What a day! Actually, more like an amazing trip all around! Lake Placid was one of my best Ironman experiences and can’t wait to go back! Everything from the town to the volunteers, the scenery and the race itself. We just got told this morning at the awards that there was a 91% finishing rate and there were no crashes on the bike course. This is amazing considering how rainy and windy it was!
This was a really neat experience for me. I went an extra day earlier than usual, which gave me some extra time to get things done and not be rushed. I had a really fun interview with Wattie Ink as well as a photo shoot, was up on the Pro Panel with some select athletes that had raised money for charities. Had a little bit of a hiccup with accommodation, but it was quickly worked out thanks to some awesome people I met down there!
The Venue is absolutely fantastic. I arrived on Wed afternoon and the swim course was already set up! There is a permanent rope under the water, so you really don’t even need to sight at all! I didn’t get a chance to see any of the bike course except the one small part I drove in on, but I did get to run part of the run course on Friday when I did the photo shoot. I was really excited about the course. Beautiful and challenging pretty much sums it up!
How the day unfolded: Race day forecast was rain, and it was super overcast when we started the swim in the morning. This is the first race I have ever done where there were no super swimmers in the field! I actually had a chance of being in the lead pack! When the gun went off, I quickly found the right feet and found myself third in line behind Heather. This was fantastic! That is until we had to run out of the water and dive back in for our second loop….. apparently I need to work on my diving skills. Knocked my goggles off and inhaled half a lung of water as I tried to dive back in as quickly as possible so I didn’t lose those feet. Well, I lost the feet. Once I could breathe again, I scrambled into the mess of age group athletes just starting their first loop. The second loop was messy as we were allowed to swim on the inside, but still had to get back into the mob to make the corners. Either way it was a solid swim, coming out of the water only 2min down from Heather.
Jodie and I headed out on the bike together in third and fourth, and as much as I wanted to try to pull away, I decided to be patient and stick to the plan. It got very wet and windy out on the bike, so I was just trying to stay focused on what I needed to do. Ironman had a live feed going on for the race, so as soon as I was in the top three I had a media bike with me for the rest of the day. My patience paid off as I opened the gap on Jodie and Sarah (the two girls I was most scared of running me down) and started to close on Heather.
I came off the bike 2min down from Heather, and had a solid lead on the girls behind me.
I felt fantastic going out onto the run and had to keep slowing my pace down to stay smart. Running 4min km’s would not last long! I felt great until 14km when that dreaded side cramp came back to haunt me. I walked for a minute, trying to breathe it out, and made it to the next aid station. I walked, drank a couple cups of water and brought my heart rate down this helped, so I did this through the next couple aid stations I got rid of the cramp, and ran on. The hills started to turn into mountains on the second loop and I was stressing about where Sarah and Jodie were behind me. I had at least a 20min lead on the first lap, and by mile 20, I saw my lead was only 12min or so. I had also fallen back from Heather the same amount. I knew I had no chance at first, but if I could push as hard as I could, I’d keep second. Second place would more than likely secure a Kona spot for me, and I wasn’t going to give that up! I came across the line in 9:33, and while I didn’t have the run I wanted, it was a solid second place! Now I just have to wait a week to see if I 100% get that Kona spot! If so, it’s a bit of down time before the real work begins!
Thanks to all my family, friends, coach and sponsors!
JonnyOCoaching, F2C Nutrition, Skechers Performance Canada, Felt Bicycles, Swagman Racks, Wattie Ink, EnergyLab Wheels, Velofix, Podium Imports, Pioneer, BlueSeventy, The Bike Barn, Nuvista Chiropractic and Wellness, Zizu Optics