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Ironman 70.3 Timberman - Triathlon

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Gilford, New Hampshire
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
76F / 24C
Total Time = 5h 01m 19s
Overall Rank = 252/2037
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 17/156
Pre-race routine:

Warning - as this was my first HIM at the end of my first full season of racing tris, this will likely be an even LONGER RR than I usually write (and I'm not usually terse)! But there are some good parts interspersed in all the endorphin sotted post-first-HIM enthusiasm, promise (at least scan for "Andy Potts"). :)

Got up silly early (the usual) and feeling JAZZED about race day!

Mix up the Skratch for the day, eat a couple pieces of bread with nut butter and honey, coffee, the morning ritual... Pack and head over to the race site (didn't want to miss a parking spot - they filled by 4:20 and the hotel was a good 20' away, so started early to avoid "emotion"). Parked and filled gel flasks, stickered up the helmet while waiting for transition to open (like I could sleep, although others were asnooze in their cars). Set up transition and texted some friends about where we all were and post-race planning, etc. Watched the sun come up over Winnepesauke - AWESOME!

Definitely soaked in the vibe of the race (my FIRST HIM!)
Event warmup:

We weren't supposed to, as they were only allowing the pros to do a swim warm-up, but I hopped in the water with a bunch of folks and we swam in the way shallows so as not to anger the Iron-gods (almost a safety thing for me - I need a little water time before the race to shake the nerves out for the swim). All good. Did about 200m.
  • 30m 7s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 26s / 100 yards

This was a great swim for me. Found fast feet and was able to stick with them for the whole way. Was working at what felt like a 1:25/100 pace and swam 1:21/100, so the draft helps! I pulled around with a couple hundred left and went for it, and it was definitely harder just staying with him - and passing was quite the effort! (Course was longer than advertised, as it has been several times before - at least judging by both past results and averaging a bunch of different Garmins, previous racers, etc. - but that seems to happen at a lot of races).

Really enjoyed this one - I'm starting to like OWS every bit as much as the other sports (but still don't dig the pool as much as b/r).
What would you do differently?:

Not much. This one went very well (no feet to the face, drafted the best I've done yet, used my legs only at the very end to get some blood to them - otherwise used my "zero-beat-kick" the whole way). Super happy...
Transition 1
  • 02m 20s

Was thrown a little here, as it's apparently been a WTC 70.3 (not 140.6) rule for 2 years that no one but the pros may have shoes clipped to the bike to prevent anyone from doing a flying mount (and then the all-too-common flying crash).

They said anyone clipped in ahead of time would be assessed a time penalty, although many folks did it and didn't get penalties. An official actually suggested to a bunch of us setting up that we should do the same, but there was no question for me on this one (I don't draft, either!). Putting the shoes on at the mat and - much more so - RUNNING in them isn't something I was used to and had to stop and tighten them a couple times running out (my spot was way in the back). For clarity, I don't do a flying mount - more of a "I don't like to run in my bike shoes so I'll save some time and do a rolling mount" kind of thing. No biggie, but cost a few seconds... Some folks had, ahem, MUCH stronger feelings about this change, though.

The shoe thing and that there's just more stuff to grab for a HIM (two gel flasks to grab and tuck into my jersey pockets - in sprints and Oly's, I just put 1-2 gels in my pocket before the swim and didn't have to grab anything but my bike) were all that come to mind. Different is all - kinda enjoyable to mix it up, for me.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Went well enough, and running any harder would have sent my HR into the stratosphere! ;)
  • 2h 39m 40s
  • 56 miles
  • 21.05 mile/hr

Very happy with this ride, as I was most concerned about going too hard on the hills, but kept it in check. I targeted an avg HR of 140-142 with max of 150 and was pretty much spot on (avg was 140), with a very consistent (for me) power profile the whole ride. 2.5 big bottles of dilute Skratch (1 full scoop per bottle - mmmmmm, pineapple!) and ~4.5 Powergels on the ride (from a flask that took some serious sucking to get anything from - OK, many jokes there).

The volunteers at the aid stations were just terrific, and there were more spectators than I'd expected - all cheering for the guy in orange. ;) Made for a fun ride!

As always, I said hi or some form of greeting to everyone I passed, and also something congratulatory/admiring to everyone that passed me. As usual (at least up here in the NE), only two people on the whole course reciprocated (I know we're RACING, but come on folks). :) Most people were definitely in race mode (this was the most tense group I've experienced yet at a race) from the minute transition opened until after the race, when most people relaxed and were more social.

If I smiled any wider on the ZOOMING downhills, I'd have broken my face. What a blast!!!

Oh, and I love love love having a power meter again! Data! Toys! FUN!
What would you do differently?:

Other than the usual (train more beforehand), not much. This went pretty much just as I'd hoped.
Transition 2
  • 02m 4s

First time I've put socks on in a tri, and that honestly kinda threw me off a little. Didn't take longer than it should have to do it, but I did find myself staring at my mat for a couple seconds after I got my shoes on wondering if I'd missed something or done something wrong! :)
What would you do differently?:

Get a better transition spot? Not much, in truth - might have been able to shorten this by 15-20" (?), but it went smoothly.
  • 1h 47m 8s
  • 13.21 miles
  • 08m 10s  min/mile

Up front, gotta shout out to the volunteers and spectators - top notch!

Was just totally unsure how this one was going to go, as I suspected it wouldn't feel like an open HM (and, yep, I was right!). Like the bike, I metered this one by HR, targeting low 150's for the first half, gradually rising to mid 150's at the mid-point, then rising and trying to hold over 160 for the last 3.3 miles. Managed pretty close to that (average of 155), but couldn't hold over 160 for a long time (legs were pretty tired, even pumping my arms like a madman the last couple miles). I had a fairly consistent run across splits, which was great.

Belly revolted against gel at ~mile 2, so I tossed my flask away (it was like carrying a heavy little grenade anyway - oh, and next time I'll dilute it a little so I don't practically break a rib trying to suck that stuff out!) and decided to live off the course. The aid stations were so frequent that I had probably one or two too many drinks the first couple miles - managed to get that in control quickly, though (and tried Coke for the first time in a race - would have been better if it was flat, as the bubbles weren't great, but it was otherwise pretty tasty).

The first time I looked at my overall time for the race (or ANY time for any split, for that matter) was at mile 10 of the run. The last 5k, for me, is where I'll usually empty the tank on a HM, if I have anything left, so I stuck with that approach. I saw that if I could REALLY kick it in, I might break 5 hours (which is meaningless, but I needed something to fix on at that point). That, and I saw that I was catching a fellow in my AG who'd passed me earlier - also a motivator in a race. I did speed up (as much as I could) and managed to pass him, but not the clock...

Left it ALL out there.
What would you do differently?:

I felt a fair bit of muscular fatigue and soreness, especially in my medial thighs, that kept me from turning over more quickly by the end of the run, so perhaps a bit more "Muscular Endurance" run workouts off the bike beforehand. Hmmmm... I'll have to look into good groin workouts.

As for what I'd have done differently **yesterday**? Not much. Went as well as I could have hoped for.
Post race
Warm down:

Basked in the golden glow of endorphins. Wandered a bit to find the massage tent (Massage Lady and Essential Oil Lady - sisters actually - you two are miracle workers!) and then a plate of food. Best. Chips. Ever.

Back to transition as it opened and packed up. Stretched out in the sun for a bit then met up with friends. Packed up the truck and met up at the beer tent, from where we heartily cheered the award winners (great beer tent placement - those Iron-folks were a-thinkin'). Did I mention they had a beer tent?

Walked over to Andy Potts and thanked him for an article he did in Runners' World on stride/cadence which I had found very helpful. He was just the shiznit - super gracious and seemed genuinely happy/psyched that the article helped (and we just kinda chatted about running - super cool). Totally normal guy, for a WICKED FAST MUTHA. :)

3 of us stayed after the awards for the Rolldown ceremony to see what it was about (this was my first WTC race). Turns out we each missed a spot at World's in Mont Tremblant by ONE person! Apparently it's always worth waiting for the ceremony (or finishing 10 minutes faster, which would have put me in the money), as there were spots in the M30-34 that actually went unclaimed, for instance. Last place in that group could have raced the WC if they'd stayed! Way cool thing to watch folks and their friends/families go ape-chit BONKERS when their name was called! Just kind of capped off a pefect day on a great and happy note.

I was (and am) just so grateful to be able to do this kind of thing. Called some folks on the drive home and thanked them (family, friends, etc.) for making the race possible - they were truly out there on course with me. With that, a huge shout out to BT, as well - I went into this race waaaay better geeked up on how to do a HIM than I had any right to, and BT takes 90% of the credit for that.


What limited your ability to perform faster:

First and foremost, I am very happy with the results. But more so, I raced the race I wanted, and I said from the start that if I did that, I'd take any time that resulted (and I'm stoked with this one!). Nothing really limited me, other than the standard, "If I'd trained more" kind of thing, as I was fortunate enough to run a great race and leave it ALL out there. I think this was the max I could have done yesterday.

For the NEXT one, should the fates allow that, I'd do longer interval runs off a mid to long bike, as I felt like just a bit more muscular endurance on the run would have taken many minutes off my HM time. That, and perhaps a few more rides that went well over 60 (say 80-100 milers).

Event comments:

What a fantastic venue, course, group of volunteers, spectators and competitors, and day. This was my first HIM, but won't be my last, nor will it be the last time I do THIS race - just terrific.

I was fortunate enough to race almost exactly the race I wanted, and I'm also super happy with the results. Very family friendly vibe, and the beach location is nice, as were the amenities. Next time I'll book a place earlier and CLOSER to the event - which will help with the logistics, but a very well organized and executed race/event.

This one gets a top notch rating, for sure.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-05-23 12:00 AM
00:30:07 | 2112 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/156
Overall: 129/2037
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU R:3
Course: 3/4 of a rectangle with buoys on the right. Inasmuch as water can be different, this was a very nice course. Plenty of buoys, clean water, good shoreline for sighting (islands, mountains, etc. so you could sight off big things and not just a bouy waaaay out there).
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:20
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
02:39:40 | 56 miles | 21.05 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/156
Overall: 242/2037
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Not a ton of vertical, but it was concentrated in the first/last 11 or so miles and steep (easy to blow up if not careful). Some folks disliked the middle ~30 miles of out-and-back on 106 (slight downhill out, slight uphill back - and all straight), as they thought it was super-boring, but I found it nice to get into a rythm and just pound along. Some rough spots on the roads, for sure, but most were quite well marked. GREAT voluteers.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 79
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:04
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:47:08 | 13.21 miles | 08m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 17/156
Overall: 252/2037
Performance: Good
Course: Two loop, out and back, with decent rollers (only 2 modestly steep parts, and they weren't long) and one sunny stretch. TONS of aid stations (8 per loop!). TONS of spectators who were just the absolute bawlz - bib's had your name so they were all calling out to you by name. Very cool and helped when the run got tough. Terrific scenery - nice views of the lake for a good portion of it (at least until tunnel vision set in).
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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

2013-08-19 2:04 PM

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Austin, Texas
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Timberman

What a day!

As much as I love me some swag, the Iron-bag they hand out had NOTHING on the sign my 10 year old daughter made for me and gave me when I got home last night (see pic.).  Completely unexpected and kinda blew me away...

It brought home the gratitude I feel for having been able to take a day and participate in this kind of event.


Edited by mcmanusclan5 2013-08-19 2:08 PM

2013-08-19 2:24 PM
in reply to: #4833297

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Just South of Boston
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Wow - way to kill it on your first HIM, Matt!! Fantastic race, and agree it was a great time. Nice job! Now you have to go back next year and break 5 hrs!
2013-08-19 3:22 PM
in reply to: #4833297

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Great race Matt.  Your raced smart and I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.  Makes me think of my first HIM where I did a lot of smiling and was able to finish strong.  Sub 5 for sure on the next one.
2013-08-19 3:59 PM
in reply to: #4833297

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Awesome Matt, what a great race!!  Sounds like perfect execution and you have sub 5 in your next one for sure!
2013-08-19 4:03 PM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Awesome race!!!!! Geeze, I'm looking forward to the next one now that you are a veteran and all 
2013-08-19 4:22 PM
in reply to: #4833297

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Wow, what a terrific showing for your first HIM. Fast, very fast. You definitely put yourself out there and it's great how you want to leave it all on the course. Even more impressive (to me) is how grateful you are for the privilege of pursuing the sport and all it's demands. BTW, your daughter's sign rocks! Congrats!

2013-08-19 4:34 PM
in reply to: #4833297

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Very well done. Congratulations !!

Did you use the PM at all ?
2013-08-19 5:21 PM
in reply to: marcag

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, Minnesota
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Great!  I am glad you were able to execute your race; like an old vet!  Good job!
2013-08-19 6:23 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Nice job on the race.  It sounds like you had a blast and that's always awesome when you can be happy with the way the day played out
2013-08-19 6:40 PM
in reply to: #4833297

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman

Nice race, great job. Congratulations on having the race you wanted, sticking to your plan (for the most part) and adjusting as needed on the stomach revolt. And your attitude of gratitude is awesome.

2013-08-20 7:12 AM
in reply to: #4833297

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Nice race, Matt.  You ran a really smart race....and have a speedy time to show for it.  Sub-5 next time

2013-08-20 7:20 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman

Matt! :)

I love your race report.  Love it. 

I don't know how it escaped my attention that you are such an awesome swimmer! 

That is a really, really strong swim.  Well done.

The bike sounds like it was executed perfectly.  I love that you said something to each person you passed, and, having spent 3 years in NE, had to laugh at your comment about the non-respondent racers;)  I also think the comment about how hard you were smiling on the downhills is excellent--I hear you brotha!

Run, again, super solid and well paced. 

And missing worlds by 1?! It's all you next year, man.  All you.

I completely feel the same overwhelming gratitude for just being able to do something like this.  It really was my main feeling at my HIM too:)

Super strong race.  I'm really looking forward to hearing about your training plans for the upcoming year, and having you torture me with stories about your PM;


2013-08-20 9:16 AM
in reply to: marcag

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman

Originally posted by marcag Very well done. Congratulations !! Did you use the PM at all ?

Thanks all!

Marc, and here I'll only sorta torture Elesa, I did use it a bit.  I mostly paced by HR, though, and on this one I used the PM as a way to avoid spiking on the hills (kind of an instantaneous read on my redline, whereas my HR can take long enough to respond to increased effort that I've already spent 15 seconds way over what I'd like).

Mostly worked, although on a couple of passes all I could do was watch the power climb and stay higher than I'd like for longer than I'd like, but I race by the rules (and so passed in my alotted time, even though it saw me a bit above target).

I really like being able to dissect the ride afterward and am looking forward to training with it for next season.


2013-08-20 10:00 AM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Way to go!

I definitely agree with you on the downhill smiles, other than the finish a couple of the downhills were the highlights of the day...
2013-08-20 10:28 AM
in reply to: #4833297

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Great race Matt! Love your enthusiasm and I'm glad your first HIM brought you a lot of fun.
2013-08-20 11:27 AM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
What a day indeed!!  Great race all around.  5 hours is some pretty serious stuff and thanks for a great RR.

2013-08-20 2:06 PM
in reply to: popsracer

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Great job on your first HIM!!!!
2013-08-29 9:21 AM
in reply to: dck4shrt

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Congratulations! Great race - swim especially!
2013-09-12 12:04 PM
in reply to: davekeith

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Great race and a great report. Missing world's by one spot! Man, that's tough. I know the 50-54 rolled way way down.

Especially great swim and great bike for this course. 5 hours at Timberman is serious. Congratulations.
2013-09-12 1:37 PM
in reply to: davekeith

Subject: ...
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