It is no mystery that the Thumm family is one fit and fast family. Over the years, the epic battles of Thumm vs Thumm have been compared to the likes of the Iron Bowl (Auburn vs Alabama), Fight of the Century (Ali vs Frazier) and, yes, even Coke vs Pepsi. However, those comparisons have nothing on actually getting to watch the Thumm battle live! This article will share the achievements of both Alison and Wayne over this past year through their continued rivalry. So sit back, grab some popcorn and Coke or Pepsi (actually, get some kind of serious sports drink and energy bars and put on some of those windbreaker suits that make the 'swish, swish' sound), and enjoy the read.
In 2013, she finished the tri season off with her first 70.3 triathlon distance race. She raced to an amazing 5:29:21 at IM Augusta 70.3 which included a 1:49:30 run split. She followed that up at the end of December with a 1:43:49 half marathon in a downpour of rain and heavy lightning at the Jax Bank Half.
This year, she has smashed her PRs in 5K and 10K. Her Palace Saloon 5K in 2013 was a 22:26, so she returned in 2014 to produce a 21:43, good for a 7:00/mile pace. She improved her Red Hills time from 1:41:24 in 2013 to 1:26:33 this year. That is a 15 min drop! In the summer, she finished what was supposed to be her last tri of the season at Rocknrollman sprint where she was 1st in her AG and 4th OA female (missed top 3 by 16 seconds).
Based on how much success she had, she passed up running the NYC marathon to go after a 1/2 IM distance in the fall. At a tune up race, Beach Blast 2 Olympic, her time of 2:26:44 gave her 1st in her AG and 3 OA, which included a bike split of over a 20 mph pace. WOW. Finally, she finished off her season in Venice, FL at the Rev3 Florida 70.3 triathlon, only her second at this distance. Her 5:22:52 was good for 2nd in her AG and 9th OA. All three splits of her race were huge improvements. If it says anything of her drive to improve, she was not satisfied with her 1:46:56 run split, a drop of over 2 min off her run at Augusta.
Alison's hubby Wayne, aka, The Man, has had his huge share of success, too. Like Alison, he had a very strong race in Augusta (2013) putting down a 5:16:17 which included a 26:22 swim split and sub 2:50:00 bike split. And in another epic Thumm vs Thumm race, he was able to produce a 1:36:11 half marathon in Jacksonville which is good for a 7:22/mi pace. Again, this race was in bad weather conditions.
At the Palace Saloon in 2013, he nailed the 5K at 21:00 on the nose. His goal had been to break 21. So he came back in 2014, and destroyed that barrier with a 20:33 which is a pace of 6:38/mile. Similarly, in the 2013 Springtime 10K, he ran a solid 45:22. However, he came back in 2014, and ran a 43:59, good for a pace of 7:05/mile. In his two Red Hills Triathlon races, he improved from 1:27:28 in 2013 to 1:21:46 this year. The bike split alone was upwards of a 3 min drop.
All of the early season was solid, but this was the year of the Ironman for Wayne. So as a build up race, he took on the Rocknrollman Half (70.3) distance. He'd raced it back in 2012 as his first 70.3 and dealt with some tough conditions. For all of us flatlanders in Florida, the Macon area has some big hills and temperatures typically spike into the 90s at this race. His time that year was a 6:29:20. It was quite tough conditions for a first 70.3. This year, he returned and triumphed. He dropped over 50 minutes to record a 5:38:33! His swim improved by 10 min, his bike improved by 10 min and his run improved by 30 min. He continued solid training through the hot summer months and completed his triathlon season in Chattanooga at the Ironman. It should be noted that he did much of his training solo, which is a very tough thing to do. His total time of 12:09:29 was shockingly fast for a first Ironman, not to mention that the bike course was a total of 116 miles - 4 more than a normal Ironman. Included in that race time was a swim split of 53:31, which comes out to 1:23/100m or 1:16/100y. And his bike pace held up for a solid 18.2 mph.
Now to quantify all of the above just mentioned about the Thumms, none of that came from simply being a gifted athlete. None of that was "given" to them. Yes, they are naturally good athletes, but that only got them a small portion of the way towards the goals they achieved. What really earned their way was their sheer dedication to the sport, their belief in themselves and their positive attitudes. I cannot speak enough to the hard work Alison and Wayne have invested. They have lead by example from the start, and I'm sure will continue to do so in years to come. This goes for not just multi-sport but, more importantly, in life. It has been a pleasure seeing them succeed, and they will surely continue to do so in years to come. Congratulations to the Thumms on a great year of racing, and here is to many more epic Thumm vs Thumm showdowns!