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Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
50F / 10C
Total Time = 12h 50m 13s
Overall Rank = 286/525
Age Group = Military
Age Group Rank = 8/14
Pre-race routine:

Arrived in Wilmington about 1530 on Thursday, which turned out to be perfect. My brother and I were doing the race together and he showed up about 30 min later. After checking in and unpacking, headed over to the packet pickup and expo, then hung around until the dinner. WELL worth the $1... highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity if you can. Got up at a leisurely time on Friday, had breakfast at a local omelet house then headed over to the mandatory pre-race meeting... which was the largest of the 3 sessions, but still enough room for everyone. Then out to check out the beach start, T1 and swim finish (which allowed us to figure out where we were going to stash our shoes the next morning for the 400m run to T1). Had lunch in Wrightsville Beach, then back to the hotel to finish packing before returning to T1 to rack the bike and drop off the T2 bag and both special needs bags. Finished, we headed back to the hotel and were joined shortly by mom, wife and daughter who came down to cheer us on and volunteer at the finish line (handing out food). The 5 of us then went out to dinner at Olive Garden (which was packed). After a dinner of soup/salad and bread sticks, we headed back to the hotel at a reasonable hour in hopes of getting a decent night’s sleep.
Up at 4:15... D-Day! It's finally here after 10 months of training. It's almost surreal. Choke down about 700 calories in the form of a PBJ, banana, Powerbar and some Heed. We grab our remaining two bags (Pre/Post Race bag and T1 bag), and Debbie drives us to T1. Put my bottles on the bike and dropped my T1 bag off at the designated spot, rolled my bike over the 2 Wheeler Dealer guys who topped off my tires, then walked over to the swim finish to stash our flip-flops. A little weird not setting up a transition area at your bike like all other tri's I've done (this was my first IM). Satisfied, we hopped on the trolley for the 2.4 mile ride to the race start where we waited... and waited....and waited... 1.5 hours. 700 wetsuit-clad triathletes waiting quietly in the dark... very strange. Tried to pass the time visualizing the course, going over my race plan in my head for the millionth time and convincing myself that I've put in the work needed to meet my two goals: 1) Finish upright, and 2) break 13 hours.

Event warmup:

Finally, we started moving over to the beach for the start. They played the National Anthem... then we waited for the Coast Guard to give us the go ahead since it was still fairly dark (and were wearing dark blue caps.. go figure). Said "good luck" to my brother who was going to start in the middle of the pack, and moved my way up toward the front left of the chute. Jumped up and down to loosen up and waited for the gun. He gave us a 3 minute warning, then 2:30, then 30 seconds later said "GO!". Caught me a little by surprise, but off we went. The longest day of my triathlon career had just started!
  • 42m 39s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 01s / 100 yards

My plan was fairly simple; start at the front/left of the pack, get out fairly fast, taking a little longer approach, but would get me into the middle of the channel sooner (and away from other swimmers who were moving to the right) where the fastest water was. That worked pretty well, then set the cruise control... just like in training, all arms with barely any kick... save the legs for the rest of the day, I'll need 'em soon enough. The volunteers in the kayaks were a little confusing in their directions so I felt like I zigzagged a bit, but not too bad. Surprised by how fast I made it to the Blockade Runner and the turn... actually over-shot a bit and was pointed back in the right direction by a paddle-board-surfer-dude (not sure what you call those guys that stand on a surf board and use a paddle). Once I made the turn I was golden. Thanks to all the advise on the BT board, I knew to hug the green side of the channel for a straight shot into the finish... worked like a charm. Climbed the ladder, declined the strippers, grabbed my strategically placed flip-flops and headed for T1 via the two warm showers. Little did I realize that this was going to be the warmest I'd be all day...
What would you do differently?:

Could have sighted better, but overall, happy with my swim and stuck to my plan.
Transition 1
  • 15m 9s

Being one of the early folks out of the water (31st male overall) I had plenty of room in the changing tent. Took my time (I NEVER have a fast T1) and did a full change. Bike shorts, base layer shirt, bike jersey, arm and leg warmers and fingerless gloves. By the time I got all this on, swim gear packed in the T1 bag, the changing tent was packed. Headed out just as my brother was coming into the tent. Wished him luck as I went to my bike... which was conveniently located right next to the bike exit.
What would you do differently?:

Put on my stinkin' bike jacket! I had it in my T1 bag, but the wind wasn't too bad and I didn't think I'd need it. I was wrong...
  • 6h 09m 17s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.20 mile/hr

Started off nice and easy to find my groove. Kept telling myself to hold back and keep the HR in low Z2 for the first 40 miles. Not easy to do as we were fighting a headwind for the first 70 miles or so. Temp continued to drop, wind picked up, and a light mist/sleet started. Feet went numb fairly quick so I didn't need to worry about them anymore. Fingers continued to work reasonably well so I was able to feed myself. At one point I offered a guy $100 for his windbreaker... he said no thanks. Despite the cold, 4 pee stops (including a 5 minute stop at special needs to recharge bottles), and the leg warmers sliding down, felt like I had a pretty solid bike leg. Maintained a 140 HR average, 185 cadence, and choked down about 1800 calories... all according to plan. The reward for the pain during the first 70 miles was the tail wind for the last 40. Managed to hit 30mph on some of the flats without much effort... and the road was newly paved! It was awesome....
What would you do differently?:

Should have worn my bike jacket. Other than that, happy with the ride. Really happy I didn't have any bike issues. Saw some poor guy changing a tire around mile 105. That sucks!
Transition 2
  • 08m 55s

Coming into T2 almost forgot about the volunteers grabbing your bike for you... thought "what the hell are you doing, buddy? Get your own bike!" Then quickly remembered and gladly gave it over then waddled (no way I can run after 6 hours on the bike) over to the changing tent. Another full change into running gear... which was a little weird with both flaps blowing in the breeze allowing everyone outside to get a good glimpse of a full moon if they desired. What the hell... Kept the arm warmers on, switched the garmin from bike to run, strapped on my race number and hit the road.
What would you do differently?:

Wish I'd put my running jacket in my T2 bag. It was in my run SN bag since I didn't think I'd need it until the sun went down during the second leg of the marathon.
Overall, not too disappointed in my transitions. Factored in 30 min total for both transitions for my goal time and came in under that...
  • 5h 34m 16s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 46s  min/mile

This is where all bets were off. I knew the swim would be easy and I could handle the bike (completed a few centuries during training). But my longest run to date was 15 miles... and that was on a treadmill. My plan here was to incorporate a walk 1 minute, run 4 minute strategy (and also walk the water stops)... and do each leg in 1:15. Well, first leg felt good (other than being cold), completing it in 1:14. Then a mile 9 the calves started cramping. I dropped to a run 2 walk 1 strategy, but couldn't really maintain that either. Worried that I'd walk the rest of the marathon I popped 3 enduralites at a water stop (never tried these before, but I was getting desperate). They seemed to help I guess, because by mile 15 I was back to a run 4 walk 1 effort. However, the rest of my body was tired and sore, so even my "run" pace was down to around 12min/mile. Now was the "hang on to the end" part of the race. I lived on bananas and flat coke for the rest of the race and began to realize that I may still be able to break 13 hours if nothing else fell off. Found the energy that most people do with one mile left to go and picked up the pace to finish strong. Crossed the line at 12:50:13 and was greeted by my beautiful wife (who patiently put up with all my training and complaining the last 10 months) who gave me my finisher's medal. It's over. I'm an Ironman....
What would you do differently?:

Need to run more. Plain and simple...
Post race
Warm down:

Changed back into my pre-race clothes and bunddled up. Had some pizza and visited with mom, wife and daughters (one via text since she's 2000 miles away). Tried to get warm, but really couldn't... even in the warming tent. Cheered my brother across the line a little while later. Once he was ready, we grabbed all our stuff and headed over to the trolley. By this time at night there was no waiting, which was nice.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Didn't train as much as the plan called for, which is why my goal shifted from 12 hours to 13 hours. Still, given the conditions and my level of training, I was pleased with my performance.

Event comments:

B2B has a well deserved reputation as one of the best races in the world. Setup Events rocks! Highly recommend this event to anyone wanting to try their first IM!!!

Last updated: 2011-01-01 12:00 AM
00:42:39 | 4224 yards | 01m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/14
Overall: 14/525
Performance: Good
Suit: Full 2XU
Course: Point to point channel swim with an incoming tide.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 69F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 15:09
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:09:17 | 112 miles | 18.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/14
Overall: 14/525
Performance: Good
Avg HR: 140
Wind: Headwind
Course: Out and back with a big lolipop.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 185
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Below average Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 08:55
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:34:16 | 26.2 miles | 12m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/14
Overall: 14/525
Performance: Below average
Avg HR 135.
Course: Out and back twice.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2011-11-04 9:54 PM

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Kingsland, Georgia
Subject: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon

2011-11-05 7:02 PM
in reply to: #3834442

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New user

Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
Great race report Bro. You're too kind on me finishing "a little while later". Just glad to se you guys were still there! It was a great race and even better experience. Congrats again Ironman!
2011-11-05 9:32 PM
in reply to: #3834442

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon

The current must've been exceptionally good to all you peeps!  I haven't seen so many super-duper speedy swims in a 140.6 before until I started reading the B2B RRs.

2011-11-06 8:40 AM
in reply to: #3835202

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Kingsland, Georgia
Subject: RE: Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon
I figure the current knocked off 15-20 minutes...
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