This weekend was the Muskoka 70.3 Half Ironman held at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville. Drew and I drove down Friday afternoon to Hunstville, picked up our race kit and picked up a few things from the race expo. After that we went and checked into our hotel, unloaded the truck and I went out for a quick 30minutes on the bike. We then headed back over to Deerhurst for the pasta dinner for the athletes. The food was incredible!! Drew and I ate so much pasta and chicken! Then it was back to the hotel to rest and get some sleep.
Saturday morning we went to a bike store downtown that was having a sale and I got a hard shell bike case for my bike when I travel instead of the soft one that I have now. We then took our bikes over to the race site to check them into transition where they would stay overnight. After picking up some lunch it was back to the hotel room to rest some more before the rest of my family showed up at around 3pm. They did some shopping downtown and then we all went out for supper. When we got back to the hotel I got a really nice foot massage from my aunt and then it was bed time.
Race morning we were up at 4:30am to get some food in and start packing. We left at about 5:45 and there was a light mist of rain. We parked where we were told at the air strip and got our shuttle over to the race site. Drew and I got body marked, set up our transition and were ready to go. I was racing them race as an Age Grouper and not Pro as it was only my first Half Ironman ever. I was in the 5th wave with 6minutes between waves. From the start I pulled away very fast and by the first turn I was already passing people from the wave in front of me. I continued passing so many people and even had to slow down at some points. I came out of the water and looked up at the 300-400m run all UP hill to transition.
Out onto the bike now at only around 5km in my water bottle cage some how breaks off and I loose my water bottle. I thought to myself, "this better not be a sign of how the 94km bike is going to go". So I still had my aero bottle but I had to make sure I slowed down at each bottle exchange and pick up a new water bottle. I was kind of nervous of how the bike was going to go with my back pain that I've been getting while doing long rides. I've been going to see Dr. Stauber now at the Health Coach and he's been working on my back and I've seen some major improvements so far. He has been able to level out my hips because one was higher than the other and it was very noticeable when I would run and even looking at pictures from yesterday I look like I'm not running to one side now. And he's figured out that the lower part of my back is basically straight and has no curve at all and that's where my back pain is coming from. So we've been working on that and yesterday I definitely saw an improvement! So the rest of my bike was pretty normal...I was able to hold the exact same pace through out. I held back though on the bike because I didn't know what to expect and I know I still had a 21km run ahead of me. This bike and run coarse will definitely be known as one of the hardest courses of any half Ironman there is. I can even describe to you all the hills on both the bike and the run. I have never got out of my bike ring on the front while climbing hills before in races and other guys just can't understand how I do it and today was the first ever I've had to drop down to the little ring. So onto the run I felt great, my legs felt light and I seemed to be holding a good pace that would of put me at around a 1:25 half marathon. At about 12km though I started feeling that I needed to go to the bathroom. I didn't want to stop though because I knew it would cost me a couple of minutes. I ran past one set of bathrooms and then another but then at about the 15km point I couldn't wait any longer and I ran into the bush, pulled down my race suit and well the rest I don't need to describe....So I ended up loosing at least 3minutes and I wasn't happy about that. Back on the run I found myself behind about 4 people that I had already passed. The last 5km though I was in pretty bad shape and really slowed down. I was only able to pass one of those people back again. I finally crossed the line and was so happy to be done. Having Lea and my family there was really good to see me finish my first Half Ironman. Everyone was congratulating me and kept telling me not to worry about my overall time that if I was on normal course it would of been at least 30minutes faster just because of how HARD this course was.
I was feeling pretty drained and week and it felt good to get some food in my stomach. I won my age group and was 29th overall. A couple of spots back of were I could of been if I didn't have to make that bathroom stop. So overall though not a bad first ever half ironman and the fastest swim split of the day by almost 2minutes over the best from all over the World. We stuck around for the awards and I got a really nice trophy. When I got home last night I went on trhe computer to check my e-mails and I have this email from Xterra Wetsuits. I thought it was just some promotional junk mail but I opened it anyways and it was this guy from Xterra Wetsuits saying congrates and my race and an amazing swim and if I don't already have a wetsuit sponsor that they would like to sponsor me. I couldn't believe it!! I don't even know how he got my email address and yes I had the fastest swim but he could of picked any of those guys like the winner and World Champion at that distance from Australia Craig Alexander.
Well overall it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again and next time I will be racing as a Pro now that I know that I can at the Half Ironman distance. I'm just at work now but I'll get some pictures up later tonight when I get home.
Challenges and Reflections.
9 months ago