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Gulf Coast Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Panama City, Florida
United States
Gulf Coast Triathlon
87F / 31C
Total Time = 6h 25m 17s
Overall Rank = 594/1045
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 78/117
Pre-race routine:

Arrived Thursday night with my mini tri group from Atlanta. We ate our risotto carbo meal that night and got up early Friday morning for our group swim in the gulf. We did 20 minutes which was enough for me to get a feel for my first OWS in the ocean with swells and currents. We checked our bikes in around 6 pm, then chilled at Mellow Mushroom for a lite dinner. Everyone was asleep by 10 pm, and claimed to have slept great.
A couple of us got up at 4 am to start coffee and oatmeal. I had a cup of Joe, a Greek yogurt, banana, and started on the water. We all then went down to get body marked, do final gear checks, and put nutrition on the bike.
Event warmup:

Nothing except get wet in the suit and goggles. I spent time with my coach, Brett Daniels, walking from transition over to the beach. It was our first time seeing each other in person in a while, so it was good to get some face to face time with him and listen to some of his wisdom and encouragement.
I will add that it was a bit unnerving to be waiting to watch the pro men come out of the water and realize how long the swim was taking them. It freaked out a couple guys in my group to think about the kind of swim we had ahead of us. Oh, well. Everybody's got to do it...
  • 40m 24s
  • 2078 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

I LOVED this swim! Being my first tri with an ocean OWS, I was nervous up until the Friday we TriDads did our group practice. I'm so glad we did because it helped me know what to expect, and to learn stroking and breathing between swells of water.
It totally paid off on race day as I never felt any panic and stayed very comfortable. That's why I put GOOD down for everything. In fact, the only time I wasn't drafting was when my draftee was sighting wrong and I left them to stay on course. I didn't catch any mouthful of salt water, and even coming to shore went OK.
What would you do differently?:

With how comfortable I was I could have stroked a little stronger. I would have loved a 38 or 39 minute swim. But I've never been near top half of my AG for swim, so this was a great accomplishment for me.
Transition 1
  • 03m 27s

My T1 went OK just because I did take my time and get my bearings before taking off with my bike. I'm much faster than this normally, but for a HIM I slow down a bit.
The best part about T1 for this race was that in the running shoot past the showers I stepped over and removed my suit there rather than in the crowded bike rack area. Some others saw me and sat down to do the same. I stopped at the first guy I saw, told him "I got it!", and stripped his wetsuit for him. He yelled a big "Thanks!", then I heard him doing the same for the next fellow racer. That has to go down for good racing Karma.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 43m 37s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.54 mile/hr

The most powerful and comfortable bike leg of my triathlon career. It just felt good to not be passed by tons and tons of people, but rather keep up and do the passing (especially the hard cores with the disc wheels). Here I was actually in the top half of my AG, so a complete victory there. Beat my previous best HIM bike by about 30 minutes.
This race had good bikers as the etiquette on the course was top notch. And the aid station volunteers actually ran with me for bottle exchanges.
What would you do differently?:

Eat more nutrition ( see Run Report).
Transition 2
  • 01m 35s

Rocked! 8th in my AG. But it did little in comparison to what was coming...
  • 2h 56m 16s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 28s  min/mile

The last part of The Gulf Coast Triathlon 2009 that felt good to me was running over the T2 timing mat onto the run course. Quite simply, the wheels came off. My IT flared up at the first mile marker, and walking became the only way to move forward. That turned a two hour run into a three hour sauna walk in the heat and I was MISERABLE. I beat 20 guys in my AG and I feel sorry for each of them to finish longer than I did on a day like that. I was reduced to trying 60 seconds of jogging followed by 60 seconds of recovery walking, but even that was too much for my body. So I walked all the way in from mile three, except the finishers' chute.
I did see my first complete pass-out by a racer. A Clyde fell over like a sack of rocks out in that State Park area. A few of us were right there to help him sit up until a cop came very quickly. Scary stuff to see a person just fall over.
What would you do differently?:

Hydrate and nutrition intake plans had to be better.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat down immediately after the finish line trying not to pass out. Got my medal, took my phony finisher picture, and found a shady spot to sit and breathe deeply.
Brett found me to get my run down on the race, and in true professional style, still was able to give me some positives to take from the race. Five minutes after he left to find some of his other athletes, I went behind some little shed and vomited up a bit of water/Gatorade. Incredibly I felt instantly better, and proceeded to have some pizza, beer, and water. Then I stumbled back to the condo for a three hour nap after cleaning up transition.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat training and my nutrition plan.

Event comments:

I loved this race and will be back to kick some A next year. I owe this course a big FU!
This race was superbly run, the volunteers rocked, and the quality of athletes racing was top notch in the personality department. I met more new triathletes here than all my other races combined! Oh, and the after party, award ceremony, and video were all awesome!

Last updated: 2009-01-02 12:00 AM
00:40:24 | 2078 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 64/117
Overall: 0/1045
Performance: Good
Suit: Quintana Roo HydroFull
Course: Long rectangle counter-clockwise. Out 900+ yards, over 200 yd, back 900+. Pretty easy buoys to see.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:43:37 | 56 miles | 20.54 mile/hr
Age Group: 57/117
Overall: 0/1045
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Big out and back loop.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:56:16 | 13.1 miles | 13m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 97/117
Overall: 0/1045
Performance: Bad
Course: One long out and back loop.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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

2009-05-12 7:30 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Marietta, GA
Subject: Gulf Coast Triathlon

2009-05-12 7:47 PM
in reply to: #2147104

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Extreme Veteran
Olive Branch, MS
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Way to gut it out! I owe this course one as well.
2009-05-13 11:51 AM
in reply to: #2147104

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Lawrenceville, GA
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon

Congrats on finishing a tough day.  Last year, the swim nearly retired me from the sport, but I adopted the same FU attitude for this year.  It will serve you well preparing for next year.  Love the attitude.

2009-05-13 11:54 AM
in reply to: #2147104

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Lawrenceville, GA
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon

I meant to ask.  Is the cowbell reference to the SNL skit with Christopher Walkin? Everytime, I think about that skit, I double over laughing....

2009-05-13 12:57 PM
in reply to: #2147104

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Extreme Veteran
Marietta, GA
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Yes it's a reference to that skit, plus the fact that the cowbell is the official spectator noisemaker at a triathlon. The girls at my office got me a great T shirt for Christmas that has the three figures of a triathlete with the "I Need More Cowbell" under them. I get more comments on that shirt.
2009-05-14 3:37 PM
in reply to: #2147104

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Your race report brought me back to how miserable that course was! Can't wait to get back next year anyways, though! Great job toughing it out when in jured. Im sure you will kill it next time!

2009-05-15 8:36 AM
in reply to: #2147104

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Gulf Coast Triathlon
Congrats on your day! Nothing like overcoming a bunch of obstacles - waves, tide, heat - to make you want to race even more! Great idea helping that fellow with his wetsuit - The universe has a way of repaying random acts of kindness.

Way to go!
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