Another race, another Ironman 70.3 but this time in Augusta, GA! I really want to say that I was 100% prepared for this race and was confident that I gave my best possible effort… well home and work and other ideas and I was not consistent, I could not get myself to perform, took way too many rest weeks (yes… weeks) since Virginia Blue Ridge that it would be impossible to truly achieve my best. What I did is the best I could for that race day and had an amazing weekend with friends.
IM70.3 PRE-Race events
Friday started early at 8am driving to August, GA from northern Virginia with two long time race friends Lola and Merla. We made the trip in nine hours where we found our Airbnb and slept for the night. Not much happened on Friday other than driving and finding the house.
Tried to get some sleep (didn’t happen because I’m spoiled with my bed vs. the toddler bed I had to endure… and trains… not sure if I’m a fan of trains anymore after this trip) then did some bike openers and headed to the athlete briefing. While listening to the Race director more friends (Liz and Melissa) arrived to the house and met us at the convention center. We completed the Athlete check-in, purchase a bunch of swag, then headed back to the house where we found our last house roommate Sara. Last thing to do was move our bikes into transition for the night, eat some dinner, and try to get sleep (which I didn’t because again… bed and trains).
Sunday Race Breakdown
Race day morning myself and the crew started walking down to transition so we could setup our gear and then headed towards the swim start which was a mile away. Transition closed at 6:30 am so we believe if we left the house at 5:30 we would have plenty of time. We should have planned about 15-30 minutes more because a poor transition setup will bite you when you are in the middle of the race (which it did). Once we arrive to the swim start we put on our wetsuit and then proceeded to get in line to begin the race. During the athlete briefing the race director stated to put yourself in your open water lake swim times as how much the river current would push you is unknown for the day, but clearly people just guessed and put themselves wherever the felt was correct. For future races I would say put yourself 5-10 minutes ahead of your normal Lake swim time depending if you are going for PR or Podium. We slowly walked to the floating doc where we finally jumped off to begin the race. I was dumb and forgot to start my watch so I can’t tell you if I was swimming strait but I know my swim time GREATLY appreciated the push of the current!
On a sad note, during the swim I was stopped by a boat. YES, a boat. This only happens if someone is in trouble and they are trying to get to that person ASAP. This was near the 1 mile mark (I think, again… don’t have watch data). Later towards the very end of the swim I was stopped again, but this time by the lifeguard who was caring the person down to the dock and it did not look good. I did find out later that athlete did not survive. I only state this to let people know what to expect when emergencies do happen during the swim. If you hear STOP while in the water, you need to stop and let the support people react quickly b/c someone’s life is in jeopardy and your PR is not worth them waiting.
- No Data
After the swim I start my watch as I get to the wetsuit strippers and then arrive at transition where I go into the wrong lane… (see, should have arrived early in the morning to focus on transition). I put on my gear and jumped on the bike and started to ride. For this ride I wanted to increase the average watts by 10 compared to what I did at VA Blue Ridge. The bike route is a very nice and easy slow rolling hills. The few technical points of sharp left/right turns and fun declines made the ride very enjoyable. The strategy of keep your watts, no more… no less… works perfectly for this course. Sometimes the road was a little rough and the winds on the back half definitely pushed me past my breaking point which caused me to slow down at mile 30 and a little more at mile 40. But overall the ride was a great time.
I cannot run in hot weather. It wasn’t humid at all, it was just the hot sun that just cooked me too quickly that I had to start walking at mile 2 from concerns of dehydration. One unique item that did happen at this race that has never happened before… I was stopped by a train during the run section. Yes… a train. When I (slowly) approached the train I found a tree that I could hide from the sun while I waited for the train to start moving. Fortunately for me I was only waiting for only two minutes where I jumped from a 12:12 pace that I had been doing for the past 20 minutes to a 9:40 pace which I held for the last 1.5 miles to the finish line.
The last 1.5 miles was rough. I wanted to take advantage of that two minute train break and finish strong so I tried to hold a good pace to the end. When we turned the last corner I felt my groove without being ridiculous in passing people. If you are not going for podium, then keep your distance from the other races so each can enjoy their finish line moment, get that race picture, and let them save the memories. Sprinting to the end is not necessary for the majority of us (well, at least for me and in my age group).
Post Race Thoughts
Was this my best race. Absolutely NOT! I could be petty and count a dozen things on why this was a terrible race for me in terms of overal time and perforance, but when thinking about the weekend all I can think about is the FUN! Being able to race with friends (the majority whom I haven’t seen in a long time), being able to have a good swim in terms of speed and not freaking out in the water, a wonderful time on the bike… and learning a thing or two for the run makes up for the poor race performance.
- Overall: Placed 562nd out of 1878 (top 30%)
- Gender: Placed 441st out of 1216 (top 36%)
- Male 45-49: Placed 47th out of 149 (top 32%)
Among the Male 45-49 category of those 149 athletes:
- Swim: Ranked 59th
- Bike: Ranked 39th
- Run: Ranked 63rd
|IMAUG||1.2 Mile Swim||T1||56 Mile Bike||T2||13.1 Mile Run||Total|
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