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Race Result

Racer: Brady DeHoust
Race: Great Floridian Iron-Distance
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2002
Location: Clermont, FL
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Age Group: Male 25 - 29
Time: 10:47:36
Overall Place: 37
Age Group Place: 4
Comment: 1st iron-distance race

Race Report:

First of all, congratulations to all the athletes who competed at Hawaii or the Great Floridian this past weekend. Great job!

My first "go" at an ironman distance race was at the Great
this past Saturday. I left on Wednesday night with two friends (Marc
Nester & Howard Curtis) who would also relinquish their label as a
virgin to an ironman at GFT. We were all thankful to be healthy and
in Florida, with lots of nervous energy built up inside.

Thursday morning, Nester and I decided to get a feel for the swim,
and headed to Lake Minneola. The water temperature was 79 that day,
so we were anxiously hoping for a one-degree drop over the next two
nights to make it a wetsuit legal race. This is VERY important for
me…I need all the help I can get. After the swim, we drove the
first half of the bike course, knowing that it was the challenging
part due to some descent hills and tight turns. We later discovered
that this wasn't so much the case – more on that later.

Friday night, I spent about four hours trying to figure out what to
put in all my race bags. Remember, this was my first ironman
distance race. I'm used to just having all my gear right next to
bike, placed neatly on my towel. Now, I have five separate bags to
fill: warm-up gear; bike-gear; run-gear; bike special needs; run
special needs. I honestly went through each one, just to make sure
I had the right amount of gels, Tylenol, salt tablets, etc. I sat
for twenty minutes, deciding whether my ritz bits crackers should go
in my run special needs or bike special needs. By 9pm, I was ready
to lie down for a restless night. I figured I'd wake up at least
every two hours. And banking on that, I planned to drink a high
calorie drink at 2am. This plan backfired, but for a good reason. I
slept all the way to my alarm…4:45. It's go-time…

Swim: Okay, my first mass wave start, so I positioned myself pretty
far to the right. The swim consisted of two laps around a
rectangular shaped course. First lap, I exited in 27
swim must be a bit short, but fine with me! After the first lap, you
actually had to drag yourself through knee-deep water to start the
second lap. I exited the swim a little over 58 minutes, had my
wetsuit ripped off by a volunteer (that was great!), and moved into

T1: Uneventful…packed up my swim gear in my bike gear bag and was

Bike: As I said earlier, the first 40 miles of the bike are fairly
hilly, especially within the first ten. The plan was to go at a
steady pace – not too hard, not too easy. About mile twelve,
was a section of about a mile of potholes and crappy terrain. My
thoughts here, "please no flats and I hope my water bottles
fly out". This is something I've had numerous problems with
on the
wood bridges on the W&OD. That, fortunately, was a success. At the
38-mile mark, there's a pretty nice hill called Sugarloaf that
see as soon as you turn left. Once Sugarloaf was through, the rest
would be cake, right? Well, that was the perception, but the wrong
one. I headed into special needs, grabbed my ham sandwich (a Guzek
special) and a fresh bottle of Accelerade. I also had a fresh gel
flask, but it decided quickly that it wasn't going along for the
ride, as it leaped out of my jersey pocket soon after I exited the
special needs area…"screw it", I was tired of gel already
So, now I thought the ride ahead was going to be easier. But, the
winds picked up, and it never seemed like you got a break. It was
constant work. By mile 100, I was ready to ditch the bike. When my
computer hit 112, I started to wonder why I wasn't lacing up my
running shoes…"what's going on here, I don't even see
the lake?" I
asked other riders what their computers read, and they were all the
same. Finally, 117 miles into the bike, I pulled into T2. 5:51:33

T2: Couldn't even pull my laces tight because of cramps.
Finally, I
was able to bend over for the five seconds it took, but it hurt.
The reward for ditching the bike…a marathon…

Run: The first five miles of the run were grueling. We were met,
right off the bat, with nice, long hill. It was also HOT!
Fortunately, the cramping muscles on the bike seemed to subside.
After the first five miles, you begin three loops of seven miles
around the lake. This was good and bad. The good thing: you get to
see the track you'd be running for the next 21 miles; the bad
the lake was BIG, and you could see the entire thing. At about mile
eight, I hooked up with one of my "new-to-irondistnace"
buddies, who
I'd done some marathon training with in the past. This was good,
because I was starting to hurt. We ran together for about nine
miles, and kept each other moving forward. Finishing the first loop,
I was hurting, and my wife can vouch for that. I grabbed my run
special needs, and immediately went for the salt tablets and
Tylenol. At this point, I was drinking water and Gatorade at every
aid station, and eating cookies and bananas. I was able to pick it
up a bit on the second loop, and by the third, I was starting to
ponder the sweet feeling of my first ironman distance finish! My
quads were close to cramping for the last 13 miles, on and off.
Somehow, the cramp gods came through and allowed me to keep moving
forward. The last few miles were the longest miles of any race
ever done. Fifteen minutes seemed like an eternity. The run took
you off the lake loop and into town for the finish. I wish I could
relive those last forty steps everyday. All the pain subsides, just
for that last minute. I did my first Olympic tri in 1999, and never
thought it feel better than that…I was wrong! I pumped up the
fists, and crossed the line with a 3:47 marathon and a 10:47:34

To finish was spectacular. The icing on the cake was a fourth place
age-group finish and a little hardware to go with it. Aside from a
few miscalculations on the swim/bike distances, the race was great!
The support was unbelievable. People always said how great the
Great Floridian was for first-timers (virgins as they call it, and
actually mark you on your calf with a "V"). Well, I can now
for that statement.

Congratulations to Marc Nester and Howard Curtis for two
great "first-time" finishes. Also, congratulations to G-Lo
for a 3rd
place age group in the GFT half-iron!