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Ironman World Championships 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman


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Clearwater Beach, Florida
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Sunny
Total Time = 4h 18m 35s
Overall Rank = 113/1254
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 10/132
Pre-race routine:

Woke up around 4:30am for coffee, CliffBar, and my morning constitutional. Everything went as planned. ;). Packed up my gear and Mom and I headed towards the Start. It was a beautiful morning with a breeze out of the north west it seemed. As with Kona, volunteers were VERY helpful and plentiful, so body marking was fast and efficient. I arrived in Transition with about 30 min until it closed and but my gel flask and water bottle on my bike and topped off the tires. By 6:30 I was back on the beach waiting for my 7:40 start. I saw Dan and Nan and we wished each other well. His wave was at 7:10. We watched the pro start at 6:45 and I wiggled into my ZOOT Zenith around 7:20. I was very calm and relaxed.

My goals going into this race was to try and finish in the top 10 for the AG, which would require a 4:15 or better as per last years times.
Event warmup:

Peeing in my wet suit standing in my corral! That made me nice and warm! I know...TMI...
Swim
  • 29m 12s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 23s / 100 yards
Comments:

My AG, like M35-39, was split into two waves based on first letter of your last name, so I was in the first group of about 60 or so men. We lined up at the shore, I placed myself on the inside front, knowing if the buoy line was crowded, I could dart to the inside of them and avoid any chaos. The canon went off and I ran into the Gulf, doing a few dolphin dives until it became too deep. I immediately was in clear water directly on the line. A grabbed a pair of feet and enjoyed a great draft for the first 500 yards. Unfortunately my fish proved to be a bit of a turtle as I could see a lead group about 10 meters ahead of us. So I swam around him and tried to bridge up the the faster guys but just couldn't catch them. So now I was basically on my own for the rest of the swim. I hit the turn buoy's and headed back towards shore. I was moving through the back of the women wave that had started before us and some of the older men who started before the gals. I felt good, breathing every two stokes and was sighting well despite some glare from the sun heading back in. Once I hit the shallow water, I waited to stand I could make a run for it. I popped up and ran for the timing mat, seeing the 29 on my watch. I was hoping to be in the 28's, but I was happy with the effort.
What would you do differently?:

My pace was a 1:23/100 which is pretty much the T-Pace I have been working all year, so I think that's where I am right now. Next year I just need to work on a T-Pace of 1:20. :)
Transition 1
  • 02m 52s
Comments:

As I ran up the beach, I peeled the top of my suit dwon to my waist. The chute was very clear and I stopped at the strippers, two ladies, who had my out of the suit in no time. I thanked them and headed toward the showers. I had been wondering how they would get all the powdery white sand off of us and the shower was amazing! It was like a freakin' car wash! Icame out the other side perfectly clean.

I ran into Transition carrying my suit, goggles, and cap. I had made the decision to put my helmet, race belt, and sunglasses on my bike, so my blue Bike Bag was empty. I grabbed the bag and continued running to the change tent where I tossed the bag and suit to a volunteer to pack and just kept running! I got to my bike and put on my gear, although I had a little trouble with my chin strap. My shoes were already clipped in and I ran to the mount line. I hoped on and rode with my feet on top of my shoes until after the rotary when the causeway began to be clear of the mount line silliness.
What would you do differently?:

I think I made a great call about keeping my stuff with the bike, it would have been hard to be carrying my wet suit while trying to run and put on my gear at the same time.
Bike
  • 2h 14m 56s
  • 56 miles
  • 24.90 mile/hr
Comments:

Once I had my feet in my shoes, I settled down and headed for the causeway bridge, one of the few "hills" on the course. Up and over and into downtown Clearwater Beach. Police and volunteers were numerous providing traffic closures and directions through this more technical part of the course. The road surface was a bit varied and bumby through here, as well as a RR track crossing. When I hit some of the bumps, I heard a rattle coming from my bike. I looked down and could see my empty water bottle cage was loose. I had been having problems with the top screw working loose and sure enough, it was again. Well, I can just use the seat tube cage and I had water with me, so I wasn't worried.

I was steadily passing people for the first 5 miles or so until two German guys passed by me. They didn't get very far ahead and I passed them back a few seconds later. Well, tis went n for another 5 miles or so. They didn't seem to know each other, but they would ride awfully close together IMO. Eventually, I started to make some small talk as we passed by one another with one of the guys. He smiled and seemed like a good guy. We went past Team Hoyt and I gave them a big cheer.

As we moved north west through the residential neighborhood, one of the Germans turned to me and said, "Ve vork together, ja?" Sure I said. I figured we would form a pace line at the legal limit and take turns at the front. So I pushed forward and rode a while with them behind me..a little too close behind me IMO, but I didn't say anything and they each would pass me and I would drop back far enough to avoid any trouble.They still would ride too close but it was good to have them to pace off of. It didn't take long for them to slow to a point where my HR was getting too low and I would push to the front again. I would say I spent 60% of the time at the front of this little train. These tow guys had legs the size of my waist and yet they let my skinny ass pull them around. My HR was in the mid 150's, sometime high 150's and I knew that could be a problem. Note to self, when big, beefy Germans try and recruit you to work the bike with them, say no. ;)

When we got to the main highway section heading north, we had a chance to see what was behind us. About 1 min back was a MASSIVE peleton of easily 40+ guys. The Germans saw it and I rode along side them and said, "We HAVE to go NOW, we can't let them catch us." "Ja,ja," they said. So up to the front I went and put some emphasis on the point. We made it to the turnaround and started the 20 plus mile southbound leg on this highway. The pack wasn't getting much closer and I saw a draft marshall heading their way, so I figured they would get broken up a bit.

We continued on like this until we picked up another rider, a guy named Adam. He was a strong rider and easily paced with us, often taking the front. We were still smartly moving up through the field...and then we got to 82nd Ave heading back east and all hell broke loose! The road was VERY narrow here for us and the lead part of the pack had caught us. It was freakin' chaos. Everyone was passing, no one was yielding or dropping back and it was downright dangerous. If I sat up and soft pedaled letting them pass, I would catch them almost immediately when I got back to my race. I was able to pass them and take the front and hold it for a few min. at a time, but they would always run me down. Because the road was so narrow and more and more bikers were being added to the gforup, it became a constant stream of riders 2-3 abreast for as far as I could see back, so I just tried to get to the front as often as I could despite the toll it was taking on my legs. Were many here intentionally cheating? Yep, and I hate to say it, but it was a lot of the foreign riders who seemed the least interested in making any sort of effort, but in general, it was a completely unworkable situation. We were only about 15min out from T2. I even had one rider pull out and clip my front wheel with his rear while I was down on my aero bars! That was scary. What really sucked was passing by some of the faster AG women or older men who had been going alone all this way only to be passed by this massive crowd. I felt embaressed to be there.

Back in downtown Clearwater Beach, I was at the front again and suddenly my loose water bottle cage gave up the ghost! The top bolt fell out and the cage flipped down and was bouncing off my big chain ring! I reached down and broke it off. The bridge came up next and I popped up and rode up hard as I could to continue to gap the group behind. Only at the last mile did they catch my for the last time and I just sat up and started thinking about the run. The lane was still very narrow and some guy was standing along the road yelling,"CHEATERS!" I can understand if he had been about 10 miles back out on the course, but Jesus, dude, we are 200 yards from the dismount line! Of course we are all packed up! LOL!

What would you do differently?:

All in all, I am proud of the efforts I made to make the ride as legitimate as possible. I think I did have to push very hard to do that on many occasions and would have to pay the price for that.
Transition 2
  • 02m 23s
Comments:

I did my ITU flying dismount and a bike handler took my bike from me. I ran to the bag rack and grabbed my red Run Bag. I got to the change tent. I easily found a chair and a volunteer came over immediately to help me. He handed my my socks one at a time and as I put on my shoe's, he puled out my visor and gel flask. He was awesome! I ran out and felt pretty good! That was to be short lived! :
What would you do differently?:

Nothing.
Run
  • 1h 29m 12s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 49s  min/mile
Comments:

So I headed down the long causeway towards the bridge. I got some gel in me and some water at the first aid station. I was moving well and climbed the bridge well, passing lot's of folks. I was fast coming down and ran well on the rec path. I hit the turnaround at 3.5 miles running a 6:32. Now that was what I was expecting to be able to run on this course. I headed back to the bridge and went up well. I saw Dan going up on the other side on his second lap and turned and yelled to him. Right when I did, I felt the initial pangs of cramping in my hamstrings. I had to be VERY careful running down the bridge as they continued to twinge. OK, now I am used to this happening, it means I am really on the edge and just need to manage it. I ran back towards Transition and took some of the pace off. I finished the second 3 miles averaging a 6:36. I was still hanging in there....barely.

Lap two began with me having to make some decisions. It was getting very hot, my HR was low to mid 160's, and I had a side stitch of all things. I took some cola at the next aid station as that usually helps. The side stitch went away but my legs were really starting to hurt. I felt ok going up the bridge again and took it easy going down the other side. The back section of the second lap was a blur of just trying to keep it together. I knew my pace was off, but I wasn't watching my watch at all, I just kept moving forward as well as I could. I hit the far turn around having now split a 6:51 for the last 3.6 miles.

3 miles to go and it may have been a 10K. I caught a guy ahead of me, but as soon as I came up to him, he sped up a bit so I hung on his shoulder. It turned out to be a good thing as I was able to sit on his shoulder and pace with him. We ran together the whole way back. As we got in to the finishing chute I yelled over to him to go for it and he took off. I finally glanced at my watch and saw 4:18 and was satisfied I gave it my all I really just wanted a clear chute for my finishing pic. ;) I ran down and high fived the great crowd of spectators. I split a 7:15 pace for the last 3 miles but it felt even slower!
What would you do differently?:

You know, I could have eased up on the bike, but the math said I need to go under 2:15 on the bike to be close to my goal, so I can't say I regret the ride effort. Maybe I could have saved my legs a bit, but, unlike Ironman, you really have to race this distance, it's more like an Olympic in that respect. My run fitness has been solid all year, so I knew this was the best I could do on the day.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my finishing stuff, found Mom and my Cousin Sheri, and we headed back to the hotel to get my gear bags so I could give it all to TriBike Transport. I checked the results and saw that I had indeed finished 10th in the AG and was thrilled. Apparently the conditions yesterday were different from last year, about 5min slower overall, so my 4:18 was good enough.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Again, my run fitness was not a limiter and I know now what it feels like to push too hard on the bike. It was a great lesson.

Event comments:

WTC put's on a great Championship Race. The organization, multitudes of volunteers, and athlete support are top notch. I think anyone who avoids doing this race due to the drafting issues are making a mistake. It is great event overall and shouldn't be skipped. You know what you are getting into before the start, so do your best and have fun.

Having said that, this race is no Kona. Koan has a much bigger feel of excitement and hype surrounding it. I am very happy to have raced here and to have had a positive result, but I don't know when I might come back, I just want to go back to Hawaii in 2010.




Last updated: 2008-07-21 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:29:12 | 2112 yards | 01m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 28/132
Overall: 264/1254
Performance: Good
Suit: ZOOT Zenith
Course: A long rectangular out and back in the Gulf of Mexico.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 02:52
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
02:14:56 | 56 miles | 24.90 mile/hr
Age Group: 16/132
Overall: 143/1254
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Anybody ever hear anything bad about this bike course? ;) OK, so the Clearwater bike course. My biggest criticism of the course is that it's boring as all get out. You ride through boring commercial zones, boring residential areas, boring highways.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 02:23
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
Running
01:29:12 | 13.1 miles | 06m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/132
Overall: 127/1254
Performance:
Course: A two lap course taking you down and over the causeway into downtown Clearwater, along a rec path trail and through a beautiful neighborhood to the turn around.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
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] 4

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2008-11-09 7:08 AM

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Champion
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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: Ironman World Championships 70.3


2008-11-09 7:45 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Giver
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Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3

Great job on meeting your goal, Bryan.

And also for getting your RR up almost as fast as you race.

2008-11-09 8:02 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Expert
770
5001001002525
Long Island, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Congrats on a great race. Way to meet your goals in such a competitive arena.

Just as impressive is riding a gentlemanly race within the rules while so many you were directly competing with were not. You should be proud for both.

2008-11-09 8:14 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Master
2411
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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3

Awesome job Bryan- way to race hard and fair! Top ten in your AG is fantastic- you have a way of always meeting/exceeding your goals! Its great that you had family there to support and witness your amazing performance!

I need to get one of those car wash type showers for my house- it would be a great way to clean off my kids !

I have no doubt that you will be back in Kona in 2010!!!!

2008-11-09 8:57 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Official BT Coach
2210
2000100100
Englewood, CO
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Well Dunn!  Or Done!  It is tough when there ae big crowds of cyclists, not to feel that it is a bit sketchy.  No I don't think you were cheating BTW! I have been there.  Nice effort.
2008-11-09 9:15 AM
in reply to: #1798031

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Cycling Guru
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Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3

Great race and good job trying to do it clean.  That whole situation is the reason I will never take a slot to the race.

10th in the AG is awesome!



2008-11-09 4:21 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3

Congrats and a great report.  Time to relax now (for a couple weeks anyway).

2008-11-09 4:53 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Master
1843
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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Congrats on a great race!  Loved your RR - especially the bike part - felt like I was along for the ride.
2008-11-09 4:57 PM
in reply to: #1798020

Expert
911
500100100100100
Somewhere over there in Az
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
What a way to reach your goal.  You bike time was awesome!!!  Great RR
2008-11-09 6:32 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Extreme Veteran
438
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Surprise, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Good report and better race!

Let me know when you and Eric are ready for a weekend ride, I will be getting back on the bike next week after some time off. Kara was wondering if Jamie wants to go for a ride as well.

Nice work
2008-11-09 7:15 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Master
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Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Awesome job. Are you the first BTer to qualify and go to both championships?


2008-11-09 8:52 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Regular
130
10025
austin/tx
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
great race! best of luck getting back to kona in the near future!
2008-11-09 9:43 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Expert
986
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Michiana
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Congrats, Bryan!  Great effort, result and it sounds like you had a great time as well.
2008-11-09 11:32 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Veteran
110
100
Round Rock, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Great race out there, and congrats on the 10th in your AG!! It always sucks having to ride in big groups of people and try to stay clean not to mention safe!!! Good luck getting back to Kona as well!!!!
2008-11-10 9:25 AM
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Extreme Veteran
549
50025
Marietta, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Congrats on hitting your goal of getting a top ten in your AG!

And great race report.

2008-11-10 9:50 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Expert
1168
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Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Awesome job Byran!  Congrats on your race.


2008-11-10 1:21 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Master
1920
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Congrats again on such an awesome performance! It was amazing to finally meet you, and you are as nice as you are fast Your mom rocks, too I can't wait to race with you again- maybe someday on the big island
2008-11-10 2:18 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Master
1411
1000100100100100
Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Another impressive effort.  Appreciate your efforts to keep it clean on the bike.
2008-11-10 2:51 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Expert
1145
100010025
Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Great finish and congrats on placing top 10 AG. Terrific end to the season!
2008-11-10 3:20 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Pro
3883
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Woodstock,GA
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3

Great Race Bryan! I'm glad that someone was able to take advantage of the conditions and pull off a great performance.

 

It was great to meet you also, good luck next year in your quest to get back to Kona.

2008-11-10 3:23 PM
in reply to: #1798020

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Master
1420
1000100100100100
Reston, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Congratulations on getting that top 10 in and racing clean. The combination of the two is impressive.

Way to end another successful season!


2008-11-11 10:22 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Pro
4675
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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Great job Bryan!  Nice report and thanks for the insight as to what goes on during this particular race.  Maybe they'll change the venue someday with a bike course that will split the packs up. Congrats on a fine season. 
2008-11-11 11:11 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Not a Coach
11473
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Nice work Bryan!  Way to hang on when it got tough on the run!
2008-11-12 7:13 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Bob
2194
2000100252525
Binghamton, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3
Congrats on an awesome race and thanks for the great report!! Way to hang in there on the run!
2008-11-12 7:30 AM
in reply to: #1798020

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Expert
856
5001001001002525
Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championships 70.3

Congrats Bryan!  Well done to have the running issues and still make your goal of top 10!

Good luck getting back to Kona!

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