Monday, June 16, 2008

Kansas Ironman 70.3 ... or 68.2??

On Sunday, I raced in my first Half Ironman-distance race in Lawrence, KS. We were up about 4:45 to head to the site. I had to check my bike in on Saturday, so here I am checking tires and getting my transition area organized.
Here is a look at what the transition area looked like with all of the athletes. There were between 1000 and 1500 athletes there, plus family and friends. The race itself had a great atmosphere. (Unfortunately, the town and the park were generally not very welcoming.)
It's a good day for a swim! Man, those bouys were far out there.
Here is what several million dollars in racing bikes look like.
This is the elite's bike rack. Probably over $100,000 on this rack alone.
My wave start. It was hard to get close to the starting line with so many people around.
I was very happy with my swim and feeling fantastic coming out of the water. Look at those rippling muscles!
I'm in the pink, just out of transition. My bike leg was really strong - all the hill work paid off. I was very proud that I passed at least 2 bikes with the solid back wheels. If you don't bike, that doesn't mean much, but those wheels are more expensive than my entire bike.
The beginning of the end. I was having intestinal distress and the run was rough. This is obviously the area I need to work on the most, which is funny since I've been doing that the longest! I was in pain later. This is the "good" picture of me running. :)
And then the death clouds rolled in, wind picked up and the temp dropped about 20 degrees. They called the course and I was pulled at about 11 miles. I can't even begin to tell you how upset I was when I was directed in the finish area, 2.1 miles from actually finishing. 6 months of training, 68 miles of racing, almost 6 hours of pushing myself! All to be cut short by 20 minutes. I was on the verge of tears but realized it was out of my control and I would have finished if I had been allowed to. This is my first DNF, even though Ironman Kansas has my splits. Any triathlete will tell you the same. While 68.2 miles is close, it is not 70.3. What a difference 2.1 miles can make.
I have to race again, but the next one will not be in Kansas. I'm thinking Washington State or Idaho. Weather aside, there were many issues with the safety of the bike course, the cops letting every hillbilly with their boat and camper into park (on a live course!) and the terrible run course. I promised John no more 'vacations' in Kansas.

I have to thank John, too, for being a fantastic spectator and supporter. I couldn't have done it without his support.


Krista McGruder said...

I googled for comments on Kansas...I am a 30-34 age group female; I was pulled after the 11 mile mark as well! I WAS crying...I had a slow bike but a GREAT run (for me) and a very good swim (for me!)

As far as the course: there was actually a camper redneck on the bike course who HONKED loudly, repeatedly and yelled "Get out of the way" at myself and several other bikers...I was in shock that the state troopers at the turnaround would even let such a fast, reckless driver on the road. The run was a dismal course BUT I will have to go again because it was my first 1/2 Ironman and because next year, I'm going to finish, no matter what...I would rather be given a DQ than get pulled aside for NO reason (it rained lightly...are you kidding me!)

Your pics are good. I wish I had some myself. I hate to complain about the race...but can't complain a bit about the volunteers...they were awesome.

Patricio said...

Hey Sam, it was great meeting you and John!

Great pics and post. I feel your pain but like you said it's out of your (our) control.. nothing we can do at this point.

Awesome swim and bike times! The run messed our times up... idiots!!

Hang in there, it's over and it's time to think about the next one! :)

Great pics of the house too.. congrats you guys!