Half Ironman Rev3 Williamsburg Race report

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Last weekend I did my first Half Ironman distance at Rev3 Williamsburg. It’s a new course and probably the same for 2017. With the expected heat at finish line of 98F (36C) and no wind, dialing down a notch was quite sensible. My goal was to finish with no injuries and to have fun, as this was my first Half on my way to the Ironman in September!. I did a 6h 8min and I’m quite happy about it. (the 8 minutes extra hurt a bit…). Kudos to DCtri for the awesome support.

The race kind of starts the day before drinking isotonic liquid all day, a nice garlicy pizza dinner and super early bed. On race day I woke up 4am. That is 2h before race time to have last energy in and digested. I had a nice protein bar, protein shake and coffee. Got to Transition 1 hour before to pump the tires, and leave all material ready for T1 and T2. I probably had the best spot, first line out, first bike in the row. Sweet.

With the heat coming later in the day and the long race, the name of the game is keeping the HR low. You don’t want to burn the engine too hot or you’ll ran out of energy soon. And of course calorie intake and fluid (overall I think I had 12 bottles during the race, mostly Gatorade but also some water and Vega). I also used Cashew Lara bars, Peanut Butter Pretzel and MAPs.

The swim leg was good. The water was incredibly warm. I do prefer to swim a bit more distance than being hit, so I started on the back of the wave and swam on the outer side of the track. 2:02/100yd pace quite in line with pool times. I´m a bit worried with the high HR, I was doing 148 bpm average, much more than the pool. 1.2-mile (1.9 km) in 39min 15s

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Oddly the Sun was raising exactly over the swim exit, which was a beautiful sight. T1 was fine, but I did hit a bump with my big toe running out of the water and almost fell down. I had to limp a bit hoping the pain would go away for the run. Every athlete is obsessed how quickly a small injury can screw your race…

The Bike was pretty fast, flat and very beautiful across farmland. I was downing basically 1.5 bottles per hour. There seemed to be an accident involving several bikers (could not find outcome or reason) and we had to divert to a slower bike lane for a while. My little rant is that I saw upwards from 20 bottles on the road. Please make sure you bottle secures properly and don´t put normal bottles if they don´t. They will fall typically where speed is highest. My “trick” on the water station was to leave my bottle in the bike, unscrew the top and slid under the tri suit. On the station, take a Gatorade, remove the top and fill my bottle quickly with the new one. Discard the Gatorade, put back top and move on. 1 minute tops.


I got a flat right before the bridge, less than a mile away from the end of the bike. I used a CO2 to see if it could hold the air, but no way. I figured changing the tube was 10 min or so, and running at race pace would be 5 minutes or so, so I ran pulling the bike. My HR peaked to 170 bpm but I think it was the right decision (a bit after the race I timed myself changing the tube – 8 min). It was quite awesome to hear the crowd and fellow runners cheer as they saw what has happened. 56-mile (90 km) in 2h 54 min

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The run, being a 2 “loops” of a back-and-forth path under heat, mostly sun, and an arched bridge in the middle, was quite brutal. The “run 9 min, walk 1” technique was quite timed with aid station so that was good. I managed to mix water, gatorade, gatorade cubes and salt to keep GI out. The worst part was the second loop out. I felt I was loosing the balance of hydration, so slowed down a bit more which seemed to work. Had a caffeine GU 2 miles from the finish and finished with an all-out sub 6 min/mile 170 HR mini-sprint. 13.1-mile (21.1 km) in 2h 25 min


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I feel good about doubling the swim, ok about doubling the bike, but I´m quite worried about doubling the run…

All pictures here

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