so the beautiful mrs k and i took off for the great state of kansas friday night after work. it was a lovely drive and we were glad to be free of our normal obligations and responsibilities. too bad we were missing the kids and the dogs before we reached columbia....
the ironman 70.3 was held in lawrence, kansas, the old stomping grounds of super cake. i've been to lawrence a couple of times to race mountain bikes. it's a quaint little midwestern/western style town with rolling hills. we came to do our part (cycling) in the relay competition in the race. mcd was my swimmer, eric burdge my runner. deanna's swimmer was jessica and her runner was eric's wife, the incredible nicole.
packet pickup on saturday in downtown lawrence revealed to us the incredible popularity of multisport events. it was a zoo, and rightfully so with 1300 participants. we headed out in the afternoon sun for a brief reconnaissance of the course. hills, wind, hills, wind. yikes, that's a frightful combination for a hot june day for 56 miles!
no matter, we were there for fun and fun we had. we did a ghisallo team dinner downtown that night. it's funny how many triathletes we have and how many of them don't really know each other. probably because the events are so different, i.e., short tri's, long tri's, and everything in between.
4:30am came early. we busted out of the hotel and met up with mcd and jessica in the lot. the parade of cars going into the race venue at clinton lake was INCREDIBLE. it's hard to believe that many people get up that early to punish themselves for so long!
race time! mcd and jessica busted out their swims, very late because relays were in the 8th of 9 waves. a few relay people came in before mcd so i was a nervous wreck. finally i saw him and i embarked on the best 56 miles of my life. about 700 people were on the road before me, and i made like pac man and gobbled them up. it was addicting. not just one or two riders at a time, but sometimes clumps of 10 riders. i went with my own orca road bike, clip-ons, and bontrager carbon aero wheels, and the combo was perfect. i hit the end of the first leg, still gobbling up riders. second leg, a bit harder with the hills and headwind, still feeling good. saw many ghisallo riders kickin' it. third leg, whoa. the combination of the wind and the hills got me down. i had to dig deep. i made it to the turnaround and the wind came in my favor. a mad dash home, passing the last few riders that i could. wow! sprinted through the transition and handed off my chip to eric, who flew out onto the run. 2:28 for 56 miles, average of 22.6mph. in my mind i had said 23mph, but i was very pleased. and 164 average heart rate isn't bad for an old guy. eric had some cramping issues, but came in very well indeed and we got first for all-male relay. we did, however, get beat by two coed teams and oh, about 75 individuals. ah, but we can still be proud of a job well done, i think. there were over 900 finishers, so it's not a bad result.
i was quite worried about mrs k. it was a tough course, and she hadn't ridden much and had been sick like me. but she tore it up and came in at almost 17mph average and she had to pass nearly everyone. i was quite relieved to see her speed into the transition area. nicole took it from there and had a great run until she was pulled due to the horrible storm that tore through.
in the end, we had great respect for the ironpeople. that is some tough stuff. deanna and i had a killer workout and pushed ourselves very hard in what is only ONE of the THREE legs that the individuals have to do. hats off, for sure.