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Rockman Half Ironman Race Report

Posted by niemsco on Jun 11, 2008 11:55:25 AM

The race was the Rockman Half Ironman in Rockford, IL. I went 5:07:41 on a difficult course with ridiculous conditions.  Lightning, 40mph winds, hail, trees falling down almost crushing competitors.  278 people finished and 125 dropped and about another 30 never showed up.  They were probably the smart ones. There were some positives and not so positives.



I got up just before 4am to have a bagel with peanut butter. But the bagel was a bit stale and I only ate half of it. Yuck! I ended up downing a Cliff bar with some coffee and water. I heard it was going to be hot today, but when I went out to the car from the hotel, it was raining. I got to the race site just after 5am for a 7am start and sat there until the rain stopped. Then I walked a quarter mile or so down to the start and it seemed quite pleasant. Little did I know a wicked storm was coming in, but that's for later.


Swim: 39:05. Very disappointing for me and a step back. I can only say I just didn't have it today. I seemed tired in the swim, maybe it was too much training, I don't know. I expected to go under 34 minutes. Get'm next time is all I can say.


Bike: 2:44:08 (20.5mph) I thought I was done for awhile with windy conditions after IMAZ, but the gusts started up on the bike course. 30, 40, I heard stories up to 60mph. Who knows, but it was windy. I didn't know what the course would be like, and I didn't anticipate needing a climbing gear. I still had the 11-23 on the race wheels but needed the 12-25. Good rollers, reminded me a bit of the IMWI course in some areas. Challenging course, and the wind of course made it miserable. But I learned from Arizona and just took it easy and waited to go with the wind, where I would hammer it. I kept a relatively conservative pace. The problems occurred towards the end, I'm not exactly sure what mile marker, maybe 48-50, but dark clouds were coming in and lightning surrounding us. I was freaking out, because lightning, you just don't mess with. But what was I going to do? I'm in the middle of farm country, no one was around except other triathletes. My only thought was, I'm near the end, just keep at it and they will certainly cancel the race once in transition. However it was just getting started as heavy rain and hail came. With the wind it was painful! My arms and body were red from getting pelted and the rain was hitting my helmet so hard I couldn't hear anything. I could hardly see anything. geez.... Finally towards the end it let up a little and I was glad. So all in all, decent bike considering conditions.


Run: 1:40:28 (7:40). Coming into T2, I saw people coming out for the run. I was like ok... well if they are running I'm not going to stop. So I got my soggy socks and shoes on and headed out squeaking all the way. Very hilly HIM course but it's about a 6 minute PR on my last HIM, and that course was a pancake!! So this is a huge improvement. Rain and wind kept coming and a few trees fell over, one almost taking out the lead female in the race. Crazy stuff. I cramped up early in the run and had to limp for awhile. I was lucky as I was close to and aid station and stopped for a banana and water. That seemed to miraculously cure me! It started up later again in the run, but the guy I was running with offered me a Gel and that seemed to work. Thanks man!!!


Support: My entire family was out there the entire time. They get the gold medal for best race supporters! I'm glad everyone is ok and no one got hurt by the weather.


So... swim... I'll work on that and iron it out. Keep hammering the bike training and run training. Those seem to be on track. I did this race with essentially no taper and high intensity training volume, so I have to keep it in perspective. Was hoping for a sub 5hr finish, but keep the eye on the prize... IMWI!

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