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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
74F / 23C
Total Time = 11h 37m 3s
Overall Rank = 529/2435
Age Group = M 25-29
Age Group Rank = 54/264
Pre-race routine:

Alarm was set for 0400, but I was up and moving at 0330. Did the usual: ate breakfast, shower, double check the morning clothes bag, got on BT and triple check my bag. Then Amanda and I left for transition a little before 0500.

Got to transition and filled up the aerodrink with water, but my tubes of salt tablets in rubber bands. Then turned on the Garmin and linked up the power meter and heart rate monitor. I chatted with the guy next to me for a few minutes. It was his first Ironman and he was freaking out.
Event warmup:

Walking down a ramp.
  • 1h 08m 8s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 25s / 100 yards

No cannonball this year, dove in a started passing people. I found a fish close to the end of the marina and stayed on his feet until the turn around. I had to fight a few people who were cutting between us.

Got to the turn around and had my first bump in the road. Someone did a breast stroke kick right to my boys. I immediately swallowed 2-3 big gulps of the Ohio. I tried to regain composure and start swimming. It took a good 5 minutes or so before I calmed down and found my stroke.

Rest of the swim was uneventful and it went like this: stroke, breath, stroke, breath, stroke, breath/sight and repeat.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I couldn't control what happened, so no sense in worrying about it.

08 Time - 1:14:50
09 Time - 1:08:08
Transition 1
  • 04m 7s

Out of the water and run. I passed over 10 people in the run from the water to the tent. Beat the volunteer to my bag.

The tent was empty. Ran to the end of the tent dumped out my bag. And T1 went like this: heart rate monitor on, dry off, jersey on, number belt on, sunscreen on, nutrition in the pocket and run to the bike.

At the bike it went like this: helmet on, glasses on, unrack and run. As I was getting close to the mount line a voluteer yelled my chain was off. WTH, got it put back on, gave him a big thank you.

Ran past the mount line about 10 yards hopped on the bike and was off.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, but BIG thanks to the volunteer for catching the chain being off.

08 Time - 04:44
09 Time - 04:07
  • 5h 56m 57s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.83 mile/hr

Got on the bike and first order of buisness was to get the heart rate to drop. Got passed by quit a few people, but I knew I had to get my heart rate in the 140's. Heart rate hit 148, dropped into an easier gear and cruised.

Got to the climb on Wolf Pen Branch and dropped it into the easiest gear I had and a spun to the top. Made it to the top and had a nice long downhill on 42. I was catching up with a chick on the downhill when I noticed (skip to next paragragh kinda gross) she was leaning to one side. I have to say it flies pretty far back when going 40+ mph. As I passed I look over and just shake my head.

Things were going smooth spin up the hills and soft pedal the down. Made it out to the spur on 1694 and saw my first BTer Rob(wiky). He flew past me just before the first downhill.

The down hills on 1694 are crazy fast and fun. Got to the bottom put it in the small ring and rode it easy to the top. Hit the turn around and did it again. At this point I'm making my way out to 42 and the course is packed. I'm thinking thank God I don't have to go down the hills in that group.

Got to the loop and put it in the small ring. At this point my goal was to ride within my HR and wattage zones and get in the calories/hydration.

The first loop went by fast. The crowds at LaGrange are just great. I noticed something eading back on 42 to the start of the second loop, there was alot of people changing flats. So I kept an eye on the pavement.

Hit the second loop and saw my second BTer Gwen(GP160). I said hello and introduced myself and her green and pink Elite looks pretty sweet. Back to the riding. My average power and heart rate were low. I mean really low. So I put it in the big ring and start pushing 175 to 185 watts.

Coming up on LaGrange I saw my third BTer James(godekjames) We chatted for a few seconds he said, "YOUR in the big ring". Two days before we went for a ride and talked strategy. I had said my plan were to ride the loops in the small ring and hammer the trip home. I had to reply I was feeling great.

Got to the turn onto Old Ballard School Road and almost got clipped by granny and her Cadillac. At this point I was riding on the horns and kinda day dreaming. I was thinking about last year at this point, I felt like I wasn't going to make it. And here I was this year cruising at 18.5 mph. Smile, tuckin and pedal.

Made the turn onto 153 and I had a wheelsucker. He had been back there since the turn onto Lesprit Parkway. So I slowed do to let him pass and it was one of the guys in the executive challenge. I kind laughed and thought to myself, should I ask him for a job? Hell I might as well get paid if I'm going to pull your azz.

Made the turn onto 42 and could finally feel the wind at my back. I let out a big "Hell Yeah". At mile 75 Paul(Tri-Wog StL) passed me and at first I didn't notice him. Then I went to repass on a hill and he was like "hey BT not going say anything". I noticed the goatee and knew it was Paul. We chatted a few seconds then he was off.

Around mile 80 I was having my first down spell. Azz was hurting, I forgot to take an S-cap the last hour. And I just had a small white kid with snow white hair throw a damn STICK at me. And to add the icing to the cake. I had just taken a S-cap and I dropped the tube while try to put it back under the rubber bands.

So I'm telling myself to stay positive. I start rethinking my hydration plan. I can switch from my 2 S-caps and an endurolyte per hour plan to 6 endurolytes per hour I should be okay.

Rolled throught the mile 85ish aid stastion and remembered to grab an extra water bottle, because there was no mile 95 aid station. Now I'm just sitting on the horns and coasting. I just looking the scenery and saying thank you to everyone out on the course.

Around mile 96 my day changed. A biker passed me and it was Amy(amymengle). I let out a big yell and we chatted for a quick bit. It gave me a pick me up. I got back in the aerobars and started pushing the watts.

Got to the climb back onto Wolf Pen Branch and I could fell a cramp staring to emerge in my left adductors. I immediately popped to endurolytes and downed half a bottle of water. Hit the top of the hill and thought I home. ITs all downhill or flat to T2.

Hit the last aid station and started to crunch the numbers. I was going to come in under 6 hours. I was a little upset cause my predicted best case split was 6:20 and my family would miss me.

Went under the I-64 overpass and started getting out of the shoes. Stood up and started stretching the legs. No signs of the cramp. Smile and hop off the bike.

What would you do differently?:

Not drop my S-caps.

08 Time - 7:00:01
09 Time - 5:56:57
Transition 2
  • 06m 32s

Volunteer grabbed my bike and I ran to the gear bags. Beat the volunteer to my bag and could hear one of them say, "damn he's movin."

Ran to the end of the tent dumped my stuff on the ground. Tent was pretty empty and I had two volunteers standing by me. T2 went like this: Helmet off, glasses off, wipe the feet, body glide feet, socks on, shoes on, turn belt around, sunscreen on, salt tablets in rear pocket, glasses on, hat on and run.... to the port-o-potty. Man I wish I had a spilt of that visit. It was like that sceen from A League Of Their Own. Where Tom Hanks keeps going and going.
What would you do differently?:


08 Time - 10:38
09 Time - 06:32
  • 4h 20m 19s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 56s  min/mile

Hit the run course and the legs were feeling GREAT. Saw the family right after coming out of T2 and it was great to see the boys. My 2.5 yo gave me a high five and said "go daddy." I'm a wuss... I cried.

Started the section heading from T2 to the US31 bridge and was running 7:XX per the Garmin but my heart rate was 165. Pace felt easy so I went with it. Made it to the turn around on the bridge and caught Amy(amymengel) again. We chatted about our days and she had nice pace going so I slowed down and stayed with her. Best decision of the Day.

Over teh next 25.2 miles we talked about everything under the sun. And some stuff not safe for BT. Back to the running.

Miles 2 through 5 were uneventful. Saw the leading coming in and they looked like hell. One tall chick had one of the worst forms I had ever seen. She kick my butt, so maybe I should try it out. :)

Around mile 6 my stomach cramping and I thought it was due to the S-Caps. So I went a few miles living on the land. And I started feeling better.

Miles 7 through 12. Well, I really don't remember anything about running. I just the converstaions. :) Oh if you were a parrot on my shoulder.

Got to mile 13 and Amy and I decided we were going Sub 12. I started crunching the numbers and I need to go the next 13.2 miles at about 13:20/mile. Smile, run, oooh look cookies.

Around mile 16 I could feel a cramp starting in my right achilles. I grabbed my tube of salt tablets and went to dump one out. Guess what, they were mush. Every single one had busted. I'm thinking Oh Shite. But luckly the nector of the Ironman Gods awaited at the aid station. Oh yeah cola and chicken broth.

We made it to the turn around and then saw the mile 20 sign. We knew sub 12 was now in the bag, but how greedy did we what to be. Our walking breaks were getting longer, but we were still running 9:00/mile pace.

After the turn around we saw two BTers David(David Tri's) and Jenn(Jungle Jenn). Around mile 22 some dude yells at us to pick it up. That this isn't the Sunday jog it the damn Ironman.

Around mile 23 we caught up with Abbie(AbbieR). I said, "I should get her back." ?? But we decided it would be better if Amy grabbed her butt. We chatted for a bit and then back to running.

Rolled through mile 24 and then 25 and it finally registered, we weren't going Sub 12 we going sub 11:40. Then a weird thing happened, my feet quit hurting, the cramp I had been holding off since mile 6 went away. And in the words of Forrest Gump, I just felt like running."

No stopping at the mile 26 aid station. At this point you could really feel the energy of the crowd. Made the turn onto Chestnut St. and folks were yelling and ringing cowbells... AWESOME. Gave Amy a high five and said thanks. No need to worry about the ladies first deal, she had already had me chicked by 9 minutes.

Turned onto 4th street and pulled ahead. It was now 2-3 deep on both sides of the road. Hit the carpet and looked back there was a nice gap between me and the next guy. So I decided to do something crazy, which is so not me. So I picked up the pace a little and as I hit the finish line, I gave it the Michael Jordan fist pump think Cleveland 1989.

My catcher was like, "that was pretty impressive." Grabbed my hat, shirt, and space blanket. Waited on Amy to finish, we gave each other a hug. Then got our finisher pic.

Found our families introduced her to my crew and then gave her husband a big high five.

Side Note:
It was funny I could tell one of us was hitting a down spill. I would talk mainly about walking and Amy just wouldn't talk. Thanks again Amy.

What would you do differently?:

Notta, my goal was to run the whole marathon and I did.

08 Time - 5:49:01
09 Time - 4:20:21
Post race
Warm down:

Walked to the Convention Center and grabbed some food. Sat in the hallway away from the crazy people and chilled with the family. Ate some pizza then headed to the Hotel to shower. Later Amanda and I headed back out to watch some more finishers. Ate dinner at the HRC. Came out and looked at the clock 13:49:XX. This time last year I was still 20 minutes from finishing.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


08 Time - 14:19:14
09 Time - 11:37:03

I would like to say special thanks to.
1. My wife for just being awesome and having faith in me.
2. Aaron(JeepFleeb) he coached me from Nov. 08 to May 09. And without his help no way I go sub 12 this year.
3. To Amy without your company I would have walked and been happy with a 12:XX.

Event comments:

My wife and I will both be back to race in 2011. This is an awesome race.

The Finish Line in Downtown Louisville is Amazing.

Last updated: 2009-07-25 12:00 AM
01:08:08 | 4224 yards | 01m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/264
Overall: 263/2435
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Velocity Speedsuit
Course: Start in the channel between Louisville and Townhead Island and head up river. Turn around a few hundred yards and then down river to the Great Lawn
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:07
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:56:57 | 112 miles | 18.83 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/264
Overall: 468/2435
Performance: Good
Avg. Pw. - 166 Norm Pw. - 189 Avg. HR - 146 Perfect, exactly what I trained.
Wind: Some
Course: River Road to Wolfpen Branch and to 42. A short out and back on 1694 with two nice hills then back on 42 to the LaGrange Loop. Back on 42 to Wolfpen Branch to River Road.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 92
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:32
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:20:19 | 26.2 miles | 09m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/264
Overall: 529/2435
Performance: Good
Avg. HR - 145
Course: Out and Back over the US-31 Bridge. Then two loops through Downtown Louisville and the neighborhoods south of the city.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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

2009-09-01 7:13 PM

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Huntsville, AL
Subject: Ironman Louisville

Race Morning

Heading out onto the bike

Coming out of T2.  As you can see I was pretty happy to see my two guys.  I'm in the white.

Thank God that’s over.

Edited by BamaDC 2009-09-01 7:18 PM

2009-09-01 8:13 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Extreme Veteran
Louisville, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race!!  Awesome report.  Congratulations on your PR...Ironman!!
2009-09-01 8:32 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Amazing PR ... way to rock the course. I love the pictures.

2009-09-01 8:38 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Awesome report Mark! 

What an incredible improvement you made.  I'm thinking you'd KQ at IMKY 2010....just sayin'.

I had to read the part about you seeing your boys and crying to Casey.  She said that was awesome!


2009-09-01 9:17 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Extreme Veteran
Westchester, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
holy moley !! what a great report .. fantastic race.. awesome time ! way to PR..

thanks for the inspiration - IRONMAN
2009-09-01 10:25 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

How ironic that your wheelsucker was in the executive challenge!

Great job Mark, nice to meet you in L'ville.

2009-09-01 11:38 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Extreme Veteran
Louisville KY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
You are a beast, great job!
2009-09-02 5:41 AM
in reply to: #2383772

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Extreme Veteran
San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Great race and race report!!  Way to go!!!  You ROCK!!!  We sure had some good conversation for 25 miles!!!  :-

By the way...  I may be seeing you and Amanda on the course in 2011.

2009-09-02 8:24 AM
in reply to: #2383772

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Great race!  Amazing you had the same person to run with for almost the entire marathon.  Nice reposrt and congrats on the PR!

2009-09-02 9:05 AM
in reply to: #2383772

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Surrounded by 6 states
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race and great report.  Almost makes me want to sign up for next year (or become a parrot).
2009-09-02 12:45 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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North Alabama
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Nice PR Sir. That is truly awesome!

Sounds like you had more time having fun than time racing. That's pretty great!

Keep it up!

2009-09-03 8:05 AM
in reply to: #2383772

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Nice job. I saw Amy a couple times on the run and thought that  was you with her. But you guys were so quick that I was not 100% sure.
Way to rock the course. That is one hell of a improvement!
2009-09-03 2:38 PM
in reply to: #2383772

Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Thanks for the report.  Great race and what an improvement from last year's time.  I enjoyed reading the report.
2009-09-03 3:10 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race....enjoyed your race report
2009-09-03 3:28 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Very well done!
2009-09-03 11:28 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Killer time!  Loved seeing you and Amy on the course. There was a lot of BT butt grabbing this weekend, you should have gone for the payback-LOL!  So great meeting you, congrats on an amazing race!

2009-09-08 9:56 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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somewhere in the northwest
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awsome job on the race and on your PR.  
2009-09-09 12:12 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome RR - sounds like you had a blast - and that's an awesome PR!
2010-01-07 12:05 PM
in reply to: #2383772

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Little Elm, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
This has to be one of the best race report's I've ever read. I'll be doing my first IM at Louisville this year. thanks for the inspiration.
2011-08-10 8:57 AM
in reply to: #2600528

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N Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

dangitdake - 2010-01-07 1:05 PM This has to be one of the best race report's I've ever read. I'll be doing my first IM at Louisville this year. thanks for the inspiration.

x2.  Just a couple of weeks to go!!!!!!!

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