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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 13h 34m 26s
Overall Rank = 982/1943
Age Group = M18-24
Age Group Rank = 31/51
Pre-race routine:


I got up at 2:00am for my first pre-race meal. Had a bowl of whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce and lots of salt. It was going to be a hot day and I’d need all the sodium I could get. Logged a bit on BT and went back to bed.

I got up again at 4:00am but this time for good. Jess(Tri Take Me Away) was already up and in the kitchen having breakfast. I made myself a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and washed it down with a bottle of Pedialyte.

Got my race stuff on and began to double check my gear. Made sure all my special needs and dry clothes bags had everything I needed, loaded up the car and it was off to the races!
Event warmup:

We parked in the garage next to the finish line and the butterflies really started to fill my stomach. Haley(Comet) helped me carry all my gear and Chippy(ChipmunkHeart) was there to jockstrap for Jess.

We made our way down to the bodymarking area and got in line. ‘702’ was written on both my arms by a volunteer and the race suddenly became very real. I can’t believe I was actually doing this. It was less than a year ago that I started training for my first sprint tri. I had been watching NBC’s yearly Kona coverage since I was a kid; always watching with amazement at what these people could do. I wasn’t doing that particular race, but I was about to take on the same challenge that all of those people I watched in previous years had done.

Walked into transition to double check my bike and make any last minute adjustments. Everything seemed fine so I put my bottles in their appropriate cages and walked away knowing I was going to have a great day on the bike. My friend Dmetry was on the rack opposite me but he wasn’t there when I walked by.

I headed over to Jess’ rack so she could air up her tires with my pump. After both our rides were in racing form we headed under the bridge to drop off our special needs bags. My bike special needs bag had 4 already filled bottles to replace the ones on my bike. I didn’t think about the weight factor and the draw string snapped. So I tied the ends of the bag together, dropped it in the bin and hoped everything would still be there when I needed it.

Next I went to check on my transition bags that I had dropped off the day before. I found my row and my worst fear was confirmed: my flag wasn’t there! My heart started to jump out of my chest; I can’t do a race without my flag! I rushed to find an official. Thankfully the woman I found knew exactly why I’d be looking for her. The flag pole was nowhere near small enough to fit inside the provided bag so they’d have to keep it on a table by the changing tent and I could grab it as I got my gear. Whew! Crisis averted.

Lastly I dropped off my dry clothes bag and my pre-race checklist was done. I found the girls outside transition and all we had to do now was wait. Saw Gina(grvfrog) inspecting her bike in transition and said ‘Hi’. I called my parents and they said they’d be waiting for me near the swim entrance.

Finally it was time to get ready to go. BodyGlided myself up and put on my wetsuit. I had torn it (badly) the day before but there was nothing I could do about it now. Jess and I headed down to the far end of transition and waited for our turn to cross the timing mat. Near by my parents were waiting in sea of spectators and I’m glad I was able to find them before the race started.

Next we moved down to the water’s edge and watched the pro start; exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. Awesome to see them race in person but my stomach was twisted in knots knowing that my turn was next. Jess and I went over the edge and sat with our legs in the water to acclimate. We just sat there taking in the moment before we had to start treading water and then start the longest workout of our lives.
With about 5 minutes to go we hopped in the water, peed in our wetsuits and made our way to the start line. It was finally time!
  • 1h 16m 28s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 01s / 100 meters

After the national anthem it was just a short moment before the starter cannon shoot and it was time to race! I was a little worried about the whole washing machine effect but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had thought. We were spread out over a wide area and I was at the back to keep from getting the worst of it.

It was a fight to try and find some free space to swim. I stopped a few times in order to let some people pass me rather than swim over me and so I could draft off of them. A few hundred meters in I got kicked in the face and my goggles came loose. Flipped onto my back and took a minute to get myself resituated.

Got back to my usual rhythm and just did what I could to enjoy myself. There were a handful of people walking along the shore watching the swimmers. It was a nice distraction. I just tried to think about anything other than how much further I had to swim…and bike…and run.

I finally came to the turn around and took the corner a little wide in order to avoid fighting for space. Once I was headed back toward transition I looked at my watch and I was at 36 minutes. The out was a little shorter than the back so I wouldn’t have to push too hard to make my goal time of 1:30.

I looked up at the bridge where we started and it seemed a lot closer than the bridge I had to swim to on the way out. I welcomed anything that made my day seem easier. I spotted off the far shore and tried to stay parallel to the shore, but that seemed to bring me further away from the buoys. I paid no attention to the other swimmers trying to hug the buoys and just swam straight for where we would cross under the bridge.

This seemed to serve me well since I was swimming alone and felt very relaxed. As we got near the bridge I began to move closer to the inside line for the final turn. For some reason I got it into my head to try and breathe left (something I’ve never done) as I rounded the last buoy. I was tired of lifting my head to sight each stroke. I had no idea what I was doing but I forced myself and after a few strokes was breathing left and sighting as I went.

Finally I could see the steps leading to transition. I moved to the outside where there were less swimmers coming out of the water and aimed for the third step on the ladder. I could grab this step and put my knee on the bottom to get out of the water.

My first Ironman swim: DONE!
What would you do differently?:

Don't rip my wetsuit the day before. But I'm not complaining; I was 14 minutes faster than I thought I would be.
Transition 1
  • 06m 30s

I ran up the steps and moved my goggles onto my forehead. The drawstring for my wetsuit and come un-velcroed somewhere along the way and it took me a second to find it. Finally got it and pulled got my wetsuit to below my waist as I ran along the water. Went to the last wetsuit-stripper to avoid the lines that some people were forming at the first strippers they saw. Wetsuit off and running to the changing tents.

Running along the way I heard a volunteer call "702" into his walkie-talkie. I nearly teared up right there. This was the greatest race I had ever done! I couldn’t believe how well they take care of their athletes. Grabbed my transition bag from a volunteer and looked for a seat outside the changing tent. It took me a second to realize what I was trying to do. There as just so much going through my head.

I sat down and brushed off all the dry grass that I could but it was a loosing battle. I’d never get it all off. No matter; I’ve got another pair of socks in my T2 bag. Got all my clothing on, food in my jersey pocket and it was time to start moving. Ran through the tent and tossed my bag to a volunteer. Drank a cup of water as a volunteer sprayed me with sunscreen. Then it was a short jog through transition to a volunteer who was waiting at the end of my rack with my bike. I never even broke stride as I grabbed my bike and headed towards the mount line. This was the part of the race that I had been looking forward to all day!
What would you do differently?:

Don't get worried when my head is swimming and I don't know what to do next.
  • 5h 52m 24s
  • 112 miles
  • 19.07 mile/hr

The mount line was crowded with spectators along both sides. I was in a pack of riders already so I had to take my time to stop and clip-in to make sure none of us got in anyone else’s way. The crowd roared as we started to pedal and headed out. ‘This is awesome!’ I thought to myself. We headed around the back of the parking garage and made our way around the block before we headed towards the highway.

It was only a quarter mile into the ride and I was already passing people. My goal time for the bike was sub-6:00 and I was damn intent on making it. We headed down past Sun Devil Stadium and it was turning into a damn nice day for a bike ride. As we got away from the city I found that my worst nightmare wasn’t coming true: we didn’t have any winds! The stories from last year really had we worried, but today was as calm as could be.

I kept my cadence a little higher than normal to get my legs used to the rhythm without pushing them too early. As I approached mile 8 I saw the first of the pros on their way back to finish their first lap. Damn! These guys were incredible! Sadly Tim DeBoom wasn’t one of the top males. I was really excited to see the WWII fighter plane paint job on his Equinox TTX go flying past me.

Hit mile 10 and began my nutrition plan. I wanted to eat Fig Newtons as well as Clif Bars for the bulk of my solid food that day. I had AminoVital Endurance as well as Gu2O in my bottles and took at least one bottle of water from every aid station I passed.

The ride out was gorgeous and I couldn’t stop myself from admiring all the bikes around me. Especially the high-end all carbon fiber bikes with disc wheels…as I passed them. It was a long slow incline to the turn-around but once I was there I knew that I could get there two more times without going crazy.

The ride back into town was amazing. The hill provided just the right incline. I was in my two hardest gears the whole way and hammered as hard as I could. I wanted to really push the first lap and then slow down to rest for the run over the last two laps. Coming down the only hill I was doing 30MPH and didn’t even feel like I was trying. Shortly before I passed the volunteers setting up the special needs area I saw Jess…or rather she saw me. Thankfully she yelled in time for me to see her as we passed.

Now my only goal was to get back into town feeling as good as possible. As I came back into town I started to eat my first Clif Bar. What I hadn’t counted on was the dry heat of the desert making it difficult to chew and swallow something like a Clif Bar.

Coming back to Sun Devil Stadium I passed another Trek E9 and when I looked at the bike in front of me it was an E11. Three Treks all in a row and as we would come up on another rider we would each pass them up and keep our little pack together. We weren’t close enough to draft off each other, but it was still a fun little picture in my head of the Trek riders passing up P3Cs in succession time after time.

Made the bridge loop and it was time for lap #2. I could have passed Robert (the E11 guy) and kept up the 21MPH pace but instead I kept him a respectable distance behind him and used him to keep me from going too fast. As we headed back out of town I pulled over to the side of the road to pee. Took a lesson from the Iron Star HIM last year and only unclipped my right foot and just turned to the side. None of that wasted time with getting off my bike and not peeing in front of other people.

Back on my bike I ate my first package of shot blocks and was more than half way through my bottles of energy drink. Getting back on the Beeline Highway I really started to take in just how big of a race this is. I still wasn’t half way through the bike and it was starting to get hot. And once I’m done I have to run a marathon! This is way more than I could have ever imagined.

It was past time to eat again but this time I just didn’t have it in me. It was hot and dry and the last thing that I wanted to do was chew a Clif Bar or even a Fig Newton. My only other options were Shot Bloks and Jelly Belly Sport Beans. They were each a little sweeter than I would have preferred but I could at least stomach them. They were handing out bananas at the aid stations but I didn’t want to stop grabbing water bottles just to get a small chunk of banana.

Going through the aid station next to special needs I decided to start bathing. I’m a very salty sweater so after 50 miles in the sun I was covered in sodium. I could feel the grit on my face and see the salt on the legs of my tri-shorts. I took the first bottle hand-up and poured it over my head and along my arms and legs. The next one I drank and it was the best tasting water I had ever had.

Coming around the turn I rode easy through the aid-station and just kept a good easy pace going down the hill. I was no where near the speeds I had last lap but I was comfortable and still moving along so I had nothing to complain about. I stopped at special needs and the woman with my bag was willing to stand there and hold it for me! I dumped out the little bit that was left in each of my bottles and poured in the next mix. I grabbed the spare bottle of Pedialyte and chugged it down as fast as I could.

I looked at the food in my bag and nothing was particularly interesting. I grabbed the Sport Beans and Shot Bloks because I knew that I could get those down. Time to get back to work. I was keeping an eye on the other side of the road for Jess. I didn’t see her after the start of the second lap so I wanted to know that she was still okay. I went to take a drink from my refilled bottle and I here my name. I picked the worst possible moment to look away! I turned to yell "Go Jess!" and could only hope that she heard me.

Back on way into town I started to visualize what it would be like to finally get off my bike and start running. What the wall would feel like to hit the wall during an Ironman. What the last 10K would feel like. The last 5K. The finish line. Okay, I had to stop before I started tearing up.

As I approached the final turn for Sun Devil Stadium I started approaching an older guy who had obviously had a crash. His leg and elbow were bloodied and his shorts were worn. He was riding slowly and his bike was making a horrible creaking noise. I could see his chain jumping sporadically between two gears. I pulled up next to him to make sure he was okay. He had crashed pretty bad coming around a corner but wasn’t going to stop. This guy was in his late 50’s! Hardcore. He’s my hero.

Coming over the small incline before getting back onto Rio Salado I decided to get out of the saddle; purely for the sake of using some different muscle groups for a change. As soon as I stood up I could feel my quads cramping. Whoa! This isn’t good at all. I tried again and it was the same thing. Horrible cramps just above my knees on the inside of my legs. I knew I would have to try to work them out over this next loop or I would be dead in the water on the run.

Powering down Rio Salado, I was keeping a decent pace behind Robert when I looked over and read one of the signs that said "Cars right, Bikes left". These signs were all over the sections of the course that were open to traffic but as soon as I passed this one a motorcycle passed me on my left! This wasn’t a race referee or a camera man or anything. Just a guy on a cruiser whom I thought didn’t realize that the signs were talking about bicycles and not motorcycles.

Then it finally clicked in my mind that the pros were right behind me, about to finish their last lap. My secondary goal for the day was to not be lapped by a pro but there was nothing I could do now. I moved as far to the right as I could, started hammering and just waited for it to happen. No more than a few seconds later a silver blur goes whizzing past me followed by a camera man. The name on his bib# said ‘Michael’. "Must be Michael Lavato", I thought to myself.

Soon after two more cyclists passed by but neither of them were Tim DeBoom. I was a little sad that I wouldn’t get to see him up close on the course. Oh well… I’ve only got one for lap left! I watched the pros head of transition as I crossed the first side of the bridge. I ate my Sport Beans as I turned around and started my 3rd loop.

Rounding the corner back onto Rio Salado I heard my dad yelling for me. I knew saw them but it was good to hear a familiar voice like that. I saw Haley and Chippy a few blocks down the street and a race volunteer who looked eerily like Alice Cooper.

Robert had pulled away from me when I slowed to get the jelly beans out of my jersey pocket. So this time ‘Stephan’ became my pacer. I got out of saddle going over the same bridge as before and had the same cramping in my quads. As we neared the section of bad roads before the highway I got out of the saddle and just stood up on my pedals. I stretched out my legs as best I could then dropped back down before I lost all my speed. After a few rounds of this it was time to go back to work.

Once I got back on the Beeline I had another package of Shot Bloks. I really didn’t want to eat them but just the thought of another Clif Bar made my mouth feel dry. As I started to climb the hill for the last time a guy named Goldman pulled up beside me and asked how I was. "Great! Just a few more miles then a quick jog in the park and I’m done!" We both laughed and he thanked me for setting the pace the last 2 laps before he pulled in front. Damn, he had a USC jersey on and was 21. He was the first one in my AG I had seen pass me.

Shortly before the turn around, mile 87 to be exact, Gina passed me. We talked for a brief moment and she said that she wasn’t looking forward to the run. But this is Gina we’re talking about. She always thinks that she’s going to have a bad run and does fantastic. I was just happy to talk to someone I knew for more than a second.

I continue to drink and bath at each aid station and after the turn-around I was thrilled to make my final push for home. I got caught up in a group of 2 guys and 3 girls who were constantly passing each other up. I had no problem with the constant jockeying for position, but one of the girls was drafting every chance she got! All 3 girls were in the same age group and ‘Christi’ was obviously the weakest of the group. The girls would pull ahead of me and I would drop back and start to pass them. Well Christi would suck my wheel to get past them and the drop off.

The girls would go to pass me and she would suck their wheels to get past me. Back and forth, over and over again. She was really pissing me off.
Finally I saw a race official ride up beside me. I laid off the gas to make sure I was 4 bike lengths back and they pulled forward to look at Christi. This girl was completely oblivious to the official right behind her and she was obviously drafting. Does the official hold up a red card and tell her to stop at the next penalty box? NO! Abso-fucking-lutely outrageous! I wanted to take justice into my own hands and jab a stick into her spokes.

Fine, I’ll pass her fast enough to she can’t keep up and drop her like a sack of potatoes. This was the only thing I could do to make myself feel any better. After I was far enough ahead I got out of the saddle and coasted some more. The cramping was still there but not as bad. Of course, that didn’t make me feel any better about what the run would do to me.

Coming off the Beeline I finally saw Jess heading out for her last lap. She was looking great and that really gave me a boost. I stopped at the last aid station to pee before I had to run. I would have gone on the side of the road but I wanted an excuse to get off my bike and for around for a moment. My legs desperately needed something different.

Back on the road I ate my last package of Shot Bloks and was ready to be done. Sun Devil Stadium came into view for the last time and as I looked at my watch I knew I was going to make my sub-6:00 goal time by a good ten minutes.

Coming down and around the block there was the familiar wall of people as I neared transition but they weren’t nearly as noisy as before. Haley, Chippy and my parents were all there at the corner so at least someone was making noise.

I slowed and unclipped from my bike and handed it to a volunteer. (Did I mention how great Ironman volunteers are?) I had to find out what my legs could do so I didn’t even hesitate to start running. The guy next to me jokingly cursed at me as I passed him just before the timing mat.

My first Ironman bike: DONE!
What would you do differently?:

Going out easier would have improved my overall time, but I didn't care today. I had a time goal for the bike that was more important to me which I made and had tons of fun.
Transition 2
  • 04m 40s

Ran down past the BT cheering section and found the row with my bag. I had to yell at a volunteer to get my flag since they wouldn’t let me keep it in my transition bag. I bumped into Gina as I was running around the changing tents. I could already tell that she was going to kick my ass.

I took a seat and looked over to see Goldman right next to me. We both had huge smiles on our faces. It was good to know that someone else was in as much pain but happy about it.

I changed my socks, put on my shoes, hat and gel flask and it was time to run. Tossed my gear bag to a volunteer and all I could hear was Haley yelling at me to put on sunscreen. I grabbed a cup of water and slowly drank it as a volunteer slathered sunscreen on me. This was much better than that spray-on stuff they did in T1.

Standing there the guy next to me said, "Aren’t you from Dallas?" "Hell yeah" I said! He wasn’t the only one that day who recognized me from races in the Metroplex. As soon as I could I was off. A huge cheer went up from the crowd as I unfurled my flag and ran over the timing mat to start my marathon.
What would you do differently?:

  • 6h 14m 26s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 17s  min/mile

We started the run right at thick section of spectators. We’d run past this point twice each lap so that’s where most people gathered to watch. The roar from the crowd as I went past was awesome! And even better: the first aid station was only a tenth of a mile away! I walked past grabbing cold sponges, water, Coke and bananas. I could already feel the twinges in my legs and I knew this was going to be bad. I had to get all the salt and potassium I could.

There was a pimple of a hill shortly after and as much as I wanted to run it I knew that I shouldn't. That turned out to be a good thing because after walking half-way up it I had to stop to try and work out the cramps from my quads. I was relieved to get to the top and see that the next aid station was such a short jog away. Again I went through grabbing whatever fluids I could (I was really starting to like the boost I got from the Coke).

I jogged over the bridge and as I carefully went down a short decine we crossed over a dirt path to get the the jogging trial. This is where I saw the race leaders for the last time. A girl rode past me (in the opposite direction) with a sign on her mountain bike that read "1st Place Male". Wow! A few seconds behind her was Michael Lavato. Totally focused and moving incredibly fast. I was absolutely amazed. It wasn't long after that I also saw the 2nd and 3rd place males as well as the top female.

Next we followed the trail through a small park. The horse stables on one side were a good motivator to keep running. Made it to the next aid station and had more water, Coke and bananas. As I turned the corner I could see the largest hill we would have to run today. It wasn't really much of a hill, but today it was gigantic. The ASI photographer had set himself up at the top of the hill so I had to jog once he came into sight.

Then it was down under a bridge to the next aid station. They had a guy on a microphone cheering for us, which was great. All the people working the station took their hats off as I ran by. Damn it I love this race. Still going with my water, banana and cola routine.

Headed back along the lake and saw a row of signs made by spectators. It was fantastic to read the messages that people wrote for their friends and family members running the race. There was another aid station before we ran back past the dirt field and crossed the bridge back towards transition.

It was weird to see the mile markers for the 2nd and 3rd laps when I was only on my first. “So I’ll have a 10K left when I’m at this point on my last lap.” Very weird feeling. Back on the transition side of the lake we hit the aid station staffed by ASU sorority girls. That motivated me to run.

Going past the swim start I hit the big lakeside crowd. OMG, what a rush! However the next turn took me to the worst stretch of the race. There was an aid station not long after the turn but after that it was nothing but an empty winding road with no shade. A solid mile with nothing to look at and no one cheering for us. Ugh.

However, the lonely mile was followed by the best aid station! They were loud and exuberant and everything you could want them to be. I took the first pair of sponges and squeezed them over my head and put the last pair under the shoulders of my tri-top. The sun was out in full force and there was no relief in sight.

Crossing the bridge to the other side of the lake we ran along a path with signs on either side. My personal favorite was one that said, “Somewhere Pat Tillman is watching and he’s smiling!” I got chocked up when I ran past that one.

After a Hawaiian themed aid station we ran back up to the final bridge and past the inspiration station. People were spectating along the bridge and there were a big help when I saw the sign that said “Finishers left; 2nd and 3rd lap right.” Okay, only two more to go.

I saw Haley as I ran past the changing tent and tossed her my gel flask. I had no more desire to eat energy gel so it was just dead weight to me. Hit the first aid station again and started drinking Gatorade and eating pretzels to get more salt in my system. It was hot and I starting to cramp up again.

Across the bridge for the second time I saw Gina (she looked awesome!) going the other way as well as the guy wearing the “Got Freedom?” jersey. He always made me smile. Through the park I had to stop before the aid station to squat down and work the kinks out of my quads. This time I got a cup of ice and rubbed it on my legs. It wasn’t much help, but it was something. I was forced to walk all the way up the hill and use the fencing at the top to stretch my legs out again.

Underpass aid station was just as motivating as before and I was happy to see them. I walked back along the trail drinking a cup of water and squeezing sponges on my head to try and beat the heat. I was right back to running once I reached the bridge again.

I walked after the sorority girls until I got to the lakeside crowd when I ran again and exchanged a few words with a female pro (#67) who was lagging behind but slugging it all out rather than DNFing. Once I made the turn I started to feel light-headed and I knew something wasn’t going right. I was over-heating, I was loosing salt like crazy and I hadn’t peed since the last lap of the bike. I had the next aid station rub ice on my legs. It was the only thing that made me feel better.

I jogged a bit to get up the lonely street to the good aid station but that just made me dizzy. My chest felt tight and didn’t feel like I was getting enough air with each breath. That’s when it started to hit me that I might not be able to run anymore today. When I got to the aid station the first guy in line asked me what all I needed. “Broth” was the only thing I was able to say. “We need broth for Aaron!” Have I mentioned how great these volunteers are?!?

As I turned the corner there was a woman dry heaving into a trashcan. Ugh. That isn’t what I wanted to see. Patted her on the back as I walked past and just hoped that she’d be okay. Saw the Pat Tillman sign on the other side of the bridge and got chocked up again. I try to run again but it just won’t work.

“Holy crap! I might have to walk the rest of this race!”
”Holy crap! I’ll be an Ironman if I can just keep walking!”

End of lap 2 and I stop to talk to Haley and Chippy. Haley rubs some cold sponges on my quads and I take some peanut butter crackers to try and get the salt back into my system. Now the people who had seen me run past twice already had to watch me walk past them.

This was heat exhaustion. Very little doubt in my mind. I felt light-headed and like I was on the brink of an out-of-body-experience. “How the hell am I going to make it one more lap?” I saw Jess mid-way through her second lap and that picked up my spirits. As I turn to walk over the bridge I can hear the finish line. It’s that close and I have to in the opposite direction to get there.

Through the underpass aid station I was taking broth and cola and whatever food I could. I was going to miss these people but at the same time I was really glad I wouldn’t have to see them again that night. Met a couple of Marine who were in my AG and it was good to talk to them. It felt even better to pass them and know they wouldn’t be able to catch me if all I did was walk.

Back on the other side of the lake the sun was going down and the crowds were disappearing. I try to jog a mile 20 but I just can’t. My quads and calves cramp and just won’t do what I tell them. My head is feeling better now that the sun is down, but my legs just won’t work. I’m not too tired to run; I just can’t stop the cramping.

Along the lonely mile I get passed by someone with a glow stick for the first time. I had been watching the Kona races on NBC since I was 8. I had waited 15 years to get my glow stick at an Ironman and it was about to happen!

Went through my favorite aid station for the last time and it was almost hard to say goodbye to the volunteers. They did such a great job all day. I couldn’t have done this without them. Over the bridge for one more time and I try to run. Cramps. Back to walking. Walking will get me home.

Just before row of signs and I finally have to pee! I don’t wait to get to the next aid station and decide to water a cactus instead. Good tip: be careful about getting cactus spines in your elbow while you pee on the IMAZ course.

Walking through the last aid station I pick-up a few more walkers and we move as a group into the night. Crossed the inspiration station (fantastic idea BTW) and I’m on the bridge for home!

I reach the final corner and there is a sea of people in the grandstands! I couldn’t do anything but run. I’m sure my legs were hut and cramping but I couldn’t feel it now. I had never been so happy to cross a finish line before!

My first Ironman: DONE!
What would you do differently?:

More salt and food on the bike to prepare for the cramps on the run. Mental fortitude got me throught just fine though and I had alot of fun.
Post race
Warm down:

A finish line catcher put her arms around me and a mylar blanket over my shoulders. She informed me that I was trembling. This was something I had no clue about. Maybe it was time for a trip to the medical tent. We found Haley a few feet later and I gave her my flag and bag of finisher goodies. The volunteer slowly walked me to the medical tent.

I sat down and was given a cup of broth and Gatorade. I slowly sipped them both and after a minute started to get really dizzy. I thought I was about to fall out of my chair. Luckily this passed after a few minutes and then I was back on my feet and looking for Haley.

Talked with Gina for a bit and she really kicked my ass today. Went back to the finish line to grab some pizza and get my finisher photo taken. We hung out for a bit and then I decided to walk back down to the lake. Haley was kind enough to carry my stuff as I hobbled along.

I walked down the stairs from the swim exit and sat down with my legs in the water. It wasn’t quite an ice bath but it was at least a temporary fix. Next we went to pick-up my bike and gear bags. Met my parents by the changing tents and gave them the story.

The day was finally over and I was an Ironman. We headed back to the Jeep and I changed clothes in the parking garage. Now all I wanted was food!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat exhaustion. I didn't consider the dry heat in my nutrition plan so I didn't eat as much as I wanted on the bike.

Event comments:

How could I not love every second of my first Ironman?!?!

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Last updated: 2005-09-04 12:00 AM
01:16:28 | 3800 meters | 02m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 34/51
Overall: 955/1943
Performance: Good
AVG HR: 132
Suit: Zoot Z1 sleeveless (torn)
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:30
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
05:52:24 | 112 miles | 19.07 mile/hr
Age Group: 19/51
Overall: 570/1943
AVG HR: 135
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 04:40
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
06:14:26 | 26.2 miles | 14m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 41/51
Overall: 1397/1943
Performance: Average
AVG HR: 121
Keeping cool Below average Drinking
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

2006-04-19 9:59 AM
in reply to: #399671

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South Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations, Ironman!! What a great race report. I love the picture with the flag and the cool rock behind you - very Arizona-ish. But I was dissapointed to hear you didn't pee on your bike, isn't that what real Ironmen do?

2006-04-19 10:13 AM
in reply to: #399671

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Hollidaysburg, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats!!! Super job!
2006-04-19 10:24 AM
in reply to: #399671

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Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
I can't believe I read your entire race report, but it was so entertaning.  Awesome job, but I have to ask, you sure you want to do another Ironman race?
2006-04-19 10:32 AM
in reply to: #400090

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2006-04-19 10:48 AM
in reply to: #400042

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
JeepFleeb - 2006-04-19 10:58 AM

dgunthert - 2006-04-19 9:35 AM
Did you take any salt tablets all day?

I had Endurolytes on the bike and ate as much salty food as I could stomach on the run.


Wow you must sweat many endurolytes did you take?

2006-04-19 11:05 AM
in reply to: #399671

Seattle WA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome job - great report. Congrats!!!!

2006-04-19 11:05 AM
in reply to: #399671

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Incredible! You and the other Ironpeeps are so amazing!!  Simply incredible!!
2006-04-19 11:05 AM
in reply to: #399671

Tampa, Fl
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
If your going to hit something on a catus while you are peeing I think elbow is a better option than something else.
2006-04-19 11:10 AM
in reply to: #399671

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
WTFG Aaron!
2006-04-19 11:11 AM
in reply to: #399671

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats Ironman!!  Awesome race and your RR was fantastic!!
2006-04-19 11:24 AM
in reply to: #399671

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great job, great race and great race report. Congratulations Ironman!

2006-04-19 11:30 AM
in reply to: #399671

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Aaron!  Totally amazing!  I had to close my office door because I was getting choked up just reading your RR.  Congrats!  You and Jess are totally inspirational!  Great report!  Great race! 
2006-04-19 11:33 AM
in reply to: #399671

Hurst, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Absolutely incredible, Aaron.  But you already knew that.  Just reading that report is already giving me nervous butterflies for CDA...ugh!

Congrats again, my friend.  Real proud of ya! 


2006-04-19 11:36 AM
in reply to: #399810

Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Wow, incredible.  I don't know what else to say other than thanks for the report to read.
2006-04-19 11:48 AM
in reply to: #400098

New Orleans, LA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
JeepFleeb - 2006-04-19 10:32 AM

parrj - 2006-04-19 10:24 AM sure you want to do another Ironman race?

Without a doubt.

true indication of a great experience      Great job Aaron!!

2006-04-19 11:55 AM
in reply to: #399671

Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona


GREAT race report!  I'm very glad you had a good time and did so well!  I have a feeling this is only the beginning...

2006-04-19 11:58 AM
in reply to: #399671

Los Angeles, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great race report and a great race! Great job sticking with it on the run and way to beat your goal times on the swim and the bike legs!
2006-04-19 11:59 AM
in reply to: #399671

Nags Head,
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome report!!!! Got goose bumps myself just reading way to go....Oh yeah your tat is as awesome as the report
2006-04-19 12:21 PM
in reply to: #399671

Flower Mound, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations Aaron. I've been waiting to read your RR for over a week, and you didn't disappoint.  You're my inspiration for Redman Full.   I can only hope to have as good of race/experience as you did.   See you at the Du-2-Du and Triathlon Night at RBM if you're going.
2006-04-19 12:34 PM
in reply to: #399671

Extreme Veteran
Miami, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations Ironman!  Awesome job on your RR too Aaron. It was worth the wait.  I'm very inspired by your diligence in getting it done man!  :-)
2006-04-19 12:54 PM
in reply to: #399671

Helena, MT
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Heat exhaustion is horrible even when you can just sit down in the shade and ride it out. Way to keep going, Aaron! Great RR. I agree with Rick.

2006-04-19 1:02 PM
in reply to: #399671

McAllen, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great race Aaron. Your report was very inspiring and motivating. Thanks for sharing it with all of us. You made me want to be an Ironman!

2006-04-19 1:05 PM
in reply to: #399671

New Port Richey
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome job Aaron. Your race reports are always great.
2006-04-19 1:10 PM
in reply to: #399671

New Port Richey
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

I found a way where I can keep up with you in a marathon now. Just make sure you swim 2 miles first and ride your bike for 112.


2006-04-19 3:07 PM
in reply to: #399671

Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Superb.  I followed you and Jess all day on the IM website.  I could tell when you'd finished each lap on the bike/run...when you came out of the water.  It was exciting just following you that way, I can't imagine being there.   Great job, Aaron.
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