Ironman Texas - Post Race Report

Ironman Texas - May 21, 2011

Any Ironman finish is one to be proud of. This one takes the cake on that saying.

The swim in Lake Woodlands:
To say the lake was dark, would be an understatement. The water temperature was 77-79 degrees, non wetsuit legal. The professional athletes got the usual 10 minute lead on the course at 6:50am. The age group start was set for 7:00am. Officials started allowing AG athletes into the water at 6:40am. Charlie and I were near the front of the line waiting to enter the water. We got in found our spot and treaded water while waiting for the gun shot. Kayaks were being used for people to hang on to, there was plenty of kicking and bumping just waiting for the start. Before I knew it the gun shot and we were off. The start and almost the entire duration of the swim was congested. This was a very small lake for 2200 athletes and very hard to see. I followed the crowd trying my best not to get knocked out or hurt too badly. The final stretch of the swim was down a small canal to the exit. Spectators lined the canal and cheered everyone in.

Swim time: 1:09:28 I was happy with this time given it was a non wetsuit, lake swim with lots of contact.

Bike course - rural farm roads and national forest.

The bike was my favorite part of this race. It reminded me so much of riding through Leon and Jefferson Counties. Rolling hills, canopied roads, and windy paths were all around on the course. You were always challenged with a small climb and change in wind direction and beautiful farm lands to look at. This course was exciting, fun, and ever changing. Towards the end of the bike the clouds began to break and the heat began to rise. Nutrition stops were placed every 10 miles on the bike course with water, Powerbar Perfom, gus, bars, and bananas. The only thing I wanted was water. I would grab a bottle and dump it over me to cool myself off. This helped for the distance of the aid station and that was it because the water bottle was to big to fit in my frame. Towards the last 5 miles of the bike I was caught by one of the biggest packs I've seen in Ironman racing. They just kept coming and coming, this was very discouraging to watch. We all spend so much time preparing and to see all those people cheating and catching a "break" puts a sour taste in my mouth. I let them pass and watched them get further and further away till I hit T2.

Bike time: 5:44:00 This was a PR 112 miles for me. I felt great and in my element the entire time.

From the first step off my bike I knew it was going to be a run for survival. The temperature had seemed to jump 20 degrees and the sun was shinning in full force. I took my time in T2, I drank some cold water, used the bathroom, and got lathered up by the sunscreen volunteers.

Run Course - Flat and ALL concrete, but it had the most energetic spectators I've ever seen.

This was a run for survival. Water stops were stationed every mile on the course and if not for this I would not have made it to the finish line. The stops were filled with ice, cold sponges, water, Perform, cola, cookies, chips, gus, anything you could think of they had and plenty of it. At the first stop I realized their was no sense in trying to keep my shoes and socks dry so I dumped ice into my shorts and stuffed a cold sponge down my back. My goal was to have a marathon PR and break 4 hours (still have yet to accomplish), from step one I knew if I wanted to FINISH that was not an option. I slowed my pace tried to stay as comfortable as possible and keep going from water stop to water stop. A portion of the run was on both sides of a river walk running through the heart of The Woodland Mall. The river walk was lined with restaurants, bars, and cheering fans at each location, this was another major part of what brought me to that finish line. One mile after the next, they ticked by. And before I knew it I was almost done and proud and happy to run through the finishers shoot. For the first time, I slowed took my time and high fived the spectators on my way down, while listening to Mike Riley announce Sandy Holt, you are an Ironman! And that makes it all worth while!

Run time: 4:43:23

Again, I couldn't have done this without the support of my family. My Mom has come to every Ironman and cheered me to the finish. Her love and support will never go unnoticed. Thanks Mom!

My right hand man through it all has been Charlie. He has been with me through all four Ironman training blocks and has crossed the line with me three times. His support and dedication has kept me going, forced me to push harder, dig deeper, and strive for something more. Congratulations on another amazing performance!! CJ time: 10:06:50

My brother Mike showed true grit and put together the best performance of the day. He came out of one of the toughest conditions day with a new Ironman PR and a new sense of pride. He worked so hard through this training season and it showed. Congratulations on a stellar performance! You earned this one fore sure. Mike time: 12:49:03

Result Book:

Till next time!

1 comment:

  1. Sandy, you are incredible! I enjoyed this very much!!-Millie