Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz

Still not fully recovered from a head cold that’s been plaguing me for a week, I find myself writing this race report sitting on the couch still wrapped up in about 12 yards of gauze wrap with a small film of Neosporin covering nearly my entire body.

Perseverance was the best word that can describe what occurred on Sunday. After not only one bike crash, but two bike crashes, I somehow was able to push through the constant pain in my hip, my elbow, my back and the dripping blood.

Swim – 1.2 miles – 35:09 – https://www.strava.com/activities/391816148

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Not a good swim. I had a goal in mind as my training has been pretty solid leading up to this race but then come race morning when you expect a Sunday morning crystal clear and calm swim comes the waves. These were big waves…larger than I experienced at Escape From Alcatraz. I could feel this when I exited the water and took a quick glance at my watch. Not discouraged, I continued on…

T1 – 4:39: This includes the run from Cowell’s Beach to the soccer field.

Bike – 56 miles – 2:51:43 – https://www.strava.com/activities/391816187

Running out of transition, I had my shoes already clipped in and rubber-bands holding them parallel to the ground. A new running start and I was on my way with my feet on top of my shoes. As I approached the small hill leading up to West Cliff I shifted gears and then…it happened. When I shifted my pedal stalled for a millisecond and my foot slipped off, but forward. When it slipped off forward, my large chain ring dug into my right calf and overboard I went.

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Down the hill running comes Sara. Lincoln from the Spokesman was on his way to work when he saw me and checked my bike to ensure it was still in proper working order. So I walked my bike up the hill with Sara, gave her a kiss and then clipped in for my 56 mile ride.

West Cliff came and went with ease. As I turned from Swanton onto Delaware, I lost a water bottle on the bumpy road and I thought “oh boy…what else could happen today?”

I was riding really hard on Hwy 1 and passing plenty of riders. I was feeling okay as the crash was just scraps and gashes, no internal injuries.

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Onto Swanton Road and this was where I thought I was going to excel. I know this road…I know the turns. Which turn to take on the inside, which turn to take on the outside. Which side of the lane has the least bumps. I was doing just fine and gaining back some time. Approaching the first aid station in front of the CalFire station, I reached back to grab a sip of my water bottle before dumping it and then…it happened again. I hit a hard bump with only one hand on the handle bars and I could feel myself going down. I let go of the water bottle and turned into the crash. My right side took all of the crash as I skidded across the cement for a solid 10 feet. I immediately jumped up yelling “You have to be FUCKING kidding me?!?!?!?” Another rider stopped and helped me clean up all of my nutrition and water bottles that were scattered across the road like a yard sale.

Scott Pirie came running with two other volunteers. They gave me water and helped clean me up before I got back on my way. I was running on 100% adrenaline at this point knowing full well that I still have the 500 ft Swanton climb coming up.

I somehow made it up and down Swanton, rode hard up Hwy 1 to the turn around and then dropped the hammer on the way back with nasty cuts all over my body, blood dripping from my calf and my back and a right hip that I swore was going to derail the rest of my race.

All in all, I spent 9 minutes at my two crashes not riding.

T2 – 4:04: Flying dismount = pain.

Run – 13.1 miles – 1:49:35 – https://www.strava.com/activities/391816162

My training has been solid and my long runs at a good pace. I told myself not to start off too fast and enjoy the views. As I look left on West Cliff, a pod of dolphins jumping and playing greeted all of us with their beauty!

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After my crashes, I had to reset my expectations for the race and my goal was to run under a 1:50. Red Bull at every aid station definitely helped keep the caffeine up and loaded to help block the pain from my hip and calf. I started cramping a bit at miles 10-11 and had to slow up a bit. Running on the beach, it actually felt good to run through the water and feel the cold ocean.

I was incredibly relieved to finish this epic day of racing! I crossed the finish line and immediately went to the medic tent to have my wounds looked at.

Overall time of 5:25:10. I am in absolutely awe that I was still have to bust out a time like this after what happened to me. My PR before this was only a 5:14:30 so I wasn’t much slower with two major crashes that obviously affected the rest of my race from 40 minutes on.

There are three main reasons why I continued and ultimately completed this race:

  1. Sara Doinidis. My wife. Every pedal stroke and running step I was thinking about her. I pushed harder just to see her beautiful face as soon as I could!
  2. Mike KlueyPoo. PMA! Knowing Mike was enduring his own struggles in Ironman Wisconsin, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to tell him that I DNF’d just because of some crashes when everything was still in working order.
  3. My fellow teammates at Santa Cruz Triathlon Association. I love you all!!!!!!

1141_008725Incredibly relieved to cross the finish line!

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A quick shot of my right shoulder. This was probably the worst cut because I kept stretching the scabs throughout the week whenever I’d reach for an object.

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A solid shot of my right leg prior to screaming like a little child in the shower.

I’d like to thank the following for helping me on a day-to-day basis:

Spokesman Bicycles – For helping ensure my bike is in working condition for Ironman 70.3 Lake Tahoe!

GU Energy Labs – For providing the caffeine that I so needed out on the course!

BioSkin Recovery – You know I’ve been utilizing these like crazy!

Now on to Ironman 70.3 Lake Tahoe on 9/20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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