Ironman 70.3 Augusta

On 09/29/13, I completed my first Ironman event. The triathlon was held in Augusta, GA. This was the first time I had been back to Augusta, since my Army training in 1995.

We arrived on Friday and went to the Expo and athlete briefing. I purchased a few last minute IMG_1641items for my bike. I was paranoid of not being able to complete the race because of some bike issue. I actually had three spare tires with me. Overkill, I know.

On Saturday, I woke up early and completed a short bike ride and run. The local YMCA let Ironman athletes use their facilities for free, so Aaron and I went for a quick swim at the Y. I walked around swim start and the transition area to get a feel for the race. The swim looked so much longer than I was expecting. I had swam 1.5 miles before. Just never straight out. To the left is me checking out the swim course.DSCN0013

A Sunday morning, we arrived at the transition area around 5:45. I didn’t start to the swim until 8:48, but I had to be out of transition by 7:15. After I setup my gear, there was a long wait. We were enjoying watching the swimmers though. Boy, there were some non-swimmers out there. There were people running into buoys and boats. The water temperature was 69. When I started the race the air temperature was about 60. I started the swim right on time. There was a stiff current. The race officials decided to not let us start from in the water. We DSCN0024jumped in from a dock. I expected the water to feel cooler than it did. I really enjoyed the swim. I found my rhythm and plucked along. I swam close to shore so I could see Susan and Aaron. I found them in the crowd and waved to them as I passed. It took me 30:13 to complete the swim. In the picture on the left, I am the one center, closest to the pier. I am creating a splash from kicking at that moment.

After the swim, I headed out on my 56 mile bike ride. The majority of the ride was through rural South Carolina. About mile 30 my thighs started to DSCN0034ache. I knew the run was going to be painful by this point. I finished the bike in 2:52. I was hoping to have an average pace of 20mph or better. I averaged 19.4. So I was pretty close.

Towards the end of the bike ride, I had to pee. I waited until I got to transition, because I didn’t want to stop my momentum. It was a good sign that I had to use the bathroom. I knew I wouldn’t cramp from dehydration during the run.

My goal on the run was run nine minute miles. I maintained my goal pace until mile eight. By this DSCN0043point my thighs hurt so bad I couldn’t maintain my pace. I fell back to a ten something pace. I ended the half marathon run (13.1 miles) at 2:07. My average pace was 9:43. I saw Susan and Aaron about three times on the course. That really lifted my spirits.

I finished the Ironman 70.3 in 5:39. My goal was 5:30. I was close. Guess I have something to work toward in the future.

Click on any of the photographs to view the entire album. Aaron used my GoPro and made a short video of the race. Watch it below.

4 thoughts on “Ironman 70.3 Augusta

  1. Erica House (@Erica_D_House)

    Awesome finish time! I couldn’t run a half-marathon at that time now if my life depended on it, let alone after that swim and bike. Starting to look at some tri’s for next year and hope to sign up for the next training at RW.

    1. Michael Watkins Post author

      You will like the my first tri program. I took it the beginning of this year. Pat Kozma is a great coach. The training is a lot more personal than the marathon program. When I took it there were about seven students. If you have any questions about the program, let me know.

  2. Frank Stapp

    Hey Hey Hey, really enjoyed seeing this, took me back to the day when I used to participate in similar runs by watching them on television from my couch. Some people in my age bracket often say if they knew they would live as long as they have they would have taken better care of theirselves when younger, good going Mike.

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