Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ironman Augusta 70.3 Race Recap

Hey everyone! Well, another successful day of racing in Augusta, Georgia (and the countryside of South Carolina) has passed. It all happened on Sunday, September 25, 2011. It was the third year of the Ironman Augusta 70.3.

The Savannah River provides a beautiful setting for the start of the race. The start is located at the edge of downtown Augusta, GA and looks across the river to the banks of South Carolina. This year was a sellout field of over 3,000 competitors. The weather started off cloudy, let some sun break through and then got rainy. Temperatures rose into the 80s at times, so it made for some tough conditions to run in.




PRE-RACE





On Saturday, TriAttic led a prerace warmup for race day. We got in a short test swim in the river so the racers had a feel for where the current was running fastest and what the most direct angle might be. A 30 minute bike then followed where we rode part of the course with a few 30 second pickups to get the blood flowing. And we finished with a ten minute jog to get the legs moving off of the bike. It was a great group and good company.


RACE DAY



Staying in the host hotel, the Marriott, is the way to go. It is literally walking distance to the race start and race finish. This makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable versus staying out past the Masters golf course and having to drive to the race and deal with the parking situation. If you plan to attend next year, be sure to start looking into reservations soon as the hotel fills up very quickly. The cost is a bit more, but the location is unbeatable and the convenience makes all the difference.


The swim conditions were pretty much the same as last year. It is nice to know that in a point to point swim like this, the distance doesn’t change year to year (i.e. Beach Blast!) The bike splits seemed a bit faster as the athletes didn’t have the heavy rain and slick roads to contend with like last year. If you look at run splits, it is almost across the board where times dropped off quite a bit (pros and age groupers) on the second half of the run. This just goes to show how tough the weather was in the run portion.


As always, the river helped push most athletes to their fastest swim ever. As for the pros, I was able to jog down to T1 and see the male leader exit the water at 19 minutes for a 1:00 pace per 100 meters. Not bad, eh. He was soon followed by the rest of the pack. The women’s lead swimmer, Svetlana Blazevic, came out in a blazing 21:51 for a 1:09 pace per 100 meters.


video



The bike produced some lightning fast times, too. The route snakes through the countryside of South Carolina and has a nice mix of topography. Training around Tallahassee really does emulate the topography of the Augusta bike course. In the men’s field, Kyle Leto, who also had the fastest swim, put down the day’s quickest bike in 2:06:40 for a pace of 26.53 mph. By that speed you would think his last name should have an “i” in it and his first name should be Chris. The top woman in the bike portion was Heather Jackson with a 2:22:58 for a pace of 23.50 mph. Wow.




When the pros reached the run, the real race began. Emma-Kate Lidbury, who had held onto second place hammered home to win the race with the day’s best run of 1:27:49, a pace of 6:42 per mile. Her overall time was a blistering 4:19:31. In the men’s race, Leto had pushed too hard on the bike and looked to be fading badly on the run. He would end up holding on for fifth overall. Victor Zyemtsev, who was 4th in 2009 and 3rd in 2010, finally brought home the bacon. He put down a ridiculous run time of 1:13:20, a pace of 5:35 per mile. He was followed by fellow Ukranian Maxim Kriat, who was the prior “victor” in 2010.
























Gulf Winds Triathlon Club members were very well represented. I can’t even begin to name off everyone, but it was great to see the family of Jeff, Karen and Colby Allen out there. The vets of this race included Bryan Desloge, Jay Townsend, Andrea Stephens, Karen Munoz, Jason Hand, Mike Boll, Steve Padilla and many others. Jamie Harris put down a super fast time of 5:22 dropping over 45 minutes from last year’s time. Alan Cox and Alex Steverson continued their battle for the trophy both racing here for the first time.


TriAttic’s own Bryan Desloge put in a solid race. After recently summiting Denali, he is back at it with the sport of triathlon. He is already looking towards his next race, Ironman Austin 70.3, which he will race with Jay. I’m starting to wonder if Bryan’s last bucket list item is to actually do an Ironman ON a mountain!


And we must give a special shout out to Sandy’s best friend Ashley Roman for attempting and completing her first half Ironman. Congratulations Ashley!



It was also great to see the ever youthful couple of Bob and Stacia Keller. They always know how to brighten a place with their presence. These are the role models we can all strive to be like.



To find all the information you could want and more regarding this race, you can go to http://ironman.com/events/ironman70.3/augusta70.3#axzz1ZjgcwuGV and/or http://ironmanaugusta.com/.


And looking ahead, we hope many of you will be at the Tri the Rez or the Pine Run. We’ll be watching the Rez this year. And in early November, get ready to cheer on those racing in Ironman Florida on the 5th. It is always a good time.