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Great Buckeye Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Springfield, Ohio
United States
HFP Racing
90F / 32C
Total Time = 6h 49m 20s
Overall Rank = 87/106
Age Group = F 50-54
Age Group Rank = 1/1
Pre-race routine:

Drove into the campground on Saturday with a friend who was doing a HIM for the first time. This was my third but first time where I didn't spend Friday night at camp. Set up then drove to the race site for packet pickup and checking out the course. Ran into Dirk and Lisa and chatted a bit. Came back to campsite and organized a bit more. Met Matt and his sweet family who camped right across from us. Went back to race site to take a swim then chilled. We took a walk around the campground and met a few more BTers. Slept well. For breakfast, ate oats and yogurt w/ granola and banana.
Event warmup:

Rode our bikes the 3 miles to transition. Stood in the very long line for getting chip and body marked but thankfully the line moved quickly. Chatted, bathroom break, put on running shoes for a quick run, another bathroom break, prayer with HFP, wetsuit on then down to the beach. Got in the water about 10 minutes before our last wave and swam a short bit. Felt at peace and ready.
  • 46m 16s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 11s / 100 yards

It was a lovely morning for a swim and that's what I wanted to do - have a comfortable swim to set up for the long day. I wore earplugs and a nose plug for the fist time and it helped shut out a lot and kept me focused. I drafted off someone for a while then they were drifting left so I let them be and ended up drifting too far right. Our wave was the last for the day and it was small so I never had to jostle for position and it thinned out quickly. Got into a good bilateral breathing rhythm. On the second lap I could hear yelling and had to stop as frantic lifeguards crossed in front of me. They were screaming for 911, heading into shore. One was pulling a person (turned out to be a 69 y/o man) and the rest were following in kayaks. That spiked my HR and I immediately started praying. I continued on and could hear an ambulance and more yelling from shore. After I'd prayed it seemed I put it out of my mind and I didn't think about the incident during the remainder of the race.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 01m 37s

A little slower than normal but again, I wanted to keep a calm demeaner throughout. Blasted wetsuit stuck on heels again. My friend had made it out of the water a couple minutes ahead of me and she was grabbing her bike as I came in. We high-fived and then she was off and I was looking to catch her.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 02m 39s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.40 mile/hr

Kept an even pace and kept my HR in check as much as I could. Caught my friend and yelled some stuff to her. Matt had gone out the night before and written two encouraging messages on the pavement which were such a boost when I saw them. Too cool! I never did see Matt on the bike portion but I saw Dirk once. On the first lap I mostly passed folks and I was passed once by a little gal but I got her back and gained distance. Second loop was going well until I had a brain fart and rounded a corner with a payday in my hand and going too fast. Down I went and my first thought was that Tony from my mentor group had this happen and he finished the race, so I was too. My shorts weren't torn at the hip which took the brunt of the fall but I could feel my shoulder and elbow were raw from road rash. I get sick at the sight of blood so I purposely didn't look at it. Checked to make sure bike was OK. My water had spilled out of my aero bottle but thankfully a cop was right there and he gave me water to refill it. I went on my way, albeit at a slower pace initially and a bit shaky. I also put this incident behind me as much as I could. While I was down I was passed by about 5 bikers (the course had thinned out quite a bit by now) but I passed them all back. Previous to the fall I'd noticed I couldn't engage my rear cog chain into the smallest cog but I kept trying until about mile 50 it jumped ship and locked up. So another stop to unlock it. That same group of bikers passed me back by. With grease covered hands I caught all but one of them back before we made it to transition. I was hoping to do better with my nutrition on the bike. I was able to down 2 gels and a couple bites of the payday before loosing it in the fall. After that I couldn't stomach anything so I knew the run wasn't going to go well
What would you do differently?:

Keep my mind engaged in the race at all times. Don't eat and try to round a corner at the same time. Have the bike shop fix my chain issue (I thought they had after it had jumped ship at a race in June but alas, not).
Transition 2
  • 02m 56s

I knew I should do something with my shoulder but all I had was water so I took a peek and poured water on it which burned like the dickens and made me a bit sick to my stomach. No matter, I had 13.1 miles to go. I grabbed a wide headband which I never wear and a towel that I could put around my neck with ice because I was concerned with the heat. Longer than normal transition but I felt I needed to take the time to equip myself as best as possible for the run.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 56m 18s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 28s  min/mile

I was able to jog at first and I kept expecting my friend to come roaring past me as she's quite the runner. When I got to the turn around I counted that as a small victory because it was just after that that I saw her. I kept ice in my sports bra and the wet towel around my neck. No matter I felt the heat. I felt the shoulder and the top of my foot burning. I felt sick to my stomach. I can blame a whole bunch of things for how long it took me to jog/walk/shuffle/walk and walk some more the 13.1 miles. It was ugly. I don't know where my mind was. I really tried to maintain a pleasant attitude and I think I did on the outside as I encouraged everyone who passed me and thanked the aid station volunteers profusely. Inside I was having a meltdown. Dirk met me about a quarter mile out and helped get me to the finish line where I gave into my tears.
What would you do differently?:

Bottom line - train to run 13.1 miles after swimming and biking 57.2. I have no other excuse.
Post race
Warm down:

Cry then hold it together again for my friend. She just earned herself a 70.3 sticker and did fantastic! She won 3rd place in her AG and yelled that I'd won 1st place in mine. I knew there was another 50-54 lady who'd signed up so either she didn't show or pulled out somewhere along the way. I don't know but I felt so undeserving of holding that plaque for the picture.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training, heat, injury

Event comments:

HFP puts on a simple race which I like. Their registration fees are so inexpensive - $100 for a HIM? Unheard of! A few problems from the git-go were the morning lines which meant a race delay. The one crucial bike aid station had run out of water during the second loop and was unmanned and several of the run aid stations ran out of ice. All the post race fruit was gone by the time the BOPers finished. The volunteers were super friendly and helpful, though, and the course was well marked. I have no complaints.

It's 3 days post race and I'm still emotionally off kilter. Although I was able to put the panic cries from the lifeguards out of my head during the race, I believe they stuck with me and have attributed to my emotional state. The man's family and grandkids were at the race and he was unable to be resuscitated and I'm very saddened. I believe the fall left me shaken more than I want to admit. One of my goals for 2012 was to do two HIMs. One is done and I have the Rev3 half coming up next weekend. I have to say that I feel no pressure to "race" it or make a certain goal time. I DO want to take what the day gives me and do it with joy, then I'll call it a victory no matter what.

Last updated: 2012-03-24 12:00 AM
00:46:16 | 2112 yards | 02m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 82/106
Performance: Average
Suit: Rocket Science Sports sleeveless full
Course: Rectangle with clockwise swim. Did the loop twice.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:37
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:02:39 | 56 miles | 18.40 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 63/106
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Country roads with rolling hills and little traffic. Had to come all the way back to transition to turn around and do it again.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Bad
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:56
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:56:18 | 13.1 miles | 13m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 94/106
Performance: Bad
Course: Out and back on a bike path mostly all open and exposed to the sun.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
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

2012-08-30 3:57 PM

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Subject: Great Buckeye Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon

2012-08-30 5:35 PM
in reply to: #4388759

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Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon
Thanks for sharing Brenda.  What a crazy race overall.  Can't imagine what that swim must have felt like... and then with all the other stuff that happened in your race, you were still able to keep moving forward! WAY TO GO!!!  Hey and congrats on your AG win.
2012-08-30 8:44 PM
in reply to: #4388759

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon

Brenda I know that was a tough race for you and with everything that happened from what you witnessed during the swim, the bike crash and then an absolutely brutal run. I'm so proud of you for overcoming the adversity you faced that day and not letting any of those things stop you from finishing that race, that is relentless determination. It's the not the races where everything goes perfect for us but it's the races where nothing goes right and yet we perserve. Those efforts inpsire us all and they say alot about your character and who you are.

2012-08-31 8:24 AM
in reply to: #4388759

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Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon


I said it before reading this race report and now I am left again to repeat the same words; "You are one of the toughest women I know!"  The guts with which you completed this race are nothing short of amazing!  You may not have had the time you may have been looking for but you are one outstanding athlete!  You have worn the same team kit at every race since I met you last season and you seem to be the epitome of the words across your chest "Team Endurance."  I know you to be a deeply committed Christian and I know that Team Endurance has a different meaning.  But for this race, and this day, it's proven to me more about your character than I already knew.

Your swim was certainly a difficult one to complete.  Knowing that you had heard some of the things you did from the guards and the shoreline would have been extremely distracting and possibly disorienting.  These seem to explain why you have a slightly slower swim time than I thought you would have had with a wetsuit on.  I really enjoyed that you had the presence of mind to pray for the gentleman that died, and his family, as you were swimming.

Your bike is, well, another difficulty for the day that only leads me to wonder how you got so tough.  To stick through the ride after a crash is really gutsy.  And after seeing your shoulder during and after the race, it was just that, gutsy!  BTW, I know the corner you crashed on for the sake of MY sanity, please do not take those corners in aero again please.  LOL

Your run?  Well look, the day you had was, well, difficult doesn't fit.  You find a word that fits how badly it hurt you.  You may have had one of the worst races you have ever had but it proves your level of commitment to your sport and I think that commitment also is alive in your non-sporting life.

2012-08-31 8:33 AM
in reply to: #4388759

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Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon

It takes a special person to remain composed when dealing with as much adversity as you did. I'm impressed with the way you encouraged others and never gave up when you were dealing with your own inner turmoil.

Great job out there Brenda!!

2012-08-31 11:25 AM
in reply to: #4388759

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Subject: RE: Great Buckeye Challenge - Half Iron Triathlon

Wow, what an inspiring race.  So many things were trying to make this as hard as it could possibly be.  Dirk hits in right on the head.  You are one tough competitor!

"I can do all things" is what comes to mind. I'm sure you drew on some of that inner strength as the dark moments approached.  This race was just an awesome result from where I sit.

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