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Race Result

Racer: Nick Karim
Race: Ironman Arizona
Date: Sunday, April 9, 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 13:12:00
Overall Place: 844 / 1943
Age Group Place: 132 / 267
Comment: First Ironman!

Race Report:


I am racer #110 in the Arizona Ironman. Race morning is finally here after months of training through the cold winter months in Northern Virginia. My brothers and sisters are here as my support and cheering crew. Feeling slightly sick the morning of the race, I was wondering how my body would react to the long day ahead. I am at the starting line in the chilly water and the gun goes off for the professionals to start their race 15 minutes early. I feel an adrenaline rush and I am energized ready for the challenge ahead. My body feels strong and my mind focused.

A mass swim start at 7am with 2000 other triathletes, I start swimming at a comfortable pace knowing I will need my energy later. I stay on course through 1 loop course in Tempe town lake, constantly bumping into others who are also just beginning the 140.6 mile journey to the finish line under the 17 hour cutoff time.

I am feeling great as I exit the water, noticing my time is faster than what I expected. I run to the transition area, but noticed the cold water has numbed my legs somewhat. I take my time changing for the bike portion of the race, knowing I have 3 loops totaling 112 miles ahead in the hot desert sun. Having a successful swim builds my confidence and can now check it off the list and put it behind me.

As I start the bike course, I see my brothers and sisters waving and cheering me on. As I get into a comfortable pace, I remind myself to go easy, eat and drink, and also have fun! Itís a long and desolate ride out through the desert. As I enter the city finishing my first loop, I am welcomed by cheering fans andÖmy brother and sisters shouting words of encouragement. Itís back out for another loop, this time stopping at the special needs bag at mile 63 for more food and supplies. The ride out to the turn around point is mostly flat with a steady incline. My speed decreases, but I remain patient as I make the turn around to speed up going downhill back to the city.

Once again I enter the city and even more exited to see my cheering crew waving and shouting. I give a quick wave and continue back out for the third and final loop. In this kind of event, you have to be patient. Itís a test of mental and physical stamina. Given what the Ironman represents, I am motivated to push on knowing that other athletes are enduring the same conditions. I also got questioned a couple times of why my bib number was a different color. I took part in a fundraising effort in which I raised over a thousand dollars for a program called Tragedy Assistant Programs for Survivors (TAPS), a non-profit organization that helps military family members cope with a death of a family member.

After spending more than 6 hours biking in the hot sun, I finally complete the course and change my bike shoes to running shoes. I check my watch and itís 3:30pm. Before leaving the transition area, I get sunscreen put on my arms and neck before I start the 26.2 mile run. Immediately I see my brothers and sisters again which I smile to and tell them that the bike and swim are complete and check it off the list. It is a 3 loop run course and very spectator friendly. There are people everywhere, music is playing, and tons of aid stations with food and water. I keep a constant pace and run from aid station to aid station. The temperature is cooling down now that itís overcast and the sun is going down.

After a change of socks at mile 14, I continue running at a steady pace. I can feel the energy in the air of just being in the Ironman. I see my brothers and sisters one last time before they head over to the finish line to volunteer. Itís dark now and I am nearing the finish line with only a couple miles to go. As I turn the last corner, I run down to the finish of my awaiting brothers and sisters and hug in celebration ofÖ becoming an Ironman!