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Ironman Calgary 70.3 - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Calgary, Alberta
28F / -2C
Total Time = 6h 50m 28s
Overall Rank = 862/1079
Age Group = m 30-34
Age Group Rank = 85/102
Pre-race routine:

Did the race pick up on Friday. Took three days off of training, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Felt pretty good. Not much sleep Thursday night, about 6 hours. 10 or more hours on Friday night so I felt good. Spent Saturday driving up to Ghost Lake to drop my bike off and check out the swim course, wasn't set up yet. Got about 6 hours sleep, maybe closer to 5, on Saturday night. Checked my transition bags at least 6 times. Up at 4 to go catch the bus to Ghost lake. My father-in-law was going to drive me but unsure about parking so opted against it. Had a PBJ and a banana.
Event warmup:

Got to bus stop at 5:00. Body marked, dropped off the bags. Hopped on bus. Bus was okay, yellow school buses but lots of them and far from full so most had their own seat for the ride. Had another PBJ and some water.

About 30 minutes or so, got to race site around 6ish. Checked the bike, kicked the tires, seemed okay. Put in my power bars. I only had one thing of water so I wandered with that. Found the only place to fill up, got some water and a powerade. Brought back both to the bike.

On Saturday I had pumped my tires to pressure at about 11:40 a.m. Kept them like that over night, figured they were okay.

Watched the pros start. Ran into Hazmaster. Hung out for a bit. Saw the pros get out of the water. Wandered to the overpast about 100 meters after the mount line to check ou the swim course. It was one loop, and it went quite a way.

Watched a bunch of more waves, oh, I was wave 11, last wave, 1H 40 min after the pros. I had some free time. Watched some people in transition. Stood in line for the can, it was quite a bit shorter by 7:30, one benifit of going late. Watched some more, drank some water. Drank some powerade. Ate a powerbar, haven't had one in quite a while, not too bad. Went to the washroom again at 8:10. No line up, sweet treats baby.

Got suited up and ready to rock. Put my warm up clothes and shoes in the dry goods bag and put it in the giant pile for pickup. Said a quick prayer that I wuold see it again.

  • 45m 44s
  • 2000 meters
  • 02m 17s / 100 meters

Goggles felt loose, of course they felt that way for quite a while and I had another pair but they broke so I was using my back up pair, ha. Anyway, seemed to work as long as I didn't smile or try to wiggle my ears. But, let some air into them right before we started (I laughed or something) instant fog up.

Seeded myself in the middle, start wavering right away. Couldn't sight the boueys. Frankly I did not think there were enough of them. I blame that, and not my complete and utter lack of training (4 swims in the last 6 months), for my rather poor time as compared with my half last year, loss like 10 minutes.

Fact is I took a serious tour of that course.

Caught a couple folks from a the wave or 2 ahead of me.
What would you do differently?:

Get goggles that work.
Transition 1
  • 09m 47s

They had wet suit strippers, worked well. First thing though, I tried to stand up to early, ha, too funny, couldn't touch the bottom. When I finally stood up buddy was like all concerned, "are you okay", he probably was watching me turn the final straight away into a solomn course of some sort.

Anyway, got my bag quick, they had a good set up to grab your bag, they called out the number and by the time you got to where your bags were buddy had your bag.

I took my time, what can I say. Sat on the grass, looked through my bag, threw on my shirt and socks and shoes. Put on some sun screen, not enough on the back of the neck though. Chatted with a guy, he borrowed my sun screen, I was like, sure, not in a hurry here. Put on Garmin and glasses. Stuffed my suit in the bag, barely fit.

Walked to the bike racks, about 100 meter. Stopped to take a quick bathroom brake.

Got my back, walked another 100 meters or so to them mount line and it was off to the races.
What would you do differently?:

10 minute transitions are what I do, what can I say.
  • 3h 16m 6s
  • 94 kms
  • 28.76 km/hr

Awesome ride. I knew if we got that west wind we would just fly, and we did. I mean flew. Tim Odonell did the bike course in 2:10. I mean zoom zoom zoom baby. It seemed the course was laid out so you either had the wind at your back, so zoom zoom, or you were going uphill so grind grind, or you were going downhill so zoom zoom zoom zoom.

The start of the ride wasn't great for my back. My complete lack of swim training meant my back was all tight, thankfully that passed after 15 or 20km. I also, um, swallowed a bit of air in the swim and that too took 15 - 20 km to, um, pass.

It was a good ride, I did not push to hard. I did get a flat at the top of the last major climb. Good spot to get a flat, needed a break anyway right.

Took about 12 minutes to change. Got the rear tire off, checked for a wound of somesort, found nothing. Checked a couple more times, still nothing. Put in my one and only spare (dumb dumb) started to pump it up using my little mini hand pump (dumb dumb) thankfully buddy came along with a floor pump, finished it off, put my wheel back on and I was off to the races again. Buddy probably saved me 10 minutes at least.

Surprisingly I liked the wave start, both on the run and the bike, as I got to pass a bunch of people on the bike which was kinda nice, say hi, good luck and all that. Couple guys passed me and one lady, not sure where she came from as I was in the last wave. Anyways, got to pass alot of those people again.

My rank was lower than the swim, probably due to the flat tire. Looking at other times, if I got those 10 minutes back I would have got about rank 650 or so. Anyways, I am not saying anything by that, just interesting for me to note. And who knows how I would have faired without the 10 minute break.

It was relaxing, I didn't stress out. Had a chance to finish my gaterade which I probably wouldn't have.

A couple of notes, there were only 2 aid stations, one was on a downhill(????) none had gels, at least by the time I got there, and they all had powerade without a sport stop, which we were supposed to put in our aero bottle, which would have worked if I had one. Anyways, I digress.
What would you do differently?:

Get CO2.

Carry an extra tube (lucky lucky ducky)
Transition 2
  • 03m 48s

Saw my parents, inlaws, wife and baby. That was nice. They had a good set up, They called out your number so as you walked down transition passed a bazillion bikes they were able to tell you were to turn, about 100 meters in my case ( of course I think everything is 100 meters so who knows). A volunteer was there, gave me my bag. I opened it, took off my helmut and shoes, she said she would put them in the bag, I blindly trusted her, strange what you trust volunteers to do in races. Anyways, went to the edge of transition to see the fam, kissed my wife and baby put on my shoes, ran back to my bike, thanked the volunteer and ran another 100 meters to the timing mat to start the run.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, it was a good transition, maybe put on some more sunscreen as my neck got a little burnt.
  • 2h 35m 3s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 07m 21s  min/km

Good run. Met TreverC out there at the 8k and 13 k mark. He gave me some love and kept me running. Thanks man, good work out there.

I ran for about 2k, then had to take a little quick potty break. Then ran and ran and ran, made it down the hill until about 6 k when I decided to walk 1 minute ever kilometer. That went well and then I got to 1 k and I got a little spark in my step or something and was moving pretty good again, until about 14 k when I changed to 1 minute every 500 meters. When I got to the hill I walked it for a minute and ran for 30 seconds. I think it made it a little better doing it that way.

The run was laid out in a nifty way, tough to describe, but as you go out you have to take a detour that you don't take on the way back so it seems like it is quicker to get back then go out. Anyway, it is a good feeling as you run back because it goes a lot quicker then the way out.

Good support on the run, lots of sponges, gels, water and powerade. Some coke. I stuck to the water and powerade for the most part. Had a couple gels.

Got to the top of the hill and felt a little better. Started spreading my runs out to 5, then 6 then 7 minutes. Rounded the bend, got to the finish line quicker than I thought, made a mad dash, the crowd was a little tame so a let out a little, "show me some love people," it got them going.

What would you do differently?:

nothing, I beat my last half iron run time by 25 minutes. It was good.

I enjoyed the run, the start of it was cool because by that time, 6 hours from the start, the fast peopl from later groups were mixing with the slow people from earlier groups so there was a lot of traffic coming towards me on their way back. Meanwhile I had few people ahead of me or around me. My placing indicates I passed some people, first time for me on a run, I think I was only passed by 2 guys.
Post race
Warm down:

7 or 8 peices of pizza. A bunch of gaterade and water. Hung out with the family until the awards. Wanted to stay for the whole thing and we had some shade and it was fun but dang I was tired. Watched the happy couple get their awards and a couple of the older age groups then jetted.

Saw Trevor again, chatted a bit more. Thanks again man, to you and all the volunteers, but it was nice to meet someone at a race that you sorta knew.

Wandered over to T2 to get my bike and three bags. Oh my, it was hot. Darn hot. When I was running I do not think the sun was out. Well it was out now and it was hot, past hot. So friggin hot I thought I was going to drop.

Got to T2, lots of volunteers there, in the blazing hot friggin sun, thanked them all as many times as I could. Grabbed me my stuff for me. Found me my bike. Gave my bike to my dad so he could carry it home, walked to the car. HAd a nice BBQ at home with the fam, good time. I cannot believe I am still up at 10:30 p.m.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I did good. I really did. I am in awe of my run. I am so happy with my run. Someday I will be a runner. My bike, tough to gage the bike as it was downhill and a good tail wind. But I did not work hard on the bike, probably why my run went well.

Swim more, of course. A Couple of long bikes wouldn't hurt. 95% of my training was bike commuting to work. I did, I think, 2 rides on my tri bike this year prior to the race.

Event comments:

Okay, so here it is. The race was good. I wanted to do the WTC thing and I did. Compared to the other half offered in Calgary however, the Chinook half, this race takes a distance second. I mean the race was good, it was well organized for a first race. Taking the buses out to ghost actually was not that bad, kinda fun, kinda like going on a school trip. I got all of my stuff back in my transition bags, amazing. The race director dudes who gave the race briefing seemed nice enough. The seminars were good. Support on the run was awesome.

There were some downsides, 2 aid stations on the bike for one, that is not enough. Having some announcer from the states doing the morning announcements anyways.....

You know, the race was good. I suppose I am comparing this race to the Chinook half or the Grand Coulee Iron distance. Both of those races were great and I guess I was spoiled by them. I mean, nothing in the swag bag. Not even a water bottle with the sponsors name on it. Not even a bottle of powerade or a power bar or a gel. Nothing. The shirt, a cotton shirt, not a technical shirt. And it wouldn't bother me so much if on the website it had not talked about all the goodies we would get in are race package. Okay, I know these are little things but you compare that to the Chinook half, a nifty water bottle, some tasty energy boosting treats, a great long sleave technical shirt and a finishers towel. A pre and post race feed. A bike course that takes you into the mountains and back.

I suppose it comes down to the fact that I must resent people making money off my goals and aspirations and at the same time telling us how expensive it is to put on one of these races. I mean if the Chinook race director can put together a race with 200 people and no serious sponsors....anyway I will stop there.

Except to say, if you are going to come to Calgary to do a half iron distance race, the race (in my opinion) to do in terms of support, scenery and convienance would be the Chinook Half and it is great. If you want the WTC experience then the 70.3 is the only way to get it and pretty darn good.

Last updated: 2008-08-21 12:00 AM
00:45:44 | 2000 meters | 02m 17s / 100meters
Age Group: 73/102
Overall: 765/1079
Performance: Below average
Course: One loop set out by I think 6 boueys. Not enough for me. Water mostly calm, the 400 meter or so stretch home was a little "rough" by my standards but not really.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Below average
Time: 09:47
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:16:06 | 94 kms | 28.76 km/hr
Age Group: 83/102
Overall: 878/1079
Performance: Good
Wind: Tailwind
Course: One way. 94 kms. Two major climbs of about 150 meters, but mostly gradual, at least the first one. Second one a bit more challenging but still not that bad. Had a tail wind for the most part and a 100 meter net elevation loss.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:48
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
02:35:03 | 21.1 kms | 07m 21s  min/km
Age Group: 85/102
Overall: 862/1079
Performance: Good
Course: little there and back. Downhill at 5 k, up hill at 16 k. Nice little run through a natural park, well shaded, well supported.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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] 3

2009-08-02 11:42 PM

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Subject: Ironman Calgary 70.3

2009-08-03 8:14 AM
in reply to: #2323224

Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3
Congratulations on the finish, and good race report!

I did the Chinook Oly this year and thought it was a well run event as well, but they had some logistical issues this year because of running the HIM and Oly together.  For example, after I was done the race they wouldn't let us go into T2 and get our bikes and gear because not all the HIM athletes were through yet.  We ended up having to wait around after the race for too long IMO because of that.  The awards banquet was kind of boring too.  The technical shirt we got were awesome, but mine fits big.  I think I should of got a size smaller.  I'd call it a draw between this Ironman Calgary 70.3 and the Chinook event of 2009.  One of these years, maybe next, I want to try one of the Outback Events races in interior BC or their newly acquired Sylvan Lake HIM.Edit: another peeve about Chinook was their was a single photographer only. So he got shots of me out of the water and then waited until all people were out of the water to get shots of people out of T2 and into T2. Then had shots of some run starters. At the end of it all there are no finishing photos for the first 20 or so people, including me! They should of hired a couple other guys too! The pics out of the water that they did have of me were really good though.

Edited by feldon 2009-08-03 8:17 AM
2009-08-03 8:15 AM
in reply to: #2323224

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Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3
Good job, Darren.  I had pretty similar thoughts and feelings about the race.

Too bad about the flat tire.

2009-08-03 2:46 PM
in reply to: #2323224

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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3
Great race Darren!! A PR and what sounds like a pretty fun time!! Strong work.
2009-08-03 7:40 PM
in reply to: #2323224

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Extreme Veteran
St. Albert
Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3
Awesome race! I agree with your comments on the race - some may think the t-shirt and swag mean nothing but those are the things that help you remember your race and give you bragging points.
2009-08-03 9:45 PM
in reply to: #2323224

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Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3
Hey man great race. I love this - '10 minute transitions are what I do, what can I say'....Great race and race report.

P.S. The sun was out on your run. Clouds ahd blown out by the time you were running.

2009-08-03 10:50 PM
in reply to: #2323224

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Chilliwack, BC
Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3

It was hot out there on that run.

I was cooking!

Great race! Having a good time is what its about!!

2009-08-04 6:22 AM
in reply to: #2323224

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Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3
Congrats on PB on the race!

Interesting perspective on the race ...hope they make some improvements.

Seems like you had a great time out there....

25' improvement is huge

So you coming out to Canada to sign up for next year?
2009-08-04 11:18 AM
in reply to: #2323224

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Calgary 70.3

Way to bounce back after the flat tire! 


ps...I didn't even carry a spare with me on my OLY Sunday, lucker duck than you

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