Monday, June 13, 2011

The Intimidator Florida Challenge Triathlon 70.3

The Intimidator Florida Challenge Triathlon 70.3
Sunday marked the completion of my second 70.3 race.  The race was called “The Intimidator Florida Challenge Triathlon.”  And boy did it live up to its name.  It made Ironman 70.3 Florida look like a walk in the park.  It had it.  It had hills, more hills, heat, serious heat (Heat Index of 100 -105F) and humidity (35%).
The swim was held in a large lake that was pretty dark and the water temperature was probably somewhere in the hot 80’s.  It felt like swimming in bath water.
All the men (of all age groups) started in one large wave.  The entire 70.3 only had about 130 people so it was not so bad (93 were men).  I was a little scared with so many people with so many different swimming abilities starting off at once but in comparison I had almost twice that many people in my wave at Ironman 70.3 FL a few weeks ago.
The beginning of the swim was harder than normal for me.  I could not get the path to the buoy correct.  I keep weaving.  I should have started more towards the front of the back because I spent too much time trying to pass people. 
My left rear deltoid was on fire for the first ½ mile.  After that it settled down but for that time I contemplated dropping out it hurt so bad. 
Overall the swim did not go so bad for me.  I finished in 43:14.  That is 56 out of 98 in the entire men’s division. 
Here is a little tip for those learning to do triathlons.  BEFORE you get onto the bike remove your cleat covers.  LOL.  The bike ride started off right on a hill.  I kept trying to clip into my pedals but was not having any luck.  I thought I may have had dirt in the cleats so I kept kicking them onto the pedals.  Then in the middle of the hill it dawned on me that my cleat covers where still one.  <head slap> I had to stop in the middle of the hill take them off and walk up the hill.  I felt stupid.  :-)
They describe the bike as “No major elevation changes, but you will experience a few rolling hills and a steep but short climb up Sugarloaf Mountain”  WRONG!!  As I rode the course I noticed we were following most of the metric century Horrible 100 route.  That should have been my early warning for what was about to come.  They did not mention the next set of “rolling hills” which included North Buckhill, South Buckhill, The Wall and Cherry Lake (twice).  This was a mini Horrible 100 race that was preceded by a 1.25 mile swim and followed by a 13.1 mile run. 
The bike ride kicked many people’s butts.  It was HOT (at least 95F with 35% humidity).  It was really hilly and seemed to take forever.
Something went wrong on the ride for me.  My kidneys and lower back where on fire.  I lost a ton of time trying to stand up on the bike to get them to stop locking up.  Nothing helped and no position on the bike would stop the pain.  For the first time in my life I wanted off the bike and onto the run.  If I had my Advil maybe that would have helped but I forgot to put them onto the bike. 
I also made sure I drank enough liquids.  I think I went through about 8 bike bottles of water in 3 hours.  I was drinking none stop.
Over the bike was not bad for me.  It could have been much better if it were not for the constant pain in my back.  3:28:04 77 out of 98. 16.1mph  That is with the major hills.
This is where I was scared.  I personally know of about 5 people who have dropped out of this race in the past on the run due to heat exhaustion.  The heat on the run is known to make people drop like flies.  Looking at the results it looks like 9 people did not finish the run and had to drop out.  That is 10%.  Not pretty. 
Boy was the run hot.  The temperature was at least 95F with 40% humidity.  80% of the run had NO SHADE.  It was brutal.  I had so much ice in my tunic that you could hear it sloshing as I ran.  There was enough ice in there to carry a six pack of beer (which would have tasted awesome at the time).  Even with that much ice in my tunic it would melt in less than 10 minutes. 

I have never seen a race where I saw so many people walking.  It was just too hot to run all the time.  Getting your core temperature down was key.  Everyone had to super ice down and walk or they would have passed out.  I know a few people threw up during the race and almost all people cramped up. Most people on the run looked pretty bad.
My knee totally locked up out of the T2.  It was as hard as a rock.  I literally yelled it hurt so badly.  I tried to rub it out and could feel the knot and the spasms.  Eventually it went away but it always nagged me.
The only thing that saved me from dropping out of the run was a nice 29 year old girl who ran the entire race with me.  She convinced me to do 2:1s with her.  I would have never finished without her.  She pushed me through that run.  She was from Atlanta and it was her first 70.3.  Her and her husband celebrated with champagne at the end of the race. 
My run time was not pretty.  2:50:36 13:02 pace.  To put it into perspective my 13.1 PR is about 1:56:00.  But it was so hot that I did not care and was happy I could just finish this race.
Thank god I'm done

Over it was a great race and was well run and supported.  No complaints and would give it a B grade overall.  If you like to torture yourself it is the race for you.  If you want a much easy 70.3 race stick with Ironman FL.  “The Intimidator” race made Ironman look like a pussy cat.  An older gentleman who ran 56 HIM and 16 IM said this was one of the toughest he had completed. 
BTW today I feel great.  Just minor sourness.  Bonnie also did her first Olympic distance and Triston did his first Du at this race.  They did great.  It was a day of family exersice.
The Bling
Almost there!

Anyone know what time it is?

Finish:          07:16:23  
Swim Place: 56  
Swim Time:  43:14  
T1:               89        
T1 Plc:         5:53  
Bike Overall: 77
Bike Time:    3:28:04
Bike Pace:   16.1 mph
Cum Plc:      76
T2:               4:17:10  
T2 Plc:         91  
T2 Time:      8:38   (had to strech the back out or I was going no where)
Overall Run: 71
Run Time:     2:50:36
Run Pace:     13:02


  1. That does not sound like fun at all so Congrats for finishing a tough race!

  2. Wow, that sounds kind of insane. Nice job holding strong! You definitely earned that medal!

  3. Nice job, Kevin! I was thinking about doing the race there in October. I had read about the hills and to not let the fact that the race is in Florida fool you. The hills are pretty serious for the race. Guess you could vouch for that! :)

  4. You are a hero. That sums it up.
    I did laugh just a little when I read about your cleats. Sorry. :)

  5. That sounds like fun.....NOT!!!! Way to go on finishing what sounds like one of if not the toughest races you will face.

  6. When your run time is nearly an hour off your PR and your first reaction is happiness ..... well, that pretty much sums up the whole thing. Sounds like one heck of a tough race and a big congrats to you for fighting through all the challenges!

    OK, I admit I gave you a facepalm for the cleat cover thing, but congrats on the rest!

  7. @All - I thought you would get a kick out of the cleat covers. Sometimes you have to laugh at yourself and that was one of those moments. Last time I started the run with my biking gloves on. LOL

    @TriSuccess - the heat was nearly unbearable so my run time suffered greatly. The pain in my back and knee did not help at all either. But I finished.


  8. Kevin, I got that. Hope my comment didn't come across wrong. I just thought your few sentences about your run time really captured the essence of the whole event. Big congrats on fighting and finishing!

  9. @Tri4Success: there was no offense taken. It's all good. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I love reading them. I hope to hear from you more often. What are you training for?


  10. Yikes! Seems to me that you won just by finishing that monster. Congrats!