IMWI Race Report Andy



I jumped into the water around 6:50 a.m. so that I could swim over to the buoy line farthest from shore. Lining up second from the front this year in order to ease into the start a bit and not be panicked. My growth in the sport has really allowed me the ability to relax in the water. The start was intense! One guy immediately began to swim completely over top of me so I picked up my kick for a short moment in order to get him off my back and create a small gap. The washing machine effect really took place until just after the first turn buoy.

I then was able to swim inside the line of buoy’s which really gave me full comfort of my stroke and breathing pattern. I continued to work buoy to buoy until the last two turns where I knew I was within a pack of swimmers that were excited to be exiting the water soon. I found the feet of a gentleman that was moving along in a rapid pace and sat there until the finish. I discovered he was sighting well, which allowed me to just focus on an easy controlled stroke. The drafting effect on the swim does wonders. It felt as though I was just doing a cool down 100 while we were moving at race pace! On to stage two of the day; the ride!

SWIM:  1:02:42 1:37/100


Having the ability to control my pace was the name of the game on this go around. An easy pace was in the game plan with lots of eating. In the past I’ve really taken in a lot of liquids and I wanted to drink at a more conservative approach this year. The reason is in both previous Ironman races I’ve peed at least six times on the bike.

At Texas I jumped off the bike and used the facilities and last year at Wisconsin I just let it go which caused an amazing amount of gross chafing. Anyway, the approach I took this year was to eat most of my calories and drink two bottles with over 300 calories within each while limiting water intake to an extent with the cooler temperatures. I never felt uncomfortable on the bike but I don’t think I ever felt completely amazing which surprised me as I put in over 4000 miles on the bike this summer. My chain dropped three times throughout the opening 30 miles.

Twice I was able to get the chain back on without much of an issue. The third time was a different story. I was able to get the chain back on but the pedals would not turn. For a moment I had thought my chain had broken and I wondered if my day was over. I flipped over the bike after taking the bottles out and discovered it was jammed in the back. I than attempted to get back on the bike going up a climb but that did not work out so well.

So I ran the bike up the hill and continued on my way. Overall, I managed the three mechanicals very well. In fact, using a couple timed stops in a future race may not be a bad idea as it really allowed me stretch out any tension that had built in the opening miles. I enjoy the loops as you see many familiar faces not just once, but twice.

On the second loop you know where friends and family will be and it easy to get excited for those stretches as there is something to look forward to when you need a boost. My game plan for a future race may be to limit my time to taking it “easy” to an hour. I don’t regret my approach this year but I do believe I left a lot out on the table.

BIKE: 6:08:35 18.3/mph/hr


I knew I needed to control the pace early in order to have a strong run performance. I made up the decision in the first few miles to maintain a 9:00 to 9:30 pace. I also decided to take in oranges, water and Gatorade at each of the aid stations. My controlled pace included running through the aid stations and my mindset had me wanting to make it further into the run without having cramping issues. I maintained a run pace until mile 16 when I figured it was time to take a different approach and walk through the aid stations and up the steep climbs.

In the future, I plan to take a different approach and implement a run/walk earlier on in the race. It may pay dividends in the latter miles of the Ironman Marathon. Typically, I have issues with hamstring cramps. This was not the case this year! My solution to the problem was to visit an athletic trainer twice the two weeks prior to the race in order to work out any tension.

I must note that I have never done a race longer than 26.2 miles without having hamstring cramping issues. Hopefully combining some treatment and proper nutrition I can continue to race without the agonizing thought of hamstring cramps which does cause me to hold back a lot of energy early on. The last 10 miles were painful per usual but I succeeded on only walking through the aid stations with the sub 12 hour clocking staring me in the face. The finish line is always very meaningful as you really grasp the hours of training, the support and entirety of the day itself. Once again Megan was the first face I saw as I reached the finish line! A very welcoming feeling! A friend caught me at the line and provided me with water and my medal!

RUN: 4:30:44 10:20/mile

What’s Next?
A fun 5k the week following Ironman is on the schedule which benefits blood cancer. I than am setting my sights on a PR at the Des Moines marathon and the Madison marathon! I will than end the year with a Turkey half marathon and Sycamore 8. I’m excited for the remainder of 2016 and what is to follow in 2017!

Thank you for taking the time to read my race report!


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