The swim began about 10 minutes or so after the professionals. The start for the age groupers was around 7 AM. I started with the one hour and 10 minute group and finished one hour and 17 minutes. This was a good time for me and my fastest Ironman swim. The swim started at dawn, I could barely see the buoys because of the darkness. This was an overcast day which really kept the temperatures low and made for a fast race.
My bike transition was around seven minutes plus, pretty fast for me. I did all my changing out into my cycling gear outside on the grass. I have never found the tents to be conducive due to the darkness. Everybody sitting on chair, it just has a depressing atmosphere for me.
My ride went smoothly. I did not have any mechanical problems, and enjoyed the out and back in both cases. The officials were all over those competitors who were drafting. I've never seen so many people waiting at the penalty chance to complete their five-minute penalty phase. I understand by others that I was photographed a few times, I can't believe that he could have been drafting ha ha!
There are three loops for Ironman Arizona.. They are each about 37 miles. The air temperature was 72° and we had a 10 to 15 mph headwind going out and making a gentle climb. There was a wind at our back on the way down which made for incredibly fast times on the return of the three of the three loops the second was the most difficult for me primarily due to the mental aspect of heading out into that headwind. For reasons I can explain the third loop was much easier.
My transition from bike to run was less than five minutes. I felt like my transition was smooth. I had a good plan and definitely had motivation to not walk. Mentally it helped me to give myself permission to walk through the aid stations and hydrate myself. I mostly stuck with Gatorade and water. What I found my time slowing I transitioned over to Redbull. This proved to be a mistake since it acted as a diuretic. So my Redbull days are over.
My marathon was a little over five hours which makes me shutter a bit. I never thought I'd run that slow ever. However it is a long race after a very long bike ride. Early on I had delusions of running a four hour marathon. This is still a go for the future and I need some improvement in speed, so speed work is high in my agenda for 2017, next season and I hope to run 3×70.3 at least in one full Ironman race with the date still to be determined.I echo the sentiments of Trev Dakan, I agree that I am quite lucky at my age to continue to race and do something I love so much. Go RTB!
Raise the Bar
Race reports, upcoming events, news, and more, from RTB.