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Ironman Chattanooga - Triathlon

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
97F / 36C
Total Time = 14h 27m 53s
Overall Rank = 922/
Age Group = 50 - 54
Age Group Rank = 102/182
Pre-race routine:

Connie and I, along with Dud and Y drover down Tuesday and Wednesday. Spent Thursday and Friday with a mix of relaxing, sight seeing, getting signed in at the race, etc.
Did an easy run Thursday, a bike on Friday and a swim Saturday morning. Saturday night Dud and I got a room at the Hilton Garden near transition so that we could get there early, get the bikes set and get in line for the swim.
Event warmup:

Other than the usual body marking, pumping tires then getting on the bus for swim start not a lot.

This is my 6th IM start and hopefully my 5th finish. I was back here because my 2014 attempt ended in the med tent. Needless to say I was anxious, nervous excited and afraid of the heat. Sitting and waiting in line for a couple of hours did nothing to help these feelings.
  • 1h 22m 9s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

Dud and I followed each other down the ramp and on to the platform and off we went. I made a pretty good line to the center of the river hoping for a little more help from the current. In 2014 you could feel the current pushing, the same at the half back in May. This felt like I was swimming in the lake at home with very little if any help. Really had to focus to keep the hips up or they dragged.

But kept swimming at a consistent pace and in a fairly straight line. Got passed some, but was never really in a crowd. Just kept pushing along trying to stay in my comfort zone (which by the way needs to get harder). Thought the island and bridges would never get there, but eventually they did and made my way out of the water.

Not a terrible swim time but nothing to get excited about either.
What would you do differently?:

I just need to swim more.
Transition 1
  • 05m 23s

This was probably one of my best IM transitions. Never stopped, put my cap and goggles in bag before even getting to the tent and had my helmet on. Stopped to put my shoes on, no socks, and ran on to the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure other than maybe run faster.
  • 6h 11m 32s
  • 116 miles
  • 18.73 mile/hr

The Chat bike course is my favorite bike course of the IM's that I have done. After a little bit of a climb out of transition there is a nice flat section heading out of the city which allows for some speed but also some time to settle in for a long ride and start getting in some nutrition and hydration.

My goal was about 170 something for the NP for the ride, but 180's and above seemed real easy. Tried not to spike it too much on the hills knowing that it was going to get hot at some point and I needed to save my energy.

I was passing a lot for the first 30 or so miles, one of the things I deal with being a much better cyclist than swimmer. I think what wind there was was giving us some push as we headed south. I was trying to get in enough calories and electrolytes through a combination of Ucan and Nuun in the aero bottle. First lap I thought I did pretty good as I got in maybe 180 calories an hour and 20 oz of water/nuun every hour as well. Probably another 10 oz of water straight up as I would fill the aero bottle, grab another to dump on me and drink off the bottle before discarding.

Finished the first lap just enjoying the bike. The energy in Cucumauga or whatever the town is called is exciting. Lots of team support through here which was super energizing!! Stopped at special needs for a bottle exchange for some more Ucan and used the opportunity to hit the porto potty. All good so far!

Second lap, still feeling good heading south. Could tell the wind had shifted some and was dealing with a bit of a headwind. I also backed off the effort some simply because I knew I was going harder than I should, not a lot but if the forecast was right I would need the energy for the run. But then again the thought crossed my mind to just hammer the bike since hot weather was going to kill the run either way, but I backed off.

Even chatted briefly with my coach during the second loop and told him how good I felt. I also start to take some hits off the BASE salts just seeing that my kit was showing a lot of salt stains.

Leap frogged with mostly the same cyclist from about mile 70 to mile 90. Downhills I would pass and the smaller riders would go by me up hill. Up till now, never felt like I was going to have any issues.

By mile 90 I could feel the heat. Cold water in the aero bottle wouldn't stay cold. Putting Nuun in it made it taste worse, but the worst part is nothing would make the dryness in my mouth any better. I kept drinking both water and Ucan along with the salts. Pace never felt unmanageable though and I still felt I was ahead of my nutrition and hydration .

Finished up and handed off the bike before stopping briefly to see Connie and Y.

Logic would tell me to blame the bike for the run, but I really don't feel I over did it.
What would you do differently?:

I am sticking with nothing.
Transition 2
  • 08m 3s

Other than the stop to see Connie and Y I moved along. I did take a little bit of time since I was able to get a seat in front of a huge fan that was a bit refreshing. I could tell I was fading fast though.
  • 6h 40m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 18s  min/mile

Another brief conversation with Connie on the way out as she was worried with the way I looked and just the temps overall. I just told her that it was going to be a long run under the circumstances.

Ran slowly along the river and up the hill past my team tent. Awesome to see the team support at that point. The steep hill up past here I thought about walking as the sun was relentless and I was fading fast but between a race photographer and the cheering crowds I ran figuring I would get to the first aid station about mile 1 and catch my breath there.

As I topped the hill and headed towards the aid station I could tell I was getting wobbly. Grabbed ice and water and sponges but still felt like I was going to crash and burn but walked forward as best as I could. This was the exact same spot I fell out of the race in 2014 although on the second lap and I was determined not to let it happen again so I pressed on.

A few hundred yards past the aid station BASE had a tent set up. One of their folks could see I was wobbly and and not really sure if I was a foot or horseback. He walked a few feet with me and suggested I sit on the guardrail in the shade for a minute. He gave me a bottle of water with a mix they call rocket fuel which is their hydrate and amino products mixed. While we sat there I could tell the bike nutrition was about to make a return appearance. So I got on my hands and knees and proceeded to vomit 3 or 4 times. My new guardian angle went and grabbed some cold sponges from the aid station while I continued to drink the mix and continued to feel better.

So, I decided to press on even if I had to walk the next 25 miles. By mile 4 I had finished the first bottle of rocket fuel and we turned off the hot highway on to the river path which had some shade. One of my team mates came up behind me and we walk/ran together until about mile 8. This is the rest station on the back side of the Base tent so I grabbed another bottle from them and pressed on. Ran when I could and walked when the gut got feeling like crud.

The second half of each loop is a very hilly section through a very supportive neighborhood. So I walked the uphills and ran the downhills through this part until I got back to special needs. At this point the temps weren't bad having some shade.

I ran into my coach and team mates that were there to cheer us on which gave me some energy to run pretty good for a mile or two of the second lap. But the sun was still fairly hot and the heat in the highway along the main road was still oppressive so I faded again pretty quick.

Again as I turned back onto the river path I had another team mate, Randy, come up from behind. He was having his challenges so we ran/walked our way back to the bridge about mile 20. This is where I ran into Connie and Y and slowed some to tell them how I was doing and that I wasn't going to be denied a finish this year.

Walked a lot, ran some when I could but through it all kept moving forward. With a mile to go I could hear the finish, and just felt energized and ecstatic to be that close to the finish. My garmin had died so we will never know for sure, but I am willing to bet my last mile was the fastest of the day.

Finished strong, passing the team energy wall on the way into the finishing chute. Probably pulled a little bit of a db move as I had been following these two guys running/walking together for the past mile and a half. I was about 20 feet behind them so I decided in my dehydrated fog to just blow by them and finish alone.

Felt a bit wobbly after finishing, but nothing needing anything more than some recovery and a chair.
What would you do differently?:

Find a cooler day to race on. At 97 degrees to start with no shade, I am going to wilt and nothing will change that other than maybe another 30 pounds off.
Post race
Warm down:

Got some pictures taken and some water. Looked around for Connie and then we made our way to the team tent where we sat with some team mates waiting for Dudley to finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


I finished 102 out of 182 finishers in my age group. Not great, but not bad either I guess. Especially when you consider there was another 80 in my age group alone that started the swim, but dropped either after the swim or the bike.

Event comments:

The volunteers in Chattanooga are the best of any of the IM's I have done. Even in the heat they were enthusiastic, supportive, concerned for our well being and generally having a good time.

Last updated: 2015-10-05 12:00 AM
01:22:09 | 4224 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 205/182
Overall: 1844/
Suit: No
Course: River swim point to point.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 83F / 28C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 05:23
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:11:32 | 116 miles | 18.73 mile/hr
Age Group: 72/182
Overall: 653/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops
Road: Smooth  Cadence: 67
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 08:03
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:40:46 | 26.2 miles | 15m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 102/182
Overall: 922/
Course: 2 out and backs twice
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race?
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] 5

2016-10-01 5:34 PM

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: Ironman Chattanooga

2016-10-02 3:53 PM
in reply to: #5200482

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

WOW, given the miserable heat of the day and the early part of the run with vomiting so much that is really an impressive finish.  

Well managed swim and bike and smartly managed run in those conditions.

2016-10-02 9:34 PM
in reply to: #5200482

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Ken we did it!!!!! you rocked the bike. You were looking awesome when you passed me. Still unbelievable the you were able to rally. I gotta get me some rocket fuel. Thank you for driving you off to and from the race. It was an awesome week week and time. Love ya guys.
2016-10-03 9:14 AM
in reply to: dexter

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Tyrone, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Nice job on powering through, very solid swim and really nice bike effort! Amazing what a difference a week can make as I would imagine if the race would have been this past weekend times would have been hours different.

2016-10-03 11:25 AM
in reply to: dandr614

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Rochester, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Fantastic job persevering.  So very well done!  Congrats IRONMAN!!!!

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