Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Prev Next
B2B Race Report
Quote | Reply
Hi guys. Thought someone might enjoy reading a hastily-compiled race report from B2B (full distance):

I’m sitting on the plane, coming home from North Carolina, but I wanted to get an early start on documenting this most interesting weekend I’ve spent in North Carolina at the Beach2Battleship Iron-distance triathlon which took place on Saturday in Wilmington. After arriving in North Carolina on Tuesday night, I took it easy for the next few days, doing light preparatory workouts to stay sharp and acclimating to the weather in North Carolina. On Friday we piled in the car and headed down to Wilmington, a medium-sized town on the southeast coast of North Carolina serving as host for the race. After traveling for what seemed like an inordinately long time through fairly desolate eastern North Carolina roads we arrived, starving and tired. Probably not the best way to start off a race... After checking in and having a cursory look at the transition areas we cast out in search of a decent restaurant, but were forced to settle on O’Charleys, I was feeling a few nerves that night- even though there was no reason to be nervous, you know that these days are hard and are going to hurt at least a little. I slept until about 2 AM, after which I basically laid there in the dark until 4:30. Around four, I decided I should have breakfast. Not wanting to wake my girlfriend, I cracked open a blueberry bagel and ate it in the dark, slurping it down with a gatorade. This freaked her out a bit, as she was also awake and not entirely sure what I was doing in the dark. As luck would have it, everyone in my group slept poorly, and we convened extraordinarily early to venture out.

The opening swim was held in Banks Channel, starting at the tip of Wrightsville Beach and winding north 2.4 miles to the Seapath Marina, where we would exit to the first transition area and grab our bikes. The swim was saltwater, and was with the current, which should provide a nice boost on swim times. I was counting on this boost; I have swam 1.2 miles exactly one time this year, in a half-Ironman I wound up not finishing. Shoulder injuries and a lack of decent pools in South Chicago had done the rest in crimping my training. While I was counting on the current, I was not counting on the cold. The forecast predicted comfortable highs in the mid 70s later in the day, but a temperature a titch above 40 degrees greeted me as I stood shivering on the beach. Yow! Beach2Battleship was unique in several ways, including the utilization of two transition zones (the aforementioned swim-to-bike area at the Seapath Marina and a second bike-to-run transition at the USS North Caroina Battleship Memorial) and the point-to-point starting swim. The latter provided a rather desolate start, one largely free of spectators to cheer the 500 or so competitors who charged into the intracoastal waterway at 7:10 AM. It felt as though we were standing at the end of the world on the tip of that island.

Once in the water I jockeyed for position but found no feet to follow. There was a good bit of contact early on, and I was kicked in the face several times, once strongly enough to unseat my goggles. I headed for the middle of the channel, as the current seemed to be strongest there. The swim (my first in saltwater) was well-marked, well-patrolled and beautiful as the sun rose over the waterway. I was cold, even wearing my new Nineteen wetsuit, and my feet lost all feelings as I puttered along. The current proved a powerful ally indeed: I found myself at the Seapath Marina, climbing out of the water after 65 minutes, a full 11 minutes faster than my last effort. Following a three-second freshwater shower and a wetsuit stripping, a lengthy 300-yard jog found me in transition one in 1:06:45, where I crammed my frozen feet into bike shoes and charged off onto the bike to the sounds of friends and family cheering me on. Apparently I was amped up, as I recorded the fifth fastest T1 time in the entire field. Now it was time to find the right bike cadence for the course. The weather was still cold, and I was wearing triathlon shorts, a sleveless jersey and little else. My legs were good as I drove out of town, passing riders left and right.

The 112-mile bike course headed north-by-northwest toward White Lake before completing a long lazy loop that concludes at the USS North Carolina. The course consisted of excellent roads, mostly very smooth (save for a few miles here and there) and free of much traffic. There wasn’t much to see, other than the occasional cow, barn, and roadkill. So far, so good. Within 40 miles I had passed about 150 people and had settled into a rhythm. My longest training ride was 56 miles, also done in the failed half-ironman. The course was flat, so pacing was a key issue- going too hard or too easy would mean time later on. I wasn’t racing with a computer, so I was exerting myself mostly by feel. It’s risky to push- sometimes you go out too hard and wind up paying for it by being re-passed by everyone the last three hours of your ride- but I was making good progress and doing everything I could to keep my energy levels high. I was certainly taking in a lot of fluids- drinking Gatorade and Heed (ugh), and had about ten or twelve energy gels out there. As I began to head in, it looked as though I was on pace for about a 6 hour bike split. Rather abruptly, another competitor rides up and asks me how it feels to be almost done. The mile splits given by race organizers were WAY off, and ten miles closer than I thought, less than a mile from transition 2. My six hour bike split turned into a 5:41 like that, and I was on a furious pace to break my previous personal best of 12:26 set last year. Coming into transition, I was moving nicely, handing off my bike and helmet to a volunteer and getting my shoes on and ready to go. I am pleased to announce that, of all the competitors in the race, I had the FASTEST transition time (I think) at a scant 66 seconds.

I ticked off several miles in quick succession, aided by friends and family who were stalking me to cheer me on. The course was two laps, and let me be the first to say that the event organizers were a little off when they said it was flat. There were three monster bridges, and a handful of significant inclines of a quarter-mile in length. To wit, the winner of the race did a 4:35 on the bike, then a proportionately much slower 3:21 run. Most of my training has been run-based though, and I had good legs today. There were 13 or 14 aid stations on the course, and I was slogging down coke, broth, and dumping water over my head on what had become a very nice (and somewhat warm) day.

The Ironman race is too long to go by without some sort of crisis hitting. My first problems hit around mile 5, when I felt a blister forming under the ball of my right foot. This was bad. A similar blister had knocked me out of the Great Illini half Ironman a month and a half ago. With my limited progress thus far, I was now reduced to wondering whether I would be able to finish if this got any worse. The ache intensified. Finally, just to try something, I tied my right shoe as tight as I could possibly make it. Sometimes you get lucky, and this was one of those times. The ache in my brain stayed the same, then got a little better, and was then supplanted in my focus by other muscle groups, a sure sign that my fix had worked.

I run ironman marathons by the Galloway method: 5 minutes of running, followed by 1 minute of walking. Rinse and repeat. This is the best way, in my experience, to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, especially for a 200+ pounder like me, whose feet take a pounding. The strategy was working: I ran the first half of the marathon in 1:54, and had started the final lap when crisis number 2 hit. It had actually begun many hours before, on the bike. Despite the warm forecast, I had neglected to bring any electrolyte products or salt tabs on the bike. By the time I had started the run, a crust of salt had built up on my shirt and shorts, and by the time I hit mile 14 the problem had become acute. Running up the first bridge, my legs suddenly lost their bounce and wouldn’t fire like I wanted them to. My quads were starting to cramp up, something that NEVER happens, and the extra exertion was beginning to shut my stomach down- a quick way to end your day early. I immediately recognized the problem and compensated for it. I took more frequent walk breaks and tried to force more sodium into my body, but it was too late in the race to recover. I was now fully in damage control mode. The run course was scenic but fairly byzantine, and marshalls were everywhere, pointing us in the right direction and cheering us on. Once again, my world narrowed to the tiny focus of getting to the next mile marker. My walk breaks were more frequent now, and I was hemorrhaging time. Slowly, I clicked off miles: 20, 21, 22...

The last bridge over the Cape Fear River was hellish: I struggled up it running a minute and walking a minute. Several runners passed me, but it was all I could do. Once I reached the summit of the climb I saw mile marker number 25. It was downhill and then flat to the finish, and I wondered if I had enough in my legs to repass the three runners I had let slip by on the way up. I decided to run the last 1.2 miles. This sounds pretty ridiculous until you factor in the previous punishment of 139.4 miles on my legs and multiply that by the steepish descent and harsh metal grating of the bridge. I ran, quads barely able to support me. I re-passed two of the three who’d passed me, and reached the straightaway before the left-hand turn for the finish alone. The crowd support was phenomenal, and I crossed the line a little more emotional than I’d been in my first attempt at the distance. The second half of the run was a much crappier 2:15, and I finished the marathon in 4:09 for a total of 11 hours, three minutes, and 40 seconds. I made it about twenty yards before being mobbed by friends and family, and another twenty before essentially collapsing. Before long, a foot appeared in my field of vision, which belonged to a member of the medical staff, who briefly took me into their care until I convinced them I was (probably) in no immediate risk of dying.

Afterwards, I headed home for a hot shower, then out for a nice seafood dinner with the group. The next morning, I hit the awards ceremony, held on the Henrietta III Riverboat, and found out I had come in 56th overall, and won second place in my division. It was a fabulous and, as always, humbling experience to take on an iron-distance triathlon. I thought the event was first-rate, and would definitely consider tackling it again in the future, although my body begs to differ right now.

For those thinking of doing the race, I can say that it offered all the support of an Ironman race, a fraction of the price in a venue just as good. Perfect weather (nonwithstanding a little early chill), more volunteers than a typical IM (they said more volunteers than participants) and an aided swim. This race is going to get bigger and more popular as the organizers work out the minor logistic issues (like the water taxis) by next year. On the negative side... let's see... not much. The bike course wasn't the most gorgeous, but the roads were SO smooth (a very underrated feature for the sore of taint). Not much to say about this race that isn't positive.


http://www.noahmwalton.com
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [nippycrisp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Congrats on the solid finish...sounds like a great race venue.
Andrew

C'mon legs run faster!
Being fast on a crappy bike is cool
Fueled by Guinness, Tuborg, Anchor Steam and Creemore Springs
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [nippycrisp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Congratulations!! Way to hang tough. Sounds like a great race and definitely one that will be around for a while.
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [nippycrisp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Congrats on the finish! B2B is on my short list if I ever do a full. It helps that it's within a days driving distance from me.

40 deg at the start? Was that the air temp or the water temp? What was the water temp?
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [nippycrisp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Congratulations on a great race, not only putting up a decent time (actually, a really good time given that you couldn't lay the mileage foundation you had hoped), but also having the mental fortitude to push through those final miles! I'm still waiting for Set-Up to post results on the site as I had a friend doing the race.

I did Set-Up's previous Irondistance event, The Blue Devil back in 2004 and they do put on a first rate event. To your point, you can do these races at a fraction of the price, and the in-race support by the race organizers and volunteers is just as good as Ironman branded events. I will likely go back to these types of races now that an Ironman branded race costs $500+.

Congrats again and best of luck in your future races!!


Tad

It took awhile, but I finally discovered that its not the destination that's important, but rather the journey.
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [TMT] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Results were posted on Sunday. On the SetUp Events Site under other events. Go down to bottom of page. Overall and age groups are posted. Congrats to all those who raced. The day started out cold, but turned in to a beautiful day.

Half http://www.setupevents.com/...tail&eventID=849

Fulll http://www.setupevents.com/...tail&eventID=848

________________________________
Lisa Walser-Anderson, ATC,CSCS
Last edited by: fasterthanTIM: Nov 3, 08 11:28
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [TMT] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Air Temp in the am was low 40's, Water Temp mid-high 60's. By mid-day, air was mid 70's, calm and perfect.
Last edited by: 2WHEELS of FURY: Nov 3, 08 11:35
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [2WHEELS of FURY] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Water surface temp was 61 at the exiting dock at the Marina at 0530 on Saturday. Water was warmer at the swim start, but well under 68.

________________________________
Lisa Walser-Anderson, ATC,CSCS
Quote Reply
Post deleted by dubyakay [ In reply to ]
Re: B2B Race Report [dubyakay] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
There was a swift current as the tide was coming in. The SetUp folks were very up-front about that in promoting the event. They said it was a course where you could come and do a PR and they weren't kidding. Show of hands ... how many PRs?
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [psycholist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It was definately a fast course,but could still have been a different story if it had been windy on the bike, and the run wasn't bad, but it definately wasn't flat like florida.
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [HeloPilot] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I did this one, my first iron distance and would definitely recommend it. Setup Events and the local community did a great job all around and very organized. This one filled up in 12 days and they said they would add another 250 slots for next year. I could easily see this one getting quite large over the years to come.

T
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [nippycrisp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Now I wasnt there by I was looking at the swim times and they are FAST. No one swam over 1:20 it seems. Now can you tell me, do you think the swim was short or did the current help a lot? I dont think swims for other IM's are usually this fast.
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [Triburger] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Definitely not short. Lots of current made this a fast track.
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [Triburger] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I was there and did the swim, I was wondering if the distance was short too! I was 20 minutes faster than my expected time and never had the sensation of a current pulling/pushing me.

Scott
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [GAscott] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I don't want to log into the website....

How much is registration for the full race? And the half?
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [non_sequitur] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Here is more info:
http://www.beach2battleship.com/

There was a very fast current, this was well discussed up front and documented several times. My expected time was around 1.5 hours and I finished in 55 minutes to give an idea. They have a sprint in the same local and extend the distance to 1500 meters to make up for the current.

The cost was 250 and well worth it IMO.

T
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [dubyakay] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
In Reply To:
Those were some fast swim times. I know Set-Up got the distance right, but there must have been a current? I like a good fast course as much as anyone, but not something with an asterick beside it.

So you only do races where there is no wind on the bike?
140.6 miles is 140.6 miles.

https://www.miles4matt.run/
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [M~] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Agreed. Very well said M~
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [nippycrisp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Great job out there Nipp. That's a strong performance. I did the race too, Setup did a helluva job, then to top it off they had the best finisher's medal I've ever seen. I hope they don't let it get too big. I enjoyed the solidarity on the bike ride.

Peace,
Rob

"Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude."
Quote Reply
Post deleted by dubyakay [ In reply to ]
Re: B2B Race Report [rob2681] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Impressive race, Nippy. Way to go.

Rob, could you post a photo of your medal?
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [PaperChase] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply

That's the finisher's medal on the left. On the right is one of the award medallions. Didn't have to clear a lot of space in the trophy case for that one. ;-)

Great swag abounded at this race. I came home with excellent free shirts and cycling socks and lights and bags and on and on.
.

Bob C.

The "science" on any matter can never be settled until every possible variable is taken into account.
Quote Reply
Re: B2B Race Report [dubyakay] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I am glad I am not you then. :) I am not delusional enough that I don't completely understand I would never swim 1:02 normally but it is a race, against 500 other people who are doing the same course. That's it. Sure it is a HUGE PR for me, but I understand it is a PR for only this course. I am sure next year, I will be slower at Lake Placid, but that doesn't make this race anything less for me.
How about just letting folks enjoy their PR's without raining on the parade. You can asterik it all you want, just keep it to yourself. :)

https://www.miles4matt.run/
Quote Reply
Post deleted by dubyakay [ In reply to ]

Prev Next