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Ironman Canada 70.3 - Triathlon

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Whistler, British Columbia
9C / 48F
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /519
Age Group = M65 - 69
Age Group Rank = 0/6
Pre-race routine:

Drove from Penticton to Whistler on Friday and checked in. Got my bike and transition bags ready. The weather on Friday and Saturday was cool, windy and unsettled.
On Saturday we rode the shuttle bus to the lake transition area and I got my bike racked and T1 bag in place then I walked the area to orient myself.
Event warmup:

Race day morning I was up at 5:00am after 6 hours of good sleep. I had cereal with milk and a banana for breakfast then loaded up my water bottles another banana and a couple honey stinger waffles to eat in transition. We had to be in transition by 7:00am and our start time wasn't until 8:45am.
We watched the IM athletes start their race and chatted with friends from Penticton. It was very cold and I was shivering until the sun came out and it quickly warmed up. About a half hour before start time I started getting changed into my wetsuit. A nice woman from Washington helped me with my timing chip and a fellow from Texas zipped me up and then we jockeyed for position by estimated swim times. I roughly lined myself up about the 42/ 43 minutes area and the final countdown started soon after. As we were waiting our turn to start our swim we could see the IM people finishing their swims and keeping the strippers busy.
We worked our way up to the start line and crossed the timing mat and our swim was on.
  • 44m 14s
  • 1900 meters
  • 02m 20s / 100 meters

I calmly walked into the lake and once my goggles felt comfortable I just leaned into it and started swimming. I felt pretty good, my sighting seemed to be spot on and I headed for the first buoy. I had trouble passing a few swimmers blocking my way and I had trouble passing them but eventually I found a way through.
I approached the first turn buoy and rounded it a bit wide but now I was facing the sun and I lost sight of the buoys plus by swimming wide I wound up off course and pulling myself to the right rather than to the left as I wanted. I had to frequently sight and adjust my direction. I kept struggling with this until I turned around the next turn buoy and I could finally see the buoys and the finish. I picked up my pace and felt really strong pulling past other swimmers. I could now see the bottom of the lake and it was coming up fast as we approached the beach. Then I knuckle the bottom and I stand up. I leave my goggles and cap on and pull my wetsuit off to my waist.
What would you do differently?:

I had trouble sighting and keeping myself swimming straight. Otherwise I felt good and comfortable in the water. I should have allowed myself more time in Whistler to get comfortable in the lake.
Transition 1
  • 08m 13s

Coming out of the lake a wetsuit stripper grabbed me (nicely) and helped me down and pulled off my wetsuit in one big pull then picked me up like I was weightless (I weigh 180) and I ran straight to my T1 bag and followed some fellows into the tent. I was working to change on my own and a volunteer came up and sorted me out quite quickly and got me on my way. Coming out of the tent I saw the sunscreen ladies so I got buttered up - very smart thing to do today. Then I got my bike off the rack and quickly moved to the transition exit.
What would you do differently?:

I can save a few minutes here. I need to pay more attention to my transition planning.
  • 4h 27m 19s
  • 90 kms
  • 20.20 km/hr

I crossed the Mount line which is at the bottom of a hill and I got on and started climbing. This bike route is not flat and there are no flats. It is all up or down. I'm pushing myself as hard as I can while keeping my HR down. In the first 30km I seem to be doing fairly well and coping with the climbing as best I can. As usual people are passing me although I am passing a few people as well. Passed a 64 yr old lady and cheered her on. I finally reached our Callahan turn around and an enthusiastic volunteer helped me mix up a bottle of my PHD drink and then I turned for the return ride heading north.
I still felt like I was making good time but the hills were relentless. Other riders cheered me on as I did them as well. They got a kick out of my "66" on my left calf.
The day is turning warm and other riders are sweating up pretty good. I am sweating but I don't seem to be suffering as much as the other athletes.
Now I am at 60 or 70 km and I reach the Rutherford Creek turn around and I am heading south into a pretty fair headwind and we're now looking at climbing back up the long hill we just came down. It seems like hours of climbing as we return to the Whistler Village.
I'm able to keep climbing but I am very slow.
Finally I pass the 70 km mark and I am just praying for a longish downhill to give me a bit of a break from the climbing. I just persevere and I'm entering the Village, can't be far now. I might even look like I am moving fast. I'm entering the final chute to the dismount line and I hear my wife cheering but I can't see her.
I pull up to the dismount line and I am off my bike and a volunteer takes it away from me.
What would you do differently?:

I'm embarrassingly slow on hills. If I'm still this bad I'm not sure it is likely to change much. I just have to keep riding for my own pleasure and take it as it is.
Transition 2
  • 05m 42s

Someone hands me my bag and Francois, friend from Penticton, calls out to me cheering me on. In the tent one athlete is in bad shape but the volunteers are looking after him.
I start changing and another volunteer is there to help me. I'm feeling really good and ready to go. I take the time to put on my buff that holds ice on my head while running. I'm going to need it today.
I'm coming out of the tent and yet again I hit the porta-potty - 3rd time today. I must be hydrating well.
I stop at the sunscreen ladies and get buttered up again. They tell me I'm burned somewhat. I think they saved me from burning a lot worse. As I run out of transition another lady yells out, "Go George" and I look to see a swim buddy from Penticton.
What would you do differently?:

I'm too slow in transitions. I don't know how people can be so fast. I need to practice and take transitions more seriously.
  • 3h 09m 24s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 08m 59s  min/km

I'm now wearing my bib number with my name on it so I get quite a kick out of people calling me by name and cheering me on. It really does help.
I am pleased to be able to actually run. I'm not fast but I am moving along pretty nicely for me. There are some uphills that I walk up but I am running on the flats and downhills. When I walk I am walking as fast as I can.
At each Aid Station I drink 2 coke, sometimes 2 gatorade and load ice into my buff. I take water and ice from any eager young volunteer that asks me if I want some so I am well hydrated and I eat some banana and grapes. If the grapes are cold they are a real treat.
Then there are young kid volunteers that offer to splash athletes as they pass and I never miss an opportunity to be splashed on my head and back. Very refreshing.
I found an athlete vomiting and I stopped to make sure he was okay and he insisted he was. Later I passed him on my return trip and he was running with a steep lean to his right. He did not look well but he was determined not to quit. I saw quite a few that were pushing themselves very hard but I would to.
On the run I was passed by another couple of swim buddies from Penticton and they each encouraged me on. I really appreciated seeing them out there.
Now people were saying only 5 more km even though it was more like 9km. I just kept going. The second half was passing much more quickly (to my mind) than the first half but then I realized I needed a potty break. With just a couple kilometres to go I had no choice but to stop and I lost 3 or 4 crucial minutes. Now refreshed we were running through people right up beside us and encouraging us on. It was really close and fun. I'm feeling pretty good. This is the most I've run in any of my HIM.
I'm in the village and a bit frustrated because there is no one to direct me and I'm not sure I'm still on course but then I am nearing the chute and people are cheering. I want to enjoy this but I am accelerating and everything is just a blur. I'm in the chute and it is narrow and people are cheering on both side and I see my wife behind the finish line and I am really running now and I feel really strong. I cross the finish line and I stop. I feel really good. Very tired but good. A catcher comes up to me and concerned about how I'm feeling, "Do I need Medical?" No. I'm good. They give me a cold water and I sip it but I'm not thirsty. She takes me for the finish line pictures and my wife comes up and gives me a hug. Then we move off to the side and she gets me seated (we brought cheapy chairs with us) and I sat checking out all the activity around me while my wife went and got my Recoverite.
What would you do differently?:

I'm still very slow on the run and I walked too much but I ran about 20 minutes faster than my run at ChelanMan last year so it was some good out of it. I'll keep working on my run fitness. I think I still have room for improvement here.
Post race
Warm down:

I sipped my cold water and when my wife returned with my Recoverite I really enjoyed it with some chocolate milk. I didn't feel hungry for a while after the run so I didn't even check what they had for us.

After a while as I cooled off because I was wet with sweat I began to get chilled so we returned to our room and I just relaxed.

Next day we drove home to Penticton and I finally got to look up my results. I was a little over 4 minutes overtime so I am listed as DNF. I'm not concerned with this except that I did finish. I just didn't do it in the official time limit. I think it should be "OTF" meaning "overtime finish".

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm old and slow. I should have started a lot younger but its too late for that. I had fun and I was strong enough that I didn't suffer or have to endure any kind of suffering. It was a good day for me.
Aside from picking a race with an easier bike ride I might also:
- Make an effort to save time in transitions,
- Eliminate any need for too many potty stops. I lost 8 to 10 minutes in 4 stops.
- I think my best hope for improvement is in my running fitness so I plan to keep working on that. After 5 years of cycling I don't hold out much hope for improvement unless I lose a fair bit of weight.

Event comments:

I was humbled by the hill climbs. A good rider wouldn't have much trouble but it was hard for me. I still loved it and wouldn't have missed it.

Last updated: 2016-07-26 12:00 AM
00:44:14 | 1900 meters | 02m 20s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/519
Performance: Below average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 19C / 66F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 08:13
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
04:27:19 | 90 kms | 20.20 km/hr
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/519
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: A lot of climbing and descending. My garmin showed 1069m/ 3507'.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 71
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:42
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
03:09:24 | 21.1 kms | 08m 59s  min/km
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/519
Performance: Average
Course: Winding path - some paved, some gravel and some shaded by trees to keep it comfortable.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-07-26 11:54 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Penticton, BC
Subject: Ironman Canada 70.3

2016-07-27 8:02 AM
in reply to: #5192792

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Aledo, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada 70.3

Way to go! I'm especially impressed you were able to take in the support from the crowds (this is something I just never am able to do), and also offer encouraging words to your fellow competitors. 

2016-07-27 1:02 PM
in reply to: #5192792

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New user
Surrey, British Columbia
Subject: RE: Ironman Canada 70.3
Great job out there! Whistler is a tough course. I did the relay, and swim portion with some family members. I remember being blinded by the sun at the end as well. I couldn't find the 2nd turn, and just followed other swimmers. I seeded myself at the back too, and I think if I do this race again, it's time to move up. I didn't swim my best either, but the lake was beautiful and the temperature was perfect!

The hills in whistler are tough. My hubby did the bike portion, he is a strong rider, and both his quads cramped up at 50km. He said it was a very tough ride in back to whistler. And that new pavement was apparently cooking! Good job on pushing through!

Running in whistler is beautiful, but it's definitely not flat! Congrats on running more off the bike, especially after riding all those hills!

And way to go for staying positive! you finished the race and was happy with your day. Many people would never even attempt what you just completed.

2016-07-27 2:25 PM
in reply to: RunnyBunny

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Subject: RE: Ironman Canada 70.3

Nice job out there! Way to go on persevering! I agree with you - OTF would be good

Certainly you are just as inspiring as the front of the pack, pro racers.

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