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Race Result

Racer: Stacy Taylor
Race: Ironman USA
Date: Sunday, July 20, 2008
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Age Group: Female 40 - 44
Time: 12:58:06
Overall Place: 1166 / 2345
Age Group Place: 37 / 123
Comment: A Day of Biblical Rains and Watermelon Angels

Race Report:

The Swim (1:21:35, AG: 70/123). I was actually ok with this as I went 1:27 at Kona last year.

About the only time it didn’t rain was before the swim. I made my way into Mirror Lake and chose a spot about to the right of the buoys and about 10 yards back from the flags in the middle. This ended up being a good spot and the swim start was no where near as physical as I thought it was going to be.

My swim went well and I didn’t have to sight much at all. On the way back in there was a glowing green sign thingy at the finish and used it to sight. I thought: “Swim to the light, swim to the light” as it was kind of mesmerizing. I’m not sure exactly when it started raining, but at one point it was coming down pretty hard and I thought it would probably stop before we got on the bike. Yeah, right.

The only swim advice I can give is about swimming straight. To all the crooked swimmers out there: Pretty PLEASE practice swimming straight in open water.

T1 (7:59):
It was my first time with a wetsuit stripper and the wetsuit came right off. The run down to transition was fun as the crowd support here was awesome.

The Bike (6:25:37, AG: 31/123) Sweet.
The bottom line for me on the bike is that the rain just didn’t bother me. After facing 70 miles of winds on the bike at Kona and letting it get to me mentally, I just wasn’t going to let the rain get to me. And because it wasn’t windy, I managed to stay strong and warm. The only issue I had was the chaffing started near the end of the first loop. For the first time (but not the last) I grabbed some cream and while a couple women tried to shield me, I reached down my shorts and lubed up. Modesty was not even on my mind.

I finished the first loop in about 3:05 and I felt good. The second loop was much less crowded coming down into Keene and at one point I was going so fast, I was smiling. I was having a blast. The second loop was slower of course but I still felt good. I managed to deal with the chaffing, but it still hurt.

T2: (6:55):
It felt soooooooo good to get some dry clothes on, even though they were about to get drenched. The volunteers in the changing tents are just so great at Ironman.

The Swim. Wait, I mean Run (4:56:01, AG: 53/123). This was my worse marathon ever. Oh well.
At the start of the run, my legs felt good and running through town was great. After a couple miles though, I noticed that my lower back was a bit sore and this slowed me down a bit. The run sucked. Period. I never had a good moment but just kept shuffling along and walked more than ever. I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t get cold, as I had a shirt with sleeves under a sleeveless Team Z bike jersey and instead of a visor, I had on a ball cap on which really helped keep the heat in.

I had to lube up a couple times with Vaseline as the chaffing was pretty bad. One time a guy volunteer shielded me with his poncho. Again, modesty was beside the point. I walked at every aid station and grabbed at almost everything I could. I don’t know if I needed it all, but I took it anyway. While I really don’t want to talk about the run because it was such a miserable experience, I do have two good moments I want to share.

At one aid station a woman handed me some chicken broth and said to be careful because it was hot. No shit, it was scalding. However in my other hand, I had some cola. I really wanted and needed the broth, so to cool it off, I dumped the cola in with the broth. I know, gross, but it actually tasted ok and I was desperate. I just made a broth/cola chaser; it was salty and sweet! Good stuff on a day like that.

The other memory happened on the second loop at the first aid station right after you make the turn to the terribly long out and back. A woman walked toward me and the other runners with a platter full of freshly cut watermelon. “Do you want some watermelon?” she asked. For a second I thought I was dreaming. “OH MY GOD! Yes please”. This woman was the Watermelon Angel brought down to earth and she smiled at us as we all grabbed at the watermelon like we were starving. It was the best thing I tasted all day long. Thank you, Watermelon Angel.

The Finish
Slowly, I made my way back into town. At this point, I resigned myself that I wasn’t going to break the 13 hour mark and had not looked at my watch in a long time. I went past the Team Z tent on the out and back and this really helped lift my spirits as I felt like total crap. They were cheering their asses off for everyone – Team Z or not.

I picked it up for about the last half mile and after running down Mirror Lake Drive, I was finally entering the Oval. I tried to wave and smile at the crowd, but I definitely was not enjoying this finish as much as I did at Kona. When I made the final turn I looked at the clock and realized I was just under 13 hours and picked up the pace big time.

I was so concentrated on the clock that I didn’t wave and smile to the crowd until right before I crossed the finish line. When I knew I broke 13 hours and heard Mike Reilly say, “Stacy, You.Are.An.Ironman!” I was really happy and celebrated at the finish.
My time: 12:58:06, AG: 37/123. WooooooHoooooo!

Next year I am going to do IMFL in November. Between the heat at Eagleman and the rain at Placid this year with my luck there will be a late season hurricane come through Florida in 2009.