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Ironman World Championship - Triathlon

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Kona, Hawaii
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 13h 44m 33s
Overall Rank = 1769/2069
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 162/174
Pre-race routine:

After completing the Hawaii 70.3 in June, I was lucky enough to get a Hawaii Residency Kona slot. I was so excited and I put together a general training plan that would focus on improving my swim and lots of run mileage. The bike is my strong suit, so I would still put in decent mileage there, but spend more time focusing on my swim and run as far as improvements.
Training went extremely well. I didn’t get sick or injured at all. I completed basically every workout as planned. The plan did go through a few adjustments here and there, but nothing major. I did a ton of 85+ mile long rides, and many weeks over 40 mpw running, peaking at 52. I averaged about 10.5k per week swimming as well which is 50-100% more than normal. As I started to taper down, my running legs started to feel better again, so I was pretty confident going into the race that I had done everything I could possibly do.
Race week was a blast (which is a separate report in of itself). I did spend a lot more time on my feet than I thought, but I had to soak it all in. My swims from the pier were great, and I got decent sleep considering how excited I was.
As I made my way down the steps from the pier, I felt ready for the day ahead of me.

Event warmup:

Swam 150 yards out to the left of the starting line and treaded water.
  • 1h 13m 42s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 44s / 100 yards

I lined up far left, and about 10 yards back where it wasn’t so crowded. We treaded water for about 8 minutes and the gun went off. To my surprise, there was very little contact. I was able to find some feet for extended periods of time and when I lost them, it was very easy to find another set. I noticed that not too many people were passing me, and I was pretty much just going with the flow at a conservative effort. In fact, many times I had to slow my stroke rate down just to avoid touching the feet in front of me. I had no desire to pass and just wanted the free ride.

Things got a little congested at the turn around but nothing horrible and I just kept following feet. I wish there was more to report here but it was just a relaxed swim. Came out in 1:13 and change which was about the fastest I would have expected given my training, but much better than any of my other swim performances before I had put a focus on it. My previous two Honu 70.3 swims were around 39 minutes, so I swam twice as far and still cut 5 minutes off. The huge pack of swimmers likely created a more effective draft and the swim skin I used probably helped as well.

As I got out of the water I heard my name called and I was all smiles.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Perfect swim.
Transition 1
  • 07m

I knew I was going to be taking my time here to do a full change. Rinsed off for a few seconds using the hoses, then grabbed my bag and found a seat. A volunteer helped me unpack my bag and I started with toweling off and struggled to get my bike jersey on. Then it was bike shorts, socks, shoes, stuffing my pockets, chamois cream, and then trying to get the arm coolers on. I completely forgot about sunscreen but I had pretty good clothing coverage already and had applied some before the swim on my neck and face.

Slow jog out to my bike, crossed the mount line and just took my time getting clipped in and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

The bike jersey and arm coolers may not have been needed. They added a lot of time, and could have actually made me a little hotter than normal as compared to a tri top. The sun coverage helped for sure though as no sunburn.
  • 6h 07m 11s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.30 mile/hr

I was pacing this all by HR and RPE, with power as a third metric. I settled my HR down pretty quick from the high 160’s down to the 150 range pretty quickly. I was hovering around 150-165 watts at this HR which felt comfortable so I just went with it. In training, most of my long rides were in the 138-145 bpm range at 160-175 watts, so I figured I was in the ball park. Again, RPE was ok and I wasn’t breathing hard…but watts were pretty low.

I was getting passed pretty often, but I had no desire to chase. If anything I was thinking to myself how great my swim was to see all of these guys having to pass me on the bike given how long my T1 was as well. As we made the turn around on Kuakini, we had a nice tailwind and I coasted or soft pedaled when necessary.

My alarm was set to beep every 9 minutes to take in pieces of bonk breakers from my bento box. Cut into 1/6ths or about 40 calories each. Drink water or sports drink when needed. I felt this plan worked well and I stuck to it. Never felt bloated or nauseous. Aid stations were frequent, so I had plenty of opportunity to stay full on bottles while still spraying myself down constantly.

The weather was warm, but we did have clouds. The arm coolers seemed to help a little, but I’m not sure they made a difference on that day. Maybe on a clear skies day it would have been more beneficial. At mile 30, I had seen my first crash victim. He was getting back on his bike but limping. There were spectators in the area…he wasn’t by himself. I hope he finished.

It was at this point I was hoping my power would start to climb, but it didn’t. No big deal…effort and HR were still spot on so I didn’t force the issue. I caught up to Stan who I can normally destroy on the bike but for the next 50 miles we were always leap frogging each other. This was a sign to me that either Stan was biking way too hard, or I was not having a great day on the bike. My power numbers indicated the latter, but since I wasn’t really racing by power, I was hoping I was still riding conservatively enough.

The climb to Hawi was pleasant. Just like Honu. I put about 2 minutes on Stan but kept the effort steady. I stopped at SN to grab my second bag of cut up bonk breakers and pee’d while standing over my bike and shooting water over myself. Stan didn’t stop so it was enough time for him to pull ahead but I blew past him again on the downhill as I should (weighing 20+ pounds more than he does).

The climb back up Kawaihae was okay, but once we made the right back to town the headwind was just relentless. Pretty much small chain ring the whole way back uphill and downhill. It was at this point my power started to drop at the same HR and RPE. Instead of 145-155 watts, it was slowly dipping into the 135 range. The wind just did not let up and it was like you were climbing for 2 hours straight. I kept with my nutrition and hydration plan but I just started to get tired from constantly battling the wind. It was depressing watching my average speed drop from 20.4 mph down to 18.3 in the last 35 miles. But at the same time, it’s not like people were passing me in bunches. The same people seemed to be around me so we were all going through the same thing. The last 10 miles or so though the power did drop even more…down into the low 100’s but at this point it was more about just not doing anything dumb and making sure RPE and HR didn’t get out of control. It was also getting hotter, so naturally power should go down as well. My right arch also started to hurt. This was something that happened in training as well that I couldn’t resolve, but I was just trying to manage it and hoping it wouldn’t impact my run…which it didn’t in training.

As I came down Makala back to town, I saw my GF yelling at me because I forgot to pack my race belt in my T2 bag. So I stopped and she handed it to me to put it on. Add a 4 minute penalty to me if you want…I wouldn’t complain if I got one, but my GF is the best for going all the way out there to give it to me knowing less people would be out there to see it.

Made my way back into T2 a few minutes behind Stan, just happy to be coming off my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Generate more power at a lower effort? Seriously though, I felt I was riding at a conservative effort until I struggled with the headwinds back into town. I was consistent with my nutrition plan, but maybe I needed more? Doubt it would have made a significant difference and I think I was just dealing with an off day. Conditions were fast today in general, and I figured I would be closer to 5:50 and still feeling fresh given that.

Maybe go with the tri top instead of the bike jersey and arm coolers though as I wasn't getting as much evaporative effect as I thought I would. Too humid in Kona.

Transition 2
  • 07m

No flying dismount, but should have given the volunteers made me take off my shoes anyway because the matts were slippery. Slow jogged it around and to the porta pottys for a quick pee, then slow jogged it to the change tent for a full change again. Removed the arm coolers since they seemed they wouldn’t help and did remember the sunscreen this time.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. Best thing I did here was pre body glide the inside of my socks. I had a stick of body glide in my T2 bag but I just didn't get around to using it.
  • 6h 09m 38s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 07s  min/mile

Came out of the gates to roaring crowds. Took a peek at my watch and saw 7:5X. I immediately put on the brakes. I was just trying to find a pace I could settle in at, and by the time I made the turn from Kuakini to Hualalai I saw a motorcycle come by me telling me that someone was coming up from behind. I didn’t quite make out what he said, and then a truck and a few others came by. I thought it was a wheelchair athlete or something but before I knew it, Van Lierde was running by me and the cameramen were sitting on the back of the tailgate filming him with me in the background. Pretty cool.

Van Lierde made the right to the finish, and I made the left down Alii Drive. Right then, side stitch and a few pinches in my groin. I walked immediately and tried to work it out. At this point I knew I was in for a long day/night. Goals were out the window, and I had shifted into survival mode just after mile 1. All that run training I had put in wouldn’t really be mattering now as I couldn’t keep my HR down or my breathing under control while running.

I can’t say enough how much crowd and volunteer support there was through most of this run course, especially on the first 10 miles through town and Alii Drive. Everyone was encouraging, and you could tell those who have been there giving sincere words like “It’ll work itself out” (referring to my side stitch), “just break it up into pieces,” or “just keep moving forward and you’ll get there.” Other athletes out there were suffering too. I was not the only one and we all gave each other encouragement. At mile 3 or so, when I finally realized that I was not going to recover from this, I almost hit a really bad spot where I simply couldn’t imagine 23 more miles like this. But there is really no possible way you can give up on Alii Drive. They simply won’t let you and you can’t help but smile when total strangers call out your name or number and cheer you on. I had to focus on something positive, and the crowd and volunteers helped enormously with that.

I saw Stan coming the back from the turn around and he looked awesome. Brian and Kim passed by me shortly thereafter and they were also having great races. At this point I settled into a run 3 cones walk one cone system. Holding about 10:30 pace on the run part and 17-18 on the walk. Each cone maybe 35-40 yards apart. After I made the turn, I saw Hines Ward coming the other way maybe about a mile behind and he looked steady. Uh oh…

As I got closer to the turn back up Hualalai, I saw my GF at the corner waiting for me. I was walking and she offered me some funny/sarcastic encouragement which made me smile. She told me she wasn’t going to take a picture of me walking, but I had to walk up the hill, so she ran up ahead onto Kuakini and I ran that section so she could get a picture. I told her it would be a while before I get back, but I’ll finish.

I walked up Palani and as I got onto the Queen K, there was a little less spectators. I saw all the sub 10 hour Agers coming in now (TONS of them) and it was a little depressing knowing that most of the cheers were for them finishing and I still had 16 miles to go. It was still hot, and I walked a lot more. I tried to power walk, shuffle, anything to improve my overall pace but running was becoming less frequent. Gone were the 10:30 paces between cones, it was more like 11:30’s and slowing.

I was a little more on my own now and then I heard a motorcycle from behind. Sure enough, it was Hines Ward. I told him…”2x Super Bowl Champ, Super Bowl MVP, gonna be an Ironman.” He smiled and simply said “I’m gonna try.” He was in his own zone and I didn’t want to bother him as I’m sure others have tried to make conversation. We ran alongside each other for a bit as the photographer snapped some photos of us. I had to stop and walk, and he kept going. Big props to him.

Then saw Stan coming back and he was still killing it. He went on to run 4:10 and finish 11:39. Amazing for a 50 year old lottery guy. I saw Brian a little later and he was also steady. The sun was starting to set and I was walking more and more. Sub 13 was out the window. Just finish. I walked past a guy named Forrest from South Carolina. Older guy who was throwing up and couldn’t keep anything down. We talked for a bit and he was worried he wouldn’t have the energy to finish.

By the time I got to the energy lab turn it was DARK. For some reason I didn’t get a glow stick so I just had to follow the glow sticks on the people in front of me as a guide. Then a guy pulls up alongside and walks with me. We chat and he’s another Hawaii lottery guy from Maui. We had a good talk and shared experiences from this race so far as well as other races we’ve done like Haleakala and Honu. We basically walked together for 3.5 miles through the energy lab when he stopped to use the toilet. He told me he was hoping to start running again on the Queen K, so I figured I would try too and maybe he would catch back up to me.

So I started up again with a shuffle 2 cones and fast walk 1 cone system. With 10k to go, I needed to average around 15 minute miles to break 14 hours. The shuffle was at around a 12-12:30 pace and the fast walk was around 14-16 minute pace. Now that the sun was down and things were cooling off a bit I was able to maintain this pretty much the whole way back. Nothing was overly sore. No blisters or injuries (the right arch that bothered me at the end of the bike was a total non factor), no stomach issues, it was just a matter of managing effort so I don’t put myself in a danger zone. One of the speakers at the welcome banquet said whatever you do, don’t risk not getting to the finish because it’s such a special place. That was mainly what I thought about…don’t do anything heroic at this point…you’re not home yet.

At this point I was starting to see people still heading out to the energy lab that would be on the border of the cutoff. It was about 8 pm and they were on mile 12 or so. It wasn’t looking good for those who were walking. I offered encouragement, but some of them may have already been resigned to their fate. My heart goes out to them and I hope as many of them made it as possible.

The volunteers were still out, still offering up a lot of energy out there. They are simply awesome and kept me smiling. When I would start to shuffle again after passing by, they would cheer louder.

Once I saw the Ross clothing store in the distance, I knew I was “ALMOST THERE.” Despite hearing that phrase since mile 2…LOL. Temperature was no longer a major issue and actual running became a possibility as I could feel an adrenaline kick. I made sure not to do anything stupid coming down Palani and just slow jogged it, but as I made the left onto Kuakini then I was running again in the 9’s at a moderate effort. Nothing hurt anymore and my breathing was not a problem because of the huge smile on my face. There were still small crowds there but I took a short walk break just before turning down Hualalai to make sure I would finish strong.

I took one deep breath and off I went. High fives left and right and I made the final right down Alii Drive. Words cannot describe the atmosphere and the energy. A couple of small kids no more than 3 years old stuck out their hands for a high/low five and how could I not oblige. As the barriers started I just let it rip the last 200 yards. More high 5’s…first on the left side, then to the right. Held my hand to my ear asking for more noise and the crowd responded. Got to the ramp and slowed down to walk those last 15 feet and I heard it right at that point. Those famous words you want Mike Reilly to say just as you cross the line. It was perfect. I raised my hands in the air and then pointed towards the cameras as my tribute to everyone else who may have been watching and has helped me get me to this point in my life. This was not a 4 month journey, or a 4 year journey. The character I showed today was a culmination of

how I was raised, and the people who have impacted me over the last 32 years. Finishing time is definitely something great to strive for, and if that’s all I would have taken away from Kona then it would be a great shame. Sometimes it takes certain circumstances for you to realize just how lucky you are, and that’s what I felt.
What would you do differently?:


There was one ultimate goal here. FINISH. I was not going to jeopardize that in any way. I could have probably tried to fight through some of my issues, but it was a gamble and I didn't know what type of odds I was getting.

If there is anything I wish I would have done more is thank more volunteers and talk to more of the other athletes. I did thank almost every volunteer that gave me something or cheered me on, but you really can't thank them enough. The athletes I did talk to or encourage, I was glad I did...I just think I could have done more of it.

I could sit here and list a whole bunch of things I wish went right, or better...but really...can I honestly complain about crossing the finish line at Kona? I think not.
Post race
Warm down:

After the adrenaline died off, reality set back in a little. I didn’t feel like eating or drinking much. I got a great 25 minute massage, my finishers stuff, then asked to go to med tent in hopes for an IV as I was getting a little light headed. No dice. Sipped on some broth and perform and after 30 minutes of resting I told them I was okay. My BP improved and I was able to meet my GF who already had picked up my bike and bags. Can’t give her enough credit for supporting me throughout the week and over the past months as I basically dedicated myself to training.
Took a shower and thought about going down to watch the midnight finishers but decided to go to bed instead. I was a bit sore the next day, but 2 days later when you expect to be the worst, I was fine for the most part. I suppose when you walk a lot, you don’t get as much pounding and the muscles don’t ache as much.

What would I do differently? In a nutshell. Nothing. I didn’t have the race time I was hoping for, but the experience far exceeded my expectations. I’m a lottery winner. I’m lucky to be here and I got to experience a little bit of everything. A great swim, solid first 2/3 of the bike, then the struggles. It’s part of the package. I got to feel the energy of Alii drive on the first 10 miles, battle the thoughts that maybe I may not make it, and also experience walking in the pitch black through the energy lab. I didn’t get any injuries or blisters. I didn’t throw up, crash my bike, or any of those really bad things. I got to run down the finish line all by myself. What more do you want?

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This may be the million dollar question. At this point, I don’t know. Probably a lot of things that added up. Maybe an off day, over trained, too much time on my feet during race week, biked too hard, slightly low on nutrition, electrolytes, not managing body temperature as well on the bike/run, maybe swam too hard, etc. We’ll save that discussion for later.

Event comments:

I cannot even describe how awesome this race is. Even if you can never get to the start line, you have to try your best to get down to Kona and soak up the experience of the race.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-06-22 12:00 AM
01:13:42 | 4224 yards | 01m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/174
Overall: 0/2069
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy PZ3TX
Course: Straight out and back clockwise to and from the pier.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 07:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:07:11 | 112 miles | 18.30 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/174
Overall: 0/2069
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: First 10 miles in town, then out to Hawi and back.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:09:38 | 26.2 miles | 14m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/174
Overall: 0/2069
Performance: Bad
Course: Out on Alii Drive and back towards the energy lab and back to the pier.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %-4lbs
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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

2013-10-16 2:34 PM

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Subject: Ironman World Championship

2013-10-16 2:50 PM
in reply to: #4878577

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Congratulations, you set a PB !!

Well executed and especially you lived the entire experience to the fullest. That's something few manage to do.
2013-10-16 2:57 PM
in reply to: #4878577

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Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Just a great report - and very happy that even though the time fell short of expectations, the experience of the day (the whole week) met and exceeded what you hoped for.  Congrats Ironman!

2013-10-16 3:49 PM
in reply to: marcag

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Congrats!  You did it, and with a great attitude.   Well done.

2013-10-16 4:15 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Great job out thee Jason. I was tracking you via but it stopped after the 2nd run split. Good for you toughing it out. What a great experience, I'm glad you were able to participate. Nice pic with CW, she's great!
2013-10-16 4:44 PM
in reply to: #4878577

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Kailua, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
way to go Jason!

2013-10-16 4:50 PM
in reply to: reecealan

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Your entire race report made me smile. 

Congrats to you, Ironman!!!   

2013-10-16 6:02 PM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2013-10-16 6:03 PM
in reply to: blueyedbikergirl

PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Fantastic report and an awesome race Jason!  What an incredible experience.

2013-10-16 8:06 PM
in reply to: axteraa

West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship


There are so many amazing sentiments in your RR.  I love the reality check of being fortunate to be there and recognizing the goal to FINISH intact superseded any time or other goals.  

Well done.  Well managed.  You kept your head and heart in the race when your body said it wasn't interested.

2013-10-16 8:24 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Congrats!! Even though it didn't go as planned you kept your head in the game and made smart decisions.

Great report too

2013-10-17 6:03 AM
in reply to: #4878577

Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Done differently? "Thank more volunteers." You are ever the class act, Ironman, consummate Kona guy. What a great race, so well executed ... and perseverance on the run.

2013-10-17 7:55 AM
in reply to: TriAya

Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Great job Jason!! Kudos to you for pulling through mentally and not giving in to the challenges you faced out there. Awesome job
2013-10-17 11:23 AM
in reply to: #4878577

Northern IL
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Nice going Jason! Glad you had the chance to get out there.

2013-10-17 12:29 PM
in reply to: #4878577

Guilford, CT
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Congratulations! Sounds like an experience of a lifetime and you told it well. From one Ironman named Jason to another.
2013-10-17 12:43 PM
in reply to: dmbfan4life20

Bedford, NH
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Awesome race report and race Jason! Way to battle through when it got tough. I definitely agree you the others that it sure sounds like a person that really deserved your spot. Way to go man!

2013-10-17 1:06 PM
in reply to: #4878577

Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Jason, thanks for sharing your race report! It sounds like you truly soaked every moment in and had a great time (from the moment you set foot in Kona through the finish line). Congrats!
2013-10-17 1:28 PM
in reply to: PeakTriCoaching

Levittown, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship
Great write up. Well thought out and all of your emotion carried thru in your words. Congrats
2013-10-17 4:23 PM
in reply to: #4878577

Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Congratulations!  Great race report. Thanks for sharing the events of race day. It's been great to follow and learn from your training along the way.

2013-10-17 4:40 PM
in reply to: kcarroll

Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Loved the RR!  Congrats on a great race!

2013-10-17 8:55 PM
in reply to: SSMinnow

Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Ok, so you know I have no love for long course racing but your race report moved me to the point of thinking for one split second how cool it would be to go to Kona . I'm so happy you had this opportunity and enjoyed it to the fullest. Congratulations!

2013-10-18 1:18 PM
in reply to: trigal38

Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman World Championship

Nice going Jason.  You treated Kona exactly the way you should.  Maybe not your best race, but the important thing is you did a great job of taking it all in and truly enjoying the entire experience.  Great job managing what was a very tough run and now you can say you finished Kona....something most of us will never have an opportunity to do.  Now enjoy being a Kona Ironman!

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