Great Floridian Ironman Triathlon Report Page 1

E-mail Adam

Updated Site Updated: 12/20/04

1998 Great Floridian Race Report
October 30th, 1998
Swim 2.4 Miles, Bike 112 Miles, Run 26.2 Miles

Since watching the Hawaii Ironman triathlon on TV in the early 80's, I have always wondered what it would be like to do an Ironman distance triathlon. For 2 years I have seriously planned and trained to accomplish this feat.

Today, I can hardly believe that… I, am an IRONMAN!

Overall thoughts:
I feel I am a very lucky person to have accomplished my goal of finishing this race. The event was spectacular and I will never forget my first Ironman distance race. I had a tremendous amount of fun with all my friends. But, with that said, I am a little disappointed in myself for making silly rookie mistakes throughout the race that all year long I promised myself I would not make. As a result of these mistakes, my IM was a lot longer and more painful than it needed to be. Considering the 4:50:08 time I did on this same course in the ½ Ironman 6 weeks earlier, my Ironman time is not up to par. But, I have learned a lot of very valuable lessons that I will call experience, and if I ever decide to do an Ironman again, I will be ready with this first hand knowledge.

I was very happy to have more support at a race than I have ever had at any race before. In attendance was Lisa (my girlfriend), my dad and my close friend since childhood John and his girlfriend Katherine. Additionally, I had many training partners, other friends and acquaintances in attendance.

Race Weather Conditions:
Generally, the weather was perfect for racing. Temperatures all throughout the day were in the middle to upper 70's with very little humidity. The sun never got very intense due to the patchy clouds that were present all day long. Once or twice I felt tiny raindrops, but no real rain to speak of. The only changes I would have made were to lose the high swirling winds on the bike starting at about mile 70 just about to the end, and to lose the rather nasty head wind and chop in the water on the way out on the swim.

The Race
Race Morning:
I slept about 5 hours and as usual was awake before the hotel's wake-up call could do its job at 4AM. I ate breakfast and did the usual morning routine. I drove 8 miles down to the race site. My bike was left overnight in the transition area so I went in to do some last minute preparation. As I was bending down, my heart rate monitor strap breaks. I could not believe it, because the only other time it has ever broken was just over a year ago in this same spot as I prepared for my biggest race of last year. This is weird. As a result of this happening last year, this time, I was prepared with an additional HRM strap in my bag.

As I was pumping up my tires I kept hearing this hissing sound. After several adjustments to the pump valve, I realize that I had a hole in the tire. GA…REAT!! I look at my watch. It's 7:00, 30 minutes to the gun. Quicker than I ever have before I change the tube, using the spare I was going to carry on the course as a replacement. It went on with no problems. But, I did not have another spare for the race. 112 miles is a long way to go hoping you won't get a flat. My dad quickly comes to the rescue with a tube he bought somewhere around the transition area from a bike shop that must have known this would be an issue.

The Swim:
Wetsuits were allowed due to the 76 degree water temperatures. The swim start was a mass start (approximately 1,200 total entrants). The starting line was about 25 yards out from the beach (in a fresh water lake). Some racers chose to wade in the water at the start while others waited on the beach. I am a pretty fast swimmer and decided get in a few rows back from the start. I was nervous about this mass start, thinking I would get bludgeoned out there.

The race begins. I surged forward with the crowd staying to the outside. I got touched a few times, but nothing traumatic at all. As I pulled out I noticed that I was out there with only a handful of people and my mind immediately was at ease relieved that I would not get bludgeoned after all. Swimming into a good wind with the choppy water breaking over my head, as I took a breath, was a little frustrating. It was very hard to get into a rhythm. For the first time ever at a race swim I actually saw someone I knew out there. A guy named Eric from NYC I met at the pre-race festivities. Living in the south, I said, "Hey", and living in NYC he said, "Yo" and we kept swimming. On the way back to shore the wind was at our backs and somehow it just didn't seem that bad. The swim finish actually came up a lot quicker than I thought and I actually swam until my elbows touched ground. I was happy with my time.

Swim Time: 1:01:18