Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rhode Warrior Half Ironman

Westerly, RI
Sunday, August 24, 2014

After much preparation, but never enough, the day was here that FiveK and I
looked forward to - a half iron in our own town.
Final finishing time:  5:17:50.  13th overall, 1st in age group.  Full results here.

You have to be an early-bird to be a triathlete (right, Crutch?)
Setting up my bike and transition area at 5:15am in the dark.

The swim:  35:49.  1.2 miles.  (I had 1.4 on my Garmin - does this mean the course was long, or I didn't swim in a straight line?  Probably the latter.)  Really wish they had rankings on these results.  While my swim time is certainly in the back half of the pack, I was happy overall with the swim.  I got into a routine and was pretty comfortable.  The houses all looked the same from out in the ocean swimming, but when I identified Westerly Old Town Beach pavilion, I was oh so happy as I knew I was getting close to the finish.

Thanks Jana for your support.  (Photo courtesy Shara)
Think we can get this sucker to do it next year?
... and we're off!  What a nice calm ocean for swimming today.

Sighting the beach on my final strokes in.

Yes!  I made it. (photos by Jana)
The bike:  3:02:55.  56 miles.  Best guess would be top third of overall men.
Passed many riders in the first few miles especially, and got passed only by 4, at least for the first half of course.  Even out of those 4, 3 of them had an "R" on their leg meaning they didn't do the swim and were on fresh legs for their relay portion.  One of them had thighs as wide as my waist, so probably a lot of power going into each pedal.  The last 15 miles or so the legs were starting to hurt, as the hills were just relentless.

Heading out of transition to start the bike
(Photo courtesy Mike B)
Passing thru No Sto
(Photo Mike Crutchley)

The run:  1:33:41.  I think just three runners faster than me during the run portion, including Tommy 5K.
Jeff Duda was at T2 warning me to take the first few miles easy.  Do I listen?  Well, I did for about 2 miles and then found myself running a 6:35 pace for one of the miles.  This is in the direct sun after the day's long workout already.  Backed the pace off to high 6s and then about 7:10 to finish out the two-loop course.  At one point, I passed Nicole who asked if I could use a rope to pull her along!  Finishing the run and race I was so weak I thought I would fall over.  Drank 3 bottles of water and about 8 cups of water (couldn't have been dehydrated, could I have?) and some oranges that tasted heavenly as they revived me.  Great day out there and very happy with my Half Iron PR by 8 minutes!  Congrats to Tommy and to Nicole for finishing their first ever Half Iron.
So where's the guy Kathy called up for 1st place
in my age group?  Turns out he's still out on the
run course and ended up finishing 2+ hours after me.
Oops!  She said she'll fix the error and adjust my
prize to be the higher 1st place amount.
Yes, we  both made it and both won our age groups
at that.  Just don't lean on me or I'll probably fall over!

Patiently awaiting awards and secretly wondering
how we'll ever stand up again

Hung up until next year,
as I move the focus next to Surftown
and Hartford Marathon


  1. Well done! CONGRATULATIONS!!! There were some bikers waiting in transition with some HUGE thighs, holy cow. One had on a red superman shirt. I thought the R on my right calf was so I could remember which was my right leg!

  2. Well done Jeff! I agree with Muddy: that sounds brutal. Awesome way to end your Tri season!

  3. Fantastic race, Jeff. Pretty impressive to PR on a course with such a tough bike leg. Maybe next time you'll get to take your rightful place atop the podium. (And then you'll be the same height as that giant third-place guy.)

  4. Fantastic race Jeff! It was a brutal course, relentless hills and hot run. I am still trying to wrap my head around my run as it was the worst part of my day, but I did finish and I am so happy for that. Thanks for all your advice and support along the way.

    I am on the fence about Surftown. Think it might be a game day decision. I have the Newport Half in October which was originally my goal race before decided to do Rhode Warrior. Should be interesting to see how I do post RW legs.