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Ironman 70.3 North Carolina - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
63F / 17C
Total Time = 6h 15m 3s
Overall Rank = 424/1057
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 77/127
Pre-race routine:

This was a very spread out race! I got dressed and ate my first breakfast at the hotel and headed downtown to park and catch the shuttle. I had to leave around 4:30 to get parking and walk to the shuttle for T1. I filled up my bottles, checked the tires and then had to sit around and wait until the shuttle to the swim start opened up for the half at 6:45. This was definitely the longest wait ever since I wasn't going to get into the water until 8:45!
Event warmup:

I just tried to stay warm and save energy. It was a very chilly and windy morning!
I was able to hide in the change tent in T1 until about 7:30 and then hop the shuttle over to the swim start. Because we couldn't get into the water early, there wasn't much to do for warming up.
  • 34m 6s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 37s / 100 yards

The first leg of the swim is down the main channel and ridiculously fast! That said, once you make the first left turn, the waves are actually coming across your body from left to right and it becomes more difficult. This was my first time swimming in salt water and is definitely a different experience!
Not a fan of the swim exit. They have ladders set up off of a dock that you have to climb up to get out. I had to wait behind a few other people for a ladder to open up and that affected my time!
By the time I exited the water, I felt like I had been sucking on a salt lick for the last 30 minutes!
What would you do differently?:

I was happy with my swim. I had no real expectations because of the different information I got from many previous racers. Personally, I think the current assist is over rated.
Transition 1
  • 08m 54s

Oh my god, this was a LONG transition! From the dock exit, you round the building, run up the parking lot, across a 4 lane road and then into T1, grab your gear bag and into the change tent. I did like the warm water "shower" that they had set up to run through and wash off the salt water!

I feel that the combined race made for an overly large transition that again impacted my time. I know I moved as fast as possible through the area, but it was just so large from end to end...
What would you do differently?:

If I do this race again, I will place some flip flops somewhere by the swim exit. That was a very long run over rough pavement and really hurt my feet.
  • 3h 06m 39s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.00 mile/hr

Well, with my lack of overall training, I had no real expectations of the course. I did know it would be tough with the windy conditions, but wanted to try and balance bike effort so as not to burn out my legs.
The course is so flat! There were some "elevations", but otherwise the only hills were crossing a couple bridges.
I did really well for the first 25 miles and maintained about 19MPH. Then we hit the loop and turned directly into the teeth of the wind for the next 15 miles. Ouch! My speed just plummeted and it killed my pace. Looking at my split, I ended up with a 17.3 avg for the first 39 miles.
Then at mile 40, we got to turn back and ride the wind into the finish! For the last section, I averaged 19.8 miles, so that should give an idea of the wind. I would like to think I could/should have gone even faster, but my training gaps were showing through. My legs and back were tiring and I just wanted to get done...

Not a fan of the finish, they ended the bike on a downhill. It was a dangerous place to stop and I almost wrecked into a guy that slammed his brakes right in front of me!
What would you do differently?:

Do more flat training, just turning the crank...
Transition 2
  • 06m 45s

Again, the sheer size of the transition was brutal for timing. I did appreciate being able to hand my bike off to a volunteer and grab my bag.
I did a quick job of switching shoes, grabbing my bib belt and visor. I truly wasted no time in the transition area, but when I look at the time from start to finish, I think it reflects how big the area truly was.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I can't make the T2 smaller, and otherwise it was probably my fastest transition ever in terms of bike hand off, changing gear and running out!
  • 2h 18m 39s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 35s  min/mile

So let me start by saying that I have not run a half marathon since 2015. I have not completed a run portion of a 70.3 without walking since 2014. I have almost always gotten cramps in my calves somewhere along the way and then forced to walk, so my biggest goal was to just keep running (except for the aid stations)! Didn't matter the pace, just keep a running motion and not walk unless it was within the boundaries of the aid station.
This was a beautiful run course and the weather was just about perfect! I did keep my goal of running the entire course. It certainly wasn't pretty and definitely wasn't fast, but I was still personally satisfied knowing that I maintained my goal and kept the legs moving. The mental aspect kicked in from mile 9-11 because I had not done any running over 6 miles all season. I just kept telling myself that nothing was injured, I was just tired and of course it's supposed to hurt...
What would you do differently?:

I would like to get back to that stronger, faster runner I used to be
Post race
Warm down:

Because of time constraints, my warm down consisted of walking to the bag drop to collect my morning bag and T1 bag. Then a walk to the car to drop those and head over to T2 for my bike and T2 bag. Changed clothes in the change tent there (thank god for warm, dry clothes!), walked back to my car to load the bike and then head out of town!

I tried to grab and eat a piece of pizza before I left, but my stomach wasn't interested.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My level of training

Event comments:

Given that this is the first year IM has handled this race, I am sure they will improve. That being said, there is a reason why they don't usually combine both distances into a single event. I'm sure that when this was an independent event, the number of competitors was much less and then could pull it off. To give you an idea, when I was done, my garmin showed over 2 extra miles of race! That is how big the transition areas were...
They needed to have at least one additional aid station on the bike course. The first one wasn't until the halfway point and that's just too far. Especially when they advertised them to be more frequent.
They need to step it up regarding post race food. There wasn't much to choose from if your stomach can't handle greasy pizza...

Last updated: 2016-04-19 12:00 AM
00:34:06 | 2112 yards | 01m 37s / 100yards
Age Group: 62/127
Overall: 407/1057
Performance: Average
Suit: sleeveless
Course: point to point swim in the intra coastal waters. First leg was directly with the current and very fast, then a left turn into another channel. With the turn, the waves came across from left to right
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:54
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:06:39 | 56 miles | 18.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 75/127
Overall: 377/1057
Performance: Average
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Point to point ride. Very flat with a few, minor "elevations". There were a handful of sections that forced you to deal with the wind, with the biggest being the loop from mile 25-40 heading straight into the wind!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:45
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:18:39 | 13.1 miles | 10m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 77/127
Overall: 423/1057
Performance: Good
Course: Single loop out and back. Fairly well shaded with a few hills. the final half mile has a lot of tight turns that are really painful on the legs
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
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] 3

2016-10-24 11:11 AM

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New user

Greensboro, North Carolina
Subject: Ironman 70.3 North Carolina

2016-10-24 2:03 PM
in reply to: #5202802

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 North Carolina
Congrats on your race! It was a tough day in that the wind played a big part for the first two legs of the race. Once rounding the buoy, it was a lot harder to breathe and maintain a rhythm. As for the bike...harsh. Toughest conditions I've ever experienced. Good job on the run for the amount of training you've put in there!
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