Sunday, June 01, 2014

2014 Raleigh Ironman 70.3 Race Report


I got to incorporate a trip to my daughter's, Lydia's,  place in Charlotte with this trip to Raleigh, NC. She is having a house built in the suburbs of Charlotte, actually in South Carolina. So, we got to go on a tour of her house with the builder. This is her first house purchase, so she is super excited. The house is coming along very well. Her closing may be impacted by a nesting bird, however. The housing for her electric meter has been established as a nesting spot for a bird and the nest has eggs. Apparently, the builder cannot disturb the nest until after it is abandoned by law. It was a joy to see Lydia so excited about this major milestone in life.

We also took the train from her house to uptown Charlotte and ate some barbecue at a location which had earned several "Bob Awards". I lived in Charlotte in the early '90's. It has changed! I loved the vibe of the city and it was just spectacular to get to spend some time with my daughter. This was Thursday and Friday.

Lydia and I getting ready to order dinner.

Queen City Q & Note its Bob Awards :)

On Saturday, I got up and headed to Raleigh from Charlotte. The drive was uneventful, I was able to immediately check in to my room upon arrival. After doing so, I headed over to registration, it was just after lunchtime; I had not eaten. This is the panoramic view of the line:

Panoramic View of the long and circular line for registration
I anticipated a long wait, but it actually moved along pretty well. I was registered by around 1:30. With a goal to swim for 15 minutes, bike for 30 minutes, and to run for 15 minutes. The day was drawing short already. But, I was starving, so I had a salad in the bar. The bike portion of this race is a point-to-point. So, you have to drive out to the origin to put your bike in transition. So, I loaded up the bike and took swim gear. But, upon arriving, I notice that swimming from the planned race start is not permitted. Further, the road is narrow, full of traffic, and I had already witnessed one car rudely pass a cyclist. I did not feel that I could safely ride here. So, I bagged both the swim and bike workouts for the day. I did run later and that helped to calm my nerves. I did text and see Aaron Whitley, a fellow E3Tri athlete. We planned to meet for dinner that night.

On the way back from dropping the bike off in transition, I stopped at a Kroger store and bought an apple, 2 individual servings of almond butter, a clif bar, and some granola mix that included quinoa, oatmeal, chia seeds, and such as ingredients. Breakfast and pre-race snacks ready to go. I had failed to prepare my own energy bites which I usually take on long events these days. So, I purchased Stinger Waffles and Espresso Love Gu's to enable me to alternate between these two items every 30 minutes during the ride and run. Nutrition ready √.

I met Aaron and 3 of his friends (Adam, David, and Sarah) for dinner hosted by the hotel restaurant after my 15 minute run around downtown Raleigh. Typical pre-race fare, salad, pasta and some chicken. We ate and talked triathlon. I jokingly told Aaron if I saw him on the course, I would run him down and pass him. Ha! He out performed me by an hour. I knew he would, but more on that later. We agreed to meet in the lobby in the morning and off to our rooms. I slept good.

The Race

I had put my running stuff in T2 the day before, but I confirmed that it was still there and noticed that many people had removed the stuff from the bag and set up transition in typical fashion (stuff set out and arranged to ease donning in a hurry). I did the same. I ate my apple and almond butter, bought a mocha at Starbucks, and met the crew for the bus ride to T1. Upon arrival, I checked on the bike, borrowed a pump to pump the tires, and set up the stuff there for rapid donning after exiting the water. Then, it was time to wait. I bumped into Stephanie Farrington who is really responsible for my choosing to do this race. So, this race was a big deal for her! But, unfortunately she had apparently eaten something the day before that was not setting well with her. She was going to start the race anyway, but her confidence was shaken. I found Aaron and crew and we chin-wagged until it was time for the waves to start.

I was in the first non-pro wave. This means I will be swam over a lot! And, yes that is exactly what happened. This is the first race where I took a pretty good slug to the face right on the right eye. Thank goodness for goggles. It smarted a little, but not bad. The arghy-barghy in the water seemed to be more frequent and intense that I normally have to tolerate. But, the only time I really got annoyed, I bobbed my head up and actually got an apology from the offender. I thought that was super nice. He was not intentionally running into me. I am just there and here he comes. If I had tried, I could have counted the waves that ran over me. I could basically feel it. First the swell of the super fast folks in the wave, then the pace of the marauders would gradually decrease. I would get a few minutes of peace with no one running over me, and here would come the next wave; pattern repeats.

I felt like I was swimming smooth and well for me; I am slow. I am happy with the swim results.

I made a stupid mistake in T1. I ran right passed my bike, by a long shot, and had to turn around. Beyond that, transition was uneventful and smooth. The plan on the bike was 20 miles smooth, 30 miles pushing hard, and 6 miles smooth and easy to prepare for run. I think I did that. The course was a bit challenging and at times we had a pretty good headwind. I saw one guy crash. Emergency services were there immediately; they got to him before I rode to where he was and I was pretty close to him. It looked like his rear derailer knurled up and went into his spokes. Physically, I think he was okay. That would suck! There was a more serious incident during the race though. A cyclist was seriously injured as detailed in this news report. Fortunately for me, I and my equipment faired well.

T2 was smooth and I headed out on the run. The goal for the run was to start out easy and pick it up every 3 miles based on RPE. I tried to do that, but I don't think I did very well. But, except for a couple of water stops where I walked to ease chewing up some nutrition, I never walked. I was passed by Aaron and I yelled from behind him, that I was coming to get him. I saw several Vulcan Triathletes including Scott Grumley, Russ Bailey, and Stephanie. She did push through and finish the race. Scott and Russ looked good too. I would call my results steady and par for the course. I would like to have felt like I really picked up the pace every 3 miles in the run, but that was not quite in the flow on this day. I saw Aaron in the area just past the finishing chute. I said I would see him later. Off to the room to get a quick shower before my late checkout time of 3:00 pm ends. The next time I saw Aaron, he was passing me, AGAIN, on interstate out of town. A good day down and a long 9 hour ride home.

June 1, 2014: Raleigh Ironman 70.3
Time: 6:40:13

SwimDistance: 1.2 Miles
Time: 45:29
TransitionTime: 4:02
CycleDistance: 56 Miles
Time: 3:09:58
Rate: 17.7
TransitionTime: 5:10
RunDistance: 13.1 Miles
Time: 2:35:34
Pace: 11:52
WeatherGenerally Clear
Temperature: 57-76°
Humidity: 83-37%


Al D. said...

Excellent report Bob and excellent job in the race. Sorry I hadn't read this before I saw you this morning or I could've given you an Atta-boy pat on the back. I owe you one. Great result!

Bob Evans said...

Thanks Al. Despite the recorded date on the post, I didn't publish this until after running this morning. You are off the hook.

It was good to see you this am. You are looking quite fit and healthy. And, I got a good long, talkative run with Ken. He is awesome.