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Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Racine, Wisconsin
United States
HFP Racing
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 12m 15s
Overall Rank = 447/
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 70/155
Pre-race routine:

Car-pooled with the head donk, Jszat. Ate a PB sandwich prior, drank about 16 oz of Cool-aid during the commute. Arrived 'bout 5:15a, found a decent parking spot, unloaded the transition gear and headed down to begin the set-up.

Weather was similar to the afternoon of the prior day, foggy, poor visibility, no wind. The fog ended up delaying the start by one hour.

Jawed with a whole bunch of Donks in transition: Scoobysdad, TravisVb24, Sandivb76, DJDavey, Maggyruth, Mutri, Schmize, Wildee, Ajotto, AmyJoTri, Jszat, 1sttimetri, and others, I'm sure, that have overlooked right now.

Finally headed down the beach as the director said we were "go" for 7:30a start. After a lengthy slog along the beach, and checking out the floating carcass of a dead duck (which we all hoped was NOT an omen of things to come), we arrived at the start.
Event warmup:

Arrived at the start line and it became clear we weren't ready for a 7:30a start - fog was still pretty thick. Took a quick swim to get "used" to the cold water (55F they said) and to "take care of a little business".

They started clearing the water at the start at about 7:55a, so it looked like they were shooting for an 8:00a start, and so it was.
  • 32m 28s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 32s / 100 yards

Tried to seed myself to the back and outside. Still found a fair amount of traffic at the start and the incoming waves caused me to swallow a bit of water. Took a few strokes to get settled in afterwards. Also took a bit of time after the first bouy until things stretched out and I could get into a good spot. Prior to that, had to fight a bit for position and there was some bumping etc. Nothing too bad. Ended up navigating inside the bouy line for a bit and had to course correct prior to the final turn bouy. This probably added 30 secs to the time.

As we were waiting to begin the swim, we looked around at the crowd gathered on the beach and compared this to an IM start. This event had rouhly 2000 people and we just imagined how this many would start simultaneously for an IM. The chaos and carnage must be biblical.

Saw two business colleagues right at the timing mat into transition - Richard and Albin. It was cool to see a few friendly faces outside of the extended family. Richard ended up staying for the whole thing, as I saw him on the final run-up to the finishing chute.
What would you do differently?:

Sighting could have been better, but still pleased, overall.
Transition 1
  • 03m 21s

Nothing too fast, but I was trying to be deliberate. Took a few seconds to say "hi" to my wife and son. They wanted to know how I was doing. Stripped wetsuit to waist on the shore run-up. Dried feet, pulled on socks easily, shoes on with no problems. Helmet on and buckled, glasses on and I was off. First hill out of transition was nothin'! (lot's of build up, though). Scoobysdad and I finished the swim side-by-side and hit the bike at the same time - gave him a word of encouragement and down the road we went.
What would you do differently?:

Might be able to shave a minute or so, but until I get some more practice, deliberate was the word of the day.
  • 2h 30m 38s
  • 56 miles
  • 22.31 mile/hr

This is the leg that made my race. I felt comfortable throughout. Passed more than I was passed. Was able to stick to my hydration and nutrition plan pretty closely - 1 bottle of GE and 1 pack of clif blocks per hour, eating on the 20's and drinking on the 10's. HR was solidly Z3 (probably high for a full-blown IM, but not too crazy). Got blocked a fair amount on the hills while trying to abide by the no-drafting rule. Saw a few "peletons", but overall I think the racers tried to abide by the spirit of the drafting rules. Could have the officials handed out more penalties than they did? I say "likely yes". Did I see a lot of blatant and knowing violations? "no".

Mild tightness in the left hip flexor (problem area for awhile now), but it resolved on its own. Quads were feeling it toward the end and I was a bit concerned about the run leg. Drank a bit more than scheduled in the last five miles to help stave off cramping.

Knew PeterAK had volunteered on the bike course, but hadn't seen him yet. It was finally at the aid station at mile 45, last guy in line. Thanks for coming out Peter. Nice to see you.

Just thrilled with this effort (don't tell Jszat, but I beat him on the bike leg).
What would you do differently?:

Not a darn thing.
Transition 2
  • 02m 50s

Again, nothing blazing. Shoes on without a problem, I installed Speed Laces or some similar brand a couple of days ago. Hit the sunscreen again, but missed the backside of the shoulders - ouch for later! Hooked up fuel belt and number belt and felt OK out of transition.
What would you do differently?:

More practice, and maybe a bit more "staging" of equipment.
  • 2h 02m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 23s  min/mile

Felt OK out of transition and then hit the first of two hills. The OK feeling quickly turned south at the top of the hill and I began to think about the 12+ miles yet to go. Made the mistake of glancing toward the light house on Wind Point (which is close to the turn around) and said to myself, "damn that looks a long way away".

Soon came upon the first downhill and my condition improved quickly. From that point on, I felt as good as I could have hoped.

Made up my mind to walk each aid station (spaced every mile or so), no matter what. It proved to be a wise decision, as the sun broke out just as I began the run leg. Walked long enough to get water down the back, take a few sips of water and a few pulls on the GE in my fuel belt, and to get my HR back into Z2 - later/rinse/repeat at each aid station. Took a few shot blocks too and they sat pretty well in the belly.

Made the first turnaround feeling pretty good. Saw so many Donks along the way. It was cool to see them and to slap hands and offer encouragement back and forth. Schmize was the first I saw, followed by Mutri, then Jszat. Saw DJDavey just after the first turnaround. Saw Ajotto, Wildee, Scoobysdad, Travisvb24, 1sttimetri and a few other friends at various spots throughout the run. Hit the turn-around, gave a fist pump to the Donkey corral, waved at my wife and son and it was back at it.

Scooby's nemesis (or inspiration, not sure which) - Charles Benson - showed himself out on the run course during my second loop, and this after the beatdown Scooby gave him at Pewaukee. He was chattin' up somebody, so I left well enough alone.

Hat's off to this one particular spectator on the run course, at about the 2 1/2 mile mark. He was camped out there the whole time I was running, and if memory serves, he was there on the bike leg too. He had a mega-cow bell set-up (six bells total, methinks) that he clanged that badboy the whole time! That was the best example of "spectator support", in my opinion. Thanks, man.

I remember hitting the last aid station knowing I had about 1 1/2 miles to go, and yes the pain was evident, but I felt pretty good, well enough to chit-chat with some spectators. Out of the zoo (BTW, the race material suggested we'd get a bit more viewing time of the animals than we did, as I expected the route to meander through the zoo - no such luck), and onto the decent towards the finish.

Hit the Donkey corral at the 13 mile mark, heard the cheers, saw my family, my friend Richard (who stayed the whole frickin' day, thanks dude) and pushed it bit into the finish. Whew, I was done and feelin' rather sporty.

What would you do differently?:

More run volume leading up to the event and drop a few (a lot more) pounds.
Post race
Warm down:

Exited the chute, took off the timing chip, circled around to find my wife and son. Missed the food tent at first. Got to the Donk tent at the 13 mile mark, said hi to a few folks including Whizzzz from BT and JoeRunner. Went around again looking for my wife and son. Finally found them, and along the way saw Aidana, DJDavey, and Maggyruth. Seemed Davey had some gastro issues on the run and hit the med tent right after we found him. Hope you are feeling better, dude. I got some food, laid down in the shade and got a little massage from the wifey. Sent them on their way after a bit and headed back to the Donkey corral for some post-race jaw jackin.

MuTri, the Scooby clan, and I headed to the lake for a cold water soak. Ahhh, that felt good! Back to the corral for more gum flappin' and beer swillin'. Wrapped it up at about 3:30p and headed home. What a day!

Post race weigh-in suggested about a four pound net weight loss (about 2% total). Total weight loss, not including replaced fluids, was about 10.6 lb. Replenished fluids included 3 - 24 oz bottles of GE, one 16 oz bottle of Cool-aid and one Miller High Life!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Run fitness and too many extra pounds

Event comments:

The fog at the start was unfortunate, but uncontrollable. Otherwise I thought the event was well run. On the way to work this AM I was thinking about all the logistics to put on this type of an prep, racer registrations, expo set-up, course management (working with many different jursidictions), food, medical support, volunteer recruiting and management, and on....

I note these things, as I believe, on balance, this was a well-run event. I have already seen some complaining about some disorganization (e.g. lack of rack numbers in transition, crowded packet pick-up, crowded expo site, etc.). I believe these issues were real and the issues were probably preventable, nevertheless, for the magnitude of the endeavor, the things that went right far outweighed the things that did not.

Last updated: 2007-11-05 12:00 AM
00:32:28 | 2112 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/155
Overall: 678/
Performance: Good
Like I wrote in the daily blog, everyone was convinced the swim course was short, and in honesty, it probably was, as I have never swum ANY distance at this pace. Nevertheless, I think people are underestimating the effects of the cold water, race adrenaline, current (maybe), etc. on their swim times. I'd LIKE to believe the course was full-length and that I can swim this fast, but I am also realistic. Schmize guestimated that it was about 300 yards short. Based on his race and training history, I'd believe it.
Suit: Full Promotion
Course: Point-to-point along shoreline. Short outward leg (maybe 50 yards), then a right turn along the beach until another right turn and short leg back to the beach. Time included a roughly 200 yard beach run-up to transition.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 55F / 13C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:21
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:30:38 | 56 miles | 22.31 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/155
Overall: 219/
Performance: Good
HR data included the swim portion: 3381 Kcal (25%). 157 average, 174 max. Z3 average.
Wind: Little
Course: Meandering, mostly flat ride through the north part of the city of Racine and then into the rural part of Racine county. I know the area pretty well and have ridden some of the roads before - no great surprises. Road surface was bumpy at times, but generally pretty smooth. No gravel I noticed.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:50
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:02:58 | 13.1 miles | 09m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/155
Overall: 652/
Performance: Good
2344 Kcal total (25%). 162 average HR (Z3). 176 max.
Course: Double loop along the shore and into some residential neighborhoods along the lake to Schoop Park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %2
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-07-21 4:54 PM

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Living in the past
Subject: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon

2008-07-21 5:04 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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Extreme Veteran
Racine, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Great stuff yesterday!
2008-07-21 5:10 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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West Allis, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
freakin awesome race dude!!!  you really put in the training time and it showed!! way to represent the nation!!!
2008-07-21 5:16 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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Mukwonago, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Great race!  You are da man on the bike fellah!  Awesome race!
2008-07-21 6:11 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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Elm Grove
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Great race dude, espcially that bike split.  The DTC and all the other work you have done seems to have paid off.
2008-07-21 7:07 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Awesome race Force! Sad I didn't see you on the course.  I think I saw everyone else at least once.  Guess you are just way too fast!!

2008-07-22 6:17 AM
in reply to: #1546904

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Petaluma, CA
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Nice race. That bike split was awesome. Great job.
2008-07-22 12:40 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Nice to meet ya!  Awesome race there.   Keep up the great work
2008-07-22 12:45 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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Extreme Veteran
Wauwatosa, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
you are a machine!!!! nicely done!
2008-07-22 1:13 PM
in reply to: #1546904

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon
Jeff, what a stellar, smokin' race for you. I had no idea you could turn in that kind of bike split and run after. You have to be tremendously pleased with this showing. Great RR, too! Congrats on a fantastic race!
2008-07-22 1:52 PM
in reply to: #1546904

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon


I thought that was an albatross and started singing, in my head, Iron Maiden's Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.

2008-07-30 8:20 AM
in reply to: #1546904

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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: Spirit of Racine Half Ironman Triathlon

Soon came upon the first downhill and my condition improved quickly.

Why does that not surprise me? 

Phenomenal race dude.  What the bloody h#ll is with that ridiculous swim and bike split?  All you phreaks and you're phreakin' 2:30 bike splits can kiss my azz!   What, you think with solid consistent training you think you're gonna improve or sommetin?  Well, apparently that's the case!  GREAT JOB!!!!

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