Club News Archive

Race Report – Ironman 70.3 St. George UT

This is a hard course. And the weather is always an extreme factor. This year was on par. Temps were 85F. Fortunately, no winds.

For the overview here’s the numbers, then you can jump down to see the pics. For those that want the gory details and blow-by-blow, see below the line. Thanks to Scott, Deanna, and Steve for the Race Pics. We had a great post-race party at Alvin’s rental house. It was very comfy and homey. Amy, Jaime, Gregg and I stayed with Alvin at the house.

Congrats to all the finishers! Well Done. Please share your ride reports too!

Racers Total Time
Blake Young 5:28:26
Erick Garcia (1st 70.3!) 5:32:42
Leanne Lowden 6:02:23
Rob Egan 6:06:58
Gregg Doyle 6:12:13
Alvin Hom 6:22:04
Steve Lis 6:24:37
Kali 6:34:03
Deanna Hudgins 6:36:55
Lynda Neuman 7:16:46
Amy Avila 7:21:13
Joe Wong 8:10:01

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Here’s the blow-by-blow report.

4:30am. Lynda swings by the rental house and picks us up. Sprinter van gets a sweet parking spot on the corner by the Finish Line.

4:45am. Drop off nutrition at T2 for the run. Parking lot in Town Center. One block from Finish Line. I have a panic attack, cuz I go the rack with my label number, and my stuff isn’t there. This spot also isn’t where I remember dropping off my Run Bag yesterday. Yikes. Lynda and Amy saw me frantically running around looking at bags. Amy found my bag hanging in the spot left it. I just had a huge brain fart yesterday. Whew! I had to find my bag, cuz my shoes, shirt, cooling towel, running bottle, and hat were in there. Anyway, added nutrition (snacks, powders, pills, no liquids, cuz it will bake all day until the Run).

5:15am ish. Board the shuttle bus, right outside T2. 25 minute bus ride 20+ miles to Hurricane, UT, at Sand Hollow Reservoir. It’s still pitch black when we get out of the bus. Clean Transition setup means that the T1 has a couple staging areas. At Swim In, you walk to the racks and pick up your Bike Bag. There is a Changing Area, with sets of folding chairs to change into your bike gear. Then, you drop off the Bike Bag to the volunteers and run to your bike. There is no transition stuff at the bike racks. So, in the morning, we loaded our bike computer and put all the nutrition on the bike. Pump up the tires. Then, load up the Bike Bag with other clothing. The take home story here, is you have to plan each Bag wisely. No mistakes. This race, I did pretty good. I only forgot a white cycling jersey at home. I had a black one with me, but I thought that would be too hot on a hot bike day. I also had a vest in the Bike Bag in case it was still chilly after the swim. Special thanks to Alvin, for letting me borrow his white PTC jersey. Perfect. I borrowed Lynda’s bike pump and pumped up my tires. I chose to swim bare chested under the wetsuit. Then, put on a PTC cycling jersey for the bike, then switch to a light PTC running shirt for the Run.

I took a couple Potty breaks at the swim start / T1 and I was ready to go. Tummy was cooperating. Good news.

6:40am. I slicked up with Body Glide and squeezed into my wetsuit. Dropped off morning bag. Morning bag will be delivered to Town Center, next to T2, later. Put my sweat shirt and pants away. Kept on throw away flip flops on my feet. While I was shimmying in my wetsuit, a friend recognized me and said ‘hi’. A former PTC member, who still follows me on Strava (sorry, forgot your name, buddy). He did good on recognizing me, cuz I was half way in my wetsuit and I wasn’t wearing any PTC gear. Woah. Fans!

6:45am. Pro Athletes start.

7am. Age groupers start. Everyone is lined up by their self seeded swim time. Signs for Under 25 mins. 25-30 minutes. 30-33 minutes. 33-35 min. 35-37 min. This is where I stood. Rolling swim start. 4 athletes at a time, every 5 seconds. Your start time is at the departure gate. Loud beeper every 5 seconds.

Swim: 7:45am ish. I started the Swim. Swim was fine. It was cold water. But, not icy cold. I didn’t jostle with anyone this time. My swim was pretty straight too. Not too many wiggles. I was astonished at my Strava map was straight. 40 minutes was okay. I only took one coughing break. It seemed a little choppy after the 1st turn. I took a gulp of water and had to re-set myself.

T1. Wetsuit strippers were great. I had the timing chip on my right ankle and thought it was stuck inside my wetsuit for a second. I jogged over to the Bike Bag rack and took my bag. I sat down next to Amy, who was on her way out. I heard Scott yelling at Amy on her way. He took my pic.  I sat down, dumped out the bag and looked at everything. I worked from the Head down. It was nice to be able to sit and put on my socks and bike shoes. The cycling jersey was a little troublesome on a wet body, but not too bad. The pockets convenience made up for it.

Bike: Garmin didn’t start until a little outside the first turn, missed about 1/4 mile distance. Course is rollers. I felt fine for the 1st half. I hit some fast downhills. Top speed 43.8 mph. I was feeling pretty good until the Snow Canyon. That just got tough. Alvin passed me just before rolling up to Snow Canyon. I took a potty break and Lynda passed me there. At the top of Snow Canyon, I had to walk it a little bit. When I turned the corner, I got an unusual groin cramp, way up high on my left side. I had to breath in /out hoo/haw and keep pedaling to get through it. On the way down to town, there was fun fast descents. As I was making the last turn, I saw Lynda on the run.

T2: Ditched the bike. Shed the Jersey and put on a light PTC running shirt. I slid on a pair of shorts with pockets over my tri shorts.

Run: I didn’t have any energy left after the run. Zero. It was a walk fest. There were very few people behind me. It was heating up too. I had a full hat and filled it with ice at every aid station. I had a hand water bottle and filled it with ice and water. My gut and butt were barely hanging on. I had one potty stop, not much pee, but what kinda scared me was that I would get really really cold. I was afraid my body was gonna really shut down, so I ran out of there and kept moving. It was slow and steady back to the finish line.

Finish: Deanna saw me after the finish line. Pic. I stumbled over toward the bag pick ups and T2. I ran into Steve and Lorie and their friend Gail. I dropped off a few things and went directly to get my Morning Bag, Bike Bag, Run Bag, and Bike. I knew if I stopped and chatted, I would sit and not ever get up again. I got a strong watch strap tan. Tan lines at the strap holes!

Lynda, Leanne were at Awards and Roll Down.

Post-Party. That fun. Hawaiian BBQ, salads, Apple and Blueberry Pie a la mode! drinks. There were lots of fun stories about each persons race and when we saw each other. Best times together! I slept great that night.

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Race Prep – Ironman 70.3 St. George UT

This year, we have 13 racers going out to Ironman 70.3 St. George UT. Fun times. The fun days before a race are the best. The anticipation, the nerves, the previews. Hanging out with friends, tweaking little things on all your gear.

With a Saturday race day, we left on Wednesday and returned on Sunday. And back to work on Monday morning. The road trip is a 6+ hr drive from LA to St. George. It’s about an hour past Las Vegas on I-15. I hopped on a ride with Lynda in the sprinter van. Packing with a sprinter van is a no-brainer: just bring it all.

On Wednesday, we arrived at the hotel and checked in. We shook out our legs with a short 3 mile run around town. Then, we drove the 2nd half of the bike course, which heads west of the city and up through Snow Canyon. As the sun was heading down, the light in Snow Canyon was beautiful.

On Thursday, we finished all our previews. We started by riding our bike on the Run Course. The run course is basically a 3 mile climb + 3 mile flat / roller to the bluff that sits above the town. The flat and rollers is like another world. It’s desert landscape with red rocks. Then, 2 out and backs and then, back down the way you came. The Red Rock at Pioneer Park is cool.

Quick change at the hotel and snack at Starbucks, then drove out to Sand Hollow for a swim preview. The reservoir was filled up. The red sand beach was under water. The ramps from the reservoir go down directly to the water. Leanne was off and swimming loops around. Amy and I swam out 1000 yds to two buoys, and then swam to the big rock formation. We sat on the rocks at waved at Jaime, who was plucking his guitar at the picnic tables. The water temp was very cool, but not breath taking cold. There definitely cold patches in the water too. The Swim Course is basic square around the big rock formation. The water was fairly clear, you could see the sun rays glistening down through the light green blue water.

We returned to town for Registration. All the early bird type-A kids were lined up at registration. It was kind of a wait through there. Then, we shopped. I got a IM70.3 ST.G Cycling Jersey and tri shorts. Also, I always get a t-shirt with everyone’s name on it. Then, it was dinner time. A few more friends had arrived in to join us for dinner.

I moved all my gear over from the hotel to the rental house, where a group of PTC are staying for the rest of the weekend. I stayed up a little too late on Thursday, putting all my stickers on my gear, and packing my stuff in the IM Bags. You have to pack each bag separately: Bike Bag, Run Bag, Morning Bag.

On Friday, it was feet up Friday. No workouts. We took it easy. Went back to the IM village and local Red Rock Bike Shop. We bought food for the after-race party.

Mandatory Bike Drop Off at T1 Sand Hollow. The new ‘clean’ transition has transitioning out of your swim gear and into your bike gear in a bull pen, then running to your bike.

Mandatory Run Drop Off at T2 at Town Center. Hot parking lot. Hang your shoes.

Feet up. Light dinner. Go to bed early. RACE DAY TOMORROW.

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Race Rehearsal – Long Beach. Belmont Shores / San Gabriel River Trail / Naples Island

Getting ready for Ironman 70.3 St. George Utah, we met down in Long Beach to stage a race rehearsal. Awesome place to Swim, Bike, and Run.

Swim: 1 mile (1870 yds), 37 min moving time.

We started with a 1 mile swim at Belmont Shores Beach. The water was cold. My hands and face got kinda numb. And my right ear had a moment. Before the swim,  I met a fan of The Journey movie, and we took a selfie. He thought I had lost weight since the movie. Hmmmm, not true, but thanks… We had a great turn out for the open water swim. Mark braved the water with a big cut on his finger. Jeff and Jezz swam open water for the first time! We had the special joy of having Scott joining us, fresh off Boston Marathon. Scott was the human turn-around-buoy at half mile point. Thanks, Scott.

Bike: 40.2 miles, 2:09 moving time, 397 ft elevation

We transitioned to our bike stuff back at the van. Then, we rode up the San Gabriel River Trail. The weather didn’t warm up, and we had head winds on the return trip. Thank you, Steve! For letting me borrow his extra jacket. 20 miles up and flip it. The flip it came up right after the Tunnel of Doom. A Steep down, super dark, narrow tunnel, with big scary gutters on both sides, and blind to the exit.

Run. 7.2 miles, 1:28 moving time

T2 and into our run gear. I headed around the canals. Beautiful homes and perfect running weather. Others headed out the water front and running along the beach.

Great day of training.

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Mark, Scott, Lynda, Sue, Erick, Steve, Bob, Bjoern, Blake, Leanne, Sven, GT, Kristen, Gregg, Jeff, Jezz. Joe. George, Tiff.

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Race Report – Surf City Half Marathon

PTC ran hard on a stormy SoCal morning at the Surf City Half Marathon. The Sprinter van left Eagle Rock at Zero Dark 5am. We chilled and warmed up downstairs in the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. Although it was raining in LA county, it lightened up in the OC. Peter started early for the full Marathon at 6:30am. The rest of us started around 7:45am. The sun was peaking through at the start. But, we were running straight toward the brooding dark cloud. By mile 3, it started sprinkling. The main route along Pacific Coast Highway was cold and windy. The last stretch is an 8 mile run back to the finish line. We picked up our gear check and then went to Lazy Dog Cafe for a nice big beer and lunch. Gregg drove us home through the rain. Then, we all scooted off to Super Bowl parties. Here’s the results.

Tyler Long 1:24:03
Ryan 1:34:54
Bjoern + Amilia Helfer. Stroller Division! 1:38:19
Sven + Cornelius Nolte. Stroller Division! 1:38:20
Stephen  Lis 1:43:24
Alvin Hom 1:43:40
Danny K 1:47:59
Leanne 1:48:58
GT 1:49:43
Helena Helfer 1:57:16
Aren Keshishian 1:59:05
Lynda 2:06:05
Caroline Nolte 2:23:05
Joe 2:26:10
Nathan Danielsen 2:26:25
James Lee 2:26:35
Peter Day (full) 3:24:58
Tiffany Birkett (full) 3:46:56
Bill DNS
Mark Gibbs DNS
Ben Vanmarcke DNS
Rudy Quintero DNS
Daryl Chol DNS
Neal Genda DNS

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Race Report – Pasadena Half Marathon

Pasadena Half Marathon Race Report

First big club race of 2019. Super well attended – 34 racers. PTC had a great crew show up and everybody raced really hard. Awesome facility warm up at Rose Bowl Locker Room thanks to the Pasadena Pacers, our friendly, cross-over, home-town buddies. THANK YOU, Pacers. Perfect weather. Finish line on the 50 yd line inside the stadium. Got an alumni pic with Joe and Joe Bruin. Breakfast at Brookside Country Club afterwards. Awesome day. Well Done. Here are the finishing the times. Impressive! This is the first leg of the February Fecta. See you at #2, Surf City Half Marathon on Super Bowl Sunday (both AFC and NFC championship game were doozies today. OT in both. what?!)

Tyler Long 1:22:11
Scott Chaney 1:22:11
Blake 1:32
Ryan 1:33
Rudy Quintero 1:34
Bjoern Helfer 1:34
Sven Nolte 1:36
Marco Beghin 1:39
Mark Schmidt 1:41
Theo van Joolen 1:42
Graz Casale 1:43
Alvin Hom 1:45
Mike Owen 1:48
Leanne Lowden 1:49
Yo Oshima 1:50
BarryMan 1:51
Carrie Holzman-Little 1:53
Emilio Campos 1:56
Kirk Cassidy 1:57
Helena Helfer 1:57
Justin Bird 1:58
Daryl Chol 2:04
Paul Maurin 2:06
Lynda 2:07
mike wade 2:08
Julie 2:13
GT 2:13
Joe 2:31
Neal Genda 2:44
Gregg
Amilia H. (kids run)
Danny
Trevor (5k)
Nicole (5k)

Trevor, Alvin, Gregg, Lynda, Tyler, Danny, Rudy, Arden, Helena, Sven, Bjoern, Joe, Graz, Paul, Leanne, Blake, Mike, Daryl, Carrie, Marco, Julie, Christina.

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Body Economics Running Workshop

On a cold wintry morning, Marco led 8 PTCers through Body Economics Running Workshop. The workshop was engaging and fun. I helped out as a friendly “fly on the wall”, while the Club members got to learn about anatomy, physiology, running, breathing, cadence, and thinking. I won’t spoil all the fun, but Marco sure was a great instructor (Here for more on Marco). Link to his Body Economics Movement here. His program is usually a one – on – one course, but Marco put together this special small group program for 8 PTC members only. [When we promoted the event, it sold out over night. Then we added another 8 person workshop for next week. That one sold out in under 24 hrs too.] There were tons of tips and tricks and body awareness advise for the participants during the 2 hr workshop. There was a video session for each running,  before and after. Everyone could see what was going on before, and the improvement that happened just after the short time working out. Then, they all went out for a 30 min. run, mixed in with one-on-one time with Marco. Marco also brought a friend Costa, who also took pics and vids. If you missed it, you should ask the lucky bunnies that got to go. It was really fun, and made a lot of sense.

Thanks to Marco for putting on a great workshop. Super great value to the Club!

Marco, Costa, Bjoern, Leanne, Lisa, Carrie, Amy, Cali, Nathan, Paul.

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PTC Holiday Party – 2018

Fun Times at PTC Holiday party.

Recognized 1st sprint triathlon, 1st Olympic, 1st IM 70.3, 1st Full IM. PTC Poker chips.

Recognized PTC Board: Joe (President), Lynda (Training Director, Treasurer), Alvin (Race Director), GT (Membership Director), Bob (Sponsorship), and Todd (Secretary)

Thanks to Steve for Centerpiece / Heinekin. Sue for PTC Sunglasses and cup cakes. GT: Slideshow. Julie and Amy: Raffle Leaders, hostesses. Bob: Raffle prizes.

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Thank you to our awesome Sponsor for donations:

VELO Pasadena, Run with Us, Performance Bike, Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, ROKA, Xterra, Steve Mackel, Around the Cycle, Budget Pro Bikes, TriEvents,

and Members: Yo Oshiya, George Yu, Lisa Acosta, Gary Purtee

Raffle winners.

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Rose Bowl Aquatic: Free Month Swim Membership

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From George’s new company!

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Race Registration: Legends Olympic Tri 2019

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ROKA 5x $50 Gift Cards

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PTC Slideshow 2018 – Year in Review

Here’s a reminder all the fun we had this year. Thanks to GT for pulling together all the photos. If you’re not in here, you should send in your finisher pictures next year for sure.

Ride Report – GMR – Mt. Baldy

48.17 miles, 3:25:55 moving time, 3,881 ft elevation gain

We club met on a cool Saturday morning in Sierra Madre. We rode across to Encanto Park and picked up a few more in Duarte. We rode up the San Gabriel River Trail just a bit then turned off and rode across Sierra Madre to Glendora Mountain Road. Whew. Tired just getting to the bottom of the mountain. The gate was closed to vehicular traffic, which was really nice and quiet. Air quality was okay. We lucked out that all the wildfire smoke was blowing away from us. We rode up the big GMR grade and re-grouped at the top. I had time constraints today and flipped it at the top. Turns out I wasn’t along in the flip. The rest of the group continued on to Mt. Baldy. Bjoern shared pics of the local scorpion and the beautiful scenery at Mt. Baldy. Well Done. [PS. GO BRUINS!]

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Race Report – Ironman Louisville

Ironman Louisville Race Results: 15:10:37

Swim: 0.9 mile (yeah, more on that later): 00:16:04 minutes

Bike: 112 miles. 07:59:24

Run: 26.2 miles. 06:18:48

Ironman Louisville was my second full Ironman, first was Ironman Mont Tremblant 2016 (Race Report, click here). This race had many similarities and lessons learned. Seven racers from Pasadena Triathlon Club flew out for this race. Bob, Lynda, Steve, GT, Danny, Alvin, and me (Joe). This was Steve and Bob’s first Ironman full distance. Very exciting. We had been all training together for this race and very excited about the big day. Also, in our gang was Laurie, Steve’s wife, who was a terrific sherpa and fan. Also, Coach Scott came to cheer and sherpa. Bob flew in separately from a trip on the East Coast.

We did tons of stuff before the race. Thursday to Saturday. For Pre-Race fun see post here.

Sunday: Race Day

Set Up:

Drizzles started in the early morning. Put on wetsuit up to the waist at the hotel. Hoodie and Rain coat. Morning bag. Googles, cap. Nutrition for bike and run. We walked down the transition and loaded up the nutrition on Bike. Then dropped off nutrition in Bike Bag, Run Bag. Then, dropped off Special Needs Bike Bag, and Special Needs Run Bag.

Race Start / Swim: 00:16:04 minutes

We walked along the river to a park, where we lined up by Time Split, expected swim time. It will be a rolling start, jumping into the river from the boat dock. It was drizzling and we were waiting for a long time (~1 hr) and finally heard that the swim was changed and delayed, due to a heavy current in the river. The original swim route is upstream along an island in the river, then upstream for a couple buoys, then a turn and then down stream. The current was too high for the Pros, during their practice swim. The swim was reduced to 0.9 mile swim and all down stream. Wahoo! For rolling start the men and women can line up together, and you can line up with your friends. There’s less climbing over each other. I like it a lot. So, Bob, Steve, GT, and Danny lined up at the 1:20. Lynda and I lined up at 1:30. We jumped in at ~9:00am. The water was super murky. The buoys were floating down stream with the current. The kayakers were giving conflicting directions. Some were yelling “Hard Right”. Others were yelling “Hard Left”. Other kayakers had buoys on their kayakers. It was very confusing. I just headed to bridge and then to the stairs at the Tents. It was super fast swim. 18 minutes for me. Wet suit strippers, fun. Gave the lady a hug. Fairly long run, up the ramp, over the bridge, down the stairs, around the Bag pickup, and to the changing tent. I saw Scott and Laurie. Hugs.

T1: 15:25

Due to the short swim, the changing tent was full with guys and gear, and bare butts. I got a chair near the exit and started dressing for long rainy ride. I toweled off to try to make dressing a little easier. Took off my tri shorts for cycling shorts. Cycling jersey, vest, sleeves, rain coat, full finger gloves, socks with plastic bags. Helmet with shield, beanie. Grabbed bike and set out. Still drizzling and cold.

Bike: 07:59:24

Long and hilly. Wet and cold. Rollers were relentless. Lollipop route. 10 mile ride out of town, and then two loops.

Mile 0-10. Socks and shoes didn’t work. Feet were soaked and freezing. Miserable. Stopped at Aid Station one to fix bags, but didn’t work.

Mile 24: Stopped at Special Needs Bike. Fresh socks, new bags. Worked all day long. Much much better.

Mile 50-70: Lots of crazy rollers. Relentless. Some were steep. Scenic rolling horse country. Probably really pretty when it’s not raining. Roads were open to traffic. Several times waiting for cars, who were waiting for slow riders. Risky to accelerate down and carry your momentum on the slick roads. The Bike Special Needs had tents filled with shivering riders, waiting for a ride home. The overall DNS and DNF (Did Not Start / Did Not Finish) rate was 17.9% this year. Steep steep dip and steep steep climb. First time through, there were riders walking up both sides. It was hazardous to accelerate down and carry momentum up. Lots of rider traffic there.

The rainy, cloudy day, made it hard to tell direction we were going. Many of the turns looked the same. I kept hoping I was getting to the second loop. For nutrition, I had to stop and take off my gloves and open the waffles and pills and PB&J sandwiches.

I kept taking adrenal support and BCAA pills. Overall, I didn’t have many dark moments. The pills and staying warm really kept me in a good place. But, during the dark moments, I thought, I’d really have to crash hard in order to not finish this race, but that’s a bad idea too. Overall, I had a good head space. Compared to Ironman Mont Tremblant, this is a huge lesson learned. Better nutrition and warm dressing leads to better mental state.

Mile 90-112: End of loops and headed back to town. More traffic, more rollers. Big puddles. Still raining.

T2: 20:56

Changed all my clothes. Very difficult to get wet gear off, especially wet socks off. Changing tent was a mess, but not as crowded. Fresh undies, shorts, socks and bags. Running shirt, rain coat (same as biking). Nutrition in pockets. Full hat, gloves.

Run: 06:18:48

Still raining. Surprisingly, I had more run in me than expected. I thought that I would have been worn out from the bike. But, I had a good trot in my feet for about 6 miles. Run course is a two loop course, down and back. It’s fairly straight.

Mile 0-6: Surprisingly good run. Target was 15 min/mile. Got 14’s and 13’s. Nice. I saw GT, Bob, Lynda, Steve, Alvin on the out and backs on the run. High fives. Mostly, each was fully concentrating on keeping moving forward. I kept in a surprisingly good mental state throughout the run. This was a lesson learned from IM Mont Tremblant too. Focus on the run, and don’t kick yourself about the bike. I felt I had done my best on the bike that I could and it so, there was no regrets there.

Mile 7 – 13: Fast walking. Targeting 15 min/mile.

At the turn around, you loop around a few streets downtown and end up on Fourth Street Live. You can hear the crowds cheering and the announcer. Then, at the very last moment, you are split off for Lap 2. Bummer. But, I saw this at Mont Tremblant and was not as bummed this time around. Lesson Learned. Since this was a two loop course I knew it would be going back. The second loop was lonely. Very few runners. I saw Scott and Laurie cheering. I saw Alvin turning in for his finish. And unbeknownst to me, Danny was just behind me, for his finish.

Mile 14 – 20: Fast walking

When is the race cut off?

At the start of the race, they said the race cut off is 16 and 1/2 hours from the time you jump in the water. So, during the run, I ran out of gas at mile 7-ish. Since I jumped in the water at 9:01 am, I plotted a target time of 16 hrs, which I calculated at 1:00 am. I was fast walking / shuffling to keep 15 min/miles. In order to hit the time. On the second loop, at the final turn around at mile 20, I noticed there was nobody else coming up. There were very few people behind me. I asked at several runners what they thought the cut off was, but they were clueless, and tired. I asked the volunteers at the aid stations and they didn’t know. At mile 23, the aid stations said, the cut off had been set at 12:45pm. Total race cutoff. What!!!! I wasn’t going to make 3.2 miles in 45 minutes. I had to pick it up if I wanted to get a medal for this crazy race. The last aid station confirmed the 12:45 cutoff. I was so close, but would have to hit 13 min/mile pace to make it. At mile 24.5, Coach Scott was on the side of the road cheering me. He told me I had time, I could make. I pushed it hard. I was mad that they changed the cut off time and didn’t tell the runners. Geez. I ran and walked and ran and walked. I didn’t know if could make in time. All the crowds on the corners were gone by now. I was trying to make all the right turns at the end. I saw the final turn and knew I had made it with at least 1 minute to spare. The mileage was off. My Garmin had 26.0 at the end. Whew. I made it. I could see the big video board and the announcer. I stripped off my rain coat for the pictures, and soaked in the excitement of finishing.

Finish: 15:10:37

At the finisher’s chute, I saw Lynda, Danny, Steve, Laurie, and Bob. Alvin was already on his own adventure. I’ll let him tell his story. I picked up my Morning Clothes bag and changed into a dry shirt. I apologized to Coach Scott for yelling at him about the cut off time. It was definitely not his fault. We waddled back about a mile to the hotel. I got to hear all the crazy stories for Bob, Danny, Lynda, Steve and GT. I would hear Alvin’s story the next day.

Post- Race

Monday morning, Lynda went to the Awards Breakfast and picked up her AG 1st Place trophy and punched her ticket to Kona 2019. I went to find my bike (see below) and then shop at the Village for finisher merch. It was raining pretty hard and soaked us again. We went back to the hotel and packed all the wet gear for the ride home. We stuffed the gear bags and dropped them off to TriBike Transport and kissed our bikes g’bye. See ya in ~9 days in Burbank. We squeezed in a quick lunch at a great local restaurant Doc Crows. We had two flights of Bourbon and whiskey, which is the biggest thing in Louisville. Yikes! That stuff is strong. We hustled back to the hotel and then dashed off to the airport, and eventually home. There was more whiskey and lots of eating during the airport waiting and delayed flights.

Funny / Not Funny stories

A guy in a van down by the river

On Friday afternoon, I was walking back to the hotel from Ironman Village and saw a white van with a WETSUIT REPAIR in his windshield. My wetsuit had sprung two leaks, one under each arm. I figured it’d be great to get patched up before the big day. The guy Keith was pretty nice; he said it’d be $50 to patch up both places. I said I could wait, but he said he had a bunch to do and wouldn’t be available until 5:30pm. I could pick it up tonight or tomorrow morning. I got his number. I said ok, and left my wetsuit with him. Well, everyone was getting together and going to dinner at 5:15pm and so we left for an amazing dinner. I went to sleep happy. Saturday morning, the day before the race, we eat breakfast, and I get down to the Guy, In a Van, Down by the River, and the van is there, but no guy. I call and text. No answer. I wait around in the freezing cold. I figure he’s getting some coffee, he’ll be right back. I wait a half hour and nothing. I leave more urgent messages and texts. I go completely crazy waiting. I don’t know what to do, so I walk back to the hotel and quietly melt down. I wait about a half hour more and walk back to the river and look for him. He’s there and it’s a fine. But, I was completely freaked that he took my suit and the race was all over for me. I was about to go to Ironman Village and see if ROKA had any wetsuits on sale in my size. Whew.

Where’s my bike?

During the race, after the bike portion, you can designate friends to pick up your bike. You hand them a special ticket with your race bib # and it authorized them to pick up your bike from transition area. Scott volunteered to pull my bike and drop it off at transition. After the finish line, Scott says, ‘hey, can i talk to you about your bike?’ He says that when he went to pick it up, it wasn’t there. It was probably re-racked in the wrong place, but they couldn’t find it at that time, and to come back later or tomorrow morning. Or maybe, the numbers fell off in the rain and they didn’t know where to put it. I was like, ‘huh, you gotta be kidding? this is going to be a very expensive race.’ So, after the race, I was slightly freaked out. Nothing I could do about, so go to bed and look in the morning. I went down to transition right after waking up in the morning. It was there with a few other bikes. So, so happy to see my bike. I walked it across the lane to TriBike Transport and kissed it good bye. They took the pedals off and I took off the water bottles and Garmin. Whew.

[Update 11/24/18. bought the real pics on Black Friday sale.]