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Rev3 Cedar Point - Half Rev - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Sandusky, Ohio
United States
72F / 22C
Total Time = 5h 14m 24s
Overall Rank = 88/706
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 4/36
Pre-race routine:

Note first that I write these reports as I experienced them so you can know what I went through and felt. With that, this is quite long and more of story rather than a report. If you just want to see what I thought of the race, just skip to the end. Otherwise, first some commentary about time prior to this event.

Last year, my friend Ken R and Jon E competed in this race and essentially raved about it. It promised to have a fast bike and run course with a nice swim in Lake Erie and Ken and Jon said that Rev3 really took care of the triathletes. So, while Jon wasn't going back, Ken invited me to go along. The one great thing about going with Ken (and for himself as well) is that his cousins live 8 miles from the race site and along the bike course. Sweet! Ken would drive as well and so just had to split some of the gas cost and perhaps a few meals along with paying the entry fee. In addition to Ken and perhaps another person, BT friend Maria was going to compete in her 3rd Ironman distance there as well. So it would be good to see her again along with her friend Pete. Since I didn't have a HIM distance event on my schedule as of Spring 2013, I decided that I should sign up if I could before the July price increase.

Fast forward to the day before the race, Saturday Sept 7. Ken first drove us to preview the bike course. This has a "lollipop" shape with the first and last part covering the same sections and a middle loop part. I was glad we did this as the course wasn't entirely flat and did have two short but I would say significant climbs along it. Otherwise, mostly rolling terrain with a good deal of it being what I would call undulating rollers. These are the kind that momentum will carry you to the top of the next one and perhaps you don't have to downshift for. A couple of long stretches too where getting aero would mean something. While a good amount of the surface was okay and one section through a school at the 10 and 40 mile places had been paved, the first and last 4 miles of the course which goes right beside Lake Erie is pretty badly chewed up with manhole and utility covers along the entire stretch (this will prove to be very important later).

After the bike course preview, it was time to go to the race site and check in. This was a smooth process and got my packet stuff in no time. Race swag was a bit lacking from what I heard of last year where Jon and Ken got some of the previous year's race gear included (like socks and goggles). We got a visor this year (which was a bit tight and not adjustable), but that was really about it. Told Rev3 about that this was a bit of a disappointment though I don't come to races for the swag. Then, got my picture taken for the jumbotron as well (though I forgot about this when I actually was finishing). Then we went to the Rev3 store for just a bit and then the expo which was a bit small I thought. NormaTec was here though they weren't set up just yet. We went back to the car, got race numbers on our bikes, and headed back to the race site. Now, Ken and I are going to have a friendly competition for this race, especially since he's 7 years younger than I am. Ken's a stronger cyclist (though I wonder if I had a lighter bike if that would be so?) and usually a stronger swimmer. But, I'm a faster runner (though I was halfheartedly joking about coming off a foot injury and not sure if I'm 100%, yada yada...kinda doing some prerace mind games ;) ). So, to even out the odds a bit, I decided to rent race aero wheels from Rev3 here on site. Ken found out about this as we were packing up to leave and I just gave him a grin about this. So, while Ken and Paul (other guy who joined us) were taking their bikes over to transition, I took mine to the Rev3 wheel rental area. As they only had 1 mechanic and he was working on another bike, he said it would take about 1/2 hour. So, told Ken and Paul this.

Not sure when in this sequence of events, but found BT friend Maria and Pete! They were coming into the race expo area at the same time as I was during one of the times we were. Introductions all around and caught up a bit. Then hung around for the 1st race meeting where the race folks acknowledged what I was concerned with as far as the weather went during the week. Right now, we had fairly sunny skies, pleasant temperatures (upper 70s/low 80s), a light wind out of the WSW, and Lake Erie looked like calm and peaceful. But, the weather forecast called for the winds to increase with gusts above 20 mph overnight as a cold front was approaching the area. Thankfully it looked mostly dry (mostly....) but it would mean a tougher than usual day on the bike. In addition, we'd have to move to the alternate swim location which was on the other side of the race area in a marina and more protected bay. However, that would mean a LONG run (1/2 mile) back to T1 carrying our wetsuits (the swim would definitely be wetsuit legal). Well at least they had alternate plans but we were kinda hoping they wouldn't be needed. Since we had previewed the bike course, there wasn't much else about the courses different to learn. I don't remember anything else about the course or rules briefing per se that stood out. At least they had one, unlike the USAT AG National Championships that I had raced in a few weeks prior. But, that's another race report...see that report in my race logs if interested.

While we were waiting for my bike to get tricked out with the race aero wheels, we took advantage of NormaTec. No one was using them since they're more for recovery but I like using them before a race as well to help my legs be fresh. And it felt so good once again! Paul had not tried them before and was amazed how good his legs felt afterwards. After this I checked out the store a bit more as Rev3 was having "flash" sales where items were discounted fairly significantly. I seriously thought about getting a pair of Pearl Izumi running shoes and Paul thought about some new wheels. But, neither of us bought these and I settled on a Rev3 water bottle and pint glass (I collect them). Then I headed over to transition for a bit to see where my spot was. Different types of racks as there weren't any bars, just a slot where you'd place your back wheel. I think I like these better since often it's just a little difficult getting your bike under the bar that your seat was resting on. It was also personalized with my name where my number was too - nice touch Rev3!

At last, my bike was done and I was just in awe of the way it looked now with deep rimmed aero wheels! I mean it LOOKED like a tri bike now! The frame's still too heavy but WOW! What a difference these wheels looked like they made! Showed Ken and Paul and like a proud new father and wheeled my "baby" over to its spot :)

While waiting, Ken had gotten lunch at the food truck and so Paul and I decided to get something as well. The food here was super and not really expensive either. So Rev3 should continue having these folks. I wasn't particularly hungry and just got a smoothie. Paul and Ken did end up getting some lunch. Then we checked out the swim finish arch and had our pics taken there along with looking at the finish line area. Ken had said they changed this from last year as it was a couple of quick sharp turns right before the finish and you couldn't rebuild any speed to finish with. This year they had lengthened the distances so it was a longer run from the final turn to the finish. I think Ken also said that they moved transition area too from last year.

I think I tried to find Maria and Pete to say goodbye and wish them well as they were on the Full and starting before me. Then we went down to check out where the alternate swim would be if we needed to go there tomorrow. I had some difficulty envisioning how this would work. The one thing we noted though was that the parking area where we'd be running on was pretty well chewed up. We were told we could bring running shoes or footwear there if we wanted and one definitely wanted to do that here! As I only had 1 pair of running shoes (hmmm, maybe I should've bought those Pearl I's??) and didn't want them to get lost (if that was possible) and not have anything to run in for the run portion, I decided I would place my sandals here instead. I actually can run in them for short distances as long as there aren't any wet surfaces.

Then we headed out to check out what we could for the run course. This course is loosely shaped like a toothbrush with the first and last 3+ miles being the same and then several out and back sections along closed streets. The good (and not-so good) thing about this type of course is that you could see whether someone was catching you or you were catching someone on the run by gauging the minutes since you last past. Ken used this with Jon last year and one of us would be doing the same this year too. There is only 1 hill on the run course and it occurs just after the first mile and before mile 12 since you cover the same sections going out and coming back. Other than that, the run course is mostly flat with some slight elevation changes here and there. Also takes us through a park which we checked out since it was a bit unclear from the map I had. While miles 1 to just over 2 is a long stretch, the next couple of miles seem longer because it's a straight shot and you can see way down the road. Checked out a couple of the out and backs then too. Headed back to Ken's cousins' place and stopped along the way for some food, most of which Ken and Paul would have for dinner tonight and pre-race breakfast in the morning.

That evening, we all made our pre-race meals. Ken and Paul had chicken and pasta while I had my usual "breakfast": pancakes, sausage, eggs, and toast. This continues be my choice as it helps fuel me up for the next day and also doesn't give me any GI issues. Get our race number tattoos on afterwards which always look really cool! Not too long later, time to hit the hay and try to get some sleep before the race.

As Ken wanted to get a good parking spot, the alarm goes off WAY too early once again. Ugh. Well, I grab some coffee to start. Then get a protein drink, banana, bagel with strawberry jelly, and some Gatorade. Ken and Paul are up not too long after me and grab their pre-race breakfasts. Done with this, grab gear, and off to the race site!

Well, Ken gets a good spot as there aren't too many folks here just yet. Alas, winds are up and it's a bit chilly this morning with that. Well still hoping but it's looking like we'll be doing the alternate swim course today. Grab our gear and head over to transition. As expected since the Full distance folks start earlier, transition is abuzz with activity and it's announced that we will definitely be using the alternate swim location this morning. Still a bit fuzzy on how the course would be laid out. So lay out my gear and try to pump my tires on these wheels. A bit different valve for these but the front one doesn't have any problem. The back one, though, we weren't too sure about and so I decide to take it over to the bike mechanic area right in transition. I explain what's up and the guy says no problem and fixes me right up! Thanks Rev3 for having these guys! Head back to my spot and I noted later that I got in one of the pre-race videos with me walking my bike back (neat!). I kinda looked around a bit for Maria and Pete but couldn't find them. I did want to wish them luck. Well, a few back and forths here as I other business to take care of ;) I then went down to see the Full distance folks start which was good because I got a bit better sense of the swim course later. Soon it was time for me to grab my wetsuit and get ready for our race. Met Ken and Paul at the car and put on sunscreen, though it wasn't starting off like we'd need it as it was overcast. Still, better safe than sorry. It did look like the sun should come out on some part of the course. We headed over to the swim start (though I had one more unfinished business to attend to ;)....I know a bit TMI, but this actually becomes a bit important later).

Although we're still starting in our waves, it's also a time-trial start with two triathletes starting every two minutes. Since Ken and I are in the same wave, Ken asks if we could start together and I agree. This would also help gauge who's moving faster during our friendly competition :) We're part of the first wave but we're also probably middle pack swimmers too and line up accordingly. Turns out this probably doesn't make too much difference which I'll get too. So first in our wave starts off and Ken and I progress forward. We're next, take our spot, and....timer says "Go!" Short few quick steps to the end of the boat ramp and we're off and swimming in the Rev3 Cedar Point Half Ironman distance event!
Event warmup:

Heck, the jog from the transition area to the swim start was enough for me!
  • 39m 37s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

Well Ken takes off ahead of me and as he's a bit faster swimmer, I think that's the last I'll see of him until perhaps the run. Water feels kinda cold and it may have been colder than the 70 degrees that was briefed. Unlike what folks told me about Lake Erie from last year, the water here was fairly murky and I really couldn't see folks near me unless I saw their kicking bubbles or they were right next to me. Swimming down the length of this marina until we turn is a fairly confined space as the docks are on the right side and the water break island we're going to go around in a bit is on the other. And because it's close to halfway, it's a long length too. So, can't really see the turn buoy for a while here. But at the same time, can't really get off course here either being rather confined in this nearly half part of the swim. I was trying to draft here and there when I saw bubbles but got a bit too close once and got my hand :( Fortunately, not seriously hurt. Bumped into a few others here and there but a bit difficult to gauge my progress in this sort of swim format. At last, rounded the turn buoy and started the second part of the swim. Now for the rest of the course, it was essentially a straight shot to the next turn buoy down the length of this breakwater island. At first, though, it was very tough to see where the first sighting buoy was at. And also I kept running into this guy in front of me that kept breast stroking to sight. We were going about the same speed until this would happen. And seems a few others are here too, so I can't really get clear. But, I do locate the sighting buoy and am able to swim towards it. One thing on this side is that I'm being picked up my either wind waves or some swell and I'm able to essentially body surf with it every now and then, one time keeping my stroke timed so that I was riding the top of the swell! This was pretty neat! Pass by the next buoy (or buoys...can't remember if there was one or two more) and onto the last. One thing about the swell that I think is hurting me is that it seems to be pushing left a bit. I do compensate but this has me going against it just a hair. Now the last sighting buoy is very close to the turn and I wasn't sure whether I needed to go around it or not. Decided to do so just to be safe but I thought I saw others who were going right for the turn buoy. Might've cost me some time if I really didn't have to. Round the next turn buoy and getting pushed right by the swell. Fortunately, this doesn't last long and I'm at the last turn buoy not too long afterwards. Upon rounding this one, I'm now being hit on the left side where I normally breathe by water and wind waves! Not good. In addition, I can't seem to locate the swim finish arch and have to breaststroke to get my bearings. Locate it and try to head towards. But, the constant washover to the left is causing additional problems and I'm really being rocked here. Try to sight and lose the arch again, but it looks like I'm too much left of all things. Continue to try to get straightened out, washover causes me to take in water, which I swallow and cough at underwater. I wouldn't say that this caused me to panic but I reached a point of uneasiness and I was uncomfortable. Came back up to sight again and this time I decided I should try to sight to the right of the arch and focus on that to help keep me going that way. Coming back up also released the uneasiness and I calmed myself down. Got back on track and was able to get to the swim finish arch without an issue then. Might've gotten a bit calmer too as I got closer. At last, touched bottom and started to trudge my way through the short shallow part up the boat ramp. Yea, swim is done!
What would you do differently?:

For HIM distance and with a wetsuit, this is a PR time for me but just a little better as my best time was 41m 43s five years ago. At least it's an improvement ;) One thing I should've done different is after rounding the last buoy, breathe to the other side. It's not the side I prefer but I can do it and it would've I think saved me some time and aggravation with the washover, especially after I swallowed and coughed on the water I took in. This lack of adaptation may have also cost me a place as I probably could've done this in 37-38 min, especially using the swell on the backend. Not exactly knowing what to do on the last sighting buoy may have also hurt my swim too. So while this is PR, I still think my overall performance was average.
Transition 1
  • 07m 15s

I get up the ramp and let the wetsuit strippers do their job. They were great telling me what they would do and what they needed me to do! I was a bit apprehensive as the last ones I used on the Great Floridian broke several teeth on my wetsuit zipper, rendering it pretty much done for at the beginning of this season. But, seems the wetsuit was okay. Then I had to locate the place where I put my sandals and get into them for the LONG run back to transition. Kinda did that fairly quickly since they were in numbered areas but had a bit of a problem getting them on as I was still recovering a bit from the swim. Got them on and started to run/jog with my wetsuit in hand.

I was jogging more than running as I didn't want to initially lose much energy for the bike. I still passed a couple of guys and mentioned to one, "I didn't know this was a swim-run-bike-run course! ;) " He kinda got a laugh out of this but seemed to be having a bit of difficulty with this part or perhaps he had a tough swim himself. Anyway, probably took an additional 4 minutes just to get to transition with this format.

Due to the way transition is laid out, I'm in a really good spot for getting to my rack quickly and getting out of there as I'm close to the main transition lane to the bike and run out. Wetsuit's already off, so I just have to dump it at my spot. Get my helmet on and fastened, bike shoes on, no sunglasses since it's overcast, and I'm outta there! Not sure just how fast I would've been without the long run from the swim but I would've bet it would've been 2 1/2 min considering a few other factors.
What would you do differently?:

Hmmm, wonder if I should've bought those other running shoes ;) ? I don't know how to prepare for such a change in T1 other than bringing extra running shoes or perhaps leaving my actual running shoes. I didn't want to do the latter as if they were misplaced somehow or taken, I was out of luck during the actual run. But perhaps that would've been better just so I could get in them. I didn't lose much time and I can run with my sandals which I kinda did as long as the surface wasn't wet since they slip in those conditions. Perhaps run more in them more than jog. But like I said, didn't want to waste too much going into the 56 mile bike.
  • 2h 43m 17s
  • 56 miles
  • 20.58 mile/hr

Note that while I put the road was rough, this was only certain sections and there was a good amount that was smooth to okay as well. Also, it started and ended dry but we hit rain around mile 24 which lasted until around mile 33 on the way back.

While this would've been the race to do it on, I'm in my bike shoes already, so a bit slower mounting my bike than those who are already ahead of me while getting into shoes on the bike. But, I'm getting more convinced that this isn't necessarily a bad thing because the guy just ahead of me is trying to get into his and I'm gaining since I don't have to do this. I've seen this at other places as well. For T2, it usually makes much more sense. But, perhaps not as much for T1.

The very first part of the bike course we go through a corridor lined with cones through the Cedar Point parking lots. Then get on this 4 mile street that's right next to Lake Erie. Well, though there's kind of a barrier between us and the lake, every now and then there's an opening. While the winds are mostly with us, there's still a crosswind here to deal with along with the rough road and gusts are up in the 20 mph range! So, my bike front end with these aero race wheels is moving all over the place and it's a bit difficult for me to go straight quite often. So, it was VERY nice to reach the next stretch that is essentially a causeway leading onto the mainland! This section is lined by willow-like trees and here you get your bike pic taken. Plus there's mostly a tailwind here too. Get off of this stretch and onto the main road. Pretty much zooming along this section as I make my way into the town of Huron where Ken's cousins live. First major turn into the school where also the first aid station comes up, thank the volunteers and police as I make the turn. I actually did this nearly the entire way because I did appreciate their support, especially after Milan. Now, this road was a mess last year when Ken and Jon did it then. But from our preview of the course, this is smooth asphalt this year and I'm moving along fairly well! Matter of fact, I'm doing better than 20 mph as I'm here in like 25 min. That really helped my mental state but I remind myself the run will come up in 46 more miles. As I make our way to Milan, I've got a decent tailwind here and there but also a crosswind too at times which I know whenever I get pushed to the sides. While I'd love to hammer more, I'm just thinking that since I've got mostly a tailwind here, that mean headwinds on the latter part and later parts of the 56 mile course. So, while I'm moving along, I'm also being a bit cautious about "feeling my oats" if you will. So many times in training, one is lulled into a false sense of really doing well when all it is the added speed with a tailwind. One quickly realizes when turning around with the reality of things when now getting blasted by a headwind and having to deal with that if one has done any extra hammering. After the school, we go under route 2 and I think there's a short climb here but it's not too difficult. Actually none of the uphills were overly difficult as I mentioned earlier from the preview of the course. But I'll get to what did make this more difficult in a while.

One right turn here is a very sharp right and I remember a guy who kinda blasted by me only to slow up ahead of me. Huh! Maybe he was trying to chase this gal in a pink aero helmet and pink styled bike who also went by just before? Well, I returned the favor and don't think there was any return challenge after this. I wasn't too far behind this gal but I wasn't in any real position to challenge either. She kept looking back though wondering if I was going to I think and then finally continued on her race after it looked like I wasn't in pursuit. I say this again here that I don't mind being "chicked" because they're usually not in my AG and definitely not in my gender ;) . Not too long after this I turn onto Hoover and treated to a fairly good downhill only to have to face a bit of a climb on the back end. Turn right onto 13 and hit some crosswinds, under the railroad tracks, and right turn onto River Road. This would be where the Full folks would turn again to start their second loop but we could go straight for the return trip. Under route 90 and then pass mile 20 on the course. I'm still doing better than 20 mph coming here in under an hour!

For some reason I thought this small loop was coming up as I'm going downhill and know that we're getting close to the town of Milan. But, no, I still have a ways and power back up for this 2-3 mile stretch before the town. Once we make the right on 113, here's where folks are coming back from Milan and heading out on the southern portion of the rectangle loop. So, going along okay but being mindful that I have a downhill coming up where I have to slow down quite a bit to make the turn that would take me into Milan. And this comes up in short order. So slowing down, make the turn, and greeted by an uphill into Milan on E Front St which I have to stand for briefly. I think this is the only short climb I had to do that on. Now the town of Milan comes out for this race and folks are along the main streets cheering as well as watching from front porches. I really appreciated all of it as I wound my way around this small loop onto Church Street which took us through town and back onto 113, the road I was just on a bit ago. The second aid station is here but I think I passed on this as well. It just wasn't that warm and I still had plenty of fluids to take me through to the mile 40 aid station where I planned on replenishing my front aero bottle with the course carb drink.

Now back on 113 which would start a "nice" 7 mile stretch of being in the aero position. And to start this is a fast "screaming" downhill - ZOOM! The high this brings is short lived as there's an uphill portion and then I'm thrust into head and crosswinds! UGH! There's not really significant hills here but undulating rollers. So, the would've been a fast segment yesterday. However, it's just constant resistance here and I have to remind myself to spin more than mash lest I wear myself out for the run. And what's this??? Drizzle? Another challenge added to the mix. Well I'm still moving along relatively okay despite all of this. And the gal in the pink aero helmet that I saw earlier passes me here again. She must've taken hydration back at the aid station and I unknowingly passed her back. Drizzle's getting heavier and starting to turn into a light rain. Gotta wipe my aero helmet visor too.

Now somewhere along here, perhaps mile 28, I hear someone coming up behind me and then a voice says, "Hey Dave, nice swim!" What??'s Ken! Yeah, unbeknownst to me, I was actually faster than Ken in the swim by about 2 min. Ken tells me later that he just caught a glimpse of me leaving transition as he was coming in. While I was very surprised at this turn of events in our friendly competition, what's even more significant is that it's taken Ken around half the bike course to catch up to me! So, that means I'm moving along fairly well and he shouldn't be getting too far ahead on the run by the time I reach T2.

Well, Ken moves ahead of me but I'm able to keep him in sight through the rest of this stretch. Roads are now wet and light rain is falling. Have to be a bit careful here about traction though I'm still on this straightaway at the moment. It wasn't too long after Ken passed that our next turn comes up and I ease around it due to the wet roads. Though it's more of a crosswind now, I'm thankful to be out of the headwinds. I still see Ken up ahead but he is slowly pulling away. Pass by mile 30 and still doing better than 20 mph avg though I seem have lost a bit of time.

Turn left onto Main Road (route 17) which leads to Berlin Heights. This is where the Full folks' loop merges with ours BTW, but I didn't see anyone coming from the right and proceeded onward. Now I have a tailwind for at least 7 miles and I AM CRUIZIN'! YEAH! This is just pure pleasure and I'm moving along quite well during this stretch. The rain has also stopped and I see blue skies every now and then. Have to slow a bit through the town of Berlin Heights and then for the right onto 172, which is a super downhill! I've lost Ken during this time but I'm sure I'll see him somewhere on the run. Then another left onto Mason Road. Still cruising along here and before I know it, I'm back to where we turned onto River Road heading towards Milan. There was an aid station along here but I'm still doing okay hydration-wise. I almost wonder whether for future races I should just take the front water bottle, save some weight by not taking a second, and using water on the course. Perhaps if it's not a hot race day, something to think about.

So pass by River Road where the Full folks would turn to start their second loop. But for me, heading straight and back to the transition area. Alas, my tailwind turns into a crosswind as I turn back onto Hoover Road and I also have a short gradual climb here as well. Pass by the 40 mile mark as I turn onto 123 and still on track for 20+ mph average. But, then the fun REALLY starts! UGH! Back into headwinds! Found out later that the winds were in the teens gusting into the 20+ mph range. So, this part is proving to be quite a challenge! I am making progress but I have gear down and spin. So I'm very grateful for a short break from this as I turn left onto 11 (Fox Rd) and get my tailwind back! I think somewhere along this short stretch (though it could've been on the longer one) I saw a guy in my AG and we traded places for a short while (me on the downhills, him on the uphills) before he left me behind one last time. However, there's always a chance I could see him again on the run. Turning again onto Rye Beach and hit by crosswinds much so at one part that the front of my bike jerks left suddenly. I regain control but that was a bit unnerving. THEN, back into headwinds turning onto Bogart! I seem like I'm moving at molasses speed along this stretch as the winds just keep trying to wear me down. And I am getting a bit concerned that my legs are starting to get a tad tired of this. Make another left and I know it's just a little over 10 miles to go now. Back through the school and the final aid station where I take in the course carb drink and replenish about half of my aero bottle before discarding it on the side.

Turning left onto Cleveland Rd W through Huron, the nice tailwind greets me once again and it's time to turn and burn to the finish! Really am moving along quite nicely here though there is a bit of an uphill component every now and then. So, I'm able to enjoy this until we turn back onto back onto the causeway with the willow-like trees lining the road. Oh my! The headwind is FIERCE here! The trees don't really help in blocking it and I'm back to molasses speed. Groan. At least when I cross the 50 mile mark, I'm still better than 20 mph average. So, I'm kinda glad to turn a little away from the wind on this last 4 mile stretch. However, during this time, the onshore winds are like better than 20 mph with gusts in the upper 20s! And this road is the chewed up one littered with manhole and utility covers. Gosh, knuckles are white gripping the aerobars just so I don't lose control during this last stretch on the bike. Get shoved left and have to compensate plus avoid anything that might cause bad bumps and/or a flat! And geez, I get spritzed with sand from one of the gusts! Then another guy goes past me and is also really thrilled about the wind (note sarcasm here)! Says so to me and I also have some choice words about the wind too. But, he encourages me on and essentially says "Hey only 2 and a half miles to go...Suck it UP!!" I give a roar to this and he just laughs saying something to the effect of "Alright!" Motors on ahead.

This is getting quite old now but at last I see the sign which is telling folks about parking and the park entrance to Cedar Point is around the turn to the left and a wave of relief washes over me, motivating me to continue pressing! Round this turn, slow, and enter the bike route corridor through the parking lot. Start getting out of my shoes and my legs aren't very happy with this but I fend off any cramping they're attempting to do here. Out of shoes now, coming up to dismount line, swing right leg over, balance on the left pedal, slow before line, and running into T2! Hear my name being called as I come in under the "Bike In" arch - "Now entering transition, Dave Miller!" Yes! The Bike course is DONE!
What would you do differently?:

This is a PR for me for the bike portion of a HIM course. Not by much but I'll take it. I really don't know of anything I could've done differently given my heavier framed bike (a bit heavier than I'd like ME) and the windy conditions of the day. I geared down and spun as I needed to rather than mashing maintaining a high cadence (85-90), saving my legs for the run coming up. I think if not for the wind, I would've had a much faster time here.
Transition 2
  • 01m 13s

The run into transition is very short after the bike (and very much welcomed after the LONG run from the swim exit for T1) and I'm back at my rack slot in no time. But what's this??? As transition was open to the beach area via the swim in part, the strong winds have blown in sand which is all over my gear. Thankfully, I do have a towel I can stand on after wiping my feet though it has a bit of sand on it too. Still, can't have sand in my shoes for 13.1 miles! Well, get helmet off, successfully wipe my feet with my towel, get on socks and then shoes, grab the rest of my gear and GO! AND.... yes folks! Elvis has left the building!!
What would you do differently?:

While I've gotten pretty good with T2 over the years with practice, it really helped that I was near the main transition lane for in and out, plus transition area itself wasn't all that big. So, really not much to change here.
  • 1h 43m 2s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 07m 52s  min/mile

Leaving transition and out on the run course now. Kinda looking for Ken but I expect I won't see him until the toothbrush portion of this course that I noted in the Course description. Running legs are starting to come alive during this first part and I seem to be moving along well. What I didn't seem to realize at the time was that I had a tailwind with me at this point. This becomes very clear to me later on the way back.

One thing to note here is that I'm a bit unsure about my ability to run the distance due to the fact that I injured my left foot, spraining my big toe area about 2 months ago. While I did quite well on the 10K run during the USAT AG National Championships, I have not been able to train like I would've wanted to for this run distance. Indeed, this would be my longest run in quite some time. So, actually doing the distance, plus the fact that my foot still isn't quite up to 100% are a couple of factors in the back my mind.

Lots of folks cheering me on here near the transition area and I just soak it all in! Heading towards mile 1 and I see I forgot to hit my watch to start the run section. So first mile is going to be off. Also, I'm trying to put the two gels I had grabbed into side pockets that aren't there! Funny how much creatures of habit we are. I'm so used to doing tris in my 2XU shorts that I'm just automatically reaching for pockets that aren't there in my Mercury Endurance trisuit. I get one in the back pocket but for some reason, I can't seem to locate the other. This is distracting me from my run so I just decide to carry it. I'll be using it around mile 3 or 4 anyway. Now after having to deal with the headwinds on the bike, my right inner quads seem to be a bit tired with my right one threatening to cramp. Hopefully, I can keep it at bay in order to finish the run. I had a disastrous run at Eagleman 70.3 in 2009 as both quads froze just after starting the run and that memory has never left me. Just around mile 1, first aid station comes up and I decide to take Gatorade to drink and already start the water for my head. It's not hot out but I'm putting out a decent effort on the run and by mile 2, I'm on a 7:20 something pace. Sub-8 is where I want to be today, hopefully 7:30-7:40. Now before this, come up to the only hill which is a bridge over the water. It's not bad now and I do pass a few folks on this hill, but I know it's going to seem more difficult as this is around mile 11.5 on the way back.

After this hill, I'm looking down the road at the runners ahead and think I see Ken's tri top of all things. I'm not really sure since this person is a ways down and many folks' tri tops can look the same at a distance. But between miles 2 and 3, it's very clear that, yes, this is my friend Ken up ahead. Later I find Ken was in the porta john just outside transition when he heard my name over the loudspeaker as I'm entering transition! After that, he was literally trying to will himself to get done with business and get on the run course as quickly as possible! Too funny! BTW, just to note because it is important and saved me time, didn't have to take a porta john break once during the entire race (though I'll add a comment later on this).

Okay, round the corner to the right onto 1st Street and aid station 2 comes up. I won't make too many more comments about what I took except to say that I usually took in Gatorade, maybe some water but mostly had that for cooling, and took some banana in at least at two spots. Ken is now just up ahead and I'm slowly catching. Because he knows I'm not too far behind, he thinks that the next guy to pass him is me, is surprised it's not, but I pull up alongside shortly thereafter. I say "Hi Ken...nice bike!", greeting him in same manner here on the run as he did to me on the bike. Ken smiles a bit and says Hi back. As Ken hasn't really had enough time to train for this race due to other commitments (Ken is owner and operator of Racine Multisports, a local race and timing outfit which he keeps quite busy at. So pretty amazed at the pace he IS running at today!), I'm genuinely concerned for his state and ask how he's doing? I find later that he doesn't want to give anything away for our friendly competition and says he's doing fine giving me a bit of a smile while doing so. Yeah...okay. What a poker face he put on here ;) Well, I just smile back and say "okay, well have a good run!" To which he replied the same and to run my race. And I basically replied, "Okay, see ya Ken!" while pulling ahead. To quote Bugs Bunny, "Ain't I a stinker?" :)

During this exchange, I've missed what my pace is. So as I pass mile 4, my watch says 15:00, which is 7:30 pace for the last couple of miles. So still on pace here for a good run. I'm now going through Battery Park and passing folks as I'm doing so. And remember the guy on the bike in my AG? Pretty sure I passed by him here on the run, giving him some good words for his bike. Should've checked his number as I'm not sure whether he came out ahead of me overall or not. We come up to a narrow foot bridge where one guy ahead pulls up just before as he hears me coming and lets me on the bridge first. Behind me for bit now has been another guy in good spirits and letting folks know along the way about how much he's enjoying the run and appreciate the support. This guy comes by me shortly afterwards and I give him some good words on his run and he encourages me right back. Younger guy and fit, I think in the 30-34 or 35-39 group. Ah youth ;)

Now starting the "bristles" portion of the toothbrush course. This first one is not an out and back on the same street so I don't know where Ken is behind me just yet. Think I remember my watch indicating around 7:30 the last couple of miles and so still on pace. A few folks are lining the street here in Sandusky and are cheering us on, some with cow bells. I see a coffee shop off to the right with an outside portion and just think how nice it would be to be enjoying some coffee outside with something to eat right now. More motivation to finish ;) Back to the business at hand!

The second out and back comes up and there's a slight uphill elevation here. I also think that the run's wearing on me a bit and my right inner quad cramps a bit here. I ward it off and relax the area being mindful to keep taking in Gatorade, some water, and keep cool. I've been thanking volunteers and police all along the course today and tell the one at an intersection going out here thanks as well as the fact that I'll see him shortly on the way back. He laughs a bit and says to hurry it up then! ;) After turning around on this part and passing mile 7, I've slowed to a 7:46 pace. Plus I see Ken on the other side with not too much time separating us. I still "high-five" him as he goes past though to give him some encouragement. Tell the police officer, "See didn't take too long after all!" He wishes me well for the rest of my run. After taking a banana and more hydration at the next aid station, I picked up my pace for at least the next several miles and cut it back down to a 7:20.

On the next out and back, my pace is back up to 7:35-7:40 after passing mile 9 but that's okay as I'm still on track for a good run and race. Still have a ways to go but I know I'm now about a half hour from being done if I can maintain this pace. I'm nearly done with this stretch when I see Ken on the other side. I move over to high-five him again but he's not really aware I'm even there. Hmmm....

Turning onto Meigs St and I see all the other folks on the run course going the other way. This gives me a bit more motivation to finish and I seem be going strong here. Have a little bit of nagging urge to use a porta john, but I'm just going ignore this urge as I don't want to lose any time for this run. Fortunately, this urge leaves quickly and I don't feel the need for the rest of the run.

Pass mile 10 and think "Only 5K to go!" But unfortunately, though feeling good, I've actually slowed a bit for some reason down to a 7:50 pace. Just keep pressing! Soon thereafter bear left onto the long stretch back on 1st St. Up ahead I see a guy in safety gear on a bike and a runner beside him. Wow, I think this is the first place woman here! For some reason, this helps to motivate me down this stretch and I'm thinking that I could perhaps catch her. And I do seem to be slowly closing the distance. I can also see the stop light in the distance where we're to turn left on the last 2 miles of the course. Still slowly closing the gap.

Though the course map says otherwise, I think mile 11 came up just before the left turn and the final 2.1 miles. Just before the turn, I hear footfalls behind me and a guy slowly passes me. There haven't been too many folks doing that to me today and I let him know that he's having a good run. He pays me a nice complement by saying "Are you kidding me? I've been dogging you for the last several miles!" That really did help mentally though I wish it would've added a bit of speed too.

Now passing mile 11 and my watch says 7:58. Hmm, a bit disappointed to see this. But if I can hold for 2.1 more miles, I'll still PR the distance coming in around 1:42 I'm thinking. I really wanted a 1:40 or just below, but not going to quip about this now, especially since I need to keep telling my legs that they're okay and to just keep going.

The first place woman is still up ahead and I seem to be just keeping pace now. And now that I've turned north, the headwinds are blasting me once again here! REALLY??? Didn't I leave this party after bike? These are REALLY wearing on me now. So much so that I'm actually trying to shield my face a bit by turning it away from them. The guy that passed me a bit ago has passed the lead woman and he actually looks like he's picking up speed...or maybe I'm just slowing down? The final hill at 11.5 miles comes up and, though short, it's much more difficult due to the winds buffeting me. Ugh. I thought I might catch the lead woman here as I really did close the gap quite a bit during this time. But, I can see I'm no longer closing just after the hill. While I'm not sure I could've caught her, I think I made a conscious decision not to as I didn't want to be with her at the Finish line. I've had something similar happen once way in the past and I wanted to have a good finish pic for this one, plus I didn't want it to look like I was stealing her thunder. Since she started to pull away not too long after mile 12, it probably wouldn't have made any difference if I had attempted.

Pass mile now says 8:28..(sigh)...winds still hitting me without prejudice...just gotta keep going for 1.1 more miles and less than 10 minutes more. Last aid station - Gatorade and water. Through the long parking lot where volunteers are encouraging me to press forward to the finish....coming up to a right along a corridor where a few spectators tell me I've got this and finish is just up ahead....complete the long corridor, turn left, LOTs of spectators ahead just before the last U-shaped corridor leading to the finish! Pass mile 13....8:58...but 0.1 to go! Past the cheering folks turning right into the corridor, panting and pumping to finish....turn left...sprinting....turn left under the Rev 3 arch...Final stretch and Finish arch in name being called over the loudspeaker....sprinting the last distance...legs are trying with everything I've got...and....FINISH!!! Yes!!!! I've completed my 6th Half Ironman distance and despite the conditions, PR'd in all three disciplines for the distances and the Half Ironman course distance as well!!! Woo HOOO!!!!
What would you do differently?:

The only thing I would've liked to have done was more run training at distance than I was able to do. Before even the AG Nationals I would've been doing slow 14-16 milers just to get used to the distance. So, there's not much else here I can think of which I would've done differently. Hydration and nutrition went well and pace was pretty much on target during most of the run. The winds and the fact that I hadn't been able to train for that distance just got to me during the last two miles.
Post race
Warm down:

Since I usually end my races with a hard effort, I say once again that I'm understandably a bit out sorts after the finish. I even forgot to raise my arms in triumph and maybe do some sort of picture pose at the end which Rev3 actually has a contest for. Guess I was thinking about AG placing here more than anything else. Super volunteers drape a wet Gatorade towel to help cool me off as I shuffle forward to get my Finisher medal and then Finisher long sleeve T-shirt. I think they handed me some was definitely a cold drink. Moving forward, I see I can get a photo against a "Rev3 Finisher" background and so wipe my face with the towel getting off the salt that I know is there. Ask the photographer if I look okay and get my pic taken. Move on through and wait for Ken and Paul to finish.

Not sure about the remaining order of events here but will proceed the best I can remember. So, I'm recovering from my effort and my watch says 5:16 something, which means 5:14 something as I started it when the two guys ahead of us went on the swim. Wow! I'm just tickled! That's 11 min faster than Eagleman 70.3 in 2011! I set out for a PR and did it, despite the winds and other factors!

I milled around a bit and decided to stand by the Finish line to see if I could watch Ken finish. The whole area is rockin' here and I have to admit I'm into the music, being very pumped after my finish and enjoying the race high/atmosphere! At last Ken comes in and I cheer him on, try to give him five but he's unaware that I'm there. So, I make my way around to congratulate him and upon reaching him, he really doesn't look so good. Ask what he needs and he just wants to sit down. So find him a chair at a table and I let him know I'm going to find the Med tent just in case. Locate that which is right beyond the finish area, let Ken know, and ask what he needs. He says he's hot and the medal is a big weight around his neck. Get that off and let him know I'm going to get an EMT. Go and let the EMTs know Ken's condition and one of them grabs a wheelchair and follows me out. Get to Ken and after a bit of coaxing, the EMT wheels him to the Med tent where he gets needed attention.

So, I now head back to see if I can find the post-race food area. This was briefed to be behind the Rev3 tractor trailer but there's nothing immediately behind there. Oh, okay, it's across the street and through a small entrance. Well, I do so enjoy buffet style post-race food vs box lunches most of the time and Rev3 has provided, via a vendor, tacos, chips, pasta, some fruit, and drinks. I made myself a couple of tacos while thanking the vendor folks attending to us, grab some pasta, and a diet Coke. UMMMMM! SOOO GOOD! I listen to a few other folks talking about the race too, but I'm starting to get a bit chilled here in the shade and with a bit more of a breeze. So, I'm pretty much done and head back to check on Ken.

Ken's still in the Med tent and I stood around waiting for Paul to finish. After a bit, asked about results and went over to the area where we got our picture taken for the jumbotron (which I forgot about when finishing and didn't realize it until I saw my finishing photo later). Here Rev3 did this well - 4 computers with big screens that folks could use to check their results and also check to see where others were. Well, thought I'd first check on me and scanning the results, I've taken 4th in AG...(blink)...(double-take)...4th??!! I've got a bit mixed emotions here as I wasn't expecting quite that high up despite a decent time but also I've just missed a podium spot. And interestingly enough, the guy who took a pic of all 3 of us under the original swim finish arch by Lake Erie is right behind us and he congratulates me on my finish. Now in addition to this AG placing, I found my OA placing is in the top 100 out of potential finishers! Man, I'm just overwhelmed by this and it's taking me a bit to realize what I've accomplished here. After I was humbled at the USAT AG National Championships, coming in like this at a HIM event is just such an achievement.

Okay, enough of patting myself on my back. I checked for Paul and I think I saw he had just finished of all things! Here I was watching for him before and missed him when I went over to check his results. So, went around the finish and found him warming down in the NormaTec area though he was sitting at a nonfunctional unit since there was growing line for the functional ones. He just wanted to sit somewhere. Told him about Ken and I also got him a chair to sit on while we talked about the race and chatted with a few other supporters. The awards started not too long after this and Paul went to go get some food.

I was being hopeful standing there that perhaps there was a Master's award category and I could get moved up. But no such luck here. It was okay...I PR'd and that was all that mattered.

Ken recovered and was right as rain after getting some soup broth. I checked on Maria and Pete who were both out on the run course. Wish I had gotten to see them once again, but schedule just didn't permit it (they finished BTW...their 3rd IM distance event!). I had to hang around to get my bike wheels and had to wait for Alex, the one mechanic, who was also helping at the run course. So that took a little while. Paul and Ken got some more to eat and watched the Full folks at the run turn around while waiting for me.

At last, got my bike and we headed back to Ken's cousins' place. Pizza, beer, and ice cream on tap for our post race evening meal and we treated Ken's cousins to that considering their wonderful hospitality during our visit for our race. Couldn't take in the park unfortunately and headed back home early the next morning.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Winds, lack of what I would deem adequate run training, the long swim to bike transition run, heavier bike frame, and a slightly heavier me though I was back down to the weight I raced at during last year's Ironman distance. It's also small bit of a shame that I couldn't have eeked out a minute and a half faster somewhere as I lost 3rd place by 1m 21s.

Event comments:

I have not given a "5" rating for a race in any of my reports, but felt this one deserved it. While there were a few detractors which maybe meant a 4.8 or 4.9 rating, I have to admit that I thought Rev3 did things right all around here at Cedar Point! Despite the windy race day conditions, they readjusted to their alternate swim location and had to do that all overnight! While the swag was a bit lacking from last year, there were still some nice amenities for the triathletes including discounted park tickets. Still could've used a water bottle or socks. I liked the flash sales they had plus keeping the athletes entertained and also upbeat. There were plenty of volunteers on the course to help and direct folks. I liked the post race food as well as the expo food truck. I also liked the non bar racks, thought they were easier getting into and out of. Bike mechanic in transition fixed me right up with my rental wheels. I also liked the fact you could rent nearly everything if needed to for this race - wheels, bikes, and wetsuits. I think a few other vendors including Ironman are catching onto this. The finisher medal was superb and unique. Rev3 also allows friends and families to finish with you, something Ironman doesn't allow. Plus there are other contests for finishing as well as the ugliest wetsuit contest (which unfortunately Ken couldn't do this year due to time constraints). And lastly, we get a free finisher's photo as well! .

So in addition to what really is a decent course for the Half and Full Ironman distances, Rev3 definitely thinks about the triathletes participating and what their needs are. They really do make you want to enjoy your time with them in hopes you'll continue participating in their events. Hopefully, I'll be able to come back another year (not 2014 as I've got other plans).

So if you'll looking for a great first Half or Full Ironman distance in your future where you don't have to pay quite as much as Ironman brand but they treat you very well, I highly recommend looking into Rev3 Cedar Point!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-06-16 12:00 AM
00:39:37 | 2112 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/36
Overall: 232/706
Performance: Average
Suit: Blue Seventy Sprint Full
Course: Alternate swim course. Time trial start in waves every 2 minutes. Counter clockwise loop where swim in the marina for the first half of the loop, then go around the thin island for the second part of the loop back through a cut, making a right turn at the last buoy to go back to the finish arch. All buoys are on the left except for the first and last one.
Start type: Wade Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 07:15
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
02:43:17 | 56 miles | 20.58 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/36
Overall: 148/706
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: A lollipop type of course with the first and last 19.5 miles covering the same roads. After 19.5 miles, enter a big counter clockwise rectangular loop with ~7 mile stretches on the northern and southern sections. One very small loop in the town of Milan at approximately mile 22. The first and last 4 miles go right by Lake Erie on some pretty rough road.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:13
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:43:02 | 13.1 miles | 07m 52s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/36
Overall: 88/706
Performance: Good
Course: An out and back and kinda shaped like a toothbrush with a crooked handle. The first nearly 4 miles is repeated on the way back. Around 4 miles, one first goes through Battery Park on foot paths. Then after this, one goes up and back on roads in Sandusky closed to traffic, which makes up the "bristles" of the toothbrush course. On the second and third of these, one can see folks behind and ahead which allow some idea of time needed to stay ahead or catch up. One real hill at mile 1.5 out and 11.5 back.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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] 5

2013-09-18 8:53 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: Rev3 Cedar Point - Half Rev

2013-09-18 9:05 AM
in reply to: #4858358

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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Rev3 Cedar Point - Half Rev
Good race and report!

Your S32 is a better frame than 90% of the stuff out there easy, maybe more
2013-09-18 9:06 AM
in reply to: #4858358

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Rev3 Cedar Point - Half Rev

Congrats on a great race!  PR!

Thanks for the RR, as well.  I've been thinking about this race for next year (wife has family in Cleveland and we lived there a couple times in the past, so it's almost "home turf"), and your description helps a ton.

Again, awesome race and terrific result!


2013-09-18 10:25 AM
in reply to: 0

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: RE: Rev3 Cedar Point - Half Rev
Thanks! Yeah, I haven't been overly unhappy per se with the S32. It's carried me through my tri career quite well. But, it's now 7 years old and it's been the only tri bike I've raced on. As I'm trying to take my performance to a bit higher level, I'd like to ensure my equipment is up to that level as well. Yeah, it's still the "engine" that makes the difference plus power-to-weight and I'm continuing my pursuit to get there. Still, I'm looking at Felt's DA3 starting next season, especially as a nice way to move into my new AG then too. Hopefully, then I've just got to work on me more to match.

Edited by sbrdave 2013-09-18 10:33 AM
2013-09-18 10:28 AM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Extreme Veteran
Frederick, Maryland
Subject: RE: Rev3 Cedar Point - Half Rev
Thanks! Glad it helped! Like I said, there were a few detractors here and there and I let Rev3 know about those in the post race survey. But, overall compared to a good deal more races, I decided to rate this as probably one of the best I've been to. I really wish we could've stayed to take advantage of the park ticket discount too. Perhaps another time.
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2011-09-13 9:43 AM jndos
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I just started doing tris this summer and I have two under my belt, both sprints. Is it reasonable to build up for a Oly in early ‘09, with a HIM in Oct of ‘09
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This half Ironman plan covers many weeks of challenging, but attainable training for someone who has some endurance experience, and ideally some Olympic distance races within the past season.