Photo by www.mysportsshooter.com
By Roger Hospedales, Team Running Free
Race: Welland Half Iron Triathlon
Date: Sunday June 27, 2010.
Location: Welland, Ontario
Description: Triathlon – Swim 2 km, Bike 90 Km, Run 21.1 Km
Before I get on with describing my race, I want to give full credit to MultiSport Canada and the volunteers at Welland for putting on a truly outstanding event. They set the stage perfectly for all the athletes; it was just up to us to perform. Some of us did, some of us struggled. I fell into the latter category.
2 km Swim – 38:31 (1:56/100m pace)
I really enjoyed this swim. The water is fairly clear, clean (I took in a few gulps with no problems yet), and current free. There was a bit of contact at the start but things soon opened up nicely. I was looking for some faster feet to follow but no one was consistently faster than me so I basically swam on my own for the majority of the way. Due to my bum shoulder, I just swam steady, concentrated on my form and came out of the water having achieved my goal of swimming sub 40 minutes.
T1: 3:22 + 1:24. The first time is the run from the water to the bikes – as soon as I got out of the water I went to the grassy area and took off my wetsuit right way then ran to the T1 area. The second time is the time spent in transition beside my bike getting ready for the ride.
90 km Bike – 2:52:00 / 31.4 km/hr – officially (2:39:05 actual saddle and pedaling time)
This is where the “fun” began. I was looking forward to having a kick butt ride and setting the tone for the rest of the day. However, within a few minutes, I had a flat rear tire. I was starting to think that maybe I am cursed when it comes to half ironman events; the last time I did one I had 3 flats. So I pulled over to the side of the road, already dripping in sweat, and began changing my tire – thanks to everyone who offered me help or inquired if I was ok.
12 minutes and 55 seconds later (timed by my bike computer) – it didn’t seem that long and I am really not that lame at changing a tire but after my experience at Bracebridge I wanted to inspect every millimeter of my tire to ensure that it was cut free and that replacing the tube wouldn’t be a useless exercise.
Back on the road, I behaved myself, kept my effort aerobic (my goal Ironman pace) and slowly started making my way through the field. I decided not to hammer the bike because I was already feeling the heat and knew that the run was going to be tough, and would only be tougher if I came off the bike with tired legs. I knew that my goal finish time (5:20) was long gone but set a new goal of running solid off the bike to finish in the 5:30’s.
Due to the heat, I drank 3.5 bottles of Infinit fluid during the ride, but my body did not process it all. I felt full, but still want to drink tons. Maybe a few too much calories in too little a time – I did amp up my Infinit formula a bit from 290 calories to 350 per bottle to further perfect my Ironman intake.
T2: 2:50. Took time to dry off, and change into fresh socks and a running singlet.
21.1 km Run – 2:17:06 (6:30/km pace)
This is where the race unraveled for me. Despite the 13 minutes lost, I still had the chance to finish in the 5:30 range; all I had to do was run a 2 hr half marathon. Easier said than done.
I started well, clicking off the km’s at a comfortable pace that would have me finish the half marathon in 1:50 range. Then the heat hit me like a ton of bricks just after the 8 km mark. My heart rate spiked into the 170’s and my “speed” sure did not correlate with that kind of effort. At each aid station all I wanted to do was drink a ton of ice water, although a nice cold beer would have hit the spot a whole lot better. No more calories for me though, since my body wanted no part of it. I was just a matter of survival at that point. I just wanted to get to the line in whatever way possible, and the big bubbling blister in my right baby toe didn’t help my mood either. And while I thought I might hobble in with a 2:30 half marathon, I resolved with myself to just walk the aid stations and do some resemblance of running in between them.
Finish time – 5:55:12
Well below what I wanted to complete the race in but I was glad to finish. That is always the number one goal. The Headsweats finisher hat that I got at the end was a nice surprise. I sure appreciated that a whole lot more than a medal I’d put in a box somewhere.
I got home to discover I’d lost over 5 lbs. And this after eating and drinking a bunch after the race. This morning I still weigh the same. I just couldn’t replenish what my body had lost. Oh, well, there is always another race.
1. Speed up my flat repair times.
2. Reduce my calorie intake during the bike.
3. Make a determined effort to either shed a few pounds (makes racing in the heat so much easier) or just maintain the status quo keep enjoying life and frosted beverages.
4. My bike training has paid off, but I need to get in some quality run training and consistent run performances.
5. Get in some training in the heat of the day. Not too much because it can really zap you for your other workouts.
6. Do some flexibility work to loosen up my hips (especially my left side). I had some ART today and my left side is totally messed up.
7. Sometimes your body simply cannot deal with the conditions of the day.
8. Nigel Gray is a top-notch guy. OK, I already knew this but now everybody else does too. Read this article to find out why.
9. John Salt and the MultiSport Canada crew rule. Jody Miller is also one heck of a race announcer and more importantly a very cool lady – best of luck in your upcoming race.
10. The volunteers at Welland are awesome. Thanks for all your help yesterday.
Congrats to all who finished yesterday, you all know how tough a day it was. If not, then you didn’t go hard enough 😉
John and Phaedra, you definitely banged out a great runs. And it was great to see you back out there Gary, hopefully you will be back to full race duty soon. Nice job to all of you and the other TRF athletes out there. Maybe we will see more of you at Gravenhurst.