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Ironman 70.3 Augusta - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Augusta, Georgia
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
93F / 34C
Total Time = 6h 29m 37s
Overall Rank = 1143/2649
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 183/398
Pre-race routine:

Augusta is an interesting setup. I hopped the shuttle to transition and set up my gear, filled the water bottle and checked my tire pressure. Hung out for a little bit talking with other athletes and then hopped the shuttle to swim start. Right at the drop off, there was a local church that had opened itself up to the athletes and was providing breakfast. I went in and grabbed a chair and some water and spent the next hour and a half relaxing and chatting with other athletes. This is a big event for first-timers, so it was really fun to meet several and talk.
Event warmup:

Because of the setup, it wasn't possible to get into the water early. I had to make do with some arm swings and circles to loosen up and then get going!
  • 31m 51s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

Early in the morning, they announced that the swim would not be wetsuit legal, the first time ever for this event! I was surprised, but didn't really let it bother me as I am very comfortable in the water.
Given the size of the event (and my wave), I was expecting mass chaos with the rather tight space on the dock to start. However, I never really had much contact with other swimmers and for the majority of the swim had plenty of open space to swim. Because of the nature of the course, the only sighting that I did was to make sure that I kept the same distance from the shore line when I was grabbing a breath.
I would say that this was the easiest swim course I have ever experienced!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing different here, my swim was very good and I was happy with the performance.
Transition 1
  • 04m 34s

The T1 time looks bad, but it had more to do with the long run from the river to my bike. The chute was set up so that we had to run all the way around the transition area to the back side, and since my bike was then all the way to the other side, it was a very long run!
  • 3h 01m 25s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.52 mile/hr

I think this is a good, challenging bike course. Several hills and some tight turns force you to really focus on your cadence and gear changes. There were stretches that allowed you to just hammer, but they were the exception.
The three complaints that I have for the course:
1. Lots of rough pavement! I felt like my teeth were going to chip and it was like hitting hundreds of little speed bumps.
2. The first aid station wasn't until mile 20! Usually, Ironman is always good about having aid stations every ~10-15 miles on the bike. As the miles kept going, and with the heat, I was getting nervous because I didn't have enough water for 56 miles. I'm not sure I've ever been so happy to see a station.
3. The put one of the aid stations in the middle of a hill! I'm already fighting to climb the hill and then I need to add in grabbing water?!?! Are you really telling me that they couldn't have set up a half mile further up the road on the flat section?
What would you do differently?:

I would have liked to have been faster, but understood that, between the heat and my sub-par training, it was going to be a crapshoot.

However, I was able to find and maintain a good pace, and actually had a negative split on the bike!
Transition 2
  • 04m 14s

Well, I didn't want to do it, but I had to sit on the ground to put my shoes on. When I tried to just bend over and slip on my running shoes, I thought I was going to fall. I don't think it really cost me more than a few seconds.
On the way out, I let them douse me with sunscreen and I was off
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 47m 33s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 12m 47s  min/mile

All I can say is that it was HOT!! I knew it would be a rough run because I simply hadn't put in the time, but once I got going, the heat really pounded me. I decided early to run a light pace and put in frequent walk breaks to try and keep everything steady. I had to constantly dump water on myself and was very glad that my wife had suggested a hydration belt because I used those bottles frequently to dump water and then re-filled at the aid stations.
I didn't eat anything for the whole run, but hit gatorade and coke at each station (along with tons of water). I also tried to keep a steady uptake of BASE salt to prevent muscle cramps.
My strategy was working until mile 11, when I started to feel cramps in both of my calves. I'm pretty sure that there just isn't much you can do with that kind of heat...
I knew I would make it, but had to shut down the running completely to avoid cramping up completely.
What would you do differently?:

Re-emphasize my run training and also a few more brick workouts
Post race
Warm down:

Ate a half slice of pizza and had about a quarter of a beer in the finishers area. Then found a nice, shady spot to sit for a few minutes.
Walked back to the hotel and changed into some dry clothes, grabbed a quick lunch with my wife and then we had to hit the road and head back home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat and spotty training

Event comments:

Overall, this was a great race and Augusta is a great venue! I understand why so many first-timers target this one, with the easy swim and flat run. The bike is challenging, but if you've trained, it's not too bad. The biggest issue is that Augusta can be very hot even in late September. I know that there were many that didn't finish.
Generally, I have tried to spread out my Ironman races and not hit the same venue twice, but I do think I'd be happy to take another shot at Augusta. It seemed like a nice town to visit and it was a great host city. Also, with better training (and better weather), this is a PR course.

Last updated: 2016-04-19 12:00 AM
00:31:51 | 2112 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 144/398
Overall: 1069/2649
Performance: Good
Course: Straight point to point swim. You take off from a boat dock that extends into the river and then swim until you reach the exit. A very nice straight swim that really doesn't require much in the way of siting.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:34
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:01:25 | 56 miles | 18.52 mile/hr
Age Group: 165/398
Overall: 892/2649
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: Loop course. A handful of big climbs along with several smaller climbs. A few technical turns that required precise handling and also cost momentum. Also, the course is slightly over a half a mile long....
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:14
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:47:33 | 13.1 miles | 12m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 183/398
Overall: 1143/2649
Performance: Below average
Course: two loop course through downtown Augusta. Very flat run with some shade, but mostly sun. The section running up and down Main street was completely lined with people and was really motivating! Lots of crowd support on the entire course
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-09-26 9:06 AM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
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