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Delaware DIAMONDMAN® TRIATHLON - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Bear, Delaware
United States
Piranha Sports
Total Time = 6h 24m 54s
Overall Rank = 294/367
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Arrived Saturday, picked up race packet and attended first timer meeting. Found out that they had no lifeguard and were now not going to allow a practice swim. That was a real bummer, I got there good and early so that I could try to get used to the water and hopefully do away with the OWS freak outs that I have been experiencing.

I drove the bike course. About 20 minutes into the drive I realized that yes, this would be a long bike ride! I tried to check out the run course on the path by the canal, but there was some type of military training exercise going on and the soldiers running around with assault rifles encouraged me to keep away.

The pasta dinner was cancelled so I found a local Italian restaurant and had a plate of pasta. Was in bed and asleep by 9:00pm. It was great at the hotel, everyone there was in the race and the place was dead quiet by 8:00pm.

Up at 3:50am to eat a pb&j sandwich, my secret weapon! It had worked great for me in training. Went back to bed and kind of half slept until 5:00am. Loaded up the car and headed to the race.
Event warmup:

This was my first HIM and I was nervous. I went into my last race, an Olympic, feeling really confident and ready to go. I was not feeling that way for this race. I arrived at the race and started unloading my gear to head to the transition area. I got really flustered and dropped my bike. I don't know what happened; I just wasn't thinking and let go of it for a moment and down it went. It looked like no damage was done, but I think something happened to my front derailleur; the chain popped off a couple of times during the race.

Set up my transition area and waited in line for one of the too few porta-potties. Attended race meeting, national anthem and headed down to the water.
  • 38m 55s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 01s / 100 meters

I am a strong swimmer, but have experienced mild panic attacks/freak outs in my previous open water swims. I headed into this swim with the goal to keep calm and not worry about time.

And it worked! I had such an amazing swim. I kept calm and found a comfortable pace early. I didn't let the little bit of bumping around at the beginning bother me. I even found a couple pair of feet and drafted for part of the swim.

I actually enjoyed the scenery on both sides of the lake as I was turning to breath. I felt great and could have easily gone another hour at this pace.

I left the water feeling great and at 36 minutes, 4 minutes ahead of my 40 minute goal.

It looks like the official time for the swim includes the .4 mile run to transition.
What would you do differently?:

I could have tried harder to draft more.
Transition 1
  • 04m 12s

There was a .4 mile run up a dirt/rock path from the water exit to the transition. I was not slow, but did take my time in transition. This was going to be a long day and I wanted to get everything right.
What would you do differently?:

I could have picked up the pace a little bit.
  • 3h 11m 37s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.54 mile/hr

The bike is my weakest sport, but I had a plan for pacing and nutrition and stuck with the plan.

My pacing plan was:
Miles 1-10 - Top of zone 1
Miles 11-20 - Low zone 2
Miles 20-56 - Mid-High zone 2

I was able to stick with the plan and it worked. I started at a pretty slow pace and was passed by a lot of people. But had a lot of energy towards the end of the bike and was passing several of the people that had hammered by me earlier.

I did have some problems with nutrition. I had trained without problems with everything I was doing in the race, but my stomach was not cooperating and I had a hard time keeping anything down. I worked on my bottles of Sustained Energy/Heed, Endurolytes, water, gatorade and gel.

By mile 40 my stomach was hurting and I was getting some weird pains in my back and sides, especially when I was in the aero position. I stopped at a porta-potty and urinated for an incredible period of time. Hey, at least I knew that I was not dehydrated! I got back on the bike and felt like a new man. Most of the discomfort I was feeling was coming from really needing to go to the bathroom. Duh!

The last 10 miles of the bike I was feeling really good. I was excited to have the bike finished and felt like I was prepared to have a strong run.
What would you do differently?:

I need to ride a lot more. I did not get in as much biking as I should have before this race.
Transition 2
  • 02m 50s

It felt like a pretty good transition. I did not rush, but moved quickly and stayed calm.
  • 2h 28m 11s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 19s  min/mile

I left the transition area feeling really good. I had the normal pain in my legs from the transition from the bike to the run. Most of it went away during the first mile like it usually does, but my hips and thighs continued to hurt the entire run and that was new to me.

I went into the run with a plan that I had been training with and felt really good about. I even wrote it on the back of my bib# with a Sharpie so that I would not forget it while running. It was:

Miles 1-3 - Low zone 2 - 9:30 - 10:00 pace
Miles 4-10 - Mid-high zone 2 - 9:00 - 9:30 pace
Miles 11-13 - Forget the HR and let it go

I had practiced a couple of long bricks with this plan and felt like I could do it on race day, but it did not work out that way.

It was not extremely hot out, but running in the sun with no shade next to the water felt really, really hot. My thighs were also hurting and I was having a hard time keeping my HR down. By mile 4 I knew that I was going to have to slow down to keep my HR under control and to save some energy for the end of the race.

I started walking the aid stations drinking a cup of gatorade and dumping a cup of water on my head at each one. I followed my nutrition plan and took 2 endurolytes every hour and had a gel every 45-60 minutes.

I watched my pace drop from 10 to 11 to 12 to 13 minutes as I moved along. It was frustrating because I can easily run 9:00 minute miles in a stand-alone 1/2 marathon. When I reached the turnaround after mile 7, we were running back into a little breeze.

Just that gentle breeze made a huge difference in cooling me down. I was able to pick up the pace and get back down to 11 minute miles. I got into a nice groove and finished the second half of the run at a steady pace.

Somewhere along the way after the turn around the miles got mismarked. I know that I saw two miles both marked 9. This threw me off a bit because I thought that I was a mile further along than I was. Not long after that a volunteer sent me up the wrong trail. It was poorly marked and a big group of us headed up this thing. About 1/3 mile up we saw an aid station through the woods on the path below us. Oops. I eventually found an opening in the woods and kind of crashed back down to the correct trail. The rest of the group stayed on the trail and it intersected back with the correct trail a few minutes later. I figure that I lost a couple of minutes and the rest of the group an additional minute or two. We all also missed a much needed aid station.

I caught up with Jim from New Jersey, someone that I had met at the beginning of the run, but lost when I started slowing down. We started chatting and pulled each other along the last 2 miles.

My wife and kids were at the finish line holding a big sign that they had made for me and it just felt so great to see them.
What would you do differently?:

I think that a lack of miles on the bike is what ended up hurting my run. I need more time on the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

I did a little stretching, but was feeling nauseous. I laid down in the shade for about 20 minutes and tried not to throw up. I eventually got up and tried to eat something, but the sandwiches they were serving were drowning in mayonnaise. I had a few chips and gave up on the food thing.

I wanted to just sit for a while longer, but the kids were getting restless. I cannot blame them; 6+ hours of hanging out waiting for me could not have been easy.

I gathered up my stuff and we headed back to our cars. As I was loading up, I finally got to meet another BT'er, oceanannie. Christine, sorry I wasn't more talkative; the kids were ready to go and I was still trying to not throw up.

Funny side note: we took the kids to McDonalds as a treat for being so good hanging out at the race all day. There was another family with young kids who's father had also been in the race that was doing the same thing. It must have been a funny site, two dads slumped over their tables while their kids were eating.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

While the run did not go as planned, I am still happy with the fact that I finished this race. 14 months ago I could not run 2 miles.

Not that I didn't before, but I have so much respect for everyone that competes in events like this. The athletes that make this look easy are amazing and the athletes that struggle to make it in under the cutoff time are equally as amazing.

It is the day after the race and although I feel sore, and I mean really sore, I feel great overall and full of energy.

Event comments:

This was my first HIM, so I have no other experience with a race this size to compare it to. I will say that compared to the Olympic and Sprint tris I have experienced, this one was less organized.

Volunteers at any race are fantastic, but this race was on Sunday afternoon of the opening week of football. These volunteers rocked. Enough said.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-04-28 12:00 AM
00:38:55 | 1931 meters | 02m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 138/367
Performance: Good
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:12
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:11:37 | 56 miles | 17.54 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 298/367
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:50
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
02:28:11 | 13.1 miles | 11m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 279/367
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2006-09-12 10:23 AM

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Northern VA

2006-09-12 10:55 AM
in reply to: #537764

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Reston VA

Great race report!

It looks like we all noticed the race mistake on the run with 2 9 mile markers, except for the race organizers!

Wasn't that breeze amazing at the turn around point? It was just enough for me to pick up the pace too

2006-09-12 11:12 AM
in reply to: #537764

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Centreville, MD
It's cracking me up reading everyone's report on the now infamous mile marker #9.  Congratulations on your first Half Ironman!!
2006-09-12 2:12 PM
in reply to: #537764

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Wye Mills, MD
Congrats on your first HIM! I can't believe you got sent up the wrong path. That on top of two mile 9's. That snafu deflated quite a few people.
2006-09-12 3:11 PM
in reply to: #537764

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Vienna, VA

Congrats on your first HIM!  Awesome report too.  Sounds like the folks who organized Diamondman need to take lessons from better organized events!

In the FWIW column, I just signed up for my first HIM, Eagleman, so I'll be in the same boat, only about 9 months behind you...

Great job on finishing! 

2006-09-12 8:39 PM
in reply to: #537764

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Royersford, PA
Good job. Now that you got that first HIM out of the way what are you going to do for an encore. Sorry to hear about the run course mix up. How could the volunteers suddenly forget the course after 2 hour being out there?

2006-09-13 9:06 AM
in reply to: #537764

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Middletown, DE
Great job on your 1st HIM.

That was definitely me you were talking to on the run course going up the wrong trail. I was thinking of following you down the woods to get back on track but I couldn't find a good opening.

Great write-up and awesome job going from 2 miles to HIM in just 14 months. Now that is tremendous determination and dedication.
2006-09-13 9:46 AM
in reply to: #537764


hey, nice race. It was also my first half and I thought I would be fine, but at 5:30 with three miles to go, I just suddenly had the urge to go lie down in the tall grass. The double mile 9 markers were just horrible, how do you do that?
2006-09-22 7:14 PM
in reply to: #537764

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WTG Bill! What a great accomplishment doing a HIM! Your fmily must be very proud!

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