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Grand Columbian Triathlon - Iron Distance - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Grand Coulee, Washington
United States
Grand Columbian Triathlon
82F / 28C
Total Time = 14h 24m 41s
Overall Rank = 55/80
Age Group = clydsdale
Age Group Rank = 3/5
Pre-race routine:

We got into Grand Coulee on Thursday. I had a chance to check out the killer first hill, a 250 meter climb in 6 km. My hotel was 150 meters below that so it was a good climb, 390 meters in 10 km. Gave me some good confidence

Took it easy Friday, swam a bit in my new wet suit, biked a bit, ran the start/finish. I was super worried about being dehydrated so I drank at least 3 litres of water Friday night.

Went to the package pickup and prerace feed. Was held outside, was hot. Met the hammer guy, there I made lucky stupid choice, that was to stay off gaterade and use the gel/electolyte pill meal deal. Stupid thing to do, never took the pills before, never really took gels, always did the gaterade thing in races but it never agreed with me, so I gave it a shot.

Staruday woke up around 5, had a bagal, a banana, grabbed my kit and got in the car. Bike check was Friday morning. Got to the site, checked tire pressure, got my timing chip, got body marked, felt the cool breeze, hoped that it would settle down, it did. Checked out the head a couple times, sucked on some water.
Event warmup:

none, got in the water 2 minutes before start.
  • 1h 07m 38s
  • 3800 meters
  • 01m 47s / 100 meters

An awesome swim. The course director had put out a string that connected the bouies, which was super awesome. You could not see it all the time but most of the time you could. I managed to even draft a bit, but I am not a big fan of that at all. At the start of the swim I dove in, as I saw those in front of me do, and I got some water in my goggle, annoyed me for a bit but then disappeared.

Managed to pee like 3 times during the swim, guess I was well hydrated.

I got to tell you a number of times since I have wondered if I somehow cut the course I went so much faster than I thought, was hoping for 1:15 as my 2k time was 38 minutes, but I did not have to sight for at least 2/3s of the course so that has to be it. We also did not have to run up on the beach either for the second lap.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 09m 19s

Took my time, clearly. I was just so hyped from the swim. got my bag quick, headed into the tent, had a Gel, took off the suit, celebrated with everyone else in the tent who was luck, "we did that in 70 minutes???" everyone seemed quite happy, put on the garmin and heartrate montitor, I didnt have to change into shorts as swam in them. went out of the change tent the same way I went in, which was not the right way, so there I was, trying to get into transition, ended up hopping a fence. Gave my t1 bag to the guy in the truck. (the finish was not at the start so they transfered your t1 stuff to the finish)
  • 6h 57m 24s
  • 180 kms
  • 25.87 km/hr

Got on my bike, almost fell over, god that is embarassing, I have only screwed up clipping in twice, both in races, luckily didnt actually fall.

Well you start going up a big hill, 250 meters up. Then you go down to the town of Almira which is a nice little ride I averaged about 12km up the hill then 31 km down to almira.

After Almira you do this slog for about 18 km, which I heard about but did not appreciate. It is advertized as a 1 percent grade for 10 miles, perhaps strictly true, but there is a head wind and it takes for frigin ever, took me an hour, 18km an hour. And, the thing that really got me, is I thought the first climb was the high point of the race, I was wrong, the high point is at the end of this slog and it is 100 meters higher than the top of the first hill.

After that haul you head back out west for a little up and down action and then the pay off which is a long steep down hill back to Almira, almost made the earlier torture worth it, had a pee break and a snickers in Almira, nothing from special needs.

After Almira you head out west on highway 2, which is a nice and slow decent, of course by this time, after 104 km, I was just taking it easy, still averaged 29 km on this part for the 27 km.

Then you head back up north for the final 46 km. This was painful, again with the wind, and the road, bump bump bump bump, I heard about it so was prepared but it still sucked, averaged 24 km per hour on this stretch, and that includes the final 7 km or so which is down hill to the tune of 8 km or so.

My Garmin had the bike course as 2km short, not sure what is with that.

Please see attached picture of elevation.

Saw TONS of peoples with flats especially in the begining, expecially for a race with 80 people. I was super lucky.
What would you do differently?:

Prep my bike better, this may seem strange to say since I said nothing went wrong but here is the thing. I am packing up to leave on Sunday, taking my rear tire off and there it happens, my entire cassette falls off. This happened before, like 3 weeks before the race, the bike shop said it was fixed, ha. If I had gotten a flat I would have been absolutly out of luck. Super super super lucky.
Transition 2
  • 04m 4s

Got there, they took my bike and racked it, which was nice. Then they pointed me in the direction of this tent and gave me my t2 bag, I headed to the tent and there was this chair outside, I just sat in it, too funny, it was the volunteers chair, anyway, changed in the chair, same shorts, same shirt, same socks, different shoes, put on my race cap, nice cap, felt bad about wearing it as I hadn't earned it yet, but I forgot one and man it was hot.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe not sit in the guys chair.
  • 6h 04m 38s
  • 42.2 kms
  • 08m 38s  min/km

I was happy beyond belief with this run. I did the first half in 2:45 which was 10 minutes faster than the run in my half ironman in June. For the first 32 km or so I ran 10 walked 1. Started with a 6:11 km pace, by the 10th km it was 7 minutes by 18 km it was 8, by 30 km it was 9.

About 5 km had a rumble in my tummy and had to find a porta-potty, only break of its kind though so that was awesome.

When I got to the special needs/t2/finish area my sunglasses broke, sun was going down so no biggy, grabbed my headlamp and ditched my hat.

At 35 km (by which time it was dark and I had my head lamp out) I was like, this is crazy, and walked for 30 minutes at a 10 minute pace, then I started running one minute and walking 2 which averaged me about better than a 9 minute km and was easier than what I was doing before, should have started that earlier.

It was at this point, about 4 km from the finish, that I went for a little pee break and discovered a little of that shaffing in that place that you never want shaffing. God it hurt. Too funny. Ran a little water over the boys and everything was fine after that.

For the whole run I had something in my hands, gels or a water bottle, I loved it.

Victory lap was awesome, had a bunch of energy, actually average 6:15 per km on the last km. Kick ass.
What would you do differently?:

shorten my run legs sooner (you know what I mean).
Post race
Warm down:

didnt see the pizza, wondered around in a little bit of a daze, grabbed the post race feed, buritos and beans. Back to the hotel, 3 beers, protien bar, headed back to the finish around 12, found the pizza, ate the cold pizza, went to bed.

Felt ok the next day. Really I did. A Couple blisters on my pinky toes, the aforementioned shaffing. Swam a bunch the week following, did some hiking, ran the saturday following.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

You know, nothing really. I trained for this thing in a year, beat my time goal by 30 minutes. I can hardly complain.

I made a number of very poor choices that gave me zero problem and for that I was extremely fortunate:

1. brand new wet suit-----worked great
2 broken bike------didnt fall apart until after race
3. brand spanken new nutrition plan------worked frigin awesome, I must have ate like 20 gels on that run and just sipped water and took the electorlyte pills. I also ate 4 protein bars on the bike, a whopping 350 calories each. Had tons of energy, didnt cramp, wasn't thirsty and had almost zero stomach problems.
4. Brand new tires on bike, one tire had only 10km on it ---no problems

unbelievably lucky.

Event comments:

This race rocked. The race director was enthusiastic. The volunteers were plenty. Lots of aid stations. Lots of food on course. A great fun course. The different start/finish was cool. Bike course wasn't a boring two looper. The run was gorgous. A real shame this is not being held next year, I do hope they bring it back. Never been to an M-Dot so can't really compare, but it was fun. The award ceremony was nice, good breakfast.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-07-29 12:00 AM
01:07:38 | 3800 meters | 01m 47s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/5
Overall: 30/80
Performance: Good
Suit: Nineteen, sleeved
Course: triangular loop, went around it twice, didnt have to circular the beach on the second lap which was nice.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:19
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:57:24 | 180 kms | 25.87 km/hr
Age Group: 3/5
Overall: 44/80
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Up up up, down down down, up down up up down up down little down, down down down. You get the idea, a great course, see elevation pic if you wish, my garmin had total elevation gain as 974 meters, heard it would be worse. Felt worse.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:04
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:04:38 | 42.2 kms | 08m 38s  min/km
Age Group: 2/5
Overall: 63/80
Performance: Good
Course: two loops of a there and back type course, starts with a short 30 meter down hill, ends with a short 45 meter down hill. On final lap we had a victory lap.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-09-23 2:01 PM

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Subject: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Iron Distance

2008-11-05 3:42 PM
in reply to: #1691096

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Santa Clarita
Subject: RE: Grand Columbian Triathlon - Iron Distance
Nice RR and congrats on the Finish !
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