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Ironman Austria - TriathlonFull Ironman

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28C / 82F
Total Time = 14h 26m
Overall Rank = 1890/2198
Age Group = 40-45
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Hello all, well I did it, I completed my first ironman. For those who prefer the readers digest version - it was a real tough day on sunday and while my time of 14:28 was well behind my goal time of 13hrs, (aprox, 1:15 swim, 7:00 bike and 5:40 run plus lots of transition time), it was far better than the alternatives I was contemplating during the race. I came to find out first hand what ironman does to your body and mind. This is the toughest thing I have experienced.

Event warmup:

For those looking for the more gruesome details and a parental warning - graphic details, I offer this race report for your entertainment and insight into my experience at ironman austria.
The day looked good as I got up at 430 and started the same routine that I had done for taining, bowl of vector cereal brought from home and chopped fruit and yogurt. The sun was rising, the temp was going to be about 28 and the water was calm. We got to the ironman city and everything was a buzz, I dropped off my special needs bags and then linked up with stewart and christian for pre race pictures and camaraderie (as veterans of ironman they were cool calm and collected, I on the other hand was running a standing Heart rate of 120!!).
  • 1h 16m 12s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 01s / 100 meters

It is unbelievable waiting for the race to begin with 2600 other competitors standing on the beach. The slow swimmers move to the left and try to align yourself to the first buoy which was out 1500m. The cannon went off and everything was chaos, bodies everywhere and water churning like pirannahas at feeding time. I tried to settle in despite the hitting and kicking I was doing a good job, there wasn't much to do except swim as I was in the middle of a pack so sighting buoys wasn't much value. Besides, the race organizers decided blue buoys in blue water and blue sky were good sighting makers - NOT!! The first 1500 was timing well and then we made the turn for the next marker which didn't appear to be where the race diagram suggested it would be, oh well follow the group. With the sheer number of swimmers, you were never alone always battling for space, getting the odd kick, smack upside the head and slap on the back - and not for good luck! The next 1400 went reasonably well once I got back on course and this led us into the cozy confines of the canal. It sounds very intimate, a few thousand spectators lining both sides of a 25ft wide canal screaming encouragement. When I talked to deborah (my coach) about this part of the swim we agreed I would maintain pace and not get caught up with the adrenaline. This wasn't hard to do, when you put 6 or 8 swimmers abreast and bodies in front and behind there is nowhere to go and u just try and maintain position clawing your way through seaweed and spewing up silt. At some points you could stand up in the channel, which I did to my detriment as I stepped on a sharp rock, a price I would pay for later. I exited the swim, exactly on my target pace of 1 hour 15 minutes by my watch. So far so good.

What would you do differently?:

get a little more drafting going. Feel comfortable with the crowds now so likely can be a little more aggressive through the swim
Transition 1
  • 09m 16s

I had determined before the race that transitions would be calm and methodical that time was not important. I grabbed my stuff and entered the tent.. Now there was supposed to be a male and female tent, but of course this didn't happen. There were hardbodies everywhere in various states of undress, so do as the romans do, strip downand get the bike gear on. For my single friends, it is now apparent that the ideal volunteer job is at an ironman as a sunscreen applicator! I got my stuff on and had sunscreen slathered on my body, but obviously she missed half my shoulders as my sunburn can attest. I pulled out my checklist and made sure I had everthing and then set out for my strongest discipline, the bike.
What would you do differently?:

not a lot, I can cut down time here if I choose, was very methodical, even had a checklist that I went through
  • 7h 04m 30s
  • 180 kms
  • 25.44 km/hr

I began the bike with the expectation of generating a negative split, starting slightly slower than my expected pace. In all my training I had been pacing at least 30k/hr and I had targeted a similar pace here. The first 20 minutes was spent taking on fluid and then at about 20 minutes started taking the gels. Then a power bar with a salt tablet. It still felt good until about 40k when I started the nutrition again this time the salt tablet brought everything back up. Have you tried puking at 35k/hr on a bike? I was wearing half of it and needless to say things did not feel good. I tried again with some gels but it was making my stomach queesy again. By about 60k stewart had caught me and asked how I was doing. Having just deposited my second stomach load, things were not good. He offered his food but nothing seemed appetizing. He pushed on and I focused on trying to keep the pedals going, but it was a tedious pace, something that I hadn't experienced in what is (was?) my strongest discipline. I was being passed by everyone. The scenery at this ironman was spectacular and the beauty of the mountains can help keep your mind off the hurt, unfortunately it wasn't working particularly well. I was now set to climb the biggest hill we had, I had not had anything to eat for two hours and drinking was mostly water with some of the powerade iso. I had trouble with this because I trained with gatorade and didn't know what dilution should be on this powerade. I got to the top of the climb and followed it up with another upchuck. The next aide station I found some banana which I was able to keep down and at this point I had turned to water only for hydration. For the next 20k a myriad of thoughts went through my mind on how I was not made to do this, why had I embarked on this effort? How could I quit and save face. Maybe I could get two blocking penalties and be dq'd. Perhaps a crash could give me an out - the things rolling through my mind weren't particularly pretty and I still had a 100k of riding and 42k of running in front of me. When I got to the turnaround to start on the second 90, I got the inspiration I desperately needed. I heard dianne's voice yell my name. I made the turn and came to a stop in front of my whole family who had signs of encouragement and big hugs to give me. Nothing had gone right on the bike but my family was there to push me on. Dianne kept telling me I could do it, and while she had no idea how challenging things were, her words got me going.

I started onto the second 90k with the hope that I could pick up my special needs bag in about 2k and get an advil for my headache, some of my hammer gels (with the hope I could keep them down) and eat some chips to get some salt. More discouragement, I got to the special needs station and they couldn't find my bag. I wandered around for about five minutes trying to find it, now feeling dejected having just gotten the boost.
Christian caught me just before the next aide station and reminded me that it was just about finishing, time didn't matter. I pushed on and stopped at the next aide station, I emptied out the old iso liquid in my aero bottle and refilled with fresh and hopefully colder liquids, I had some banana and got a full water. The banana stayed down and I could feel a second wind, the cool water tasted great. At this point My legs started pumping with reasonable vigor although I had to wonder what was left in the tank now that I had been out here for four hours with little nutrition. By this time I had likely burned through 4000 calories. The bike was now about making it from aide station to aide station nothing more or less. Unfortunately my ride was taking too long and the aide stations were now lacking everything but iso and water. Bananas were gone. I started desperately scanning the exits from the stations hoping to find uneaten bananas on the road that I could stop and pick up, unfortunately none were to be found. The crowds had thinned out dramatically. The first loop was constant encouragement of oop, oop, oop and then whistles and clankers. Now I was almost happy to have little activity given this encouragement seems to have more of an irritating impact when things are not going well. I came to the big climb feeling like I could make this work, hydration was all water and I had taken in another half bananna. Riders were now walking the hill which was an average 6 degree climb with a max of 11 degrees. I was determined to ride it out. I got to the top and celebrated with a pee, small miracles!! As I rode through the last aide station they had bananas and I added some more water, I promptly dropped the banana when I hit a pothole as I looked down to put the new water bottle in the cage. Will anything go right?

What would you do differently?:

this was just brutal, given my average speed from previous races at much shorter distances has been 33k and my average training speed at this distance was 30k, this was crushing. Obviously going to have figure out what happened to the stomach
Transition 2
  • 15m 42s

The transition was again methodical, I found out the bottom and side of my left foot had indeed been punctured in the swim, as I pulled off my bloody sock it started the cut bleeding again. The medic sprayed it down with an antispetic threw on a bandaid and sent me on my way.
What would you do differently?:

i could cut this down, no bleeding foot would help, not really concerned about transition times.
  • 5h 40m 47s
  • 42 kms
  • 08m 07s  min/km

Christian had caught up to me again in the transition tent and provided some more encouragement, we ran out together to meet the family. Once again I stopped to get hugs and encouragement, both requuired as I need to figure out how I was going to run 42k. My only solace was I had about 8+ hours to get the run in, which should have allowed me to walk it in, but walking 42k hardly seemed like much fun and given how my body felt there were no guarantees.
The first 6k of the run were relatively fantastic, at the first aide station I stopped to have a meal-orange, banana, dried bread, water and iso, I had no clue what was going to happen but figured I needed something in my gut. I probably was maintaining a 6min 30sec pace for that first 6k, which started slowing at 7k and disintegrated at 10k. I had now turned to walking and running btwn aide stations, taking in banana and water. The fans were everywhere, cheering you on by name and shouting Canada, given my shirt and hat were both patriotic. The pace had slowed measureably and now I was starting to work backwards from the midnight cutoff time. I could do this. I stopped to pick up my special needs bag hoping to use the smarties and pretzels as incentive!? I figured I needed salt given every competitor's butt was soaked by salt stains , I figured mine must be too. Have you tried to eat pretzels without your saliva glands working? Couldn't swallow and couldn't spit them out.
When I got through 21k, I was back at ironman city, where dianne and the kids were sitting to once again give me encouragement, there was little energy left in my tank but dianne was there to push me to complete it even if I had to walk it in. I tried to eat a couple of smarties, even they didn't taste great-imagine spitting out smarties-who would have thunk? My running lasted another 1.5km at which point I started the death march. By this time almost every competitor had given up running, it was a push to finish pure and simple. By the 30k mark I tried to get a gel down figuring it was the only way I was going to get the energy to finish. 5 minutes later I would be found keeled over with a lightpost for support puking up what little I had in my gut. I had hoped dianne would be there again in ironman city but they had left, no doubt waiting in the finishing chute, it would be at least another 90mins before I was there. Incentive came from listening to the roar of the crowd as ironmen continued to be announced to the crowd.
I started to target 14.5 hours for my time thinking that at least there was some respect at keeping it in the 14 figure. My running was limited till I got to the 37km mark. I needed to average 9 mins/k for the last 5k to get my time and I knew I needed to be slightly quicker to allow the family to join me in the chute. With more bananas, water and now pepsi, I found the energy to start running - ha, it wasn't even a proxy for running but it beat walking. I kept the pace through to ironman city where I was finally had a glimpse of the finish. Dianne and the kids were waiting at the start of the finish chute. Big hugs all around and we started hand in hand for the last 500m or so. What an experience. High fives from everyone, pounding music and excitement from the announcer for every competitor crossing the line. During the last few feet, every hurt went away, the accomplishment was now complete, the announcer was telling the crownd that the next athlete hailed from his country of Canada, quentin broad you are now an ironman!!

What would you do differently?:

nutrition was screwed up from the bike, so had no clue how hard I could push the first 7k and the last 6km were run at about 6min/k pace which means I had something in the tank but couldn't tell from all of the stress on the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

It wasn't pretty but I got it done. I learned a lot about what I am physically capable of doing and more importantly what drives me mentally. I am the fittest I have ever been, and stronger mentally by virtue of my experience. I said at the beginning of this race report that this was my first, I will do this again. Hopefully my kids took in all that the ironman has to offer - from the 79yr old man we met at the bike check who was doing his 28th ironman, 18 of which were at kona. He started this at age 60!!? To their dad's experience of being physicaly and mentally punished all the way. This is ironman and that experience is tough to replicate.

Event comments:

I finished my first ironman, so this must be a great race!!

Last updated: 2006-07-25 12:00 AM
01:16:12 | 3800 meters | 02m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 1420/2198
Performance: Good
Suit: orca predator 2
Course: an interesting course of a single loop where the last 800 or so meters finishes in a canal, sounds great with the crowd lining the shore that was about 25 feet wide.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 09:16
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
07:04:30 | 180 kms | 25.44 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 1978/2198
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: a two loop course with some rolling hills and technical riding with tighter turns, the two big climbs were about 6% grades on average with max grade of 11% and 10.5% respectively
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 15:42
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:40:47 | 42 kms | 08m 07s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 1816/2198
Performance: Below average
Course: flat, large shady parts, good track with lots of fan support
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-07-26 9:14 PM

New user
Subject: Ironman Austria

2006-07-27 12:14 AM
in reply to: #494331

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Extreme Veteran
Plymouth MA
Subject: RE: Ironman Austria

Congratulations Ironman!!  You had a tough time with nutrition yet you still did it!!

It was great you had family there supporting you...that makes all the difference.

2006-07-27 3:33 AM
in reply to: #494331

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Subject: RE: Ironman Austria
Way to finish even after going through all that. Congratulations. Go Canada!!!
2006-07-27 8:04 AM
in reply to: #494331

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brummie land
Subject: RE: Ironman Austria

wow! you are one tough cookie. congrats ironman.


my mate from swimming did her first im at austria also and found the bike course tough.

2006-07-27 10:08 PM
in reply to: #494527

New user
Subject: RE: Ironman Austria
it was tough, as they changed the route this year to two laps from three. However, I still haven't quite figure out what happened to me out there, given my bike performance in other triathlons, this was a disaster. Given all of the possible variables, may not ever know, but probably going to have to do one of these again, to prove to myself I can put up a number closer to my goal time.
2006-07-27 10:41 PM
in reply to: #494331

Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Austria

Great race and fantastic report Quentin.  Really enjoyed reading it!  Now you know what it's all about.  You really get to discover things about yourself and about what drives you and how to fight through those really dark moments that are going to come up during an Iroman.  Congratulations on overcoming them and not giving up.  You are an Ironman!


Edited by max 2006-07-27 10:42 PM

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