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Ironman 70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge - Triathlon

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Roanoke, Virginia
United States
90F / 32C
Total Time = 5h 53m 17s
Overall Rank = 285/1379
Age Group = 55-59m
Age Group Rank = 14/103
Pre-race routine:

IMVBR was a first year race..

I drove to Roanoke a couple of days before the race. Cool town, kind of like an undiscovered Asheville. I drove the bike course to get a look at the big climb.

It's a point to point race - you shuttle to the swim start from T2. Day started quite early; I had to be atT1 at 4am and I was awake at 1am, so held off eating until I was at the swim start with an hour to kill.
Event warmup:

Eating stuff while waiting..
  • 38m 29s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

I only started going back to the pool in late April. My training goal was a pretty low bar: make sure I could cover the distance. Done. And the result reflects that exactly..

It was a 4 person at a time time trial start off of a dock. Worked perfectly well and the start line moved steadily. I seeded myself with the 35-39 minute group. Nothing much report about the effort; it felt like I was all over the course but probably not horrible since there wasn't much chop and only a few swells towards the end. I couldn't stay on anyone's feet consistently but at least made attempts as a few faster swimmers went past. Finished the segment ready to be out of the water but not totally gassed either.
What would you do differently?:

Probably work a little harder in training. I don't know, does anyone else think that helps?
Transition 1
  • 05m 25s

Getting my wetsuit off was a great comedy. Completely stuck on my heels and no amount of cursing at the time the damn thing was costing me was making a difference. In reality, probably cost about one minute but it seemed like ten.

The bike exit was a surprise: the mount line comes well after you exit the swim corral and run up a short but wicked hill. Lots of 'WTF's?' from the people around me.
What would you do differently?:

Bring back the strippers!
  • 3h 03m 48s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.28 mile/hr

I'm in better run shape than bike; my plan was to save myself for a strong split off the bike, so I deliberately took it easy until the climb at mile 23-ish. Once on the 'Claw', I was going about as hard as I could(really not much choice) and hoping not to burn all the matches. It's 5 or so miles at average 7% grade with some pitches in the low teens. No one was in anything but their lowest gear and I stopped scrounging for an easier one after a couple of miles. People walking towards the top. The hill summits about a mile on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was closed for the race(now there's something you don't see every day). Continued rollers until a long descent and then more rollers into Roanoke. Reader's Digest version: the course is tough but not hysterically so. The views on the BRP are just awesome even when you're catching your breath from the climb. A true signature experience and very different from the ordinary. Well done, RD.
What would you do differently?:

I had a plan to ease up and I was mindful of my nutrition. I executed the plan, BUT...(see run comments)
Transition 2
  • 03m 57s

I decided to give the hammies a stretch. LOL - cramp city!
  • 2h 01m 38s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 17s  min/mile

It was hot. Legs felt pretty good out of the chute but within a couple of miles the run became an exercise in walking as little as possible. I passed lots of people, especially on the second loop but it's not like I was covering myself in run split glory. I had expected sub1:50 and had a wishing-for-a-pony dream about sub1:45 but neither was to be. I remain optimistic about achieving those results at my next 70.3 in Oct where it's not likely going to be so soul-crushingly hot.

The course was very nice; the segments on the run path were congested but overall I thought there was enough variation in the scenery to keep things fun.
What would you do differently?:

Slowest run split in a while but legs definitely trained up to go faster so no regrets. It was all left on the course..

Oh, yeah..I got a slot to the 70.3 WC's in St George. There was a HUGE allocation of spots so my 14th place didn't even need a roll-down. I did not take the spot; I'm already racing in North Carolina in Oct and the idea of going out West to get my hat handed to me in an absurdly fast field has minimal appeal. Still, it'll be nice to say I qualified..once.
Post race
Warm down:

Took me a while to collect myself..

Event comments:

First year race came off beautifully, thanks to the awesome volunteers. Challenging race compared to the flat courses I've done recently and it was a welcome difference.

Last updated: 2020-01-13 12:00 AM
00:38:29 | 2112 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/103
Overall: 0/1379
Performance: Average
Suit: sleeveless
Course: Triangle in Roanoke's reservoir. No swimming there ever before this race.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder: Average
Breathing: Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 05:25
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:03:48 | 56 miles | 18.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 21/103
Overall: 333/1379
Performance: Average
Course: Point:Point. Net descent until the base of the big climb(named the Claw. I don't know why; probably 'Crusher of PR dreams' is more apropos to triathletes). Rolling to Roanoke thereafter.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:57
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:01:38 | 13.1 miles | 09m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/103
Overall: 299/1379
Performance: Average
Course: Two loops off/on a running path, more rolling than flat, shade here and there
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
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

2021-06-11 9:12 AM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Gold member
Subject: Ironman 70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge

2021-06-14 12:02 PM
in reply to: #5276567

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge

Great race and expectation management, sounds like a Savageman Lite.

2021-06-15 7:04 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Atlanta, Georgia
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge
Originally posted by jmhpsu93

Great race and expectation management, sounds like a Savageman Lite.

Ha! Maybe 'Savageman, Very, Very Lite'..I know that race is a real booger.
2021-06-22 5:13 AM
in reply to: #5276567

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South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 Virginia's Blue Ridge
great race!! hills can sap the run for sure and that likely had something to do with it, but so great to be back racing...

you MUST do savageman-it's a bucket list phenomenon

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