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Ironman World Championship - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Kona, Hawaii
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
85F / 29C
Total Time = 11h 01m 54s
Overall Rank = 942/1900
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 140/170
Pre-race routine:

I had a fantastic week in Hawaii leading up to the race. The flights were long and it was a lot of travel, especially for my 8 month pregnant wife, but I really wanted to enjoy all my time on the island. I went into town and to the expo pretty much everyday leading up to the event. I also did the underpants run a couple days before the race and it was a lot of fun. I have some links to some videos I made throughout the week.

Leading up the race, I wasn't really nervous and had a much different mind set than I typically do for Ironmans. With everything I have/had going on (baby due Dec 5, in the process of buying a new house, new job, and the training), I didn't have very high expectations. The goal was to get to Kona, enjoy the experience, and make sure I came home with that finisher t-shirt.
Event warmup:

Not much of a warm up. I finally saw bryancd just before the race as well as a few other BTers. It was nice to see them and chat with them because I didn't see either of the couple other people I knew doing the race. Once I entered the water, it really started to sync in that I was able to compete in the Ironman World Championships. Everything seemed a little bit different than it was on TV, but it was awesome!
  • 1h 11m 6s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 41s / 100 yards

I headed to the start line about 10 minutes before the start of the race. They were trying to get us in earlier, but I knew 10 minutes of treading water would be enough for me. I lined up in the middle and about 3 rows back.
They had a problem with the cannon so all the sudden we just heard Mike Reilly say "Go, go, go!" And with that, the mayhem began. I expected the first quarter of the swim or so to be congested, but thought it was open up. There were a few times I had to basically stop because there was no way for me to pass the people in front of me. However, I didn't stress about it, I just kept trying to do my best. From that point on, there were times when it would seem to open up and I'd get into a little groove, but then all of the sudden I'd be surrounded again.
Once we got to the first turn, everyone came together again and it was really slow moving. There was tons of contact getting around the buoys. Once I got around the two turn buoys, things did seem to open up a little bit because I moved pretty far to the left of the buoys. This did help, but I had someone drafting off me and kept touching my feet. After probably the 100th time they hit my feet, I started to get annoyed. I tried kicking a little harder to give them a hint, but it didn't stop. I don't mind a little drafting, but if the person kept hitting my feet, they probably would have been better off passing me than sitting behind me. I guess this annoyance did make a lot of the time of the second half of the swim go by faster.

I have never done this during a race, but I did pee once during the second half of the swim. I have had the urge before, but had never been able to and keep a steady pace. I did slow down a bit to do so, but I thought it was a good sign that I was well hydrated.

As I approached the beach, I was pretty excited. It was my turn to run up those steps like I had seen so many people do on TV. As I got to my feet, I looked at my watch and saw 1:10 something and was pretty shocked! Oh shit! I thought to myself. However, I immediately removed those thoughts from my head and just told myself not to worry about it, what's 6 minutes in a 10-11hr day. :)
What would you do differently?:

Not really sure what I would have done differently. I swim training was a bit sporadic this year and could have used a little more consistency. However, my times in the pool were right on heading into the event so I was surprised by time. But with all the traffic, the ocean swim with no wetsuit, I knew I was certainly going to be slower than a wetsuit legal swim.
Transition 1
  • 03m 35s

I guess since its the World Championships, they let AGer's leave their shoes on the peddles. Sweet! I actually ended up setting my transition just like a sprint race and didn't end up having anything in my bike bag. That was pretty cool!

I didn't rush didn't T1. I took my time to put socks on and actually had a bit of trouble getting my helmet on. I swear I checked it before I left for the swim, but my bike helmet was set too tight and I had to loosen it to be able to put it on. I also decided to wear gloves which took a little more time.

The mount line was pretty crowded when I get there, but I just ran up to an open spot and had no issues mounting the bike and getting my shoes strapped while on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

The only issue was getting my helmet on. It was awesome to have an IM transition be like a regular race and be able to leave my shoes on my bike.
  • 5h 58m 59s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.72 mile/hr

I really struggled on the bike during this one. I planned to average what I thought was a pretty modest 225-230 watts and started out right on track. My hamstrings did seem a bit tight, which is very rare for me, but I think it was due to the increased kicking needed for the non wetsuit swim. Nonetheless, I was all smiles heading out on the bike and was excited for the rest of the race.

After we did the initial little add on in town, which was really cool with awesome fan support, I was out on the Queen K. There was a tailwind to start on the Queen K so I cruised right along. I was passing people and also being passed by a lot of people. I was doing my best to take in as many fluids as I could. My goal was to try to pee as quickly as I could on the bike. However, since I peed during the swim, this ended up being quite a challenge.

As we got towards mile 30-40 of the ride, I started to get the feeling my legs didn't have it today. They weren't smoked at that point by any means, but I could feel that they were fatiguing way sooner than they should be. My legs typically start to really "feel it" about mile 80 or so on the bike, not mile 40. I didn't stress too much about it and just kept on going. The winds ended up shifting once we got out towards the turn around and everyone really started to slow down. At that point, I was really looking forward to the turn around and getting back to the tailwind. When I got to the turnaround, I was right. I did some coasting in some of the tailwinds as I headed back to town and was still doing about 30mph.

Unfortunately that tailwind didn't last long. The winds shifted back to a headwind and were basically that way for almost the whole way back to town. This was a really difficult part of the race for me. My legs just didn't want to go. I tried to amp myself up my telling myself "come on, you're in Kona" but at the same time, I didn't want to set myself up for a horrible run. As a result, I just plugged on through it. I got passed by a lot of people and was getting pretty discouraged, but kept on going. My HR was really low and definitely was not an issue, but the legs just weren't there.

I planned on being able to pee my mile 30 at the latest on the bike, but it didn't happen. I was finally able to pee at around mile 70. I had been taking in as much fluids as I could, so much that I probably regurgitated small amounts of it probably 10-15 times throughout the ride. I did this during NYC as well, but not nearly as much. I ended up peeing 2-3 times during the ride.

I'm not sure exactly what changed, but I finally snapped out of it a little after the 100 mile mark. My legs all the sudden felt a lot better and my power went back up to normal. I started passing people again and morale went back up as well.

I was extremely excited to get off the bike as I headed in. I had made that joke with a few other racers as I went by and they all seemed to be in complete agreement. As I got really close to transition, I saw my Mom which was another lift for me.

Overall, the bike course was a bit hillier than I expected it to be. It wasn't super hilly, but there were more hills than anticipated. My Garmin said there was 4,423 ft of climbing.
What would you do differently?:

Since this was my 3rd IM of the year and only 2 months after NYC, I did not do as many long rides as I normally do. I still think this was the right move, but perhaps my bike fitness started to slip as the race got closer. My power was good during my training rides, but I hadn't ridden 112 since NYC.
Transition 2
  • 03m 36s

T2 went well. It was nice to hand the bike off to a volunteer and not have to worry about it. As I ran through transition, my legs felt pretty good and I knew I was going to be able to pull off a decent marathon.

Like T1, I took my time. I switched my socks which took a little time, but overall T2 went really well. I could have gone a bit faster, but after that rough bike ride, I wanted to get myself together.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 44m 38s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 34s  min/mile

As I mentioned, I felt good in T2 and had a feeling I was going to have a good run. As I headed out of T2, I saw my Mom again. I asked her where my wife Kristen and my Dad were and she said they were getting something to eat. It would have been nice to see them, but I'm sure glad I saw my Mom.

My stomach felt great and my cadence was good as I headed out. I had to do my best to slow myself down as I got going. I would look down and would be doing around a 7 min pace which was far too aggressive for my first trip to the island. My goal was 8+ min miles to start and see how everything was going. I really wanted to make sure I didn't blow up, but at the same time, I wanted to be under 4hrs for my marathon.

The first 10 miles or so were relatively uneventful. I really enjoyed the scenery along Alii Dr. and just did my best to control my pace. There were a few times when my stomach started to tighten up, but I just stepped back the pace a bit and it would settle. I drenched myself in as much water as I could at each aid station and was talking 2 cups of Perform at each aid station as well as some water for the first 10 miles or so.

I ran about half way up the Palani hill, but decided to walk the rest. Its a pretty steep climb and figured I would be better off with that approach. The crowd support was fantastic up until this point, but once I got back out on the Queen K, pretty much the only support you saw was at the aid stations, which were fantastic at each aid station by the way. I was feeling really good at this point, but just stuck to the same pace and would walk while I took in my nutrition at the aid stations. At around mile 11 or 12, I did switch over to drinking coke as opposed to Perform at each aid station the rest of the way.

As we started to approach the energy lab, my legs started to feel a bit more tired, but I really had no complaints. I just kept moving along. As I headed back out of the energy lab, I stopped and peed. The Queen seemed pretty long both on the out and the back, but I just kept focusing on running from aid station to aid station.

As I approached my 23, I started to get pretty excited and knew that I was going to be able to finish the race strong. I was smiling from ear to ear and got a lot of comments on my smile. I saw Kristen and my parents with about a mile to go and they told me they'd see me at the finish line.

As I took the right onto Alii Dr. my smile got even bigger. However, running down Alii/the finishing chute seemed way different than TV. Nonetheless, I just kept smiling and high fiving the crowd. There were a few people in front of my that I probably could have passed, but I wanted to cross the line on my own.

It was extremely excited to cross the line! I did it! I had qualified and competed in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, a goal I had now for about 4 years or so. It felt awesome and was definitely an amazing experience.
What would you do differently?:

I could have pushed a bit more on the run, but I just wanted to complete this race and try to enjoy as much of it as I could. My mile splits were very consistent, which is what I wanted.
Post race
Warm down:

I felt the best I probably have after crossing the line of an IM. 2 volunteers did walk with me for a while, but for once, I didn't really need them.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Everything going on in my life didn't do me any favors. However, what was my key limiter? Not setting defined goals. I am very goal driven and since my goal was just to finish, I found myself a bit unmotivated during training. I knew I would have the fitness to cross the line, but at the same time, I was very busy with other aspects of life. I have no regrets, but next time that will be different! :)

Event comments:

Awesome race! It is a little disappointing to see my placing and certainly would have liked to have done better, but I finished in the op half of the finishers which isn't too bad. I guess its important to consider who my competition was. Can't wait to get back there and go FASTER! :)

Here are some links to some videos I made leading up to the race:

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-08-14 12:00 AM
01:11:06 | 4224 yards | 01m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/170
Overall: 0/1900
Performance: Average
Suit: Blue Seventy PZ3TX Speed Suit
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 03:35
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
05:58:59 | 112 miles | 18.72 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/170
Overall: 0/1900
Performance: Below average
Avg HR: 153 Max HR: 172 Avg Power: 205 NP: 217
Wind: Strong with gusts
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 83
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:44:38 | 26.2 miles | 08m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/170
Overall: 0/1900
Performance: Average
Avg HR: 156 Max HR: 176 Avg Cadence: 85
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
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

2012-10-20 8:34 AM

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Bedford, NH
Subject: Ironman World Championship

2012-10-20 5:51 PM
in reply to: #4461623

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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Congratulations both on qualifying and racing in Kona.  A HUGE accomplishment.  I love it when fast guys enjoy the ride.  Sounds like you have a lot going on this year and ou stil qualified for worlds!!!  Amazing   And congrats on the baby too
2012-10-21 6:42 AM
in reply to: #4461623

Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Congrats on a great race. Considering all that is going on in your life it shows the ability to balance and train and still post a pretty spectacular time in the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Another great job...way to finish with a smile!!!
2012-10-21 12:19 PM
in reply to: #4461623

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Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Great race report and congrats on a great finish! Nice chatting with you as well!
2012-10-21 3:12 PM
in reply to: #4461623

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Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Good perspective on the race.  Nice to finish with a smile.
2012-10-22 4:06 PM
in reply to: #4461623

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Congratulations! Great race report So happy for you that you got to do this. Best of luck with all the great things happening in your life! 

2012-10-22 7:30 PM
in reply to: #4461623

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Just South of Boston
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Congrats on a great race, Colin! Was fun tracking you online during the race, and I'm SO happy for you!!!! Way to go!
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