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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
91F / 33C
Sunny
Total Time = 13h 11m 47s
Overall Rank = 846/2609
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 137/347
Pre-race routine:

Here are pics: http://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/photos/photo-thumbnails.as...

Drove my trusty Toyota Sienna minivan 835 miles from eastern Long Island, with wife and two young kiddies in tow. Left at 5 AM on Thursday and arrived at the Galt House around 7 PM. It was a long but fun trip. The interstates through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia were all very smooth, wide and well-maintained. I saw my first 70 MPH speed limit sign. Very cool. Also saw about 200 silos.

We visited the Lousville Slugger Museum, took in 4th St Live, and my daughter had an asthma attack! We only had her 'maintenance' medication and forgot her 'rescue' medication. Thankfully the CVS at 4th St Live honored our CVS in Long Island's script; otherwise we would have been at the hospital. Everyone we met in Kentucky was very accomodating and polite. Friday night we went to the Athlete dinner as a family and had a good time - met other great athletes - and the food was actually pretty good, too. :)

Friday I biked for an hour up and down the course on River Rd.
Event warmup:

Race morning I woke at 3:30 AM and (UNLIKE Lake Placid a month prior) I made sure to eat plenty. I had two bananas, two gatorades, two small boxes of cereal. I was full.

I walked down to transition and arrive at exactly 4:45 - and to my surprise, there was already a few hundred people waiting in line. I made a beeline to my bike, pumped up my tires, added some things to bike bag, used a brand-new port-a-potty that just had the plastic lock cut open, and by 4:55 I was walking down the path toward the swim start. Chatted with a guy from Atlanta doing his first Ironman. At the swim start I was amazed that the line for the Time Trial start was already just shy of a mile long!! I sat down on the sidewalk and made friends with three other athletes who were all doing there first Ironman, too.

For the next hour I watched as athletes walked passed us to the end of the line, which must've ended up being close to 3 miles! I left the line momentarily to pee behind a rowing house, and as I was returning I saw that the line was moving!! I almost had heart failure that I'd lost my place in line, but my new friends had my morning bag and pump and were saving my spot!! :)

The line condensed down pretty far as the start neared and they let athletes onto the dock. We could hear the National Anthem and the bugler playing My Old Kentucky Home in the far distance. Then the cannon BOOMED for the pro's and we were next. It was QUITE thrilling to trot toward the start, passing the spectators, running down the ramp and wishing all my new friends luck. Whereas I felt anxiety and apprehension at my prior two LP mass starts; I was clearly feeling joyous adrenaline this time. Little fear and no anxiety.


Swim
  • 1h 22m 50s
  • 3800 meters
  • 02m 11s / 100 meters
Comments:

As pleasantly expected, the swim was great for me. Aside from some toe tickling and soft brushes with other swimmers, there was zero contact due to the time trial start. The last month I've been lake swimming with no wetsuit and this swim was no problem. I'd read here and there that the Ohio River is polluted and I must say, it was fine - even clean in my opinion. I could see swimmers underwater, and when I did take in an occasional accidental mouthful it tasted fine.

My goal time was between 1:18 and 1:20 - but my bigger goal was to just maintain good form and swim easy and smooth; really stay within myself and try to set myself up for a good day. And I did just that. For me, it was a thrilling experience to swim 2.4 miles in the Ohio River.
What would you do differently?:

If I were to do this swim again (and I hope to) after the turn-around, when you begin swimming downstream for the last 2/3rds, I would make more of an effort to swim on a slight angle to the left. I kept finding myself swimming straight, which led me more toward the middle of the river, when indeed the River does bend to the left.
Transition 1
  • 06m 37s
Comments:

I'm actually surprised my T1 was this quick. I swam in my jammer so I had to do a full change into my tri suit, apply some lube to my crotch, I dried my shoulder blades with a towel to make sure the suncreen would adhere, dried my feet with a towel. I put on my Ironmanlive tracker belt and race belt. Stuffed my pockets with some nutrition.

I ran out of the transition tent and got sunscreen applied to my shoulder blades, neck and the little sliver on my lower back. (I have a permanent burn mark there from LP 2011!)
and downed a full liter of Smart Water.
What would you do differently?:

I wouldn't do anything differently. In a 70.3 or shorter transition times are critical; in an Ironman (for me) I'm learning making sure I do everything right and carefully is more important.
Bike
  • 5h 59m 4s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.72 mile/hr
Comments:

I watched an Endurance Nation video on how to race Louisville. The coach in the video said to go easy on the swim. For the bike he said to "JRP' it for the first 38 miles (Just Ride Along Pace). Work some of the hills but keep it easy so you're not 'banished' from the aero bars for the last 22 miles back which are slightly downhill, fast and flat. I took this advice to heart and nailed the bike from start to finish. My first 23 mile split was slight faster than my other splits simply due to a tailwind:

23 mi 23 mi 1:11:21 2:40:48 19.34 mi/h
40 mi 17 mi 55:07 3:35:55 18.51 mi/h
70.5 mi 30.5 mi 1:37:55 5:13:50 18.69 mi/h
112 mi 41.5 mi 2:14:41 7:28:31 18.49 mi/h
total 5:59:04 avg 18.72 mi/h

Just a mile into my ride I was trying to adjust my livetracker belt and I accidentally ripped one of the holes on my race belt. My next thought was, If this is the worse thing that happens during the next 111 miles, I'll take it. And it ended up being true.

The first 12+ miles of this course are uber flat, and then you make a right for an out & back that had two bombing descents and two decent but short climbs. I was really surprised how many guys passed me and looked like they were at an all-out effort, burying there heads and pedalling like it was a sprint!

After the out & back we started the first of two loops of LaGrange. At this point I had to pee - really bad!! The Endurance Nation coach noted repeatedly in his video that you MUST drink an obscene amount. And so I did. My lower back was hurting and aero position too, so I pulled over at the top of a climb and peed next to a cauliflower field. Another rider (from South America I think) pulled over to and did his business. I tried to talk to him but I don't speak spanish :). He left and there I was still emptying my bladder. I timed it at about 2' 30". I felt a lot better after that but knew I'd have to readjust my strategy cause just around 30 miles into the bike, and two or three more stops like this, and I was going to cost myself a lot of time on the bike. I made the conscious decision to 'pee on the bike' and I ended up doing so, over and over and over again!! I tried to be mindful of it and wait for downhills and when no one was behind me.

The course was continually rolling - you're either going up or down, but even with my 12-25 cassette I rarely (if maybe four times) had to resort to my easiest granny gear. Some of the climbs (if it were training) I might have even kept it in my big ring. The course was very beautiful. Unfortunately on the far part of the loop I passed over 20 riders changing flats; later word got out that someone put tacks on the road. Oy vey.

On the second loop of LaGrange many riders came back to me, I was nailing my nurition plan and each hour that passed I felt better and better - the second loop went by quickly and I was grateful not to have flatted.

Around the 5 hour mark I started making my way back to town. At this point I was alone for some stretches and I was slowly reeling in riders. I was so damn proud of myself that I was able to maintain Aero Position for 95% of the ride back into town cause the winds that were pretty tame all ride, where not a NASTY HEADWIND.
What would you do differently?:

Notta. Zip. Zero.
Transition 2
  • 08m 3s
Comments:

I did a perfect flying dismount and trotted easily into transition. I got into the transition tent and I SOAKED IN THE MOMENT. I was in a T2 Transition Tent feeling AWESOME. A month prior in Lake Placid this was oh-so not the case. It was so damn lovely to feel good, coherent even, in a T2 tent at an Ironman.

Again, I had another towel packed in my bag and I toweled off, put on fresh socks, drank some water, got my garmin out, threw out my old nutriton wrappers and stuffed my pockets with fresh.
Run
  • 5h 35m 13s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 47s  min/mile
Comments:

I came out of transition and my legs felt great. I had my garmin in hand, waiting for a signal and BOOM - there was my family!! I was so happy to see them for the first time!! I stopped and kissed them all. What a BOOST. I ran up the bridge and already I was passing runners walking. Running on the bridge reminded me a little of the NYC Marathon. Coming down the bridge I saw my family again, but they were on the far side of the road so I just waved this time.

After restarting my garmin three times it never got signal so I just stuffed it back in my pocket. My running time on my watch read around 7 hours and 30-something minutes. Right on schedule. My plan was to run the first 10k at around a 9 min mile and then see how I feel. All along my goal was simply for a 4 hour flat marathon. My stand-alone marathons are all around 3:30 with a 3:15 PR; and my training has been spot on - so I think this is a realistic goal.

The fans lining the Louisville streets were freaking awesome. Before I knew it I looked up and I was at Mile 5. The run is a flat, straight shot and it was real easy for me to get in a zone. It was hot out , but it felt manageable as the humidity did not compare to Orlando (where I ran 17 miles two weeks earlier in BRUTAL heat and humidity) or Long Island (where I do all my run training). I saw Jackie Arendt (2nd Female OA) running on the other side of the road and it was just really cool, almost surreal, to be on the run course and it was close-to-empty!! Just a few scattered runners here and there. This felt like a real privilege.

I was hitting aid stations and taking in water and Perform, but the gels in my back pocket stayed there as I had no desire for solids. Somewhere around mile 5.5 I could feel my gut bloating. I pushed myself to just tough it out to the out & back around mile 8. But I didn't make it. First I slowed my pace. Started walking longer at aid stations. And then the last mile before the turn around I wasn't taking in any nutrition at the aid stations and I was walking. I pretty-much walked from mile 7 to 14. After the turn-around I could see the scores of athletes flooding the roads. And I knew most of them were going to soon catch me.

Somewhere around around the 11 or 12-mile mark I spent a good amount of time in a port-a-potty. It was gosh-awful hot in there; tough to breathe even. Thoughts of another DNF ran through my head. I was feeling so sick that I couldn't even feel upset or disappointed - I was purely focusing on breathing and staying conscious! When I got out of there I felt a bit better. I looked down at my watch and knew that even if I had to walk it, I had more than enough time - and this whole trip was about finishing, about redemption; not some silly time on the finisher's clock.

Around mile 13 walking started becoming tough and even the other walkers were passing me! That's when I started to get nervous and upset. The crowds were awesome and people told me just great encouraging things. I knew I was going to see my family again when I entered back into the city so I forced myself to start taking in nutrition at the aid stations. I tried pretzels, but they were like eating chalk and I could barely get them down my throat. So I resorted to coke. And the coke was FLAT! I forced myself to drink at least two cups at every aid station. As we approached Louisville my bloating subsided a bit and I started trotting again. I couldn't let my family see me walking. I didn't want my kids to see that. And so I shuffled.

Many times during this dark period I thought of my good friends who I knew would be tracking me. Knowing you guys were watching from above in cyberspace helped me to keep moving forward.

I looked up and In front of me was the straight shot down to the finish chute. You can see the finish line from this point clear as day - and it motivated me. I made the right-hand turn to start the second loop and who's there on the corner - MY FAMILY! I had dragged them all the way to Louisville and here I was on the verge of another DNF. But the beaming exuberant expressions on their faces just filled me with some much energy. They were screaming and jumping; my son especially was do damned excited to see me. I was just about to tell my wife that I was falling apart and that I was having a terrible run (forgetting she had a livetracker and could see my pace every second) and before I could say a word she said, "It's okay. You're doing great!" For whatever reason those words were so welcomed and profound at that very instant. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear - and I had no idea until I heard her say it.

Needless to say, I only walked one more time after leaving them. I made it my mission to take in coke at the aid stations and miraculous I was running again. And not only running, motivating other runners, interacting with the crowd, having a great time!! A woman picked up a man lying down on someone's lawn. She said, "C'mon and start moving!" I asked him how he was and he said he was fine, but his head felt spacey. I gave him a cup of coke I was holding and had him wash down two salt pills. And this is how my second loop went. I playfully played cat and mouse with other runners; I think I hit an 8:00 flat pace a few times; Made sure to walk the aid stations - commenting on the cleaner stations and thanking the volunteers profusely; it was Mardi Gras for me on the second loop. However I did need a carrot and was hoping to break 13 hours; so I pushed a bit much on the last 5k. This sent me spiraling back and I did have to walk again for a short while. I tried to motivate other athletes as best I could. By this point in the race there were lots of athletes walking (most actually) and there was a handful of athletes laid out on the side of the road being tended to by police and EMT's.

The last mile I was pretty disoriented and I actually wasn't recognizing the race route turns, despite having just ran it 13 miles earlier. Funny part was I initially started running down the wrong chute. I was halfway down the road when I saw I was in the coned lane for the 2nd loop and quickly jumped over to the Finish entrance. The 4th St Live finish chute was superbly loud and everything I imagined a finish chute should be. When I crossed the line I did a leaping heel click (see new avatar :)) Redemption accomplished!
What would you do differently?:

It's frustrating, the Ironman Marathon. Frustrating to nail your nutirion, pacing, training, and still run way below your potential; but hey, that's Ironman. 140.6 miles is a different beast than any other triathlon race. I've signed up for four full Ironman's now. My first was a DNS due to injury just a month out from the race. 2nd Ironman I bonked on the Run 12 miles in, with much more favorable weather conditions. 3rd Ironman I totally screwed up my nutrition and earned a DNF. And now #4 is just my second finish. I'm still a rookie with lots and lots to learn.
Post race
Warm down:

Gathered for pics with the family. Nausea grew and grew and back in the hotel room I threw up all the remaining broth and coke in my belly.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hmmmm... I may have took in a little extra fluids and calories on the bike; but I'd rather risk being a bit over than under. Also the heat was probably a factor.

Event comments:

Louisville is a fun city. Ironman did a great job. The volunteers where as good as it gets. A month removed from a DNF this race was more of a Life Lesson for me. I looked fear dead in the eyes, drove 1700 miles round-trip in 5 days, and after 140.6 miles I put my finisher's hat on a new man. And like I did in Lake Placid, I got my finisher's shirt in a size SMALL and gave it to the person who really deserved it. My wife.




Last updated: 2012-07-26 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:22:50 | 3800 meters | 02m 11s / 100meters
Age Group: 161/347
Overall: 997/2609
Performance: Good
Suit: None
Course:
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 85F / 29C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 06:37
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
05:59:04 | 112 miles | 18.72 mile/hr
Age Group: 161/347
Overall: 596/2609
Performance: Good
Wind:
Course:
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 08:03
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:35:13 | 26.2 miles | 12m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/347
Overall: 0/2609
Performance: Below average
Course:
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2012-08-29 7:22 PM

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Subject: Ironman Louisville


2012-08-29 8:25 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race report. Congratulations on your IM finish!
2012-08-29 8:34 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Veteran
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Harrison, Oh
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Congratulations, Bobby!  

How impressive to DNF and then, 5 weeks later, face the distance again and show it who is boss.

I'm glad you enjoyed LOU; I did this race last year and was there this year cheering you all on.  I was especially thinking of you, as I know what it is like to DNF an IM.  I also know how it feels to finish one AFTER a DNF

Enjoy your post IM bliss and your recovery ~ you definitely deserve it!

2012-08-29 8:37 PM
in reply to: #4387279

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Extreme Veteran
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Strong Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great job toughing it out man....it was a rough day on that run course for sure! I was 14 spots ahead of you in our AG, but since it looks like you started the swim before me, we were probably pretty close to each other on the run. I was the tattooed guy in all back DeSoto, walking with 2 other guys on that last 6 miles to the finish.Anyways....Congrats on the finish!
2012-08-29 8:50 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Expert
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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Bobby congrats again on toughing it out and finishing this race. I can only imagine how much it meant for you to be able to do this race and finish it after what happened at LP. There aren't too many people who would have guts to do another Ironman a month after not finishing one. You are one tough SOB! Relentless determination! It was great to be able to track you and watch the race unfold that day, it was pretty awesome. I have great admiration and respect for you and couldn't be more fortunate to have a better mentor then you have been to me.

Edited by strikyr 2012-08-29 8:52 PM
2012-08-30 4:44 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Master
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Guilford, CT
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
My man Bobby!  Great stuff.  Was tracking you that day and wishing you the best.  Sounds like a great experience.  Congratulations on getting it done!  Hope to see you at a race next year.


2012-08-30 5:45 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Champion
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Happy Valley
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great job Bobby! What's next for you racing wise?
2012-08-30 6:35 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Veteran
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South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Fantastico!

Redemption achieved...congratulations, Bobby.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the race live and searching for you. My wife and I knew you had bib problems when we saw you go through T2 (or a guy who looked an awful lot like you in your trisuit colors) with his bib up, sort of holding it in his hand. I knew when you started walking and I began a flurry of PM's with Rusty. I also learned that there is a big delay to the actual 'live' times and the tracker times.

We missed the kick finish live but you gotta love that new avatar.

I would agree that the long course if a big challenge. I used to say that about the marathon in running road races. So much time goes into training and so many things can go wrong on race day. In iron distance triathlon, the difficulty is 4 fold, as nutrition/hydration also come into play.

Tricky business...

But what a great achievement on this race. Congratulations again. Go nail the Poconos this fall and I'll see you at the Rev3 training ride!

2012-08-30 6:41 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Lakeville, MN
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Way to go Bobby! Nice work and congrats. Your posts and RR are always a great read. Put IMWI on your horizon.....
2012-08-30 7:27 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Master
2016
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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congrats!
2012-08-30 8:37 AM
in reply to: #4387647

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Champion
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MinneSnowta,
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Nice job! I am so impressed by your good attitude.  Congratulations on your redemption!


2012-08-30 8:43 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Expert
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Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Really impressed Bobby - congrats!

It must have been such an amazing feeling to be running again on that 2nd loop - I was happy for you when I saw that pace pick up again!  Hope your recovery is going well, and you're feeling good.

I-70 in WV - best 70mph around here - for all 10 miles!! :D

2012-08-30 11:04 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Pro
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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congrats to you!!!! I had that same bloating issue at IMWI last year and it's never happened to me before. I had to walk it off and suck it up too! Coke is miraculous in an IM. I love your attitude, always have. Sounds like you had a great redemption day out there!
2012-08-30 1:04 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Elite
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Norwich
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
You make me want to race another IM. Maybe 2014. You also make Louisville sound like a far better race than LP
2012-08-30 1:27 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Elite
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Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

you nailed my dream IM finish move! So jealous!

I love that you gave your shirt to your wife.  And I love your race stories.  I am glad Looville doesn't fill up right away, it really is a gem of a race. 

Congrats on a superb race. 

2012-08-30 2:40 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Expert
1145
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Ann Arbor, MI
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

I can't believe you got a fresh porta pot.  You must've known it was gonna be a fantastic day.

Congrats on a great IMLOU!  You nailed that redemption race, got all the details right, and fought through when things were really tough.  That is an awesome race.  



2012-08-31 8:17 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Not a Coach
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Glad you were able to bounce back so quickly after LP.  Congrats, Ironman!
2012-08-31 9:40 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Master
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Cumming, Georgia
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Just read your race report and I'm all pumped up for mine in January.  Your run sounds like I could have written that from my last Ironman.  I love the finish line photo!
2012-08-31 11:29 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Royal(PITA)
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over the rainbow
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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Redemption is a sweet thing.  Awesome job pushing through.  Love how you were able to motivate through the second loop on the run course. Congratulations. 

New avatar is awesomeness.

2012-08-31 11:41 AM
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Champion
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Plantation
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
AWESOME job out there. I am especially glad you had so much fun on the second loop   Congrats on a great finish!!
2012-08-31 1:25 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Expert
694
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WA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Bobby!!

Instead of Dream Chaser it should be Dream Catcher!  Wink

I am happy for you!  Way to push through and FINISH!

 


Ironman registration, $700

Round trip gas to Louisville, $300

Nutrition for the race, $30

YOUR finishers photo....PRICELSS!  (Awesome pic!)

 

Congratulations 2 x Ironman!






2012-08-31 5:29 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Master
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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

You are my hero! Congratulations!!! There's nothing like seeing your family out there to motivate!

Glad you got your 2012 IM finish! You earned it! :-)

2012-08-31 10:20 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Master
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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
YOur "redemption" IM Photo Finish is just THE BEST!!! Congratulations!
2012-09-02 6:29 AM
in reply to: #4387207

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Master
1474
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TORONTO
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great report and a FANTASTIC photo! Thanks for sharing. As always... You are an inspiration and a great mentor - even while racing you were putting others ahead of yourself.Congrats!!
2012-09-06 8:32 PM
in reply to: #4387207

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Champion
19727
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MA
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Amazing in the tough moments how encouraging words from loved ones can tip the balance of mental demons and help you continue.

2nd loop of your run sounds like a perfect IM experience...encouraging others, thanking volunteers, kidding with spectators, and getting back running and more yourself.

Impressive way to finish IM!

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