During this summer of non-motorcycle racing I have been looking for sponsors and staying fit with a few triathlon races. My goal for this year was to compete in the Ironman series 70.3 race. That ½ Ironman distance consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bicycle ride and finished up with a 13.1 mile run (which is half marathon length).
This was my first endeavor at this length and I was hoping to finish under the 5 hour mark but that was not to be. I’m still new at the triathlon racing and I continue to learn from each event, but it goes a little bit better every time. The swim went relatively well and I finished that in 42 minutes. One thing I have learned is that you have to warm up before these events because your body cannot go from a complete resting state to all out competition. In one of the shorter triathlons I did I was not able to properly warm up and got about 50 yards offshore and started to hyperventilate. The other challenge during the swim is actually swimming in a straight line. Swimming in Lake Michigan with the waves coming at you from the side make it a lot harder than swimming in a pool.
I had 2 small errors during this race but I tried not to let them disrupt me very much. The first issue I had was that I lost 3 out of the 4 gel packs I had in my triathlon suit in T-1 (the transition area between swimming and bicycling). I did not realize this until I went to get my 2nd gel during the bike leg. At that point I was behind on my meal plan and at the next aid station I was only able to get one more gel because I dropped the banana that I tried to get. Nutrition in a race of this distance is very important. Your body can only absorb so many calories and you don’t want to get an upset stomach during the middle of a race. But you need to intake the proper amount of calories so you don’t run out of energy. I was able to maintain a decent pace on the bicycle and according to the Ironman website I was averaging just over 20 miles an hour. There was some pretty decent wind on the course and I had most of my calories dialed in for the beginning of the bike leg so I could taper them down before the run and then pick back up more calories after I settled into the run. I finished the bike leg in 2 hours 46 min.
The last section of the race is the run and I was not able to maintain the pace I wanted. During the run I was only able to average about 8-9 minutes a mile which was underneath my personal goal to be below 8 minutes a mile and closer to the 7 minute mark. The run was fairly difficult with several elevation changes and 3 very large hills. One of the hills was right out of the gate which I studied and knew not to waste a whole bunch of energy going up that right at the beginning of the run. I was able to keep any major issues from happening and overall this first half Ironman race was a success! The day was a great day and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. My run took me just under 2 hours and my total overall time was 5 hours 36 min.
Thanks to all the sponsors and all the people who came out to cheer all the triathletes on!
RIM Racing is sponsored by World Wide Bearings, Zola acai drinks, Polydyn, SRP Graphics for this triathlon endeavor. NE Designs provides webpage support and layout.
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