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Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Kohala Coast, Hawaii
United States
Ford Ironman World Championship
80F / 27C
Total Time = 6h 13m 27s
Overall Rank = 479/958
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 23/41
Pre-race routine:

I got up at 5:00. My hotel was right by the race start, so I looked outside at the ocean and at T1. I could see the lights in the transition area. I got a little excited, and started to get dressed and eat my English muffin with peanut butter and 2 bananas. My parents were with me, and the night before my dad jokingly asked me, “So kiddo, what are your plans for tomorrow”? As I was eating my breakfast, I looked over at my parents who were starting to stir, and said “Hey Pa, I think that I’m going to do a half ironman today”. They both laughed at me, and I continued to get ready. I got dressed, grabbed all my stuff, and walked along the beach to the race start. I got there around 5:45.

I knew that it was a big production (if yesterday’s elaborate registration process was any indication), but I wasn’t quite ready for the energy of race morning. I headed to my bike (it was racked from the night before), pumped up my tires, and listened to everyone around me chat and get ready for the race. I saw a few people that I knew. We exchanged “good lucks”, smiles, and a couple of hugs. You’ve got to love triathletes. I went to get body marked, and when I got back, I found my dad. I did a last minute check of my transition stuff, went to the bathroom (for the umpteenth time that morning), and headed to the race start. After I got a hug from mom and dad, I headed for the starting line.

Event warmup:

  • 31m 33s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 29s / 100 yards

The grin on my face started here. I looked around at all the people, and couldn’t help it! I could feel the excitement and nerves of people around me. At this point, I was not nervous—I just wanted to get on with the day. The start was a little confusing. Some athletes took off before the cannon fired. The announcer looked at them, and said, “I guess we’re started”. So, the rest of us took off. Not the most graceful of ways to start the race, but it worked.

You could start on the sand or in the water—it was sort of a diagonal start. I chose to start in the water in the hopes that it would be less congested. It was. There was some traffic, and I was slowed down a bit until I hit the first buoy, but it was not as bad as it could have been considering that this was my biggest mass start to date. I did have to defend my space a bit at some points, but I am getting better at that. As I rounded the first buoy, I tried to stay to the left of the pack—which I did…too well. I took me awhile to realize that I was swimming about 15 feet to the left of the buoys. I didn’t need that much space! So, I swam back towards the pack, and I found a pair of feet to draft off of. I kept at that for awhile until I realized that the man (and myself) were again about 15 feet off course. So, I headed back to the pack again for the last couple of buoys. (The man I was drafting off of followed me back). I took it easy on the swim, and focused on efficient technique. I didn’t want to tire myself out trying to push myself here. The weather was beautiful. The water was flat. Visibility in the water was AMAZING. It was such a beautiful swim.

What would you do differently?:

Sight more often.
Transition 1
  • 03m 33s

I got out of the water feeling good, relaxed, and ready for the bike. I saw my mom as I passed the swim finish line. I flashed her a thumbs up as she cheered me along. I rinsed off, jogged up the hill to transition, and got ready for a bike ride. As I exited T1, I heard my dad yelling for me, and that made the grin on my face that much bigger!
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 15m 18s
  • 56 miles
  • 17.20 mile/hr

I knew that everyone and their grandma was going to pass me on the bike. I prepared myself mentally for this. I wasn’t, however, prepared for wonderful view I would have of the incredible bodies of the hundreds of people that passed me! It was nice. And VERY inspiring. The plan was to go easy for the first hour, a little harder the next hour and a little harder for the reminder of the ride. I stuck with the plan! As people were passing me, I had to continually remind myself to go easy and ride my own race. Most of the people who passed me were really friendly and encouraging, so it wasn’t as horrible as it could have been. About 20 minutes into the race, I started getting this weird sensation (above my hamstrings, but below my glutes). It wasn’t painful (yet), but it was not comfortable. I did my best to remain calm, and take it easy for the first hour. The second hour, I was able to up the effort a bit, but that weird sensation was getting a little more painful. I wasn’t able to push as much as I planned for the last hour and 15 minutes because I couldn’t go longer than five minutes without having to change my position for a bit. But, I still went faster on my way back (a lot it was downhill, but I’ll take what I can get). I even passed a few more people! I think that I didn’t have my seat entirely centered…that’s the best idea that I have about that weird pain. The volunteers along the course were great, and I wanted to stop and hug the lady that told me “7 miles left”! I was happy to get off that bike. I’m pleased with my bike time. For me, that was rather speedy! My nutrition was right on, and other than that funny pain, my legs felt pretty good.
What would you do differently?:

Check and make sure that my bike seat was correct. I think that I just need more time in the saddle so I can figure out my race paces for various distances.
Transition 2
  • 02m 46s

T2 wasn’t as smooth as T1. I got to my bike rack quickly. Again, the volunteers were great in directing traffic, they told you which row to go to, and had someone at your bike place yelling your bib number so you would know exactly where to place your bike. T1 and T2 were at different areas, so this really helped. I got my bike gear off and my run gear on smoothly. My mistake happened as I was reapplying sunscreen. First, I didn’t remember to take off my sunglasses until I had already sprayed my face. They were smeared for the rest of the race. I took off my sunglasses and tried again, and this time I managed to get a whole bunch in my eyes! Ouch! It took awhile for it to go away. I wonder how many people along the run course thought that I was winking at them? I heard both my mom and dad at T2, but as I scanned the crowd, I didn’t see either of them. So, I waved in the direction of their voices, and hoped that I was right.
What would you do differently?:

Remove sunglasses before I put on my sunscreen.
  • 2h 20m 19s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 43s  min/mile

This was a tough course. It was hot, and the trade winds did not want to come out and play. I’m not sure how, but the pain that I had on the bike was pretty much gone by the second mile. I tried to take in a banana and water at every aid station (and three endurolytes every hour). I made the mistake of taking an orange in at mile 1, and felt a little nauseous until mile three. After that was gone, my body felt pretty good. I upped my pace at 4.5 miles because my body felt pretty good. I kept that up until mile 6. And for some reason, I could hear my pulse really loudly in my ears. I didn’t like that, so I slowed down until it was not as loud. So, that was my pace monitor until mile 11. I would go until my heart was pounding in my ears, and then I would back off. I did manage to jog the whole time. Everyone on the course was encouraging each other. I lived for those aide stations. Some volunteers offered a splash or a “shower”. I took one every time it was offered. I tried to thank every volunteer that I could. They were sooo awesome and supportive. At mile 8 I began throwing coke into the mix of things to take at the aid stations. I lost my positive thinking at mile 8, and didn’t get it back until mile 10. Somewhere along that point I got the song “you’ve got to have heart” stuck in my head, and it didn’t go away ‘till the end of the race. At mile 11 I started to push it, and by the time I got to mile 12, I was ready to see that finish line! The last aide station was there with ¾ of a mile left. I didn’t take anything that was offered, but I told one of the kids that I would love to be splashed with water. I think all of the kids there heard me, so I got about 7 cups of water thrown on me! I giggled. As I was approaching the end, I saw mom and dad. My mom yelled, “70.3 right over that hill, Nani!”. I cheered, and gave it all that I had to the end.
What would you do differently?:

Well, I'm a slow runner and would like to work a lot on my running. Also, I need to learn more about race pacing. I tend to not push myself. I'm told that'll come in time.
Post race
Warm down:

I found my parents. Took pictures. Stretched. Drank a lot of gatoraide and water. Ran into another BTer...literally out of the hundreds of people, what are the odds that I would sit down near Airwreck?! Went to back to my hotel. Went to the hot tub with my parents. Drank a Guinness. Went to the awards banquet. Ate a burger, three beers, two cookies. Watched the speedy people get their Kona slots! Went back to the hotel. Got back in the hot tub. Watched the sunset.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm a newbie. My secret goal time was 6:12:00. I wasn't very far off of that! I would have liked to be closer to the middle of my age group, but that's what next year's for, right?

Event comments:

If you are considering doing this race, I give it two thumbs up! It's an amazing course, and a great experience. It was a great first HIM for me, and I'm already itching to try it again next year.

Last updated: 2007-02-28 12:00 AM
00:31:33 | 2112 yards | 01m 29s / 100yards
Age Group: 9/41
Overall: 142/958
Performance: Good
Course: The swim was an elongated rectangle that parallels the shoreline, in a clockwise direction.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:33
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:15:18 | 56 miles | 17.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 27/41
Overall: 642/958
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Down to the Mauna Lani Hotel turn off, then up to Hawi, and back to the Mauna Lani Lotel.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:46
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:20:19 | 13.1 miles | 10m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/41
Overall: 0/958
Performance: Good
Course: The scenic but challenging run course will travel throughout the Mauna Lani Resort, around residential areas and the golf courses, along the shoreline in front of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, by The Fairmont Orchid Hotel, past Petroglyph fields, and ancient fishponds.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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

2007-06-04 8:49 PM

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Subject: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

2007-06-04 9:15 PM
in reply to: #829684

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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Great race report, and way to hit so close to your goal time. Thanks for all the detail. I felt like I was there. Could you see the bottom of the ocean the whole swim?
2007-06-04 11:46 PM
in reply to: #829684

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Lakewood, CO
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Awesome job!  And to enjoy it so much, how cool.   I am not sure what your pain on the bike was like but my experience seems to come from the seat slipping down a little bit.

 So much to grow from for next year and the kids at the aid station will probably bring squirt guns next year for ya.


2007-06-05 12:03 AM
in reply to: #829684

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Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Thank you for posting this so promptly, we were getting a bit antsy waiting for details!

What an incredible race! Glad you had fun with it, so positive!

(fantastic times on all three)
2007-06-05 12:25 AM
in reply to: #829684

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Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Awesome job! You totally rock!  I don't know if you know but if you look on race coverage they have you in 5th place on there first bike report for the women-Awesome!  You did really really well on your first attempt, esp. for how hot is was on the run. Kudos.




2007-06-05 4:34 AM
in reply to: #829684

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Reykjavik, Iceland
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Congratulations on a great race, and a great RR. Your swim was just amazing

Being able to race with a smile, and really enjoy it is just fantastic Don’t worry that you did not get your secret time goal, you where VERY close, and next time you will go under 6 hours....if you don’t put sunscreen in your eyes

2007-06-05 8:11 AM
in reply to: #829684

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Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
congratulations on your great race. Your focus on the positive and sticking to your plan is inspiring. You made it all sound so easy and matter of fact.

Good job. Hope you got to enjoy some of the big island while you were here.
2007-06-05 9:07 AM
in reply to: #829684

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Libertyville, IL
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Awesome awesome awesome!!!  The HIM is a whole different ball game and sounds like you nailed it and had a blast!  Way to recover with the Guinness too!
2007-06-05 9:52 AM
in reply to: #829684

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Freaking KICK BUTT job!  That's so fast!  6 hours is taunting you!

Congrats on your first HIM!  You did SO well!  And had SO much fun!

2007-06-05 12:43 PM
in reply to: #829684

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Port Moody, BC
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Way to go Naners! Congrats on your race, good thing you had "you gotta have heart" and not "Every Rose Has a Thorn" or "Purple Rain" Awesome race, was worried about the out come when I read the part about the "funny feeling in the legs! Good to see you pulled through!
2007-06-05 5:07 PM
in reply to: #829684

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Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

YEAH!! Brilliant job!!!!! You totally rock baby!!!! I was so there with you it`s not funny!! The RR was great and I also felt like I was in the race with you reading it. Thanks for such a great RR.

 You had such a good first HIM, I bet you have learnt so many new things for next time. I`m not sure what the pain on the bike was either, sounds kind of strange, perhaps the coaches on BT could tell you...Mike Ricci.

 Congrats Nani! You SOOOO deserved all those beers you had in the hot tup, now thats a good way to celebrate! Aloha to your Mom as well, your folks sound like the best fan club.

well done,


2007-06-05 8:59 PM
in reply to: #829684

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Nice race, you killed it!
Reading reports like this makes me want to come out and do this race all the more.
2007-06-06 7:02 PM
in reply to: #829684

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Kauai, Hawaii
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

So cool your mom and dad where there to share in your fun! Did you see a lot of fish?  What a great accomplishment! I felt like I was part of the race reading your report probably the closest I will get to the half, I am with you on the running part!

2007-06-07 1:29 AM
in reply to: #829684

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State of Confusion
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii

Awesome race Naners! The comment your Mom made about 70.3 right over that hill choked me up! GREAT JOB! Congrats! I like your post race cool down. Sunset sounds nice...and so do the 3 beers!Laughing

Edited by NightOwl 2007-06-07 1:31 AM
2007-06-07 1:21 PM
in reply to: #829684

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O'ahu or At Sea
Subject: RE: Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
You had a great race!  And yes, I'm definitely ready to come back next year!  What a fun race!
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