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Ironman 70.3 Syracuse - Triathlon

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Syracuse, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
90F / 32C
Total Time = 7h 00m 48s
Overall Rank = 1054/1616
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 116/142
Pre-race routine:

I got up at 4 am and ate breakfast. I had a bagel with peanut butter, banana and a nutri grain bar. I also had a little water and a cup of coffee. I had all my stuff packed up already so I took my transition bag and headed over to the race at 5:10 am. Glad I left early as it took a little time to get in there and park. I headed over to the transition area and set up my stuff. The bike was already there so I pumped up the tires and added my two bags for tools and spare tubes to the bike. I also met JoAnne there so we just hung out and then headed over to the swim area. She was in wave 3 starting at 7:05 and I was in wave 9 starting at 7:35 so I had some time plus it was hot so I did not want to sit there for 30 minutes with it on waiting.
Event warmup:

This was the first race where I actually was not nervous. I was pretty calm I think I was getting psyched out yesterday when I drove the bike course with JoAnne and her husband and the swim always makes me nervous. We had an opportunity to warm up so I got my wetsuit on at around wave 4 and got in the water. Great move, I swam a little and the water was nice and cool. It kept me cool and got me loose. I stayed in there until about wave 7 went and then joined my wave and headed over to get ready to enter the water after wave 8.
  • 48m 7s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 29s / 100 meters

My wave headed over to the swim start following wave 8. The waves went off every 5 minutes and we started at 7:35 am. I am usually very nervous at the swim start but not today. I do what I normally do and find a place near the back but stayed towards the middle. I said a prayer like I always do praying for the safety of all the athletes, volunteers and spectators. I actually felt very relaxed and was just hoping for a good start. My two OWS' this year did not go off as well as I would have liked so I was hoping this would be better. We got the go ahead and off we went. I got off to a very good start, not fast but I settled in quickly and had a good rythym. There was a lot of room and very little banging and bumping. The one thing that did totally suck was all the weeds in the water. I think the first 300 meters it was all over. I mean big clumps that would get on your hands, feet and face. Once you got beyond the first 200 to 300 meters it was not bad. I did pretty well on the out I had a good rythym and was sighting well and making good progress. I made it to the first bouy and was right outside it and made my turn. We got a little bunched there as there were other swimmers there but no issues I just keep going. It seemed like it took forever for me to get to the next turn buoy. I'm not sure why but it felt like forever. I made that turn but was further out from the bouy and started heading back. At this point I was getting a little tired. I am not sure why though. I know I was slowing down some here as I did not want to blow up on the swim so I kept it as easy as I could. I know the last two weeks my training was a little light and I have been pretty tired so it could have factored into my swim. In any case I just kept moving along and the shore was finally in sight. I just tried to stay consistent and not hammer in. I know I have a tendency to want to get it over with but I was trying not to waste energy. I finally made it in and my first thought was how did I do? Was I better than my last HIM? Apparently I was by only by 1 minute. I'm definitely not happy with that but I'm not a great swimmer to begin with so I can't complain I did finish and I was not wasted after the swim.
What would you do differently?:

I think I should have employed more bilateral breating. I went right side only for most of the swim. The only reason I did that is I haven't really had much chance to practice that in OWS. I have been doing it in the pool all year but it's not the same as being in the open water to me. I'll be doing a lot of open water swimming from here on out. I also think not being able to train as much the last two weeks (travel week and recovery week) may have hurt me a little.
Transition 1
  • 11m 59s

So just to level set I treated this race as a training race for Ironman Wisconsin which I'm doing in September. For the transitions I treated them as if I were doing IM. I didn't rush them. I swim without a top underneath my wetsuit and put a cycling jersey on in T1. I took my time and made sure I had everything I needed. I also hit the restroom which turned out to be a great move. I didn't have to use the restroom while on the bike.
What would you do differently?:

If I were really racing I would have moved much faster and would not have done what I did. But using this as sort of a mock Ironman I think it was more important to treat it as such and not worry about the transition times.
  • 3h 15m 30s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.21 mile/hr

I have to be honest I was quite intimidated when I drove the bike course the day before with JoAnne and her husband. I read plenty about it and saw some video on it so I already had some preconceived ideas about it but after driving it in the car my legs were sore. I knew the bike course would be challenging so pacing it would be the key especially with the hot humid weather. We headed out on Apulia Rd to 173 and you start hitting the hills. They aren't too bad until you make the right on Sweet Rd and then the fun begins. All hills and climbing and false flats. Here I was thankful I installed that 11-28 cassette on my bike. I used the 34/28 ALOT on Sweet rd. The biggest thing here was just staying within yourself and using easy gears and not pushing hard. I did a pretty good job of that. I also drank alot of fluid early on. It got better at the end of Sweet rd towards 80. That was flat with some false flats. I just tried to ride there and not push too hard until we got to the first big descent. This one you could hit 50 mph on it and you needed to because at the end of it was this climbing monster hill that was like a U. So you go bombing down the hill trying to carry that momentum up the hill. So 40 to 50 mph then down to 5 mph. I mean people were walking there bikes up this hill. I am proud to say I was able to stay in my seat and spin up it but damn that was brutal! Definitely the hardest climb of the course. You got more of the same with Reservoir rd not the downhill and brutal climb but some up and down stuff. This area was very nice and scenic and had lot's of shade running parallel to the reservoir. It was awesome. The course is very remeniscent of Wisconsin. It looks like Verona somewhat with the scenery and the profile is somewhat similiar. You even ride through Madison county! From here we hit West Lake Rd to 13 and that was sort of the same, some flats, some climbs and some false flats. I think I tried to push where I could and rest where I could do that. You had to pick and choose your spots for where you wanted to push and rest. There was one guy I rode with like all day. I don't remember his number but his age was 43 and he was on a roadie and we swaped positions all day long. We weren't racing each other we were just running the same pace. When I pushed he rested, when I rested he pushed. We never got too far from each other until the end of the race. I wish I would have remembered his number. He rode a good race, I was impressed. One other thing impressed me was this woman on a hybrid. You don't see that much in HIM's but I was impressed with that as well. Not to digress but on 13 I did push the pace alot I saw I was making good time and was surprised that I was holding a good pace. When we got to 91 I though damn I could get a 3:10 or 3:15 ish which is great for me. I may not be able to run but my bike split will look good! I kept pushing on 91 as we got some downhills there and alot of shade so I keep the pace up and when we hit Clark Hollow rd that was my favorite part of the race. You just go bombing downhill at 40 plus mph and there are nice hills and curves all down hill. I got some rest here but it was the best part of the course. We then came back up Apulia rd and I just took off from here. There was some climbing here but I put the hammer down and passed as many people as I could. I even left my roadie bike friend behind at this point. I knew I was close and was having an awesome bike leg and I felt pretty good. Sure enough I made it back to the bike finish and I knew I had a good time and did a great job.
What would you do differently?:

Two things I would have done differently. I would have been more aggressive on the downhills. I let up and coasted alot and I did not hammer down some of the big descents and I should have. I've been riding less then 18 months so I'm still improving with handing and cornering. I need to have more confidence in myself there. Second thing is I should have drank and ate more. That was a big mistake and I think it affected my run. Not as much as the weather but I think I could have run a little more had I done a better job with my nutrition.
Transition 2
  • 10m 45s

Well I did better in T2 no? Seriously I did not rush here. I actually ate and drank more and hit the restroom again before going out and facing the heat and humidity. Again I was totally unconcerned with my transition times today.
What would you do differently?:

Not much all practice for IMWI
  • 2h 34m 25s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 48s  min/mile

So I headed out for my run thinking if I just slow my pace down and stay at 11 to 11 plus mpm I could run this thing. I must have been freakin dillusional to even consider that. Well I started out running the first two miles and did fine all the way down Apulia rd up until the first aid station at Paladino rd. There I walked the aid station got water and ice. That was my go to the entire run, ice, ice and more ice. I stuck in down my tri top, under my hat and ate it. After the aid station I started running again and wham the first hill and then reality set in. I better walk this one and I did I kept my pace to a fast walk. Then you turn the corner onto Ransom rd and wham hill number two! Both long and climbing hills. Well I just kept on walking until I hit the aid station before the turn around got my ice and water and then ran down the hills. I used this strategy for both loops. I walked the aid stations and ran where I could on the flats between Ransom and Paladino but to be honest I walked alot there.Thank God for the supporters out there who had there garden hoses on and were watering us down! They were lifesavers yesterday providing us some much need relief. I am grateful to them. I did some cliff shot blocks before I hit Apulia rd as I was only taking in water and ice and I know I needed to get some calories in me. I ran/walked Apulia back to the park. You had to run the path in the park which was dirt and gravel and then turn back around and out. Well I did the first loop and was shocked I was moving as fast as I was. I'm thinking I'm not gonna be too far off my pace from my first HIM which I ran the whole course. I mean honestly nearly everyone was walking, it was brutally hot and humid and there was carnage all over the course including myself. The second loop I walked more but I pushed myself to run as much as I could so I ran alot down Apulia rd and then pretty much walked all of Paladino and Ransom until I hit the turned around. During this point it was water, coke and ice. I needed the calories and the ice was like a huge psychological boost to me. I would carry the ice cup with me for as long as I could keep it. It was my savior and comfort during the run. I ran the downhills on Ransom and Paladino then walked the last aid station before heading back to Apulia. At this point you could see the thunderstorms rolling in. I got my coke and my ice for the last time and was thinking I will walk just a little more and then I need to run this thing in. I felt I had enough energy left to do that. At this point I was walking and I passed JoAnne and we greeted each other and I was thinking man she still has a ways to go and I'm gonna finish this soon. I felt bad at that point because I knew the sky was going to open up and she still had a ways to go. At about 11.5 miles I started to run and I figured let me just go a little bit and I'll walk but at about mile 12 the down pour began. Then the thunder and lightning. I'm thinking should I stop and walk or can I just keep running, will I have enough to run it in. I said the hell with it just keep running and I did. Fear is a great motivator and being fearful of getting struck by lightning kept me moving and at a very good pace at that point. The wind kicked up and the rain was blowing in my face and I'm following 4 others in becuase I can't see anymore. Once we turned into the park it was a gravel, puddle, mud run. I just kept pacing off the 4 or 5 others ahead of me and when I had the last left to go I passed 4 of the 5 and headed to the last right on the path to the chute. I got a nice stride going planted perfectly for the right turn down the chute. At this point I'm going all out in a full sprint on gravel and i'm thinking please don't let me loose my footing on this stuff because it'll be bad if I go down and at the same time I'm like just keep booking you got this and sure enough I hit the carpet and cross the line. What was a real bummer here is the annoucer took cover so I did not get the benefit of that experience of having my name announced at the finish but it is what it is. It's funny how the little things are important to us forget the lightning, rain, heat and humidity. I want to hear my named called out at the finish!
What would you do differently?:

Not much, I could have pulled back on the bike. I should have ate and drank more on the bike but the weather was the deciding factor. I like most everybody there did not train in that heat and humidity so we were all at a disadvantage yesterday. The thunderstrom actually helped get me moving at the end. However I am absolutey amazed at my time in the run considering all the walking I did. I am most proud of my run today, I did a 10:41 for the last split that is just amazing to me.
Post race
Warm down:

Went to the food tent and had a slice of pizza, a bottle of water and a chocolate milk. I went to the transition area following that to collect my bike and belongings during the break in the storm and loaded up the truck. It took about 90 minutes just to get out of there.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

You know I can sit here and blame the weather for my performance but you have to take what you get and you have to do the best you can do. Syracuse is a challenging course, throw in that type of heat and humidity along with the thunderstorms and yeah it will slow you down. I'm not making any excuses for my performance I know I did the absolute best that I could do yesterday. I brought everything I had and I never once thought that I would not finish. These types of races are very memorable and they are ones that you look back on especially when you find yourself in need of some motivation and inspiration. I think I learned some valuable lessons yesterday. I also see where I need to improve and where I have improved. I have come a LONG way in the year and half I have been doing this. I'll continue to improve with more time, effort and experience. This was a good trial run for me leading up to IMWI.

Event comments:

I have to give it to WTC this was my first event with them and they were organized and they put on a good event. We got some good crowd support at different points of the course and the course is pretty challenging especially the run course. I had a great time yesterday even with the crazy weather I would not hesitate to do this race again in the future.

Last updated: 2012-11-01 12:00 AM
00:48:07 | 1931 meters | 02m 29s / 100meters
Age Group: 121/142
Overall: 1126/1616
Performance: Average
Suit: DeSoto
Course: Out and back clockwise course like a U, bouys were to the right and numbered. I think it was 800 meters out then right turn to first bouy 300 meters across and another right turn and 800 meters back.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:59
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
03:15:30 | 56 miles | 17.21 mile/hr
Age Group: 122/142
Overall: 1032/1616
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: The course is a one 56 mile loop. The first 15 to 20 miles is hills and false flats. There are two big descents one around mile 20 which goes in to the toughest climb. The second is near mile 45 which is all fast and downhill. You get a little of everything in between.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 10:45
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:34:25 | 13.1 miles | 11m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 116/142
Overall: 1054/1616
Performance: Average
IM splits 3.3 miles avg pace 11:48 - walking up hill 6.7 miles avg pace 11:15 - running down hill 9.9 miles avg pace 13:28 - death march up hill 13.1 miles avg pace 10:41 - amazing!
Course: 2 loops out and back; two long big hills that you climb on the out and descend on the back. The run goes through the park and that is dirt and gravel paths.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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] 4

2013-06-24 6:22 PM

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse

2013-06-24 6:43 PM
in reply to: #4786339

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Nova Scotia, Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
Great race, conditions sound really rough. Sounds like you had a plan and stuck with it pretty well. Congrats on the finish and good luck with the IM training.
2013-06-24 8:54 PM
in reply to: BigDaddyD79

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Extreme Veteran
Tallahassee, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
Tony, this is KWDreamun's wife, Pam. We are so proud of you!!! Stalking you all day and was truly impressed with our performance. What was the temp that day? We knew that it got hot for you and hoped it would not zap your energy. Love your description of the last miles of the run. Oh boy, I understand that feeling. One marathon, I hurt so bad at mile 25 that I said, "Screw it, let's finish this thing so the pain will go away." You did a truly amazing job (as did Jo!) and we are happy for both of you. Can't wait to stalk you at IMoo.
2013-06-25 4:18 AM
in reply to: Pink Socks

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
What a great accomplishment, Tony!    It was a well thought-out race strategy which you implemented.    I love that you weren't nervous on the swim and that you kicked it on the run and sandwiched a good bike in-between.   Heat and humidity suck the life out of you but you persevered.   Way to go!    Sorry your name wasn't called so I'll call it here....  ANTHONY HOLEWIENKO, YOU are a Half Ironman!!!    (I'm not sure what they say so that'll have to suffice).  Laughing    Congratulations!!
2013-06-25 6:51 AM
in reply to: bswcpa

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
Congrats Tony for a well run race. I knew you would do good as you have been training so hard. We are so proud of you and thanks for letting me live a dream thru you! Thanks for posting Tony.

Oh and by the way, the announcer would have screwed our name up any

Rest and get ready for are going to kill that race too!
2013-06-25 12:11 PM
in reply to: Pink Socks

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse

Originally posted by Pink Socks  What was the temp that day?  

Temperature with humidity was 116 degrees F.

Great report!  You described the course really well.  I remember looking up to the road when it rained and seeing runners on the top with lightening bolts hit the ground at a point that looked just in front of you all!

Good job on completing a course Mother Nature really tested everyone on! 

2013-06-27 7:03 AM
in reply to: kimmax

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Cairo, GA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse


Way to hang in the heat and humidity. I know how hard the heat can be. 

2013-06-27 9:31 AM
in reply to: jenbmosley

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Extreme Veteran
Racine, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
Tony congratulations again!
Knowing what the conditions were you did an amazing job! If it is any consolation I did not get my name announced either as they were actually taking everything down by the time I finished lol!
2013-07-01 5:54 PM
in reply to: #4786339

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Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Syracuse

Congrats on a hard fought race!  There were a lot of challenging turns on this day, many of which could not have been planned for and no amount of training could prepare you.  Trying to focus during that thunderstorm would be challenging enough but add the heat and humidity and you've got yourself into a big fight.

The swim is where I think you should celebrate the most.  To finally feel comfortable for a long swim is a big deal.  You can always walk on the run or pull up on the bike to recover, but to stop during the swim can mean something entirely different.

Good job!  There will be more HIM's to go faster.  Now is the time to get ready for IM!

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