Ironman New York City – Trev’s Race Rundown

I must be the only one that thinks IMNYC was a cool race.  For sure there are some major improvements needed, but man, lots of people ripping on the race for the same reasons I would go back.

Run course is too tough?? What the heck, people.  This is the same reason IMSG is no longer an Ironman.  We need tough courses in this sport.  Do you not find it ironic that for an Ironman, one of the toughest single day sporting events ever, people want easier courses? In ultra running, or other extremely tough sports, people are always looking for hard courses and thrive on completing those courses.  Why then, as Ironman athletes, are people complaining about tough courses?  You should be proud to finish those courses, not pissed off because it was too hard.

Here are a couple things about this race that I thought sucked.  Almost everything else I thought was top notch and well done for a big city race like this.

-Awards banquet…what was that, guys? That was embarrassing.

-Spectator unfriendly.  I think this really ruined it for a lot of people.  And if it didn’t, the awards ceremony did.

-I’m cheap, so shelling out $$$ all over the place for cabs and ferries got a bit annoying.  I’d probably stay on the NYC side if I go back.

-The finish line – I know Ironman can find a way to make that finish a little better.  Jordan Rapp had a great idea; put that thing inside a stadium somewhere and have the last couple laps completed on a track. That way you’re free to use amplified sound after 10:00pm and it would just be freaking cool for spectators who could watch their athletes finish the final half mile or so….or mile.  Shit, I’d do 4 laps of the track with people screaming, that’d be awesome!

One final rant here; I also ‘love’ how people who weren’t even at the race are ripping on the race.  Shuuush!!!!!

Anyway, I thought the race was great.  Maybe my judgment is clouded because I had a good race.  But anyone who went there, expecting to cruise through another Ironman like Florida or Arizona, obviously didn’t do their research before-hand.  There was plenty of information going around that would have told you that course was hard.  Which, like I mentioned earlier, should be a feather in your cap, not something to complain about.

Wheeeeewwwww. Had to get that off my chest.

As far as my race goes, I’m generally happy with it.  Very happy, actually. There are just a few things that I need to work on before I can win one of these guys.  I met the goals I set for myself and dealt with my ‘fears’ of the race really well.  Not really fears, but just simply some hurdles that were weighing on my mind in the days leading up to the race.  The two biggies were the heat/humidity, and the dive start.  Yep, the dive start.  I had never done a dive start in a race before, let alone from a barge that’s 4 feet or more off the water.  It wasn’t so much the actual dive that had me thinking, more so the worry of my goggles coming off or filling with water.  Which, I’m happy to say, only one of them did.  Another bonus, I didn’t get pink eye by swimming with one eyeball submerged in Hudson river water for 45 minutes.  Score!! 😛

Pro women start..I couldn’t find a Pro men start. All looks the same at this point anyway.

45minutes??  43 and change actually.   About 10 minutes faster than normal for the Pros.  I heard reports of Age Groupers swimming upwards of 20 minutes faster than normal once the tide really started to let the river flow.  Swimming is just one of those things where I need to improve the most.  My time was about 4 minutes off the leader, which is solid for me, but it’s still 4 minutes over the space of a 40 minute swim.  To have a fast swim quite simply sets up the bike ride so differently…riding with the leaders, instead of hoping the gap doesn’t grow.  Jordan, well, his swim is also a bit weak, but he’s just got the bike legs like nobody else I’ve seen so can play his own game on the ride.  It’s insane how fast he can ride a bike (and still run REALLY well).

My ride was not a ride I’m the most proud of.  I just kind of did what I needed to do.  No risks, no attacks, I was a little worried about the marathon and what I knew would be a hot, humid grind.  Normally I like to make a move on the bike, pick some people off late in the day.  I made one attempt to give it some gas and tried to get Stefan Riesen to come with me – aiming to put some time on Chris Macdonald and Pedro Gomes who I knew have some solid marathon times in their legs.  The reason I wanted to go with Stefan was simply because he was being crazy and riding his legs into the ground.  Having guys like that around you on the bike leg of an ironman is a huge advantage.  I’m not sure what he was thinking by smashing himself so badly, but he must not have thought much further ahead than Kilometer 150 of the bike.  He was definitely key in keeping our (Me, Chris, Pedro) bike times relatively fast while allowing us to focus on other things like fueling and hydrating.  It was still hard, I was riding WAY above my planned watts on every hill just to stay in touch.  The benefit to doing that was some fairly significant easy riding on the downside of the hills.  Even with the legal 10m gap when moving 50-60km per hour you’re still getting a slight wind break.  No doubt about it.  Chris and I took numerous turns up front, (Pedro, we need to talk about that one.  If we find each other together in Kona, you’re taking some time up front) but it was never long before Stefan came powering through again, out of the saddle, uphill in his biggest gear.

In the last 30 miles of the bike the sun really came out and I could feel the heat starting to hit us.  Right then I started pounding First Endruance EFS, Liquid Shot, water and electrolyte pills as much as my stomach could handle.  I definitely went a bit far in that regard as I puked up a fair bit of water.  But I had to do it.  I had only peed once, which is ok on a cool dry day, but on a hot, humid day…not so much.

Credit: Greg Bond

Getting that fluid in during the bike is the only way to do it.  Once you hit the ‘oh shit’ zone on the run, you’re never coming back from it.  The last couple miles of this bike course is a pretty solid downhill, which I love.  A bit of time to stretch the hip flexors, pee one last time, and think about how you’re going to run through transition.  All good.

Onto the run I was in 15th place.  Chris, Pedro, and Stefan got through T2 quicker than I did. I took a bit of extra time to put on some over the shoulder arm coolers (dorky things, but they help), some normal shoe laces instead of elastic (I’m going back to elastic next time), my UltrAspire run belt, and loaded up the pockets of my jersey with electrolyte pills in a bottle.  It didn’t take long to get past those guys, but it took another 7 miles before I started to catch the guys upfront. Into 11th, then a while later, 10th, 9th, 8th (Twelsiek, Bell, Brader) all came at once around mile 10.  I think catching Paul Ambrose at mile 13ish was when I moved into 7thFrom there onward I didn’t really think about catching guys, the gap was large enough to not care about the clock.  It came down to doing what I could to stay cool, hydrated, and slog the heck out of the hills and stairs.  Stairs in an Ironman!  Lots of stairs, wow.  Not only were they stairs, but they were stairs at the top of a 1 mile climb in the open blazing sun.  That was by far the most difficult part of the run for me.  But at the same time it was really awesome.  So many people out lining the course.  It was a bit of a shock to hear that much noise, having come from 15 miles of relative quiet.   But anyway, on the first flight of stairs to get up to the George Washington Bridge I took it two steps at a time.  Ummm, I’d like to know what made me do that.  It was stupid and could have easily caused some face-on-metal, or hamstring cramping issues.  Next flight of stairs, one at a time, much safer, then down some stairs while leaning on the railing, making sure I didn’t trip.  Over the bridge for a mile (very very cool).  More stairs, up and down, steep path down through a small area of the city where there was a decent crowd out-and-about, then finally on the river for the final 9 miles of flat!! Ha, flat.  No.

I didn’t really know how far back I was.  Pedro’s coach, Jesse, gave me 8minutes to 4th, but other than that I had no clue who was going strong.  For some reason I was just kinda in my own little world.  I really didn’t think about anything at all from mile 16, until I finally saw Bert Jammaer at mile 21.  I’m trying now to think about what kept me moving through those 5 miles, but I’m coming up blank.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t think.  Literally blank.  I do remember seeing a nearly LIFE SIZE poster of Mckayla Maroney exactly like this picture. <<<  I wanted to laugh, but I couldn’t constrict my diaphragm enough to make a sound.

Once I passed Bert for 6th I caught a glimpse of Cliff English, TJ’s coach, taking splits.  That got me thinking TJ was not far away.  Sure enough, 5 minutes later I made that pass to put me in 5th.  At that point I could have been satisfied.  Top 5 was my goal, I couldn’t see 4th place and the finish was only 4 miles away. Even with 2 miles to go, on an out-and-back section in the park I saw 2nd, 3rd, and 4th going the other way.  A quick back-split to the turn put me at 1:30 behind 4th with 2 miles to go.  That’s a sizable gap, and he was still running.  But in the words of Teddy KGB: “Kids got Alligator blood. Can’t get rid of him”  Or, “At least I’ll respect myself tomorrow morning.”  (He actually said, ‘Respect is all you’ll have left in the morning’, and it was Matt Damon’s character that said “At least I’ll respect myself in the morning”.  But Teddy KGB is so much cooler in that movie so I always use the ‘Respect is all you’ll have left in the morning’ bit no matter what the situation is).  Note, there’s a swear word or two in this video.  Random aside, sorry.

Not much further down the road I caught another glimpse of Marcus (4th) as he turned a corner, and the gap was already down to 1 minute.  Soon, at mile 25, I could see him at the top of a hill I was just about to start…40 seconds to the top for me.  Then slight rolling terrain and he was coming back quickly.  Finally the pass.  He didn’t put up a fight, which is fine by me.  I had pretty much emptied the tank to get that spot and the idea of sprinting after 8.5 hrs of racing is not appealing.  Regardless, I checked back numerous times to make sure.

All in all, Jordan cleaned the floor with us on the bike.  But having him there to run a 2:59, helps make my 3:01 look pretty solid.  This is just one of those courses where you can’t compare times of other races.  It’s its own race.  My take away from it is a huge confidence boost.  I ran well at IMAZ last year, but those conditions were ideal.  To run strong at the end of what is by far the hardest Ironman run course I’ve been on (yes, harder than IMSG) is just great.  Throw in that crazy humidity we had, and Kona seems like no problem.  Knowing you’ve done it, is so much better for the confidence than knowing you could do it.

Huge thank you to Paulo Sousa and the Triathlon Squad.  Not everyone likes what Paulo says, or can even deal with what he says.  I’ve had a hard time reading some of his emails now and again.  He’s to the point, and often makes you feel like crap.  But trust me, if you can handle his crap tossing, and read the emails like he’s trying to help you (he is), he’ll make you a better athlete.  Come join us in 2013!!

And of course many thanks to my awesome sponsors.  My incredibly supportive family, but most of all, my amazing wife who I get to share this awesome sport and life with.  We took a calculated risk to commit to this sport almost 4 years ago, it’s been a lot of work and worrysome moments at times, but the past couple years have definitely made that risk seem more like something we would have been stupid not to do.  CHEERS, everyone, to further improvement and some big wins down the road!

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~ by trevorandheather on August 15, 2012.

20 Responses to “Ironman New York City – Trev’s Race Rundown”

  1. I could not agree with you more Trev. Be proud, very proud of accomplishing not just an Ironman but a very hard one at that.

  2. My favorite saying to “celebrate who you are and all you have become” you both deserve to do exactly that not only in your life but through out your career as well. Here’s to Kona!! Can’t wait to cheer you guys on.

  3. Hope they make a few improvements and keep Ironman New York around for a while. Tough race for a tough town ..gotta love that!

  4. Great report !! if you were pushing the ups and coasting the downs, what did your VI look like ? Overral did you meet or exceed your watts target ? Whatever, it worked. Great run and the fight for 4th is inspiring

    • Marc, my VI was 1.08. I’ve had NP power numbers 15 watts higher on flat courses. I always find it’s quite hard to compare. There are ways to cheat those numbers if you want…just stop pedaling instead of riding 75 watts downhill and all of sudden your NP is going to be WAAAAAYYYYY higher. But it’s better for your legs to keep them moving….so, hard to say that a high NP is the best ride.

  5. Great race Trevor, I was on the bike and passed you (no one else was around) a bit after mile 18 on the run saying “Paulo would be proud.” Really great race, was fun to watch you run them down.

  6. Love what you wrote, and congratulations! I loved the race because it was so tough and I still had a great race!

  7. Great race Trev! We’re soooo happy for you! Thank you for a great race report! Can’t wait to see you and congratulations!

  8. Awesome race report!

    Well detailed report, no clue who you were. I’ll be looking out for you at Kona now. GL

  9. I was watching on my computer as you moved up the ranks on the run – very exciting! And then volunteered at the 116th St. turnaround on the 5-midnight shift – humidity and hills really, really took it out of everybody, it truly was a tough race.

  10. The black Blue is definitely faster. Nice race!

  11. Congratulations on a fantastic race, I like this report a lot! I also loved the race (my 10th Ironman) because it was so tough and I still killed it 🙂 Hope to see you again at a race soon!

  12. GREAT race and RR Trevor!!!!
    ps: Sweet bike!

  13. I just love reading your race reports (both of you) – they put me in the driver’s seat and make me feel like I’m all part of the action. And a huge well done for such an awesome result – totally stoked for you.

  14. Fantastic report and congrats on a well executed race! I completely agree with you on everyone bashing the course. I am a local and personally thought it was a blast, although difficult. The out and back on the first part of the run, with the notorious uphill (known well by the local cycling community) was brutal!

  15. Great race report! Love the cursing 🙂

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