It rained all day Saturday but cleared overnight and was just overcast for most of the race Sunday – and no wind to speak of. Great race conditions.
I figured out I was the oldest person in the race. There were 8 registered in my age group but only 7 showed up and the 74 and 82 year old registrants were non-starters. Does that make you feel old or what – especially when you get passed and people congratulate you for surviving that long after seeing your age on your leg.
The start was neat with the military out on a barge and shooting off a big cannon for the start of every wave. Because they sent the old farts off early I was in the first wave after the pros. In the end that meant getting passed by about 1700 of the 2500 or so in the race as I placed 1763. That meant lots of congratulations just for being alive and doing this – several in French. I was a bit melancholy at the beach before the start as I wondered if this would be my last Ironman race after 5 full ones and a dozen halfs, I’ve started to think about a new career in Sprints and Olympic distances. The longer ones are tough races and getting tougher with less motivation and less to prove.
I did fine in the Swim at just under 40 minutes – not my best but not bad. I was 3rd in my age group and felt quite good especially when being looked after by the “strippers”. Lots of great fans being very noisy along the long run to Transition. I noticed that the transition area was still very full of bikes. I probably saw half of them go by me on the bike course as all the young stallions whooshed by on their solid wheels.
But I also did very well on the Bike course for me and finished in 3:15 with an average of near 28K/hr including doing a decent job on all the hills including the steep ones near the end. That included 2 stops of a few minutes each at aid stations to be sure I ate and recovered a bit. And I was still 3rd in my age group but when I got to Transition it was half full of the bikes that had passed me – young studs, was I ever one of them? Maybe college but that report was burned long ago.
I started OK on the run and was doing my 10 & 1’s nicely including the early hills. I stopped for what turned out to be a long pee at 14 K which just proved I was well hydrated. Then my old friends, Mr and Mrs Vomit threatened to show up about 15K. But I fought them off by slowing and walking a fair bit, and drinking coke at the aid stations to try to settle them down – so they never made the party. I was 2:49 in the run, which is about 30 minutes slower than I would be without the “party”. That dropped me to 5th in my age group of the 8 registrants, 7 who started and 6 who finished. I might have been on the podium as they were going 5 deep but Joanne was feeling worse than I was with some bug she picked up overnight so we headed back to the condo and she slept most of the rest of the day and evening. No special dinner out and no greasy burger and fries.
During the last part of the run two songs kept running through my head which were very relevant to me at the time for the situation. The Eagles – Take it to the Limit, One More Time and Kenny Rogers – Know When to Hold ‘Em and Know When to Fold ‘Em. It’ll be a tough decision for next year’s race plans.
While I would rate my race as a success, the best news I got after was that my son-in-law Jason had won his age group and placed 9th overall in the Niagara Half marathon. With all he’s gone through in the past few months he’s one tough hombre. I’m not near as tough as I forgot to lather up with butt cream before the race and now I’m using diaper cream to recover after the “fact”.
Sorry if the report is a bit long but I enjoyed writing it as much as doing the race.