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Silverman Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Henderson, Nevada
United States
Frank Lowery
70'sF / 0C
Total Time = 14h 35m 6s
Overall Rank = 134/222
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 15/18
Pre-race routine:

Little sleep. Monstrous head cold with cough. Bagel. Cheerios. Cup of coffee. Full 30 minutes of stretching.
Event warmup:

Five minutes of easy swimming near dock.
  • 1h 30m 22s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

Started with a head cold. Loaded up with Dayquil, Sudafed... all sorts of things to help the cold, but it felt like I was going to have a heart attack during the swim. This caused great anxiety.
What would you do differently?:

Avoid the pre-race medication. Calm down. Spend more time swimming open-water rather than just pool.
Transition 1
  • 04m 22s

This was very well organized by the race director. Very smooth. Ton of volunteers to help with wetsuits, suntan lotion....
What would you do differently?:

Put the sun screen on a little better if I had remembered clearly that I would be riding a bike for the next 8 hours.
  • 7h 57m 42s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.07 mile/hr

This was a monstrous hilly bike ride. Had a good feeling that anyone blasting through this thing was going to have a pretty unpleasant run later in the day.
What would you do differently?:

I wouldn't change anything, per se, but I would certainly train to be able to get through the bike segment faster. 8 hours on a bike is brutal, no matter how you slice it.

The longest pre-race ride that I did was 92 miles. I felt pretty good about the race, however, as several of my rides included three Colorado mountain passes.
Transition 2
  • 06m 10s

I had to pee so bad at this point that I was jumping out of my skin. Also, confusion had begun to set in after the long bike ride, so it was a bit difficult to get organized. The volunteers at this stage, like everywhere else in this event, were amazingly helpful.
What would you do differently?:

Stop to honor nature before pulling into the crowd.
  • 4h 56m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 19s  min/mile

By this point in the race, people were really beginning to feel the toll that was taken by the bike ride. It was amazing to see so many people working through serious pain and agony to cross the finish line. The volunteers kept everyone in great spirits, and the participants were whipped, but upbeat.
Post race
Warm down:

Hugged my family, limped to the hotel room across the street, and soaked in a tub. The day following the race, I had a massage that saved my bacon.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

A really strong bike rider would really enjoy this event. I need to improve every aspect of riding a bike.

Event comments:

Along with 60% of the field, I believe, this was my first full-distance triathlon. In fact, it was my first-ever triathlon. Prior to this event I had completed the NYC Marathon in 2004, but had not otherwise exercised in over 20 years.

I followed the "Beginner Ironman" training program on, read a few articles, and accomplished my goal: to finish. The Silverman event was extremely well run, with wonderful volunteers and participants. I don't doubt the event's billing as "the most grueling full-distance triathlon in North America," but even so I highly recommend this event for anyone who really wants to test their training and character. Only about 150 individuals now own a beautiful Silverman finisher's medal, something that I believe over time will become one of the most coveted pieces of triathlon hardware out there. Get yours next year!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2005-12-23 12:00 AM
01:30:22 | 4224 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 17/18
Overall: 0/222
Performance: Average
Suit: full
Course: Narrow diamond. Out past a paddle boat, a big rock, and back. Very pretty, with clear water.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Bad Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:22
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
07:57:42 | 112 miles | 14.07 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/18
Overall: 0/222
Performance: Below average
Avg. heartrate: 145 bpm
Wind: Little
Course: A really beautiful ride out into park land and back, punctuated by a brand new, wild hilly bike path. The owner of a local bike shop told me that it was one of the tougher century rides west of the Mississippi, and anyone who was going to try to run a marathon after it was clearly insane.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:10
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
04:56:32 | 26.2 miles | 11m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 12/18
Overall: 0/222
Performance: Average
Course: Pretty crazy hills all over the place in a two-loop circuit with one highlight being two short runs through a pedestrian mall pretty full with club crawlers wondering what was wrong with us.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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

2005-12-24 11:44 AM

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Subject: Silverman Triathlon

2005-12-24 8:30 PM
in reply to: #311386

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Herndon VA
Subject: RE: Silverman
Congratulations, you should write an article about doing an Ironman as a first tri and how using the BT planned worked or didn't work. Especially, in doing an event that had a hard bike and run. That was a great run time after 8 hours on the bike. Way to go.

2005-12-25 5:22 AM
in reply to: #311386

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, District of Columbia
Subject: RE: Silverman
Great report. I wanted to do this race but could not b/c of scheduling conflicts. Definitely intrigues me now!

Where did you stay, was it worth the price, and would you stay there again? Did it have a kitchen? The more I travel, the more I want the comforts of home. And being across the street from the venue is always a good thing.
2005-12-25 6:49 AM
in reply to: #311386

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Gulf Shores, AL
Subject: RE: Silverman
Tremendous accomplishment, Ironman as your first tri is just unbelievable. Thanks for the race report.
2005-12-26 11:01 PM
in reply to: #311443

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Subject: RE: Silverman
Thanks for your kind words, Ernie.

Perhaps one of the best things about BT in all of this is that once I got going with the training, it was about the only source that didn't say, "that's crazy," or "there's no way you're going to make it."

I probably completed 85% of the BT training program (I had two brutal bike crashes that slowed me down twice), and I'm pretty well convinced that if someone follows the program better than I did, they could complete an Ironman event in about 12 - 13 hours. It's just a really great training program. I developed the endurance without injury, and accomplished the goal of the whole thing, "to finish."

Even though I've never done another triathlon, I figure that all full-distance bikes and runs are hard, and the feeling that comes with completing one of the hardest out there is pretty cool.

Thanks again for your kind words,

2005-12-26 11:31 PM
in reply to: #311479

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Subject: RE: Silverman
Dear prof40,

I really appreciate your kind words. I'm sorry to have missed you at this event, but can tell you that if you're interested in having a wonderful race experience, the Silverman is phenomenal.

Having never done this before, I was pretty freaked out and rented an RV to stay out at Lake Mead near the start. That turned out to be funky and unnecessary. It would have had all the comforts of home if I lived in a trailer, I suppose, but I think there's a better answer.

Right across the street from T2 and the Finish is a resort called "Green Valley Ranch." I will likely participate in this event next year (and will bring a few friends), and if so my plan will be to:

1) ship the bike to ProCyclery again (these guys are pretty amazing, actually),
2) fly in and rent a Suburban to get around,
3) stay at Green Valley Ranch the nights before and after the race.

While the rooms don't have kitchens, and I don't gamble or really care for casinos, the bathrooms (tubs) are spacious, and I had a couple of critical meals at "Maggiano's Little Italy" and "The Original Pancake House" in the facility. While I was out in the middle of the Nevada desert pedaling around like Kermit the Frog, my family enjoyed the resort. There really are a lot of things to do around the facility. So, although it was a bit pricey (I believe), in the context of the costs associated with doing this in the first place, it was well worth it. To be able to pick up all of my gear and basically cross the street after the race and go to bed was pretty phenomenal. I had a massage the next day that was just amazing.

I hope these ramblings are helpful to you. One of the amazing things about Silverman is that I'm confident that you can set it up any way that you like. If you want a less expensive hotel, there's the "official" race hotel (that includes transportation, I believe). If you want a little adventure and your own home away from home, rent the RV (by the way, I was the only participant in an RV as far as I can tell, so it's certainly quiet out there). If you want to make this really easy on yourself, stay and Green Valley Ranch. Hey, we can ride out to the start together...!

Happy New Year,


2005-12-27 7:04 AM
in reply to: #311386

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Silverman

Congrats on finishing a tough IM distance event! 

Wait, aren't they ALL tough?  

Anyway, great job, getting through those mountains must have been very difficult. (Sorry if I keep stating the obvious)

2006-01-20 3:43 PM
in reply to: #311386

New user

El Paso, Texas
Subject: RE: Silverman
Congratulations, I'm actually training to do Silverman this year as my first ever Iron distance triathlon using the BT beginning Ironman program. I really appreciated your race report and I hope to complete this year's race. I'll have to find a place to swim in open water however as El Paso only gets 12 inches of rain a year and I haven't seen a lake since I've been here (but whole lot of hilly empty desert. If you have any other tips for completing silverman as your first Ironman please let me know

2006-02-22 10:02 AM
in reply to: #311386

Des Plaines, IL
Subject: RE: Silverman
Congratulations on finishing the race and doing that distance first - great courage and ability there! I'm still deciding whether to register for it - my first tri was a sprint last august (i had a blazing time of 1hr 34 mins) but got hooked and really wanted to do a full. I'm going for Ralph's Half in 3 weeks, and after I made the schedule this year, came across the Silverman. It sounds like it would be an amazing experience, and just to finish would probably be fantastic for me.
Thanks for the report and suggestions, as now I'm even more leaning towards signing up for it.
2006-02-22 10:53 AM
in reply to: #311386

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Subject: RE: Silverman
Awesome job, Rich. Thanks for the race report. I too am thinking of doing Silverman this year, partly because it works well with my schedule and partly because of the glory of finishing one of the hardest full distance triathlons in the world. Your enthusiasm and hard work are truly inspiring. Keep it up!

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