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Ironman Chattanooga - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Chattanooga, Tennessee
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
97F / 36C
Total Time = 13h 50m 18s
Overall Rank = 722/2739
Age Group = F45-49
Age Group Rank = 41/198
Pre-race routine:

We drove to Chattanooga from the Raleigh area on Thursday morning after dropping off Zoe for boarding.

When we arrived in Chattanooga, we checked into the Hampton and walked down to the expo area at Ross's Landing where we met one of my teammates and then went to dinner.

On Friday morning, we went to Chickamauga Lake and met up with several of my teammates for a short swim (Lake Chickamauga is just a dammed up portion of the Tennessee River slightly north of Chattanooga) followed by a short bike and run. Then we went back to down, did athlete check in, sat through the pre race briefing. Kevin went mountain biking at Strigers Ridge in the afternoon while I read a book by the pool. I also got all my gear sorted out on Friday. Then we went to watch the Undie Run (some things you just can’t un-see!) and grab something to eat at Whole Foods.

On Saturday, I went for a short ride, dropped off my bike and transition bags, and then we did the tacky tourist thing — went on the Incline Rail up Lookout Mountain. Once we were at the top, we visited Point Park Battlefield.

On race morning, I got up at 4:15, lubed up liberally and then ate a bagel with peanut butter and a banana. I also had an Ensure and drank a bottle of water with Nuun. Then I headed out with my bags and walked to the transition area. I arrived at about 5am, checked over my bike, I had pumped my tires on Saturday when I dropped off the bike. I got in line to double check them but the line wasn't moving. After about 15 minutes and not one bike pumped (they mechanic was messing with someone's aero wheel and couldn't find a pump that fit it), I decided that I was fine. Put the bike back on the rack. I also dropped off bike special needs bag (my own personal donation of one tube and two CO2 cartridges to the lucky person who claimed).

Then I loaded the nutrition on the bike (two bottles of water with EFS Liquid Shot, three Clif Shot Bloks Margarita with 3x Salt, cut in half in bento) and I added two flasks of EFS-LS to my T1 bag to put in my jersey pockets. Then I went to body marking, dropped off my T1 bag and got on the bus to swim start. I got on the bus at about 5:45 arrived at swim start by about 6:00. I brought a hand towel with me to sit on and I lined up with all of the others. We were on a the Tennessee Riverwalk near the Curtain Pole Road entry point. There were zillions of port a pots and still, the lines were long long long. It was forecast to be a very hot day and I was sipping on water while I waited that, plus nerves, let me to get into this long line twice.

At 7:20, the pros started. Shortly before that, they had all of the spectators move out of the line and had us start walking towards the start, filling in the gap. When they first announced this, I pulled on my swim skin, being sure to lube the neck and pits liberally. I had no illusions about it making me fast, I just didn't want to swim in my tri shorts and a bra. I put my tee shirt and shoes in my morning cloths bag and scooted up the line with the others.

I got in the water at 7:44 am.

Even though the water temperature was 83 degrees, some people opted to wear wet suits, they were in a separate line from us. The air temperature was 66.
  • 1h 30m 39s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 09s / 100 yards

83 degree water temperature. The Tennessee River is dammed above Chattanooga and Ironman asked the Tennessee Valley Authority to please stop the flow to make the swim "fair" (see also, 116 mile bike course). TVA did make the flow minimal -- dropped to 6950 cfs for the event.

I finished the swim in 1:30 which is pretty good for me but not good among people who can actually swim well.

During the swim, I was not thrilled with my sighting. I felt like I was drifting a lot more to the right than I had intended. Looking at the GPS track, though, I think that I did fine.

I was happy that I didn't have to jump into the water but could sit and slide in. Before the race I was really nervous that I would jump in and my goggles would come off. Being able to slide in alleviated that anxiety. I was far from the only one using this technique.

There was a volunteer (race official?) at the swim start with a huge smile on his face. He told us to smile and the way he said it made everyone have a great bit smile. What a great way to start the day! I saw him again at mile 13 or so of the run and the same thing happened -- great big smile!
Transition 1
  • 13m 18s

I wore a sports bra and tri shorts under my swim skin for the swim. I dried off and added a bike jersey,. Of course socks, headweats, gloves and helmet. I shoved the two EFS flasks into my pockets and grabbed an (unplanned) Picky Bar off the table. Port-a-john stop and then on to the bike. Note that I peed like a race horse here. That level of hydration was about to change. Then I ran down the long long line of bikes, grabbed mine and I was off!
  • 6h 56m 46s
  • 116 miles
  • 16.70 mile/hr

Air temperature was about 80 when I started and it must have been maybe 9:00 in the morning. (I passed a bank with the temp, did not note if it had the time or not)

The bike at an Ironman is normally 112 miles. This bike course was 116 miles (see Tennessee River flow above with regards to "fair"). Anyway, I knew that when I signed up for it and if 112 miles included going up Lookout Mountain, I think that this was just fine. :-D

The first 10-15 miles of the bike course was very crowed. About 2500 athletes started the event and we did not get all that spread out in the swim. About seven miles into the bike, a motorcycle with a race official pulled up to me. I looked at him. He said, "You have to pass him." Meaning that I was in the prohibited draft zone and I had like 25 seconds to pass or the official would give me a penalty. I passed and kept on passing. Since the course was crowded, I could not get into a place where I had space and was not in the draft zone (6 bike lengths of clear space between bikes). Around this time, when I was riding a bit harder than I intended to just to get some space, we crossed three sets of railroad tracks. On the third set, I lost a water bottle. This is bad since that bottle had some of my nutrition in it. Ugh! I came up with a plan (two gels) to replace the calories (do not want to to start the run behind your planned calories!) and all was well. The other problem was that since I was thirsty from the swim, I had already blown through most of the water and I was 30-45 minutes from the first water stop. When I got there, I was able to grab two bottles and a gel.

After that, the bike was pretty much incident free until about mile 75 when I started to feel not myself. I knew that I really need to stay on top of my hydration because it was getting hot. Walker county Georgia seems to have a lot of cattle? Anyway, the trees were set back from the roads in most places so there was very little shade. My other concern is that I still did not have to pee and I was drinking as much as I could. About this time, I started to see cyclists walking their bikes up hills or standing in the shade.

By the mile 84 aid station, people were huddling around the aid station trying to get ice. My theory is that I should just grab water at the hand off and keep going. If I stop, there is the temptation not to restart. Just keep going. The roads were radiating heat and the bottoms of my feet started to hurt. As the ride went on, more and more people were standing by the side of the road with their bikes. After the bike I was 1379 overall. I passed 718 on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 11m 22s

I was so glad to get out of my bike shoes! I changed from a bike jersey (bigger pockets) to my club tri top and wiped my face with a wash cloth. A volunteer gave me a cup of ice water and I had that. I walked to the end of the transition area to make the most of the ice and started to run.
  • 4h 58m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 23s  min/mile

It was just hot. The run is two laps with an aid station every mile. My plan was to run to the first aid station, get water and walk while I drank it and then run to the next aid station. The walking of the aid stations is the reward for running between.

Before the race, my plan was to have a water and a gel and the first aid station and then water only until the fifth where I would get another gel. It was so hot, though, that the thought of a gel -- well, it would be choking down the gel. I knew that I needed liquids more than anything so I changed up my plan to a water and a Coke each aid station. I kept that up really well for the first lap.

I started to fall apart a bit at mile 11 but held it together until about mile 16 and then decided that walking hills was not a bad plan. I did not use run special needs. It really helped to know that I would see Kevin at mile 13 -- smile for the camera!

At the very end of the run, you turn left for the finish or right for another lap. A volunteer was there and asked if we were on lap 2. There were about five of us in the general area. We all said yes. She said, "I'm sorry but you did not make the time cutoff for the second lap." We were all like, we're going to the finish! (It was about 9:30 and people had until 12:15 or so to finish!). I passed 657 people on the run and finished 41st in my age group and 722 overall.

I finished about 20 minutes after my estimated time. I was very pleased with that though since the weather was so miserable. On Monday night, I was looking at some race stuff online and people were talking about the DNF (did not finish) rate. It was the second highest DNF rate ever. 25.6% of people who started the swim did not finish the event. Typically the expect about 5% to DNF.
Post race
Warm down:

Medal, tee shirt, hat, warm water. I found Kevin and he had to ask were the food was because apparently I looked like I needed something. I had a bit of pizza, a bit of diet Coke, some chips. Kevin took a few photos and we headed back to the room.

Event comments:

The volunteers and specators in Chattanooga are among the best of any of the races I have done. Even in the heat they were enthusiastic, supportive.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-09-22 12:00 AM
01:30:39 | 4224 yards | 02m 09s / 100yards
Age Group: 160/198
Overall: 2097/2739
Suit: Roka Viper Elite Swimskin
Course: Point to point downriver from Curtain Pole to Ross's Landing. TT start from pier (no diving allowed)
Start type: Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 83F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 13:18
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:56:46 | 116 miles | 16.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 85/198
Overall: 1379/2739
Course: 12 mile out, then 46 mile loop x 2, and back in the 12 mile segment. Rolling hills throughout. The only memorable hills are at Hog Jowl and coming out of Chigamauga after special needs.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 11:22
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:58:13 | 26.2 miles | 11m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 41/198
Overall: 722/2739
Course: 8 mile loop along the river, and then a 5 mile loop over the river and through a very hilly neighborhood. Repeated it twice.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-10-13 1:12 PM

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: Ironman Chattanooga

2016-10-13 1:40 PM
in reply to: #5201785

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Very well managed given the miserable conditions of the day!!  Congratulations on toughing it out & thinking through your logistical stuff with the nutrition and walking portions.

2016-10-13 1:47 PM
in reply to: #5201785

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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Congrats on finishing your first 144.6! You took what the conditions gave you and made several really good decisions. Your training may have gotten you far, but it sounds like your brain is what gave you such a great finish on such a tough day! Well done!

Also...I must tease you about a little typo: I'm sure you actually wiped your face in T2, but reading that you whipped yourself in the face with a washcloth had me actually laughing at my desk at the mental image! :D
2016-10-13 1:51 PM
in reply to: Atlantia

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Originally posted by Atlantia Congrats on finishing your first 144.6! You took what the conditions gave you and made several really good decisions. Your training may have gotten you far, but it sounds like your brain is what gave you such a great finish on such a tough day! Well done! Also...I must tease you about a little typo: I'm sure you actually wiped your face in T2, but reading that you whipped yourself in the face with a washcloth had me actually laughing at my desk at the mental image! :D

Whipped / wiped.  At that point, I'm not sure I would have noticed the difference!  ;-)

2016-10-13 2:12 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Janyne, you always amaze me with your solid performances and finishes and good attitude.  BIG congrats on surviving the heat and the (incorrect?) volunteer telling you that you didn't make the time cutoff?  What was that all about?!  Great placement overall and in your AG - you were picking off people left and right on the bike and swim! 


Edited by melbo55 2016-10-13 2:13 PM
2016-10-13 2:15 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Originally posted by melbo55

Janyne, you always amaze me with your solid performances and finishes and good attitude.  BIG congrats on surviving the heat and the (incorrect?) volunteer telling you that you didn't make the time cutoff?  That just doesn't sound right - you finished with plenty of time left - good job not listening to her!  


The cutoff thing was for the starting the second lap but we were all finishing the second lap.  The way that she asked the question (and probably the way we were thinking) made all of the us in the area momentarily confused.  She said something like, "Are you on the second lap?"  We all thought, "Why yes we are (and we are heading to the finish)."  She thought she was asking if we had 13 more miles to go but we really had .1 mile to go.

2016-10-13 2:40 PM
in reply to: #5201785

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Wow that sounds like a challenging day!

Those bike starts are frustrating. I'm surprised the official singled you out. When I did Oside we were just too crowded to single out any one person. IMChoo sounds very similar.

Glad you kept at it and successfully finished another IM!!!!

2016-10-13 3:30 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

Wow, awesome job out there - definitely not for the faint of heart and it seems you still had enough brain power in that heat to make good decisions on nutrition and even on not stopping! 

First officially branded ironman! though you were one long before this! 

2016-10-13 4:41 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Wow, congratulations! Way to finish strong and great result!
2016-10-13 6:21 PM
in reply to: TXTriRook

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Tyrone, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Congratulations on the finish!
2016-10-14 5:10 AM
in reply to: #5201785

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Great report to go with the great race you did in those tough conditions! Well done on overcoming them and having a great race!

2016-10-14 2:03 PM
in reply to: #5201785

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga

As you know, I was stalking this race and cannot believe how miserable the weather was for the racers!  To finish so close to your goal time given the heat is amazing.  I'm sure WTC has its reasons, but I still don't understand why they only allow 16.15 hrs for this 144.6 race!

Congratulations again on such a great race

2016-10-14 2:35 PM
in reply to: amd723

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
I had heard it was unbearably hot - you are the toughest chica I know! Way to go!

I'm also in awe of your ability to adjust the plan on the fly - that's so important in these long races. Well done!!
2016-10-16 7:52 PM
in reply to: 0

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga
Wow, nice work JANYNE! Way to tough it out!

Edited by reecealan 2016-10-16 7:53 PM
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