Aug 16

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 Steelhead Duathlon

Yep, you read that right: duathlon.  Because of a small craft advisory and rip current warning on Lake Michigan, the swim portion of Ironman Steelhead had to be cancelled making it a 69.1 bike-run duathlon.  It was a horrible weekend for races around here.  The Millennium Triathlon on Saturday was cancelled because of thunder storms for the 2nd time out of 3 years.  The inaugural Fred Meijer White Pine Trail 200 Mile Relay was cancelled at 3:30am because of the same storms. And I heard of a few other events affected by weather. In all honesty, after looking at the forecast Saturday night, I was 95% sure there wasn’t going to be a swim – the warnings lasted all day Sunday and into Monday.

2011-08-14 06.30.33
The picture doesn’t really do the waves justice, but here is
what it looked like after the sun came up on Sunday.

Race Morning

2011-08-14 05.24.19

Like the last two years, we decided to save money and not stay in Benton Harbor for the race and instead make the long drive on race morning.  It is about an hour and a half away so it isn’t horrible.  We were up at 3:30am and out the door just after 4:00am.  We made great time and got to the Whirlpool lot just after 5:30am.  As soon as I was unloading, I heard someone say “No swim”. It was just another triathlete though and I decided to carry my wetsuit with me just in case.  I like to wait for confirmation from a race official rather than trust the rumor mill.  I loaded up my gear, checked my tire pressure, hopped on my bike and headed to transition.  Jennie and Bailey (yes, this was Bailey’s first experience spectating a triathlon) made their way behind me.

So, how did Bailey enjoy his first triathlon?  Well, let’s just say that it blew his ears back.

2011-08-14 06.03.47
It was a just a little windy!

Sure enough, when I got to transition, they were already announcing the cancellation of the swim. Oh well, I don’t think anyone wanted to swim in the waves we were greeted with – probably 5 footers at that time. This was just a training day for me anyways. I was more bummed for Matt and Sean and everyone else doing their first half Ironman.

I immediately found Matt and his wife Jenn at transition.  We were bib numbers 1804 and 1811 so we were racked 7 bikes apart.  This guy has one of the happiest, most positive attitudes I have ever seen.  I’d be shocked to see anything but a smile on this guy’s face.  I got my transition area setup, but it felt like I kept forgetting something.  Everything turned out fine, but my routine seemed off with the skipped discipline. 

Then, the waiting game began.  They announced that the race would be bike-run only and that there would be a time trial start starting with the pros at 7:15. 

At that point, I need to move around.  There was a solid hour before the pros would start and a good hour and a half before they got to my bib number. I headed over and found Bryan Payne (The Captain) at his bike and met him for the first time. Great guy (even for a Canadian – haha). We chatted for a bit about our race strategies and what not. He is just coming off a great race in Lake Placid and getting ready for the ITU Long Course World Championship this November which is freaking awesome.

One of the cool aspects of the time trial start was getting to watch the pros start.  They started the pros at 7:15 and spaced them out each 30 seconds.

 Photo Aug 14, 7 18 54 AM
I grabbed this picture of Matty “Boom Boom” Reed.  He is a freaking giant.
He ended up finishing in 2nd overall in a close finish for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

There was one pretty major snafu with the cancelled swim and time trial start – a definite lack of porta-potties.  With the swim, there is the added benefit of having extra porta-potties at the swim start and having the athletes spread out at both transition and the swim start.  However, in this case, all 2500 athletes (plus fans and spectators) were limited to the transition area porta-potties.  Add to that the fact that all of the porta-potties were outside of transition and the transition area was technically “closed” starting at 7:15 meaning athletes were not supposed to go in and out.  Yeah. Right. 2500 athletes penned up in transition for nearly 2 hours with no bathrooms.  Apparently they don’t know triathletes.

It was easy enough to hop the fence to get in and out of transition to the use the facilities but a lot of triathletes didn’t want to wait and opted to use the dunes.  And judging by the fact that I saw plenty of athletes carrying their own TP, I’m guessing you had to watch where you stepped.

Photo Aug 14, 7 16 48 AM
How many triathletes can you find peeing in the dunes?

The Bike

After waiting around for nearly 3 hours since arriving at 5:30, at 8:30 it was finally time to get this show on the road.  Once it was our rack’s turn to line up, things moved pretty quickly.  As we approached the start, we formed two lines side by side. I clipped in my left foot and coasted forward to the line.  I had been talking to a lot of the guys racked around me and we all wished each other good luck.  I gave one more “Good Luck” to Matt before it was my turn to take off.  In the excitement of the start, I forgot to start both my stopwatch and Garmin for about a quarter mile.

2011-08-14 07.58.42

As for the time trial start. Wow! What a rush! With a swim start there are usually a few other people starting at the same time on the bike, but this way, there were dozens of people around.  I admit, I got caught up in the excitement and went out really fast passing people left and right (well, technically only left because you have to pass on the left).

The first 10-15 miles was really congested.  I spent most of the time yelling “On your left” and moving around other riders.  Everyone seemed to be doing their best not to draft but there was honestly too many people on the road.  I did some quick math.  Assuming the average bike is 72” long (6’) and the draft distance was 4 bike lengths (an additional 24’).  Thus, each bike would need 30’ of space.  Multiply that over 2500 racers and there would have to have been a single file line of athletes stretching over 14 miles.  I admit to getting stuck behind a rider when I didn’t anticipate having to slow down.  It was frustrating because not only was it technically illegal, but it also seemed to more of a disadvantage than anything.  If I got stuck behind someone it was mainly because there was already a steady stream of riders to my left already passing and I had to slow down and wait for them to pass before I could accelerate, move left, and complete the pass.  It is much harder to have to slow down and then speed up than to keep a constant speed.  Oh well, it is what it is, and for the most part everyone seemed to be playing by the rules as much as possible.  There were a few pace lines of 10-15 riders that were frustrating but I tried not to get discouraged because in the end, I’m only racing myself and when I cross the finish line, I want to know I raced a clean race.

As things started to clear up, I settled in with a group of riders from my age group.  One was Josh, Matt’s training partner.  Along with him and a few other riders we played leap frog throughout the next few miles.  It was great motivation and a lot of fun because I could tell they were all experienced rides.  Even though we weren’t riding in a pace group, we all knew the important of communication and were constantly pointed out road hazards (potholes, bottles, sticks, etc.).  Completely unspoken, it is a beautiful language to see cyclists communicating and makes you feel a heck of a lot safer out there. 

I really was pushing a hard pace through the first half of the race based on my speed.  However, my cadence was right where I wanted it.  I was consistently averaging a 100+ RPM on the cadence which is right where I wanted to be.  So, I figured, if I could keep up that speed with a steady RPM to just go with it.

I skipped the first bike aid station, but decided to refuel at the second one at the 25 mile mark.  This leads me to my next complaint about the race.  Because I was using this as a dress rehearsal, I wanted to practice my nutrition for IMWI.  And what a better place to practice it.  Powerbar Perform, after all, is the official drink of the WTC. So, I only carried two bottles of Perform with me on the bike.  I figured that I would grab my third bottle on the course.  When I got to the 2nd aid station, I was ready to grab a new bottle.  I slowed down, reached out and was handed this:

Photo Aug 15, 9 51 43 PM

WTF?!?! This isn’t Perform! Ok, it is Gatorade Pro 02 “PERFORM”, but not Powerbar Perform.  I was pissed.  I can’t drink Gatorade during a race.  At least not full strength Gatorade. It is way too sweet and it does not sit well.  I did the best to spread out the two bottles of Perform I had carried for the entire ride.  I usually need about a bottle per hour so the 2 bottles got me most of the way.  I eventually decided to give the Gatorade a try to keep from dehydrating.  It kept me hydrated, but I spent the rest of the bike ride burping like crazy. 

I did go back and look at the Ironman Steelhead official website and it did in fact list Gatorade as the bike course nutrition rather than Powerbar Perform.  So, it was simply my incorrect assumption that Perform would be one the course based on the fact that it is supposed the official WTC drink, the fact that Powerbar is a sponsor, and that they were giving out samples of Perform at the expo.  In the end, it was my mistake, but why promote the crap out of a drink and then not use it???

So, all of you IMLP-ers (and other IM finishers for that matter), now I need your help.  How is Perform distributed on the course? Is it a sports bottle like the G2 bottle pictured above? Or do they look like the bottles on the press release here? Or something else? Help! I’m just trying to figure out what to expect as I have experienced everything from cups of fluid at a bike aid station (not effective at all) to riders dropping off bottles and having them be refilled and given to other riders down the line.

Other than the G2 Perform vs Powerbar Perform debacle, my nutrition went great.  I tried something a little new.  I wore my plain old stopwatch on my wrist and had the timer set at 15 minutes.  So, every 15 minutes, it would beep and I would be reminded to take my nutrition.  This was a major help because it is really easy for me to get caught up in the race and forget to eat.

The final 15 miles of the course is a long straightaway down the Blue Star Highway.  Thankfully this year the wind was out of the north meaning there was a bit of a tail wind.  The last two years it has been a head wind.  I eased up a bit on this stretch to save my legs for the run.  Despite that, I had one of my fastest 5 mile splits of the day due to the fact that there are some good down hills.

2011-08-14 10.23.07-2

I rolled into the bike finish in 2:27:01 for a 22.85mph average. Fastest. Bike split. Ever.  The final mile or so of the course is on a narrow bike path.  While passing is allowed, it is nearly impossible to do so.  I was feeling good so I figured what better time than now to try getting out of my shoes before the dismount.  Mind you, this was the first time attempting this maneuver ever.  Thankfully, it couldn’t have gone better.  If anything, I got out of my shoes a little too quickly.  I gracefully hopped off my bike at the dismount line and was off to transition in no time.  This doesn’t really help me for IMWI at all because age groupers are not allowed to have their shoes on their bikes, but it was fun to try nonetheless.


2011-08-14 11.09.50

So what do I call it? T1? T2? Technically it was the first transition of the day, but it is my normal T2 transition. We’ll go with 1.5.  Regardless, it went very smoothly.  The only hiccup I had was the fact that I had put all of my run gear in a plastic bag in case it rained.  The wind made it hard to dig everything out and then I had to stow the bag somewhere.  I was still in and out in 2:42 making it my fastest bike to run transition for this race.  I wrapped up and was leaving transition along with Jake, another guy in my age group. 

The Run

Jake and I started the run together.  We both had a great bike and had similar goals for the run – an 8 minute pace.  We stuck together for the first 2 miles or so, but I was feeling great so I pulled ahead.

2011-08-14 10.30.44-1
Jake is in the white on the right.

I honestly don’t know what to say about this run other than I felt absolutely awesome the entire time.

I carried my handheld bottle of Perform with me on the run.  I took a swig every mile along with taking water at each aid station.  I drank half the water and poured the other half on my head.  I walked while I drank the water to make sure it went down but started running again as soon as the water was in me.

This course is a lollipop shape with a double loop.  It is about 1.5 miles to the loop and then a 5 mile loop that you do twice.  Each loop circles through the Whirlpool campus.  It is a fairly nice course although it can get a bit congested on some of the trails.  The hardest part of the course is the hill as you exit the Whirlpool campus.  It is brutal.  As I started climbing, I heard a spectator cheering.  He said, “If you look down and the hill goes away!” Yes, I know it sounds corny, but let me tell you, it works.  I figured, what the hell, I’ll try anything once.  So, I put my head down and charged up.  In no time I crested the hill.

As I neared the end of the first loop, I started to look for Jennie and Bailey.  For the first time, they were going to try and make it out on the run course. I wasn’t sure how well it would work as they would have to walk along the course to get there because there aren’t any side streets.

2011-08-14 11.18.51
She made it! Best site ever! It made it so much easier
to get started on the 2nd loop.

After a quick hug and kiss for the wife and an ear scratch for Bailey, I was off on loop two.  I was feeling pumped.  I completely turned into MattyO a chatty Cathy and was talking to anyone and everyone who would listen.  Other racers, spectators, volunteers, whoever.  I was having such a blast!  I did my best to get people cheering as there were lots of people with their thumbs up their butts

In no time, I was at mile 10.  Still feeling good, I was hesitant to get too confident as I still had to climb the big hill one last time.  I was also running low on Perform.  Right after mile 10, I filled my bottle with half water and half Gatorade just in case hoping that I wouldn’t need it.  I hit the bottom of the hill, put my head down, and again was at the top in no time. Victory! Only 2 miles to go.  Now, I was getting really excited.  All but one or two of my splits had been under an 8:00 min/mile pace.  At mile 11, I decided to take some Coke from the aid station.  I didn’t necessarily need it but I wanted to see how it settled.  It settled fine so I know that I can take it at IMWI if necessary.

The last 2 miles flew by.  I was moving. I had my two fastest mile splits of the day (7:40 and 7:12).  I cheered on everyone I passed at that point. It was all downhill and we were almost done.  Everyone seemed to be in high spirits.  In no time, I was on the final stretch and crossing the finish line.  I saw both Jennie and my brother and his girlfriend along the finisher’s chute.

2011-08-14 12.09.09-1

I crossed the line in 1:42:39 for a 7:50 min/mile pace.  My goal was 1:40 – 1:45.  Nailed it!  I couldn’t be happier with the finish.  My overall finish time was 4:12:22.

2011-08-14 12.59.34
Me and my awesome support crew! Bailey was a trooper but he was
exhausted after the race.

Post Race

After I was done, I talked with Jennifer and my brother before heading back into transition.  I chatted with Bryan some more.  He also had a great race despite cramping up on the run.  After chatting with him, I headed back out on the run course to look for Matt. As I ran out, I met up with another guy.  He was part the bike leg of a relay team and was stretching out his legs.  He actually crashed on the bike and was all bandaged up but it pretty good spirits. 

2011-08-14 12.53.45

In no time, I spotted Matt.  He had about a mile and a half to go and had a huge smile on his face.  He said he was hurting a bit, but you’d never be able to tell from his smile.  I ran with him back to the park and cheered for him as he took off.  He had a strong finish and an awesome half Ironman debut.  Congrats Matt! It was awesome following your training and seeing you accomplish your goal.  Go read his race report here.

After cheering Matt in, I packed up my transition area and decided to head back to the car. I took one look at the line for pizza and decided that I really don’t like Pizza Hut pizza any ways and we headed off.  We stopped at McDonald’s for my usual post race food of a Angus Burger and chocolate milk shake.


Overall it was a great race and a great primer for IMWI.  Before the race, I wasn’t disappointed at all for the cancelled swim.  However, after seeing my results on the bike and run, I was on target for a huge PR and wonder what I could have done with the swim.  Oh well. Next time.

Official Results

Total Time: 4:12:22
Overall Place: 250/1728
Gender Place: 177/1108
Age Group Place: 28/132
Swim Rank: No Swim
Swim Time:  
T1 Time:  
Bike Rank: 29
Bike Time: 2:27:01
Bike Pace: 22.85mph
T2 Time: 2:42
Run Rank: 28
Run Time: 1:42:38
Run Pace: 7:50 min/mile


2011-08-14 07.50.36

I wanted to do one last section about my gear so that I can refer back to it before Wisconsin.  As you can see I opted to go with calf sleeves for this race.  I had brought them with for recovery on the car ride home, but because it was so chilly in transition, I put them on for the race.  They were nice to have, but it would be hard to put them on after the swim.  I’ll have to decided whether or not to race in them next month.  Anyone ever swim with the calf sleeves on under their wetsuit?

This was also my first race (and ride period) wearing my aero helmet.  It is a Giro Advantage 2 and was a birthday present from Jennie.  I was a bit worried having never practiced with it, but decided to take my chances.  I am super impressed.  I totally noticed a difference. Speed benefits aside, one thing I really liked about it was that it blocked the sound of the wind. I hate how loud the wind is when you are going into a headwind.  Because this helmet covers your ears, it blocks that annoying sound.  It made the bike ride 100x quieter.  Such a pleasant feeling.  It definitely was a bit warmer than a regular helmet because of the limited number of vents.  It was a pretty cool day so the heat wasn’t an issue.  That said, if the temperatures approach 80*, I don’t know if I’ll wear the aero helmet at IMWI.

Finally, my new race kit.  I went with the two piece option from the TYR Competitor collection.  There was recently a $100 for $50 deal on Schwaggle that I grabbed up that saved me 50%.  I previously raced in a pair of Zoot Tri Shorts that I really disliked – they felt too short and had no pockets.  The TYR shorts are awesome.  They are a good length (9” inseem) and have a zipper pocket in the back.  Along with that, each leg has a small pocket along your quad big enough to stuff a Gu or something else small.  The tri top is great as well. It only has a single pocket on the back with makes it harder to separate out nutrition, but it is big enough to hold everything.

I’m really happy with how it all worked out and know that it will work great for Wisconsin.

Thanks for reading!

2011-08-14 12.18.41-1

WI or Bust!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/08/16/race-report-ironman-70-3-steelhead-duathlon


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  1. Lisa

    Great job! Way to make the best of the day and not let the cancelled swim throw you off your game plan.
    Lisa recently posted..Ride, Run, & Race Report

  2. Matt Oravec

    Great report! From what I could tell, an awesome day. From triathletes watering the sand dunes in the sunrise, to mingling with all the other bloggers pre-race, it had to be a laid back chill start with little nerves.

    Seriously man, great race. When I saw your bike split I about crapped! I think the shift in the winds like you mentioned would have been awesome compared to last year.

    I think your training is spot on (obviously) but your nutrition is right there too. You have tried it numerous times already so no surprises can pop up on race day.

    As for talking it up and cheering and screaming on the run… it works for me. Takes my mind away from the current state of fatigue and I feed off of everyone else’s energy. Plus it melts the miles haha. I still don’t understand why no one cheers for people they don’t know anymore, H and I always cheer for EVERYONE, I know how much it means to have someone say something, anything to you while you may be suffering a bit. It makes a huge difference.

    My only goal when I do steelhead again is to run the hill both times, I am soooooo jealous you got your redemption already, until next year Steelhead… until next year!

    Lastly, so cool Jennie and Bailey were able to make as many surprise appearances as they did! I know that had to have helped too.

    Enjoy the slow taper now! 3.5 weeks 🙂

    Great job man! You are doing awesome this year!
    Matt Oravec recently posted..MS150 Pedal to the Point – Ride Report

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I am totally adopting the MattyO strategy for the run. It makes the time fly by! I didn’t even care if anyone was listening to me. I’d say I had about 50/50 success with getting a good response from people.

      I’d be there for redemption with you next year but it will probably be the week before IMMT. If you race, I’ll definitely be there to spectate though.

      I’ve still got this week and next of pretty rough training. Damn you Matt Fitzgerald! Then I get a moderate week and then an easy week. And then race day!

  3. BDD

    Congrats on a stellar race!!! Freaking fast bike!!!

    My cousin was there, he was upset that they cancelled the swim, his strength

    As for the calf sleeves, you can swim in them, wetsuit or not, you dont feel them at all, I swim in my sleeves in all my races, I have the CEP sleaves
    BDD recently posted..Chrissie Wellington’s Top 50 Race Tips

  4. Jeff Irvin

    Great job Kevin and a ridiculously fast bike split!

    Same thing happened to me at Galveston with the Gatorade. Found out they were still using G2 b/c of a contract b4 WTC bought the race. The G2 totally destroyed my stomach as I have trouble with it as well.

    At IMTX they had Perform and it was in the bottle that fit in your cages. Very convenient for the handoffs! I actually left my downtube empty so I could put a bottle in it at the handoffs!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Things that Bother Me: The Gym Edition

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Awesome. That is actually my plan as well. I have room for 3 bottles (one downtube and a sonic wing with 2 holders on the rear). I’m planning on starting with two full bottles (possibly one on the bike and one in my T1 bag). I’m going to chug one of them ASAP as soon as I get out of the swim. Then, I’ll just grab one at each aid station as I move along. I’ll leave one cage open on the rear to make it easy to swap a bottle from the downtube to the rear when it is empty. Aid stations are every 10-15 miles so I should have more than enough opportunities to stock up.

  5. Heather

    Kevin, every time I read your blog I am inspired! You are one amazing athlete!
    1) AWESOME RACE KIT! (Matt’s gonna have to cut some more accounts so I can get one!) I love that EVERYTHING matches.
    2) I LOVE that Bailey came to your race! I am really hoping that Matt does IMSG so that I can take Sophie with me to cheer him on.
    3) Jennie is the best race photographer/fan EVER! She’s a keeper!
    3) Holy bike split batman! Did you pack jet fuel in your water bottles?
    4) Love that you became a Matty-O on the run! That means you were having an EXCELLENT TIME!
    Again, great race report. Loved reading it and I love hearing about all your successes!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      1) I told Matt that the kit I have comes in a blue/white version to match his bike so you each need to get one now. And if he needs another account, I keep telling him my lawn could use some attention. I think he is just being lazy
      2) It was fun having Bailey there but it was a lot of work. He wasn’t misbehaved or anything, but there is always more things to consider with the dog around. By the end of the day he was completely exhausted. So many things to smell and check out. He passed out on the back of the car on the way home and we almost had to drag him out of the car.
      3) I know! Isn’t she!
      3) (For a NASA engineer, your counting skills could use some work – haha!!!) No, I just use Perform. I heard that Matty uses the jet fuel and leaves a trail of fallen cyclists behind him.
      4) It was one of the most fun runs I have ever had. There was maybe a mile stretch were I was doubting whether or not I would bonk (mainly having flashbacks of years past). You know the stretch through parking lots on the back of the Whirlpool lot?? It is hard to be positive there no matter how good you feel.

  6. Sean @ Learn Fitness

    Congrats on the killer bike leg and awesome run. That’s an awesome pace you have, I can only dream of it someday.

    Thanks for saying hi on the bike leg, it was nice even if brief. People are so not talkative on the ride and mostly the run which was odd. I find that it certainly helps some to pass the time, especially on the run.

    Good luck on the rest of your IMWI training!
    Sean @ Learn Fitness recently posted..My 2011 Ironman Steelhead 70.3 Results

  7. lindsay

    hey that’s like 10mph faster than my biking skills 🙂 bummer about the swim but that water definitely looks rough. you pulled out a great du!
    lindsay recently posted..a’s to the q’s

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      When are you going to get that road bike? (Maybe that should have been my question in your Q&A post – haha)

      1. lindsay

        haha, yeah you blew your opportunity inquiring about babies… and orange t-shirts.

        i dunno… i have the money for it i just can’t bring myself to spend it! plus i’m all worried about paying too much when i could have gotten a better deal based on the specs, OR buying something that i’ll soon wish was upgraded. if either of those ‘fears’ make any sense… i also feel bad spending money on stuff when i’m paying doctor bills left and right, gotta love that high deductible plan! 🙂

        but yeah. do bikes go on sale in the fall? they should… maybe you / jon could just tell me what bikes in each brand are decent starter bikes without being super-super starter. i’m not totally hopeless out there.
        lindsay recently posted..a’s to the q’s

  8. Chris @ Tri4Success

    Awesome job! Great bike and run splits. On top of that, it sounds like you truly enjoyed the race. You’re ready to rock IMWI!
    Chris @ Tri4Success recently posted..Hot Rocks Bike Ride

  9. Jon

    You KILLED the bike! Holy crap….

    Regarding the powerbar perform @ IMLP, it was the sports bottle top, NOT what is pictured in the press release on Ironman.com

    I don’t use calf sleeves, but I have seen a lot pros swim with them on under their wetsuit.

    Can’t wait to see what you will do @ IMWI. I see a FAST time!
    Jon recently posted..An Open Letter from My 87 Year Old Step Grandfather Re: Triathlon, excess, and balance

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Whew! So I think I should be all set then. Fingers crossed. I did talk to one guy from IMLP who had stomach issues on the entire run. He thought that the pre-bottled Perform tasted a lot different than the powdered variety and attributes that to his stomach problems. I’m hoping to get some bottled Perform ordered but the stuff is so darn hard to find (and then expensive to ship).

      I attribute everything on the bike to the matching trikit. +5mph easily.

  10. rachel

    Great job! You are going to rock IMWI!
    rachel recently posted..July – By the Numbers

  11. Morgan

    Well done out there buddy! I was wondering on Saturday as we drove past G.R. on our way up to Ludington if your race was going to get cut short with the craptacular weather forecasted all weekend. You totally kicked butt though and I’m excited to see how you do at IMWI!!!!
    Morgan recently posted..LOVE/Don’t Love

  12. kc

    You did so awesome Kevin!! Congrats! Sorry that the swim didn’t happen. I think you biked smart and what a great ending average speed but the run, the run is the king! When you run a pace like you did, you know that you “got” it. Your training is spot on and will be even more evident at IMWI. I can hardly wait to track you. Love that picture of Bailey’s ears being blown back. Too funny! I also have the same aero helmet but have only used it for 2 races, an oly and a 1/2 but no full b/c it was too warm. I will be using it at IMFL i hope.
    kc recently posted..july training numbers and other crap

  13. Viper

    Nicely done–congrats! Although I don’t care for those gang signs in the end. Cheers!
    Viper recently posted..To Register and Not to Register

  14. Beth

    wow, that’s a great race! It sucks about the cancelled swim, but it looks like you nailed the race and figured out nutrition on the fly. All good signs for Wisconsin!!
    Beth recently posted..Not A Mathlete

  15. Colleen

    Nicely done Kevin… you were right on the mark with every thing. As I watched throughout the day, I wondered too what your PR would have been with the swim! 🙂 OH well…

    Last year at IMLOU, Perform was in the bottles like the gatorade. But then they’d hand you water (when they had it) in bottles without tops. Maybe for aero drinks? I don’t know. It was kind of annoying!

    The count down is on!!!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Thanks! I’m more and more relieved by everyone’s reports that it “should” be sport drink bottles. Let’s hope that they have learned from IMLOU and have plenty of fluids on the course at all times.

      25 days! (For both of us!) Make sure to keep those Texans in line in CP 🙂

  16. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Great race report and more than that great race. You really killed it out there and you are prepared to crush IMWI no doubt.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Meatball Parmigiana Remake

  17. Brent

    Good work just for finishing, and great work considering the clip you were going at. My cousin was out there as well for this one. Anyone able to do these pretty much amazes me, and makes me feel like a complete slacker.
    Brent recently posted..Pizza and The Legend

  18. katie

    BAM! those are some terrific splits, my friend! I can’t wait to see how you do in WI.

    also, I have the same top, and I love it. 🙂

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Copy cat!!! haha! At least we both know how to look good when we race 🙂

      I actually ended up with both the sleeveless and the singlet tops. I’m not a huge fan of the singlet but it might be nice in the hotter weather.

  19. amy

    Congratulations on some amazing splits there!

    I wanted to note that you should check for sure on the IMWI rules.. the Ironman races I’ve done have all said that age groupers can’t leave their shoes on the bike BEFORE the bike leg, but nothing about leaving them on afterward. I’ve done the shoeless dismount and left the shoes on my bike several times and nobody’s ever complained.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Thanks for the tip! I checked the rules from 2010 and indeed it only mentions starting with the shoes clipped in but not finishing. Nevertheless, I think I’ll have to practice a bit more before I am confident enough to slip out of them and climb the helix without crashing 🙂

      I checked out your blog and it looks like you are going to be at Mont Tremblant next year??? Awesome!!!

  20. Tim C.

    Nice race! I was thinking about you on Sat. while driving back from north WI. Sweet bike split! How much of that do you attribute to aero helmet vs. no swim fatigue? Total suck about the nutrition mix-up. Live and learn, right? You’re going to kill IMWI!!
    Tim C. recently posted..July in Review

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)


      Honestly, the lack of swim fatigue was a non issue in my book. I actually think I would have been better off with a swim before hand because my legs would have been stretched out. For the most part, the swim doesn’t tire me out and just gets me warmed up. Standing around in transition for 2+ hours and just having to GO was a little hard on the legs at first.

      As for the helmet… no idea. Last year I average around 20mph, but I was on my road bike so too many changes in variables to even begin to guess. There is a Monday night time trial around here that I have been meaning to go to. Maybe I can experiment there.

  21. Matt Smith

    You’re the man, Kevin! I almost felt like that whole post was about me! 🙂 Your splits were just amazing, and I wish so badly that we could have done the swim so you’d smash your previous PR. Oh well. You’ll have one of those days again, I’m sure! It sure was great to see you with a mile and a half left to run, and it meant a whole lot that you waited around and came back for me. That’s just cool. I don’t know if it’ll work out, but we have some friends that live about 30 minutes from Madison, WI, and we were thinking about staying with them, but cheering you on a bit at you IRONMAN Debut. Anyway, we’ll see if it plays out, but I bet Jennie and Bailey wouldn’t mind a couple other people to chill with all day. Keep up your awesome training, buddy, and you’re going to do so well in WI. It was great to see you all, and I hope we’ll have a chance to meet up again in the next 9 months before we head to the South. (Maybe check out Mars Hill with us. We really liked it up there…) Take care.
    Matt Smith recently posted..Steelhead 70.3 Ironman Race Report

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I can’t tell you how much fun it was to follow you on your journey and see you finish. That was almost more fun for me than racing!

      If it works out, that would be awesome if you could make it to Madison! You know… registration for 2012 starts on Monday after the race… just saying 😉 I’m sure that Jennie would love the company as it will be a long day for her. I don’t think Bailey will be making the trip though. I have to decide between two hotels and the one we are leaning towards (closer to race site) doesn’t allow dogs. So, we are working on dog sitters for that weekend. Keep me updated on your plans as I think that Jennie is hoping to make spectator shirts for anyone coming.

      Take care!

  22. Bees

    That shot of the athletes peeing on the ridge of the dunes is priceless.

  23. Mandy

    Holy crap, that wind is CRAZY!! I freaking love the Bailey picture with his ears flying up.

    Dude. You freaking KILLED this race!! Trust me, the hardest part of IM is the bike and run – so you got to test that out!! You must be so stoked!! I am so excited for your race at IMOO!
    Mandy recently posted..Meet Porter!

  24. Pat

    Awesome race Kevin! It’s pretty clear that things are coming together for IMWI. That said, you still seem like you’re learning everyday. Loved reading this and all your posts. So much for a newbie like me to learn. Keep up the great work!

  25. elizabeth

    WOW!!! Congrats on a fantastic race!! I am super impressed with your run. Way to nail it. And what better way to celebrate than with some Mickey D’s!! 😀
    elizabeth recently posted..Track this, baby

  26. Elizabeth

    Great job on your race!! Me and a group of friends traveled up from Chattanooga, TN to participate…This was my first Half Ironman – so I was pretty bummed that the swim was cancelled (my strength). Other than that I totally loved the weather in MI, it is so much better than the 100 degree temps with 95% humidty we are experiencing down in the south. This was my best bike ride ever! I think I am going to try the Augusta, GA Half Ironman next year since it is only 4 hrs away instead of 10 hrs (that was a long drive). Good luck in WI!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Steelhead Half Ironman Report

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Wow! That’s a long drive for a race! Glad you could make it but that sucks that the swim was cancelled for your first half Ironman. Nevertheles,, you are still a half Ironman in my book – you did the training. Race day is just a celebration of your training and a chance to pick up your shirt and medal. It sounds like you had a great race and other than the lack of swim, it was a perfect day for a race.

      If you don’t follow Matt Smith (http://go-smitty-go.blogspot.com/) already, you should check out his blog. He and his wife live in Michigan now, but are moving back down south next year. They are both super nice and are thinking of doing Augusta or the Rev3 Knoxville race next year. Rev3 has a couple great races in Knoxville and SC: http://rev3tri.com/events/.

      Good luck in your continued training!

  1. Ironman By Thirty » Blog Archive » 5th Quarter Report

    […] Successful Dress Rehearsal As you probably already read in my last post, I had a great race at Steelhead for my final prep race before IMWI.  Thank you to everyone […]

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