by Todd Batty, two-time Ironman
This was my second full and my goal for this race was to improve from IMFL last year after a solid year of training and racing. Big thanks to Jon and RPM!
This was my first go at this race as the weather the past few years scared me away. I’d say we got lucky this year, but it was just a bit hot on the run. I blame Stanek for that! The day before the race I got torn up by jellyfish on a practice swim just up river from the course. Later that day at Walmart I managed to run into an Aussie also looking for something to provide some measure of protection from the bastards. Race morning I was coating my face and arms with Aquaphore. As fate would have it I didn't run into any for the entire swim! Still well worth the $6.
I started off the two loop swim pretty well aside from a random puking session about 20 min in. My apologies to any racers right behind me, but it was a small amount and I’m sure the fish loved it! Finished the swim with a 3min PR.
Got out on the bike and found a good rhythm and stuck to my power number. Then near disaster as I got a rear flat about 25 miles in. I am about the furthest thing from a mechanic and struggle with fixing anything including flats. My wife can attest as she has picked me up from numerous training rides where I popped the spare or ran out of C02. I managed to get the new tube on and eventually remembered how to use the inflator and got some air in the tube. Back on the road in 12 min with renewed energy and motivation to make up for some lost time. I didn’t get a full hit with the C02 and was worried about a second flat as I didn't have a spare. Thankfully I found the SAG wagon about 5 miles later and was able to get a spare tube and top off the psi's. Lesson learned here is to include a spare tube in bike special needs bag just in case and maybe practice changing a flat every now and then until I am slightly competent. Finished the bike with a 17min PR including 2 stops for the tire fiasco!
Got out on the run with some awesome team support at the first aid station. Cheers to all the teammates out there supporting everyone on the course. By far the most efficient, best dressed and fun group out there! The two and a half loop course is nothing to write home about but you do get to see family and friends a ton which is great! This run didn’t feel nearly as good as Florida last year, but I managed 10min PR.
I’ll say there is no feeling that I’ve experienced like the finish chute at an Ironman! All those hours training, missed time with family and friends and the struggles on race day are repaid with that feeling right then and there!
by Lauren Lipsey
One day, almost a year ago, I got an email from my friend, Caroline, asking if I wanted to do a race with her, the Casco Bay Swim Run in Maine. I thought, heck, why not? It will be fun to do something different, and if Pippa Middleton can do it, so can I!
As it turns out, Pippa is a total boss. She completed Ötillö (which, I learned, I have been mispronouncing for years). I am told that Casco Bay is less technical than Ötillö, and we did the short (not the long) course, so what we did wasn’t nearly as taxing. But it was challenging enough for our first swim run experience.
By Mike Stanek
The TL/DR is that I recommend this race. Atlantic City is weird and super sketchy, but the race is close and convenient. And while not the fastest course out there, it is fast enough to have a solid time—maybe even a PR. I was super happy with the result after putting in some hard work this season with my coach Darren, and I am pumped for 2018 Worlds in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
For those of you with more time to kill…
Boulder 68.3 was great. I spent the week leading up to the race in the mountains at 8300' sucking wind on all my workouts. No such thing as zone 1 up there.
By the time I got to Boulder coming down 3k feet was like being home again except there is NO humidity. This race was the first time I was in the first AG swim wave. Male pros, female pros and then us. That meant I was only getting passed on this day. The swim was uneventful with water temps in the low seventies.
The bike was awesome. A one loop with two climbs and some rollers. At one point on a nice downwind section we were doing 40+mph! I felt good coming off the bike and proceeded to the two loop run around the reservoir on a combination of gravel, dirt and paved roads.
It was cool getting passed by Alicia Kaye on her second loop and getting a better appreciation of how smooth and strong the pros are. (BTW Tim Don is tiny, but effing fast!) I managed to get a cramp in my hammy early and spent the next 2-3 minutes walking it off.
On the second loop I felt much better and got into a rhythm. With a 1/4 mile to go and pushing for a strong finish I managed to slip on the loose dirt and get another cramp. Stretched it out and quickly and bee lined for the finish.
Crossed the finish and felt like I put together a solid race despite a slower than planned run. After getting through the finish area I look at my watch to see 5:00:16! Is it possible to be happy and pissed about a result at the same time? I say yes.
I immediately start thinking about all the ways to cut those seconds to go sub 5. Better hydration as the dryness there threw me for a loop. I am so used to the D.C. swelter it's hard to judge how much liquids you need, or not slipping at the end and cramping?
All in all I felt great about the day. I realized later that the bike course was only 54 miles. While being annoyed by the short course this makes the :16 seconds sting a little less, but still the motivation to get faster!
My advice to anyone headed to Boulder for a race, hydrate and then hydrate some more, appreciate the beauty on the ride and spend some time in Boulder. Such a cool town.
Jen Walwrath, 1st Time Ironman
This was my first full ironman and it did not disappoint. What an iconic course!
Swimming in Mirror Lake can’t be beat. The water is clean and clear, as far as lakes go, and you can catch glimpses of the mountains between trees. I had only one complaint - since I started with a lot of guys, larger people kept swimming over me and I had to work pretty hard to defend my space. I even shoved some legs and threw a few elbows.
Ryan Hudson is a proud member of District Multisport, in for his third season.
While I was finishing my transition set-up and admiring the nutrition of the guy next to me -- a Powerade, coconut water *and* a full jar of pickle juice -- it was announced the race would be starting 15 minutes earlier than scheduled.
Fortunately, like most triathletes, I am quick to adjust and never have a problem with meticulously laid out plans suddenly changing.
On the plus side, I didn't need much time for a warm-up, since the 85-degree Chickahominy River made the swim more akin to a spa day (complete with nearly knee-deep mud baths at the end).
A dropped gel and a dropped chain was hardly the ideal start to the bike, but I managed to turn it around for a new PR ("Dropped Gel? Dropped Chain? Drop the Hammer." Is that a t-shirt?), and even got to see Jenn along the way (she suggested I go catch Darren; I appreciated her optimism, to be sure).
Feeling great, I was set for a fast transition and a flat run ...
Run without socks, they said. It will cut down your T2 time, they said ... Look, life is all about learning experiences, and on Sunday, I learned that opting to go sockless means your mind will venture into new territory, like, "Well, I suppose I could just run the final two miles barefoot ..." I ultimately declined the way of the Tarahumara and instead channeled my inner hockey player*, laced-up my shoes tighter, and trudged over the bridge to get fourth place in my age group, which is definitely a very cool and not at all frustrating place to finish.
*I have never played hockey; I can barely even ice skate
As always, Rev3 put on a great race -- transition, course markings, volunteers, family atmosphere, etc. If you haven't done one of their races before, I'd recommend giving them a "tri." (Do you get it? "Tri" instead of "try." Ya know, like the sport?)
Stephanie Brealey is a member of the District Multisport Team who recently participated in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica
I don't believe I have ever written a a proper race report - so bear with me. Usually my "reports" consist of a bunch of notes on how things went (the good, the bad, and the ugly) so that Coach may have extra info for the next race.
A year+ ago when Ironman announced that they were going to have an event in Costa Rica, I immediately knew I would be adding the race to my schedule. When registration came, I was on it immediately - even tweeting at Ironman since the link they had activated was not working. The thought of being able to race home with my family and friends was exhilarating.
Race was scheduled for the 18th of June, so as anyone would, I told my boss that I would be working from Costa Rica (even if he didn't approve it) and would be going home for a total of about 3.5 weeks (I have a great job). Since we had a mild winter and a cooler spring it was important for me to head out there and try and workout in higher temps.
On the Thursday before the race I drove 3.5 hrs to Coco Beach (Pacific coast) where the race would take place. Coco beach is a well developed beach town that has everything one needs. I decided to stay in a hotel right on the main road - not the prettiest, but perfect location.
[If you decide that this race is for you - you may arrive at Liberia airport which is a 20 minute drive to Coco].
If you know anything about Costa Rica you would know that June falls in the rainy season. This means that it will rain every single day, that temps are on the higher end and that it will be humid. In addition to this, this year there was some sort of storm coming from Colombia that made it an even wetter month, specially in the coast.
By Mike Stanek
Many team memories of White Lake Half involve questions of whether the lake will be warm enough for just a wetsuit – or if neoprene booties and caps were also going to be necessary to survive the 1.2 mile swim in White Lake, NC. Not this year. When we showed up on Thursday with the sun shining and temps pushing into the upper 80’s, the race director posted that the lake was already at 75F. That balmy weather continued through Friday and on race day, though somehow the lake managed to stay wetsuit legal. I will say that Set Up Events may want to reconsider its swim description on the race website, where it says in ALL CAPS that the swim will be wetsuit legal (and possibly wetsuit mandatory). Thanks, global warming!
I do love racing White Lake as a way to shake off the cobwebs and to get back in racing form for the year. It’s a fairly small race, but a good mix of fast guys and gals typically show up to see where their fitness is at. And the lake itself is great – shallow, sandy bottom, and some funky currents from the springs that feed it to get you back on point with sighting. The roads in the area are pretty serene, except for some areas of chip seal (and unless you get stuck behind a hog farm truck). On paper, it looks like it should be a super fast course, though it never really is thanks to wind and rough pavement.
I'm not really one to write race reports anymore as I don't usually have much to say that I think would be helpful to people. However, this race was different. Much, Much different.
In general, I don't do triathlons in the winter-mainly because I really don't like training on my bike trainer for hours on end. But when friends suggested Cuba (Baby!), I couldn't resist.
I've never had a strong urge to go to Cuba, not out of disinterest but because it's been off limits that I just never thought much about it. As for the race itself, the times from the last several years put my slowest time at a HIM in contender for the podium.
So we registered. When all was said and done, we had 11 folks from DC and NYC coming. 8 athletes and 3 sherpas. Unlike other trips, we all did a lot of research and chose our location close to the race start (it's a two transition race). Wisest. Move. Ever. Cabs are plentiful but the prices vary widely. Add a bike to that and, well...
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