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Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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St. Joseph - Benton Harbor, MI
United States
72-8F / 0C
Total Time = 6h 32m 1s
Overall Rank = 228/320
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:00 am. Glazed donut, gatorade, coffee. To transition area at 5.
Event warmup:

Just stretching.
  • 44m 10s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 05s / 100 yards

Sun coming up made it very difficult to see. was right in my line of sight, reflecting off the water.
What would you do differently?:

Practice more in open water.

Remember to put bandaids on nips before the start.
Transition 1
  • 04m 31s

LONGGGGGGG run from beach to transition area maybe 1/4 mile or so. Took chip off to get wetsuit off. Struggled (a lot) with getting my shirt pulled down over my back, maybe gels twisted in back pockets. Had to run barefoot with bike to paved mount area to avoid getting grass, mud sand in cleats.
What would you do differently?:

PUT MY TIMING CHIP ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Noticed about 10 miles in bike that I didn't have it - uh-oh.

Take off watch put on Garmin before getting on bike.

Practice, practice, practice.
  • 3h 12m 30s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.45 mile/hr

Messed too much with watch/Garmin forerunner in 1st mile. Ended up dropping my watch (didn't go back)

Bad feeling to realize you're probably gonna get disqualified for not having your timing chip.

Struggled with hills, was pushing hard. Bikers whizzing by me. I'm questioning how I'm working my ass off, and these people are still flying by. It looks like we're pedalling about same cadence. of course a lot of them had disc wheels, 3 spokes, ie much more expensive bikes than me - Its gotta be the bike, right??? (lol). Happy with my speed - bettered my goal, but think the work on the hills cost me on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Find a way to do hill training.
Train for more speed - goal of 20 mph.
Take off watch, put on Garmin before I leave
Transition 2
  • 03m 28s

Had to ask race director about consequences of forgetting my chip in T-1. His reply "Awwwww, well go ahead and put it on and do the run, you'll be disqualified anyway". Well, thanks a lot.

Quick stop at port-a-john.
What would you do differently?:

Not have to take time to talk to race director!!!

Other than that it was pretty good - forgot bandaids for nips (again)!
  • 2h 27m 32s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 16s  min/mile

Walked thru aid stations (longer walks after mile 6, longer and longer).
I think I used too much legs on bike. Was under 10 min pace till mile 7. After that the longer walks thru aid stations really slowed my times.

I will blame some of my slowness on the thought that I was gonna be DQ'd anyway, although thats not a good excuse.
What would you do differently?:

Work for more strength to finish off a run. (Upper body -lats and delts - get very sore and tired.

Need to work on MENTAL aspect-to not quit on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Talked to head referee - as long as I had chip at start and finish, he didn't care - NO disqualification, I'm an official finisher - YIPPEEE!

Some stretching, a lot of moaning and groaning.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Just ME.

I finished my first 1/2 IM ever, and first tri in 17 years. Close to my overall goal time, although the run fell short of my expectations. To get better, need more speed on the bike + hill work, and more mental fortitude to keep running.

Event comments:

Great organization and volunteers. I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a 1/2 IM in Michigan next summer. Beautiful beach area for family too, while you're racing.

Last updated: 2004-08-02 12:00 AM
00:44:10 | 2112 yards | 02m 05s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/320
Performance: Average
Course: Pier start, one-way, parallel to beach
Start type: Dive Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:31
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Bad
03:12:30 | 56 miles | 17.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/320
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Very hilly in first 20 miles. Then very hilly between 40-51.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:28
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:27:32 | 13.1 miles | 11m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/320
Performance: Below average
Course: Some hills-massive uphill at mile 1, not much shade. (Very sunny day)
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2004-08-02 11:56 AM

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Northern VA
Subject: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon

2004-08-02 12:19 PM
in reply to: #42598

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San Diego
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon
Great race report. That must have been a sickening feeling thinking you did all that training and then get DQ'd. Your race times are great especially for your first tri in 17 years! You will definitely be ready for your IM.
2004-08-02 2:10 PM
in reply to: #42598

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Adrian, MI
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon
I'll have my report up from this race later in the week...a good race, like Gary said. Also got the chance to meet and talk with Gary - a great guy - before and after the race.
2004-08-02 5:07 PM
in reply to: #42598


Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon

You rock!!! congratulations. I am planning for my .5 IM in October.

2004-08-02 5:16 PM
in reply to: #42598

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Berkeley, CA
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon
and here's my 'hoody-hoo' from California. I stole it from Nancy (crpadiem) but I don't think she'll mind!

2004-08-02 6:47 PM
in reply to: #42598

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Extreme Veteran
Seattle, WA
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon
Congrats on the accomplishment Gary!!! That's great that you were an "official" finisher, but what drama until then!!! I had to re-read your pre-race ate a glazed donut? Lucky soul... :-)

Hip-hip-horray for Gary!!

2004-08-03 7:38 AM
in reply to: #42598

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Extreme Veteran
windsor, ontario
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon
Great job...wrote down your 'lessons', and will take them to lansing...Awesome splits, give me something to shoot for...congratulations, well done

2004-08-03 1:05 PM
in reply to: #42598

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Whirlpool Steelhead Triathlon
Thanks for the kudo's guys (& gals). I REALLLLLLLLYYYY do appreciate it. I have some pics I'd like to post but can't figure out how to do it - it keeps telling me they are too big??

Daryl, I'm still thinking about doing Lansing. Depends on whether sanity leaves me again. Good luck - I'll let you know if I'm going.

Edited by glf33 2004-08-03 1:06 PM
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