Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
73F / 23C
Total Time = 13h 35m 30s
Overall Rank = 1355/2536
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 248/397
Pre-race routine:

Iron distance racing is a journey with a quite important destination. This was the 7th time I've taken on this journey. Each time the challenge is unique and often time unexpected. I had done an Iron Distance race once a year from 2006 until 2011. After that race, I decided I needed a break, so 2012 I decided to focus on Olympic distance races and I found my skill set, although I may not want to admit it, are more suited to shorter faster racing. 2012 was somewhat of a break through year for me as I PR at the Olympic distance (several times), PRed at the Half Iron Distance, scored my first top 10 finish in my AG and followed it up with 3 more at decent sized races (6th Rev 3 Wisconsin, 5th Rev 3 Maine, 7th Half Full 70, and 6th Rev 3 South Carolina). But in July, I found myself watching one of the Iron Distance races I still wanted to do, Lake Placid following Jacqui Gordon and several other of my REV3 and BT teammates and I knew if this race had spots available at 12:01 EST the next day, I was signing up. They did and I did. As 2012 came to an end, I spent a lot of time on the bike and was running great, so I focused in the off season on working on my swim leg. 2013 was an interesting year in January I felt something wrong with my right foot and then got to spent the next 2 month not running due to a tendon issue. While I couldn't run, I did take advantage of the opportunity to swim and quadrupled my yardage. My foot finally healed by May for a nervous Olympic at Rev 3 Knoxville in the rain, then did the Rev3 Quassy triple with a great 5K, dehydrated on the Olympic (but top 20% in my AG on a bad day :), and struggled through the run on the half the last day). My last race prior to Lake Placid Rev 3 Williamsburg, I ripped off a monster bike leg and decent run, but then discovered a broken toe on my right foot. More time off. Came back and was feeling good through the summer heat and humidity, but Monday before Lake Placid I did a short run and got my foot caught in a sewer drain and yanked it pretty good. later that day my calf (right calf off course) started hurting. Foolishly the next day I went for a short run to test it out and it cramped hard on me. Minor strain/pull but the week before and Iron Distance just crushed me. I took the rest of the week off and used my COMPEX, and iced and hoped. Drove up to lake Placid on Friday, and was just blow away how cool the area is. Checked in and then had to walk back to my car to put away my backpack (no Backpacks allowed at the welcome banquet thanks to those AHs in Boston- Understandable). The banquet was incredible for me. I remember 1980 like it was yesterday. Several of the guys on that team were locals from the Boston area where I lived, and there I was literally on the Ice. Chills! That was worth the price of admission! I was staying out in Plattsburg, NY about 80 min away but fortunately my drive into LP and out to Plattsburg covered most of the bike course (wrong direction). Next day came in to drop my run and bike bags and drop off my bike and then drove the bike and run courses. I was amazed how many people were out there biking the hard parts of the course the day before. Hit the grocery store got some Amy's of Hanover for dinner and hit the sack at 7:30. Alarm went off at 2:50am, long drive in to John Browns farm, for the shuttle and took it in. Dropped off my run and bike special needs then headed to the oval and put my bottle on my bike and got my tires pumped, put on my wet suit to waist hit the potta potties then headed down to the swim start.
Event warmup:

Hung out on the slide at the park as my lower back was starting to bother me. Really not a good sign. Have not even got on the bike and my back hurts. I stretched and then just laid back and hoped. They opened out the water for "Practice at 6:10" so put on my arms of my wetsuit and weaved my way down to the water. Way to crowded to really swim but was able to get wet, then headed to the start corrals. My calf was feeling better but didn't want to push it so I seeded myself in the 1:20-1:30 corral. The gun went off for the pro men and then the pro women. Then it was time!
  • 1h 14m 12s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

The cannon went of for the AGs and similar to a few major marathons and road races I've done, nothing happened. We slowly started walking forward after a few minutes. As we got closer to the arch we passed the swim out arch and the clock almost 16 min for the pros, Andy Potts would be here real soon. As we got close you saw how they were doing let a group out wait 30 seconds to a min then next group. finally got to my turn and crossed the line and I was totally relaxed. Waded in slowly and then got going. Felt great and after some usual congestion, I found some open water and started getting into a nice rhythm. Was very conscious to minimize my kick as I didn't want to test my calf before I had to. Starting back with the 1:20s I got to swim through my group, leave them behind and then swim to the next, through them and up to the next. Felt pretty good. Soon was near the top of the first loop and crossed over and to the inside lane to the second turn. Navigation was great I was right on the buoy each time 9 up and nine back. Got very busy after the 8th buoy coming in and especially as we angled in to the 9th and to the finish arch. Beat up someone trying to swim through me (turn out to be a pro) but didn't feel too bad. If your that fast, the overtaken vessel is to maintain course and speed and has the right of way. (Rules of the Road baby). Got done with the first loop and had two other prop zip by as I headed back around for lap number 2. For some reason I seemed to have a real tough time finding clear water on the second loop and as a result it was a lot less smooth as I had to navigate around traffic a lot more. Got into it a few times but soon was boxed in and had to wait patiently for an opening and surge through it when it arrived. The turn on the second loop was the most congressed spot for me on the course and was stuck in a large clump of folks around the top and coming off the second turn buoy. Was stuck in that clump for about 200 yards which hurt me and kept me out of rhythm. Finally got clear and got going as I saw the boat house and then paced off a few pink caps and stayed outside main traffic lane. Finally after a lop and a half I spotted the under water line marking the course (rowing course lane lines) Rest of the swim was uneventful and the trip to the end was pretty spread out.
What would you do differently?:

Second fastest swim of 7 Iron distance swims for me. Hardly kicked at all and navigation was awesome. Didn't really want to start on the inside but with the rolling start it wasn't much of a problem. Other than finding myself in a few clumps of swimmer at times, I couldn't me more happy with the swim. Actually enjoyed the start format, worked well for those of us in the MOP.
Transition 1
  • 11m 53s

Actually forgot these races have wetsuit swimmers and ran past most of them before stopping. Got out of the wetsuit arms then plopped down and she pulled off the wetsuit. Lost my White Eagle Martial Arts braclet right there. :( Long jog to transition at the Speed skating oval and got to do it in my shimmer suit and got a few funny comments along the way. Got to transition had to get my own bag, then to the changing tent. Full change and then lost one of my arm warmers (went into my bag with my wetsuit, so had to dump out the bag again. Then shoes on and sunscreen and off I went. Volunteer grabbed 2133's bike not mine 2123, nice bike but had to have him put it back and I grabbed mine, slow trip to the exit and then on to the bike, Took a few tries to clip in first foot and left other until after the hairpin turn going out. Just started raining.
What would you do differently?:

Not the smoothest transition but with the long run and full changes and all it wasn't that bad.
  • 6h 39m 19s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.81 mile/hr

Lap 1: Started out easy going around the first corner and the tight corner at the bottom so rode the breaks, then got to start riding as we did the first set of rollers, the hill right after the River Road intersection, is one of those features most people don't talk about but it is a tough little hill up and around a corner and you have to consciously hold back, rode to the first aid station which was superhero themed and got love from Captain America. Rode smooth and steady for the first 10 miles and those hills, but then it was nail biting time, except I couldn't take my hands off the handlebars. The hill down to Keene is scary enough with dry roads. The roads are very choppy and cut up especially near the median so everyone has to ride toward the second lane, fortunately they have an extra lane coned of on the other side of the yellow line for those who were really moving. But thrown in wet roads, and OMG that was scary. Only thing is my biggest wreck was due to slamming on the breaks. So I was out of aero hands locked on the bars and simply flying down that hill. Going across that wet yellow line on turns doing 45-50 mph was scary but you had no choice. Wasn't hitting the breaks, stay still as possible and don't forget to breath. You hit a flat section in the middle and I hammered in my highest gear till we hill the next cliff. As we hit the bottom our extra lane disappeared and had to hit the breaks a few times to stay off a slower rider. Finally we hit bottom and on to the flats on 9N. Boom had a gel and drink and then got into a rhythm as we passed 20 miles. Got into a good rhythm on the flats and felt really good and under control to the turn around and then back into the wind. Then you turn on to Rt 86 and boom the hills introduce themselves. The Rt 86 hill is without a doubt the hardest on the course, dropped into my granny gear as I rounded the turn and it starts steep and then just keeps going and going flatten out and adds another tier, I rode this section well and was still feeling good through the roller to Wilmington. Turn to short out and back. Got a second gel in and then got to the turn around and it was too tight I go of rode and fell over. Was stuck and then got up and was consoled by another rider who just did the same thing. Got going and then back on to Rt 86 then turned to follow the gorge. At this point, I hit my first low of the day. I banged up my left knee on my fall and once the adrenaline wore off I was starting to pay for the HR spike. The road in this section is awesomely smooth and the view is amazing but I came down pretty quick and was really starting to struggle mentally and physically. Got to the last aid station where Byron and Jen from the YMCA were volunteering. Got a water bottle from Jen but she didn't recognize me. It was funny I rode well up the hills then fell crappy on the downhills and flats to the next hill. Was waiting and stressing about where are the cherries and three bears already, but was on big Cherry when I finally realized where I was (saw the sign). The tree bears were slow but ok and papa bear it a bit steep but I was granny gearing everything and actually passed a bunch of folks. Made a conscious decision to stay in the saddle all day to not test my strained calf. Got up it and headed back down to Mirror Lake and in to special needs. Got some Rev 3 cheers which perked me up some. Changed out the bottle and loaded up more gels and drank my Red Bull. Then down Main Street where you feel like a rock star and then up and around to that start of loop 2.
Loop 2: Again took it easy on the down hill and rode the brake and took the tight turn easy and slow. Slowly got back into a more positive feeling as the Red Bull kicked in. The hill coming out of town I went granny gear but I was moving forward once again. Felt good through the roller for the first 10 miles and the second trip down to Keen was a bit less nerve wrecking as the bikes were a lot more spread out and the pavement had dried out. But it was still one fast ride. Free effort saving speed, gotta love it. Hit the turn onto 9N and got a gel and got into a good rhythm again and rode well to the turn. My back actually held up very well and was able to stay in the bars quite a bit. Hit the turn around and into the wind and then started into my second low point on the bike. Started to fade on the way back in and then at the turn to RT86 I was mentally toasted. Rode the first hill well but the second tier and flat I was dead and stayed in the granny gear and slowly grinded through that hill and the rollers to Wllmington. FInally, I figured out, hey dumbass you are bonking, eat something and had a gel. Was drinking water at each aid station, but went about 15 miles beyond my nutrition strategy. Ate the gel in stages up the second roller and glided down the hill to the out and back. Actually navigated the turn around this time and started to perk up as we turned back to rt86 and turned to the hills heading for home. Rode well on this section, shift early and rode well on the flats, mile 100 was a great site and I continued to grind through this section and stayed within myself. Felt better as we hit the cherries and the three bears. Crowd was great on papa bear as one group wanted us to do wheelies but that wasn't happening for me. Spun up papa bear and turned for home. Again the trip down Mirrror Lake drive and past the tri clubs was cool plus seeing the really fast people including Jaqui Gordon on the run. Down Main Street and up to transition and finally got off that darn bike!
What would you do differently?:

Not fall down and probably ride more long rides. But I stayed seated the whole time which isn't my normal style but didn't want to test/stress my calf, so was good I stayed with the plan. Need to stick with the nutrition plan better, but at least I recovered. Overall considering my longest ride over the last 2 years was 56 miles, not a bad ride.
Transition 2
  • 11m 2s

Slow walk off bike and handed bike to a volunteer which was great, then had a volunteer ask me if I wanted him to take off my cycle shoe. That was a first and was great. Nice walk to the gear bags and then to the changing tent. Took my time and did a full change from my bike clothes to my Rev3 kit and changed socks. Then headed to the potta potties as I was feeling a bit bloated. Had to wait in line for the 3 porta potties in front of T2 (the 12 in back are unused. Then get inside and nearly puked. It was full the urinal clogged and backed up and no TP. Decided I could only pee which helped . Got out and felt really bad.
What would you do differently?:

Wait until mile 1 to use the porta potty.
  • 5h 19m 4s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 11s  min/mile

Lap 1: Out transition and down main street was awesome as everyone is reading your name on your bib and cheering you by name. Then getting to the down hill got rolling to the first aid station. Walked the aid station taking water or perfrom and fruit and later cola. each stop. Got going again and started to feel my calf tightening up but not cramping so I kept shuffling along. Had my super star AG teammate Alyssa Godesky pass me on her second lap going down the hill to River Road and she gave me some encouragement and that really seemed to help as I got into an nice smooth rhythm and my calf loosened up and wasn't a problem the rest of the run. Ran pretty well the first loop and ran the hill off the River Road turn but walked the big hill up to Main street (just as everyone else was. Got going once on main street and again felt like a rockstar. Came around to Mirror Lake Dr and heard "Go Andrew, Hey that's Andy, Go Andy!" It was Byron and Jen. Hit the special needs and grabbed my Red Bull and drank and waved to my teammate Laura on the other side. Then came back down the road and high fived Byron and Jen and felt like a million bucks.
Loop 2: Actually felt like I was running at the start going down Main and onto Rt 73. Going good but my bloated feeling was back. Each porta potty was occupied for the next two miles. Really started to hurt, think the Red Bull which worked like magic on the bike was a bad idea on the run. So I stopped and walked just before the top of the River Road downhill. Got going again but after the next aid station I was really not feeling good and getting hard stomach cramps so did a few short walk break and got going. Finally got a porta potty at mile 16. Lock was broken and got an unwanted opening, but I couldn't go either 1 or 2. Bloated and felt like I really needed to but couldn't do it. So got out and tried to run but had to walk. Stopped with the Perfrom and so much water and started on chicken broth at mile 18. walked most of mile 16 and then convinced myself to run the flat and walk the hills. Seriously started to get the toots which actually was a good thing but was sort of embarashing. After the turn around , I really tried to run more and finally got enough gas out that I could go, but still walked the hill but was going a lot better. On the second out and back we got another good rain storm and they handed out glow sticks, but as we got closer to the ski jumps the rain eased up. Walked the River Road hill but was running well after than and got some positive comments. Passed a guy (for the second time) in a 2011 Valley Forge Revolutionary Run shirt and told him I did that race. Ran to the big hill to Main street walked hard up it and then got going up Main street bolster by the crowd. Last time down Mirror Lake drive and witnessed a pep talk with at one of the club tent with a lady on her first loop as I had made the turn around. Turns out she was the 65-69 AG winner and I would be talking to her husband the next day at the awards banquet. She made it and qualified for KONA! For me the only prize was about a mile away but I was starting to feel the excitement. Passed 4 crossfit folks who were on empty, and got to the tri teams and got cheers from Kelly Covert and her group and the to the chute marked to the finish (what a beautiful site!) Turned up Main St to the Speed Skating Oval and over the evil curve and into the oval and the that awesome lap around the oval. I was out on the edge high fiving every kid who wanted one and seemed so excited that one of the athletes was giving them some time. Coming round the turn and seeing that finish line just evoke such powerful emotions. It was here Eric Heiden gave the most dominant athletic performance winning every event in the Olympic speed skating program, and it was here I overcame injuries, falls, stomach issue and major lows to feel this incredible high. My hands went up high and I just went to a double hang loose and then to some Rev 3 Goggles as Mike Riley called my name again. Don't know if he actually called me an Ironman this time, for some reason he never has in 4 opportunities, but it didn't matter. I completed this journey again. From 230 pounds and a heart attack waiting to happen to a 7 time Ironman! DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRICLES? YEEESSSSS!
What would you do differently?:

Don't try something new on race day (Red Bull), don't step into a sewer grate a week prior, run a lot more, Longest run this year was 13.1 thanks to all the injuries and the crappy weather this year. But the struggles make this finish so much more rewarding. Could I have gone faster and PRed, I was on pace but I am still very happy with this race.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my medal and picture and got some food and chocolate milk. Got my bags got changed as my legs started to tighten up. Couldn't find the message tent, so got and checked out my bike and rolled to the shuttle to my car. RANT ON: Get told that bikes aren't allowed on the shuttle. Driver says it said that in the paper, it replied it did not, and the driver responds well your bike isn't getting on the shuttle. What am I supposed to do? I don't care your bike is not getting on the shuttle. I showed incredible restraint to not cuss this guy out. OMG I was so pissed. I just spent 13 hours plus on the course Im parked some 4-5 miles aways it dark, I have 3 sets of bags. Fortunately I went across the road before I started screaming, and talked to a LP Police Officer. While he couldn't help me, he at least told me what I needed to do. The Westover lot was at the bottom of the hill, if I dropped my bike off near transition, take the shuttle back to John Brown Farm and drive back to Westover and the retrieve the bike. I thanked him for his help because he gave me a solution. Rolled back to transition and got a photo op from the Ironman Facebook page, ugly picture. had some nice volunteers let me drop the bike in an area they were watching. Then back to the shuttle and waited a while and got on a full bus. Got back to the farm and had a scare when I found I left my inside light on (but it turns off with the key removed and my car started immediately. Drove back to the WestOver lot and then wlked up that steep hill past the police officer again and down to the transition and got my bike then backup to the shuttle stop, shook the police officer's hand and thanked him again, then wheeled down the hill and over to the car. Drove to Rt 73 and traffic was stopped so went to the Iphone and found the alternate route via Rt3. A long twisty foggy drive to the hotel. Didn't bother unloading the bike, got Wendy's and just ate the Frosty. As I got back at 12:30. Texted Tammy and crashed hard.
Next morning got up and then headed back in parked at the boat house, got my special needs bags, brought them back to the car, then went to the post race breakfast and awards celebration. Was on the second floor of the Convention center and had a nice breakfast only problem then was now where to sit. Check out the Kona spot stuff and saw Alyssa won her AG and was 5th OA amature and Kate was second in her AG.. The kona spot sing up was in a huge room and the awards ceremony was in the small room so it was standing room only for most the athletes. That was BS! Git done and finally got to sit as people left and ended up talking to the husband of the W 65-69 age group champ who was the person who gave the pep talk I witnessed and was a fellow gov't employee, so we talked until Alyssa's AG was on stage and I had to take some pictures. Talked to Alyssa and Kate then hit the road. Got some picture of the course and went into the High Peaks Gorge trails spot and walked the waterfalls and nature trails. Super cool spot. Drove home took a nap and had dinner then drove home the next morning.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Injuries, pulling my calf a week before the race due to an errant step, GI issues on the run and simply not training for an Ironman. But was my 4th fastest of 7 and was a tougher course by fast than the other three quicker ones.

Event comments:

Race was a great experience but the last two impressions were horrible. Course and volunteers were top notch and it was very cool. Great lake to swim in and an awesome bike and run course and fans were great.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-05-20 12:00 AM
01:14:12 | 4224 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 164/397
Overall: 893/2536
Performance: Good
First loop 1.2 mi - 35:41 Second loop 1.2 mi 38:31
Suit: Hurricane Cat 5 Full
Course: Two clockwise loops in Mirror lake. Follow the rowing course up and back with about 25 yards at the top. Short run out of water and under the two arches to the second loop. New start format. Rolling start self seed in corrals by predicted swim times then groups of 40-50 sent off over the scoring line every 30-60 seconds. Took over 14 min for me to get in the water but as a MOP swimmer I actually liked it.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 11:53
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:39:19 | 112 miles | 16.81 mile/hr
Age Group: 230/397
Overall: 1190/2536
Performance: Average
0 to 30 mi (30 mi) 1:24:59 21.18 mi/h 30 to 56 mi (26 mi) 1:42:56 15.16 mi/h 56 to 86 mi (30 mi) 1:31:58 19.57 mi/h 86 to 112 mi (26 mi) 1:59:26 13.06 mi/h
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Awesome Bike course. Two loops. Start short down hill through town then a series of climbs (500 ft) out of town past the ski jumps and bobsled center for first 10 miles then the monster downhill segment to Keene. Left turn to 9N and to the flat section (except for two gradual hills. Past 86 to the out and back at Upper Jay, turn around and back to Rt 86. Big hill right away once go around that corner then a series of rollers, to a short flat out and back with a very tight turn around then turn on Rt 86 to follow the High Peaks Gorge and the mainly uphill section back to Lake Placid. last five hills are named Little and big Cherries (By Cheriton pond) and the Three Bears. None of these are that tough but where they are makes them more of a challenge. Then up Riverside road down to Mirror lake drive past the swim area, to special need, then out and down Main street, and left around the Herb Brooks areana to Transition entrance or lap 2. Scenic and hilly.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 11:02
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:19:04 | 26.2 miles | 12m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 248/397
Overall: 1355/2536
Performance: Below average
0 - 3 mi (3 mi) 32:45 10:55/mi 3 - 8.2 mi (5.2 mi) 54:55 10:33/mi 8.2 - 12 mi (3.8 mi) 44:12 11:37/mi 12 - 16.1 mi (4.1 mi) 45:48 11:10/mi 16.1 - 21.3 mi (5.2 mi ) 1:20:19 15:26/mi 21.3 - 25.1 mi (3.8 mi) 48:52 12:51/mi 25.1 - 26.2 mi (1.1 mi) 12:13 11:06/mi
Course: Two loops. Out of transition then down main street to Rt 73. Through town and past the equestrian center and Jumping center. Down the hill to River road. Then down the long out and back along a nice little river (small rolling hills). Coming back you see the ski jumps then back up the hills to Main Street to Mirror Lake drive then past the tri clubs and to special needs turn where the bike turned onto Mirror Lake drive and then back to main street and around for lap #2.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Bad
Race evaluation [1-5] 4