Monday, August 1, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Boise

I admit I am not very good at this blog thing... Not that anybody is reading this anyway. Still, I should be a little more consistant.

June 11, 2011 was my first half Ironman distance race. Decided to do Ironman 70.3 Boise because it was relatively close (15 or so hours), in the state of my birth, similar terrain and race style to Calgary and an Ironman sponsored race (assuming these have a high standard of organization, etc.).

Kids were still in school so I had to make the trip alone. Drove to Pocatello the first night in driving rain most of the way. Spent the night and came into Boise the following day around expo opening time.

Stayed in a great hotel within walking distance from the finish line. Expo was smaller than I anticipated but still well organized. A fair bit of Ironcrack to partake of and I partook... Met up with a close high school friend that lives in Boise and spent some time with him and his wonderful family. It helped fill the void of my own not being there...

Boise is a great town and full of wonderful support for the race. It is a bit different in that it is an afternoon race and is on Saturday - both ended up being GREAT from my viewpoint.

The race was VERY well organized and we couldn't have had better weather. Known for punishing winds, it was relatively wind free race day. A sunny sky about 80 degrees was perfect for the starting gun given the water was bone chilling cold (10c or 50 degrees). The wave starts were very well orchestrated. I was in the 7th wave. Those buoys looked soooo far away. They were pulling people out right and left and I must say, it was hard to get used to the cold water, even being from Canada where the water is never warm. After a few minutes though, I just started swimming... No bilateral breathing, just one side. And I didn't stop. My garmin kept making noise and I had no idea what it was doing... I thought if I stopped I wouldn't get started again so I just kept going. It was the pivotal moment of what ended up being a great day. As I exited the water, I looked at my Garmin and it said 46 minutes... I thought it was frozen. I expected to be about 60 min and I dismissed it... It ended up being correct!

Transition was pretty simple. I had intentionally kept my tri top at transition to avoid riding the bike in a wet top. Changed and was off. An immediate screaming decent down off Lucky Peak Dam followed by a long up hill out into the country side. Again, the wind was not a factor as it had been in previous years. And it started to get overcast cooling things off a bit. The route was well policed and lots of spectators and volunteers. The out and back (and then some) was a a nice and relatively flat course. Several smaller hills and some false flats. You end up going downhill right into downtown into T2. Ended at 3:03 on the bike - I was expecting about 3 hours.

The run was great. Circled around the greenbelt in downtown. Plenty of trees. Some water flowing in the river. Right past the blue Boise State football field, twice. Aid stations every mile! Very well stocked - bananas, coke, pretzels, chips, powerbars, gels, etc. Lots of volunteers. A very well run race. Ended up at 2:15 for the run - my fastest official 1/2 marathon time ever! After the swim and bike to boot. Ran the whole way except walked the aid stations...

Overall a 5 out of 5 race for me. Loved it. Recommend Boise to anybody! Dedicated this race to my son Garrett!

Here is the overall information....

Swim 46:18; Bike 3:03:45; Run 2:15:45. I was 781 out of 1221 and 67th in my category.

Although the above is Pro Race footage, I am actually in the red capped group getting ready to enter the water.  I am in this video!


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