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Revolution3 Half Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Sandusky, Ohio
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 5h 15m 21s
Overall Rank = 77/648
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 2/38
Pre-race routine:

This was an interesting week. The whole point of going to REV3 Cedar Point was because they had been kind enough to partner with Team RWB for the race. I had done all the coordination with them, and then Haley was going to come up with me (initially we thought we'd have 4-5 of us "working" it) to help run things. We had a booth at the expo, flyer in the packets, and hoped to have one of our athletes--Judy Gentz--highlighted as she was racing in memory of her son, Joel, who was killed in action in 2010. Anyhow, Haley and I both got into OH on Thursday night. The weather was fairly crazy and we could only hope that it got better for the expo and the race. On Friday we set up the booth and worked the expo from 1200-1800, then I put my bike together (first time breaking down a bike and reassembling for a race--Dave helped teach me before I left San Diego), and then we went to dinner at Sortino's with another RWB'er and his Mom. AWESOME PLACE TO EAT! GO there if you do this race! Sat. was a similar repeat to Friday, but the expo was 10-1800 this time. Both days we had the chance to meet a lot of truly amazing people--some vets, some just really interested in what we were doing. We did raise some money for Team RWB, but most importantly, we got to talk to people about how to be involved. That, not money, is the real purpose of RWB. Time > Money! Anyhow, that night I just stayed in the room to actually try to focus on the race and put my stuff together. Haley went to dinner with friends and brought me a sandwich. I ate late, but it was fine.
We were staying at The Breakers, and the swim start was literally right there. The pro's and half started at 0650/0700 or so, but transition didn't close until 0730 and my wave wasn't until after 0815. I was up at 0550, ate, got dressed and made sure things were ready. Then we drove up to the transition/expo area for Haley to drop off stuff at the booth and me to set up transition. It was all very easy. The LEAST tense transition area ever. It was so nice. It wasn't filled with nervous athletes, it was just calm, and nice. Tons of rooms thanks to the racks. Got my stuff set up, and then we walked back to the hotel along the beach. Relaxed a bit, drank some coffee Haley got (she really rocks, in case you didn't know--BT= Comet), then threw on the wetsuit and we headed out the start. The night before the race, REV3 had placed 2977 12"x8" flags on the beach in neat rows...we had talked with them about doing this, but had changed up plans a tad. They still did it, as well as a "Fallen Hero" memorial complete with inverted rifle, helmet, and boots. On it was posted the bib number "911" and the name "Fallen Hero." Well done REV3, it was quite touching. They have several veterans as part of their staff, so I know it was all close to their hearts. Haley and I found Judy, Steve, Danielle, and Dean and all chit chatted before the start.
Event warmup:

Umm, yeah, none. Talking? Walking along the beach? :)
  • 38m 28s
  • 1931 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

The first 100m or so were slogging through the ick and yuck that had washed up near Lake Erie. I suppose you could kind of try dolphin diving, but really, it was gross. Not REV3's fault at all--they had bull dozed a lot of it away, but you can only do so much when the storms bring it in. So, I suppose this slowed the swimming some. This was the least amount of contact I've ever had in HIM. The wave was Female 39 and under, so it wasn't a small wave, but everyone behaved themselves and there was plenty of room. No crazy crowding at the turn buoys. I was able to jump on some feet a few time. It was hard to see--I'm used to it due to TX lakes. Definitely wasn't cold, was smooth as glass. I should be faster here. On the last leg in is the only time I had more contact than I would've liked. We had caught some waves in front of us, and some of the men's waves behind us were catching us. I did a great job of sighting and was right on the buoys, so when one of the faster guys was also doing that on the last leg, he didn't feel the need to go around other swimmers, he just swam right over us. Literally. I don't get that. It's uncalled for and unsportsmanlike. That was the only "bad athlete" event of the day. I made it into the shore, and when I got to where fingers touched I had to run the way out, was a bit long as well due to sludge and then a short run onto the beach to stop the swim time.
What would you do differently?:

Just swim faster, I don't know. Maybe I'm still not working hard enough out there. I think I may need to do some longer sets in my swimming so I get used to go longer? I should be faster at this.
Transition 1
  • 02m 45s

After the swim mat they had a shower to wash off feet and I took 1-2 secs to do so, then flopped on the ground for the wetsuit strippers to help--love them, so much easier than doing it myself. I took off running into transition and thankfully found my bike pretty well. Maybe this was a 100-150m total run? Got my helmet, shoes, and glasses on and actually switched on my Garmin for the run on transition mat. then ran the bike towards bike out. For the run we had from beach to the T area and then out, I don't think this is that bad. Taking a look at others times, it seems about on par. I could've done it faster though as a I fumbled a bit initially.
What would you do differently?:

Just more smooth. I'm usually pretty good at these, and this wasn't bad. So no worries.
  • 2h 38m 56s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.14 mile/hr

Wow, this was so much fun! This course is one perfect for me. Mostly flat, a few short climbs. The pavement in some areas was a bit potholed, but not too too bad. There was one strip of fresh chip seal that was jarring, but for the half it wasn't too long. When I first started my hamstrings were unusually tight and I was worried, but I think I had that worked out about 10 miles into the bike with a good focus on a proper pedal stroke. The problem with the bike for me was that at about 2-3 miles into the bike I realized I couldn't shift gear up. Normally I'd ride an 11-23 here, but since this was a "just for fun" race and I have an Olympic the next weekend with hills, I left the 12-28 on it. I was in the 3rd to hardest gear when I realized that if I downshifted, I was stuck in that gear. So I decided right then that I had a two speed bike, only shifting between big/small chain ring. The few climbs we did, I just mashed up in the small chain ring, ha! I did a lot of passing the first half of the bike. I did some leap frogging with a gal in my age group decked in a black/grey/yellow kit. I eventually dropped her and found myself on fairly open road with a few guys. I often couldn't believe how easy 22-23mph felt. This was great, I was working hard, but not working hard if you know what I mean. I just was having a blast. Was hitting my nutrition right (a 2 hour bottle of Infinit and 2 GUs), filled my front aero bottle with water at each aid station, and just had fun. I was hitting it hard as I really didn't care much what happened to the run pace. At the same time, I was tempered by the gear issues. So I just rode, and had fun.
What would you do differently?:

Not have a mechanical and ride an 11-23 for this course. Otherwise, this is the fastest bike split I have ever had in any race distance. I did have it more at 56.7 miles, but they had to do some course adjustments, so the near extra mile is no big deal. I crushed the bike and had so much fun doing it! CompuTrainer might be working...I am so not a climber--the flat roads with some rollers in them are perfect for me!
Transition 2
  • 01m 24s

Time is on par with others, I did come out of my shoes a tad bit earlier than I should've, but hopped off really quickly. Did overrun my rack a bit, but could tell I must have passed a lot of people on the bike as there weren't any other bike really in the racks in my area. I actually took this transition a bit slower than I usually would, but still was fairly fast in comparison to others. I got helmet off, got my shoes on race belt, Garmin, and grabbed my fuel belt to run out. Typically, I'd normally just put the shoes on (sans socks) and grab the other stuff and head out. But, I need hands free as I exited T1. As I headed out, I spotted Haley in transition ready for the hand-off. I went by, grabbed Old Glory, and off I went--hearing Haley say "You're leading your Age Group"---WHAT?!? No way--that wasn't expected.
What would you do differently?:

Just not overshoot my rack. Other than that, this was how I planned to do it on this day.
  • 1h 53m 47s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 41s  min/mile

So, I've never run with a big US flag before. I wasn't setting out to do this for me. This was me being a member of Team RWB. When our guys race marathons, they carry the flag, and that day--9/11--we had flags all across the country on ultras, in tri's, on personal walks and hikes and bikes--this was my moving tribute on this day. This was a tiny burden to help others remember. The flag was on a short pole, I was able rest it on my shoulder and hold it just high enough that I made sure it didn't hit the ground (it's 5' long, and I'm only 5'3", so I had to be careful). I found my pace and was running and feeling pretty good. No major soreness, and just wanted to keep a steady pace. Truly, this was all about running it (no walking, I would not walk while carrying that flag) and just finishing. So, I just wanted to keep comfortable. At a bit past the 1 mile marker, Anne-Marie, the gal I had played leap frog with on the bike caught me. Then she stayed with me, and we talked. It was so nice. I have never really done that in a race cause I'm always just racing (maybe a tad at IMCdA actually, but not enjoyable like this was). I told her not to let me hold her back and she just said she was at a comfortable pace. So we just ran together. I told her I didn't think anyone in our AG was ahead of us. A bit after the 3 mile mark she took off a bit and stayed about 10-15 secs in front of me. Later on, I caught back up to them. Then she got ahead again, 10-20 secs as we went. I just stayed comfortable and grabbed some water and GU as I needed and drank NUUN that I was carrying. I thought I'd have the longer pole on my flag, but it got taken off--I was going to use my fuel belt as a holder to help, but since I didn't have the longer pole, I just held the flag. The response from everyone was awesome. I just wanted people to remember and see that flag flying. I appreciated the respect so many people showed the flag. Many stood as I passed, others clapped, and others said, "USA, USA, USA" and that was awesome. It was inspirational carrying it for sure. The pros doing the Full were out on the course at the point that I started heading back for the second half of the run. The lead male, Andy Starkyowitz, was decked out in red white and blue for his kit, and went out of the way to say "thanks for carrying the flag" as he was working on winning the race. Then, Kate Major, an Aussie pro who has lived in the US for a long time and had tweeted about having special Saucony memorial shoes for the race, went out of her way to come over and high five me as well. I think that's pretty classy--she was totally exuberant about the fact I had it out there and she's not even originally from here. Good on you, Kate! She would also end up carrying a US flag down the finish line when she took 2nd place. I also slapped hands with my fellow RWB'ers out there, and other guys came up to me and fist bumped me. It was truly motivational. I also couldn't believe the pace I was keeping. I mean, it wasn't fast, but given what I hammered on the bike and I had the flag. I was totally happy. Then, at mile 9.75 or so, a motorcycle comes up next to me with media crew on it. I try not look over and just do my thing as they shoot race footage. Then, the next thing you know, they ask me if I'd talk to them. Oh no, I'm something like 4:45 into a HIM and I have to give an interview, while I'm running...but of course I said sure, and just told them that I was with RWB and who RWB is. It turned out okay I think. I just can't believe I could do that while running. It was a different level of focus and clarity I had out there that day. Truly a level of "no expectations" that led to a calm, and I had a sense of purpose other than myself and I think that did a lot to help. Not to mention, you just don't want to screw up when you're carrying that flag! That was the top thing on my mind!!
As I got to within the last mile of the run, Anne-Marie really took the lead in--good on her. She totally cheered me on that whole day at every turn around, and her talking to me like she did--it might've held her back some. I was honestly worried at points that she was going to do something like let me pass her--and I didn't want that to happen. I was truly just there to do what I could, if she was faster (which she was) she deserved the win and she got it. Once I got near the crowds at the park, I could see others finishing with the big US flags that were being passed out and that was emotional to me, not teary emotional, just awesome, and touching. Then, the crowds saw me and I started making my way in. Apparently Haley had given the announce more background on me (he didn't know I was running with the flag before race day, nor did he know I was active duty), and he announced who I was and that I had done the run with the flag, and the flag was the one I'd taken to Iraq both times. At this point, with all the people cheering, seeing others finish with the flag, etc. I just lifted it high and waved it the best I could and took it home. I had no idea what my total time was, I just knew I had had a great race, but more importantly, had represented RWB well and carried the Flag well. What a great race!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This went sooo much better than I could've planned. I really thought I'd have to go so much slower carrying the flag. This was truly amazing. I was so encouraged and touched by the response of fellow racers, townsfolk, REV3, etc. that it made it easy and fun to do this. I consider it an honor. It wasn't about me. It was about remembering those 2977 victims of the attacks that had happened 10 years ago, and for me it was also about remembering all of the service men and women who have given their lives on the battlefield since those 9/11 attacks. I am not one to just do these things lightly. This won't be an every race thing for me. But on this day, for this race, I felt it was the right thing to do. It was about Old Glory and everything it stands for--not about me.
Post race
Warm down:

So, I finished, got my medal and awesome race shirt. Got the flag turned over to Haley and Steve so they could add it to the other 4 they were using for finisher flags (it was sooooo much more popular than we could've imagined. I cannot tell you how awesome it felt to see so many people want to finish with the flag. Nothing against those who didn't at all---it's totally a personal choice, but so touched by those that did). I then chugged the water and gatorade, dropped some of my gear at the booth, headed to the ART tent and had my hammies and calves. The guy was great! Then, I went and joined Haley and the rest of our crew to hand out flags to finishers. We did this till the LAST finisher crossed at 0012 (they started the race a bit late, so they extended it a bit). We were so tired, but it was so worth it and it was fun to stay and watch those exuberant late night finishers. Plus, it was great to see ALL our Team RWB athletes finish! No DNF's!! Yeehaw! Getting 2nd in my AG was a really nice bonus. Got a nice little REV3 glass plaque, a water bottle, and a fuel belt! Nice!
Overall, the whole race weekend, was something very special. It's the least focused I've been on a race. From an athlete standpoint, it shows me I need to be more relaxed and I'll do just fine. It also showed me that my fitness is still there despite training being up and down due to life and commitments. Most of all, I was blown away by the reactions of the great people that came by our booth to talk to us, that spoke or cheered for me while I was running, and by the many many racers that enthusiastically carried the flag down the finish chute. The respect shown to the history of the day (and we cannot forget it, ever!) and just to the country itself, was awesome. That includes those from other countries like AUS and Canada who finished with the flag too, as a sign of solidarity with us. I'm always proud to be an American, but this day definitely pumped it up in me a lot more! A very special experience!
You can watch the Age Group video here: get an idea for what REV3 did for the might see me in there a bit starting at around 5:20.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Need to swim better, mechanical on the bike.

Event comments:

Overall, I love REV3. Working with them was awesome. They bring a big race atmosphere to it, but totally without the tension I've felt at IM branded events. Are there ares for improvement? Sure, there are. But the great thing is, they are open to those suggestions. I will send some of them in because I look forward to seeing them grow. This course is really the right type of course for me, and I'd definitely consider doing the Full REV out there someday. I look forward to doing more REV3 events in the future. I appreciated the special touches they added for the 9/11 Anniversary. Truly, the people that run REV3 are awesome. I highly encourage people to do their races, and if you have suggestions to make them better, let them know...cause likely they'll do it. They have more than won me over.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-01-01 12:00 AM
00:38:28 | 1931 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 8/38
Overall: 0/648
Performance: Average
Suit: X-Terra Vector Pro 2
Course: Diagonal out, right turn straight, diagonal in--3 legs of the diamond.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:45
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
02:38:56 | 56 miles | 21.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/38
Overall: 0/648
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: One loop course, mainly flat, a few short climbs, one fun town.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering:
Gear changes: Bad Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:24
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:53:47 | 13.1 miles | 08m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/38
Overall: 0/648
Performance: Good
Course: One loop--head out of the park and into historic Sandusky along the waterfront. You go up and down some streets, and on the map it looks a bit crazy, but I didn't mind at all. Thought it was a fairly scenic run.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-09-14 12:24 PM

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Lacey, Washington
Subject: Revolution3 Half Ironman

2011-09-14 12:51 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Great race and I am SUPER impressed with your mid-run interview!
2011-09-14 1:53 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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United States Military Academy
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Great race even with all of the hours of extra work you completed prior to the start.  Awesome report as well - I will certainly consider a Rev3 race in the future based on your experiences.  Only 9 weeks left for IMAZ!!!  See you soon!
2011-09-14 1:56 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
You definitely demonstrated why you are one of the Team RWB Triathlon Team Captains. Your commitment, strength and humility are astounding. Thank you for serving our country. Congrats on an awesome race. It was great to meet you and thank you for including us in Team RWB.
2011-09-14 3:24 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Congrats Brit! What an awesome day for you. I'm so glad you enjoyed the experience. And WTG on the podium!
2011-09-14 5:05 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Congratulations!! I am so happy for you the way you embraced the day.  The training and fitness are there and its a lot of fun to go out and have some fun to boot while supporting an amazing organization  big ole BT WHOOPWHOOP!!

2011-09-14 5:19 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman

Wow, simply wow.

I teared up reading about you running with the flag and the response you received.  Beautiful.

Awesome race, too.

2011-09-14 5:53 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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OHIO south of Dayton
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Impressive race. Inspirational report. Nice job.

Edited by rfergus5 2011-09-14 5:54 PM
2011-09-14 6:18 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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Extreme Veteran
San Diego
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Smokin' fast!  Awesome job.
2011-09-15 1:19 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman

Fantastic job--on the race and more importantly, representing RWB and your country so well!  Rev3 and RWB really focused the day on 9-11.  Great job!


2011-09-16 9:48 AM
in reply to: #3686267

Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Fantastic!!!  Great race, great interview, great job for RWB!!!!!

2011-09-16 11:42 AM
in reply to: #3686267

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Extreme Veteran
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Congratulations again! Fantastic race & detailed RR. I'd also absolutely consider doing a Rev3 race someday based on your experience! I think you hit the nail on the head re: taking a more relaxed approach to races, and also trusting that your fitness will be there even with less-than-optimal training (which is really all relative anyway...what seems like spotty training for one person may be more than plenty for another).
2011-09-17 3:26 AM
in reply to: #3686267

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Muskego, Wisconsin
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Great race and an even better cause.  Great work.
2011-09-17 11:41 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Great job all around!
2011-09-18 5:01 PM
in reply to: #3686267

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Revolution3 Half Ironman
Nice job on podium and AWESOME that you carried the flag on the run. Thank you. You're a super star!
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