run course ended up being mostly off road, probably 80% loose gravel roads and broken up trail surface. I'm not blaming the race director for this because the flooding is out of their control, obviously. But the run route was completely and utterly a freaking wreck. This was basically a 13.1 mile trail run. We ran through muddy park trails, jumping tree roots and small wash-outs. We ran through a sand volleyball course a total of four times. At least I think it was a volleyball course. The rest of the course was loose gravel roads, which were pitted with chatter bumps and an uneven surface. I don't run offroad so this surface really beat me up. This probably had to be the worst part of the entire event. They will have to change this if they intend to keep IMKS 70.3 as a yearly event. I'm guessing the original route was on paved roads and the flooding pharked things up.
First mile off the bike I ran an 8:11. Second mile was an 8:25. Then the wheels started to come off. I fought off the urge to walk for roughly 7 miles, then it hit me like the proverbial "wall" of a marathon. Slam! I was walking...barely. I was light headed and could feel my legs were just about d.o.n.e. I knew that once I started walking the run was going to be pure survival mode. I did the best I could NOT to walk but systems were shutting down left and right. Feet, ankles, calves, quads, head, mind.....it all started to fade. I ran/walked the last few miles. I bumped into Montyzooma around mile 11 who appeared to be struggling as well. He apparently had a brush with sickness on the bike course as well. He still looked fresh however and managed to finish right off of my heels.
What would you do differently?:

There's not much more I could have done differently. My training schedule was screwed up the last 3-4 weeks out from this race. Not tapering didn't help things either, but this wasn't my 'A' race of the year.
Post race
Warm down:

The end of the event was quite dramatic. The last few miles of the run a huge storm blew in causing super high winds and lighting. The skies darkened and the temp dropped probably 20 degrees in a matter of minutes. Rain started to fall from the sky. As I neared the finish I overheard a lot of people yelling and gasping at the news that they were canceling the race and not allowing people to continue if they had not already started the second lap of the run. This left a lot of people on the course who were not allowed to finish the race. My wife said she witnessed one female racer have a complete meltdown when the officials stopped her from beginning her second loop. She was screaming and cursing and flailing her arms like a woman possessed. I feel bad for these people, but they need to suck it up and understand that the race officials are ultimately looking out for the safety of everyone. It's really sad that so many people couldn't finish, but we can't control the weather, can we. It was also sad to see all of the vendors tearing stuff down and spectators scrambling to their cars to escape the storm. I guess that not many people were left to greet the final finishers.

Event comments:

Overall I would say this was a good FIRST TIME event for Ironman 70.3. The course was wicked. The run course snafu was not the RD's fault. There were plenty of volunteers and plenty of water stops and support. Normal hiccups for a first time event I think. This being my first Ironman "branded" event didn't really leave me thinking they are much better organizers than the independent directors. They had more blow-up toys than the indie races (gatoraid bottle and finish and transition shoots). Besides that nothing really stood out at it being anything more than just another race venue. Would I do this race again? Maybe...if they changed the run course. They also needed more food vendors at the finish. I ended up having to drive to a restaurant to get food. Most every race I've attended has had goodie-bags at the finish with some sort of food for athletes. Not to mention they had no cold beverages at the finish line. Just a stack of warm water bottles and warm gatoraid.




Last updated: 2007-11-14 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:49:52 | 2112 yards | 02m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Suit: Yes
Course: Rectangle, single loop.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 03:29
Performance:
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
02:54:53 | 56 miles | 19.21 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: The "Iron Cross"....holy moly this was an uber hilly course. I know hills are relative to the rider depending on where you train. I train on rolling hills. The Iron Cross is the furthest thing from "rolling". They were huge monstrous hills that seemed to go on for miles on end.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 02:47
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
02:03:45 | 13.1 miles | 09m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Course: Due to weather problems (flooding) they changed the run route three times over the period of a week. First it was two laps around the park on paved roads, then it was three laps of partial paved, partial trail, then due to flodding they switched it again to two laps but on mostly gravel road and broken-up trail surface.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
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] 3

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2008-06-16 10:47 AM

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Elite
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Subject: Ironman Kansas 70.3


2008-06-16 11:05 AM
in reply to: #1468908

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Master
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MidWest
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Sounds like you had a mighty fine race!  I always like reading your race reports becaue they make me feel like I was there with you!
2008-06-16 11:09 AM
in reply to: #1468908

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Elite
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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

WOW!  You did PHENOMENAL!!!

That run split is a tad meatier than the run/walk you describe.  That's a schuweeet run after a tough bike course and finishing amidst the drama of a brewing storm.  GREAT JOB!!!

And, really, that swim time is right there as well.  You must fly when you are swimming in order to come in that overall time with heavy panicking.  FWIW, I panicked on every tri until I OWSwam once a week for a period of weeks.  Then I was ready and it was just another swim.

CONGRATS!!!!!

2008-06-16 11:33 AM
in reply to: #1468908

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Champion
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Nice race Oi! 

Glad to hear you were fast enough to finish (which was my first concern when I heard about them suspending it). 

2008-06-16 12:18 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Congratulations on persevering over a really tough race.  I must be spoiloed by the race venues in Minnesota.  This race sounds like it really kind of sucked as far as organization.
2008-06-16 12:22 PM
in reply to: #1469199

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

mndiver - 2008-06-16 12:18 PM Congratulations on persevering over a really tough race.  I must be spoiled by the race venues in Minnesota.  This race sounds like it really kind of sucked as far as organization.

Typical "first time" issues I believe.  I wouldn't say they really dropped the ball.  They did a great job all things considered for a first time venue and flooding issues.



2008-06-16 12:55 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Expert
1148
100010025
NW Suburbs, Illinois
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Great race and RR.  It sounds like you got out of it what you wanted.  You got some hills that are toughter than IMWI, which should help.   Lots of adversity, too.  Puking, hills, water bottles, swim panic.  ONly has to make you tougher.

Enjoy it.  You got it in!

2008-06-16 12:58 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Pro
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Husker Nation
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Wow nice job! Coming in under 6 hours on that course is phenomenal - add to that the swim issues, throwing up on the bike, no gravel run training, and no taper and I'd say you did a very fine job! The guy I borrowed a wetsuit from had designs on coming in around 5:20 and mid-race changed his mind to sub-6. I think a lot of people, especially out-of-staters were surprised by the challenge of the course. Best of luck to you at IMWI!
2008-06-16 8:57 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Wow! What an amazing time for a bad swim, a puking, tough ride, and an off road run. Glad you were able to finish before they called it off! You midt of been one of the last to cross without having your race shortened. Good luck with IMOO.
2008-06-16 9:06 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Veteran
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Nebraska
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Fantastic race and report. 
2008-06-16 9:42 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Extreme Veteran
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Blaine, MN
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
holy crap.. thats one hellavah story... floods.. flying bottles.. puking on the bike.. kicked on the swim.. almost hitting the wall on the run.. jeeez man.. couldn't anything good wrong that didn't..  wow.. at least the bottle didn't flip you...  quite the story .. congrats on the race...  nice going.


2008-06-16 10:25 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Extreme Veteran
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Overland Park, Kansas
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Outstanding and fun reading RR.

Next up IMOOOO

2008-06-17 9:22 AM
in reply to: #1468908

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Champion
34263
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Nice race man!!! I didn't see the guy with the XXX on his belly in the speedo. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Way to go, speedy!
2008-06-17 12:10 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Master
1920
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Great RR! Maybe you puked cause of the gasoline in the water from the jetski's. The lake tasted nice, until you got a gulp of that, ew

Great bike split! Your RR makes it sound worse than your times, I'm impressed. Now you should come up to Steelhead and do a nice, flat, fast course!
2008-06-18 9:39 AM
in reply to: #1471839

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Pro
4481
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Reston
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Nice work, broski.  Throwing up in races is fun.  It means you are busting your a.s.s.  If you bag Hy-Vee, it ain't no thang.  You've got your eyes on the prize and that's what matters.  Good stuff!
2008-06-18 9:56 AM
in reply to: #1468908

Veteran
201
100100
North Dakota
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
Great job on the race!! I'd have to agree with about everyone else who has posted here that reading your RR is fun and makes you feel like you were there with you (altho I guess I was   Good luck in your upcoming races!!


2008-06-18 10:13 AM
in reply to: #1468908

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Expert
1002
1000
Wind Lake WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3

Even with your problems you still beat me

Sorry I didn't get the chance to actually meet you.

I still feel the Moo course is much tougher than Kansas. With Kansas you can stay in the saddle and spin the hills where at Moo I needed to stand at times.  Both are tough courses.

 

BTW, the post race pizza, subs, and cold drinks was in the building at the top of the hill. It was not well marked, and with the post race chaos many people missed it.

 See you in September.

2008-06-18 12:22 PM
in reply to: #1468908

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Master
1249
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Atlanta, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman Kansas 70.3
SOOOOPER race considering the challenging course and issues!  You're bike and run splits were great.  Just think about this race in Sept when you're needing that extra boost at Moo.  Might make things seem a bit easier!
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