Silverman Half Iron Distance Triathlon

Sunday November 10, 2009
Henderson, NV

Not just another race!

SilverMan Half, 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run

Well it all started out normally, setting up bike and transition bags the day before. I have done this event 2x before… that is the full distance. It’s a challenging race and your really get a good dollar cost to time racing ratio.

Start the day by arriving at swim start with plenty of time to hang out and do a lot of nothing. Just spending time chatting with fellow racers and others who came up from San Diego to do the race. The  full distance begins a half hour before our race. So, 15 minutes before gun time, it’s time for a swim warm up and get comfortable in the water. Nice and crisp/fresh. Gun goes off on schedule for a calm Lake Mead swim. A simple trainular-ish course. Not too much traffic and no fighting for space. Solid swim, right around my typical time, 31:44. 4th fastest in age group and 17 ov.

Head up to transitions to grab my bike gear, helmet and shoes. Well, was I in for a surprise!  It’s my run bag, running shoes, hat, Garmin 310xtwatch and my packets of Gu. Dam, Dam, Son of A DdaM!?#. I run thru the transition tent to see if run gear bags (t2) were still on the boat ramp. GONE! I am screwed, I shout out for help, saying I need pedals, and helmet, I messed up with my transition bags. I talk to Frank, Tee event director. Fortunately, Las Vegas Cycles was still there. The mechanic had some pedals, I chose the platform style. He ended up loaning me his helmet. I use Side Mount Pedals, so I could not just grab a pair of shoes with SPDs, It had to be the whole pedal. No bike shoes, I had to bike with my running shoes. Well my T1 was just about the longest out all the 389 participants, 14:43. It should have been less than 2 minutes.

That means half a pedal stroke, no pulling and lifting up. I had to rely on my quads;  pushing down to generate power. I was lucky in one respect. This is a hilly course so quads are needed compared to an IM Florida course. And yes, my saddle was set for using my pedals, not for platform pedals and running shoes. I did not have time to adjust my saddle height, so I had to be conscious of sitting back on the saddle to have an optimal reach/knee angle to the pedals. Sitting aero (forward) made for a compressed knee angle. Do what you have to do and what you can do. That is what I did.

Racing from the back of the pack is kind of fun, you get to pass a lot of people. This time no one passed me! During the beginning of the bike I thought my quads would be trashed for the run. It is a rough one also, something like 2500 ft climbing. Well, my legs felt good! Since I was familiar with the course and knew how to break it down into segments gave me an advantage, My Garmin was set to display pace and I kept an eye on it. I was andicipaitng running 8:20 paces for the most part. But to my surprise and joy I was running on average 7:10 to 7:50 for most of the course. Of course there were a couple fo grades where pace was considerably slower. Final run split 1:37. 3rd fastest of age group and 6th overall.

The day before I noted on my Webbly page my goal for this event was 5:30 but would be happy with 5:35 and really would be stoked with a time of 5:20. My final time was… 5:30:16. That was good enough for 4th in AG and 32 OV. If I had my perfect race, no T1 issues and had my own bike shoes, I believe I would have finished in a time of 5:13… still would have been 4th in AG.

It was a great experience and now have a great story and learned lesson. Check your race/transition bags in the morning.

picture to come soon.

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