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Ironman North Carolina 70.3 - Triathlon

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Wilmington, North Carolina
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 07m 27s
Overall Rank = 278/2036
Age Group = 55-59m
Age Group Rank = 14/148
Pre-race routine:

My 11th time at this race(combination of the full and the half) and includes one DNF..Arrived in Wilmington Thursday and took care of the pre-race stuff. I was surprised at how thin the crowd was at check-in since all of the deferrals from the previous year meant it was supposed to be a crowded field. We were traveling with friends and I got to show off downtown Wilmington which has grown into a really cool area.
  • 30m 43s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 27s / 100 yards

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War..

I always try to maximize the benefit of the current by getting into the middle of the channel but the wildcard year to year is the placement of the buoys. I think I overcooked the middle of the channel gambit because I wound up swimming slightly against the current to get aligned with the buoys.. In any case, another fast swim at NC, water temp felt perfect to me, and minimal contact with other swimmers. After the usual pre-race nerves, it's so great to be in the water and making quick work of the first part of the day..
What would you do differently?:

Not swallow any salt water. None. Yuck..
Transition 1
  • 07m 23s

It's a bit of a hike to T1 but leaving some flip-flops to run on the pavement really helps. I had one side of the wetsuit get hung up on my ankle - 15 or 20 seconds of my life I'll never get back again..otherwise, tolerably efficient transition.
  • 2h 37m 4s
  • 57.65 miles
  • 22.02 mile/hr

I deliberately laid off the pace for 40 miles so I could finally do the run segment some justice; mission accomplished. Counting the extra mile and change, I held 22mph but it was probably around 20mph until the last third. It was much less breezy than usual but even a small tailwind definitely speeds things up. My adjusted split was pretty close to times I was getting over 10 years ago and did it without over-cooking my legs.

There was a typical amount of intermittent congestion, complete with grupettos of 4-10 working together.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know..when you're trying to lay off the pace, there's a risk of overdoing it. If there was any more speed to be had from the bike, i should have worried about it then...
Transition 2
  • 03m 36s

Tolerably efficient..
What would you do differently?:

Have the gods of balance grace me with the ability to stay standing while I'm changing shoes?
  • 1h 48m 42s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 18s  min/mile

I had just the one goal: do the run course a little, teensie-tiny bit of justice. Legs felt ok off the bike, I went through the first four in under 31minutes, lost some steam at the turn, and held on to the finish. Dreams of olympic laurels and standing ovations doth not grace this result but compared to some of my recent efforts, it's a step in the right direction.

The run course is where you have the most interaction with volunteers and bless their cheerful hearts..they really make the day. Thanks to you all. Also, I will always love the very brief conversations I always have with other runners; one guy I was keeping pace with stuffed like 8 gel packs at an aid station into his pockets when we only had two miles to finish. That was good for some back and forth all the way to the end..

My wife and our friends were waiting close to the finish and it was great having the team to lean on as I was trying to get my stuff organized after the race.
What would you do differently?:

Based on current fitness, I think there was, maybe, 30 secs or a minute of additional speed in there. IOW, not enough to worry about. Finished the day carrying my shield, not being carried on it, so that's a win.
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

The two most destructive forces in the Universe: Sugar and Regret

Anyhoo, my goal at IM events is top 10% for AG - done. A podium is never going to happen because there are some fellows who are still absurdly strong and are defying the crushing realities of aging. Measured by my results from earlier years, I'm more or less holding serve with races from a decade ago and I freely admit that's a feelgood. On to the next one..

Event comments:

I think NC70.3 compares well to any race I've done. Right time of year, welcoming host city that's a cool place to hang out once the race is done..

Last updated: 2020-01-13 12:00 AM
00:30:43 | 2112 yards | 01m 27s / 100yards
Age Group: 42/148
Overall: 752/2036
Performance: Average
Suit: sleeveless
Course: Starts on the island side of Wrightsville Beach and ends at a marina. The race date is roughly timed to take advantage of incoming tides so getting 20% faster swim splits is common. They have always said you could put an empty bag of Doritos in the water at the start and it would float fast enough to make the cut-off..
Start type: Wade Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 07:23
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:37:04 | 57.65 miles | 22.02 mile/hr
Age Group: 19/148
Overall: 279/2036
Course: Measures long by 1.65 miles - the finisher's medal says so, too.. Lollipop shape route away from the beach to Downtown and then out into the country. This year's course goes against the traffic for 15 miles until it heads north on a 4 lane. Long stretches of recent pavement work but around the RR tracks you'd have yard sales of biking stuff(bottles, gel packs). It's a coastal area so not completely flat but close, and the wind is usually the big challenge in these parts.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:36
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:48:42 | 13.1 miles | 08m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 16/148
Overall: 313/2036
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back through the historic district to a park and around its lake. Mostly flat..
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2021-10-29 10:04 AM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Gold member
Subject: Ironman North Carolina 70.3

2021-11-06 3:00 PM
in reply to: #5278596

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman North Carolina 70.3

Good (and well executed)race and thanks for the write up!


2022-10-13 4:27 AM
in reply to: #5278596

Extreme Veteran
Wilmington, NC
Subject: RE: Ironman North Carolina 70.3
Thanks for the race report! I am doing this race for the first time this weekend! I am nervous about the swim but I am sure it will be fine!

You did great the year you did it!
2022-10-19 5:52 PM
in reply to: #5278596

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Subject: RE: Ironman North Carolina 70.3
Great job and congratulations to you!
This one is on my bucket list, love the area.
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