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Race Result

Racer: Stuart Brandt
Race: Timberman Half Ironman
Date: Sunday, August 21, 2005
Location: Guilford, NH
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 40 - 44
Time: 6:42:51
Overall Place: 957 / 1262
Age Group Place: 112 / 132
Comment: First Half IM

Race Report:

This race came at the end of a fantastic 2 week vacation in VT/NH. The 2nd week was spent camping with the family at Gunstock, the venue for most of the Timber events. Unfortunately my 5 yr old got sick Thursday night so Friday and Saturday were spent in a hotel, but it's just as well because it was pretty wet on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It was good to run into a few other Rats there, though I'm guessing it says something about my "Ratness" that it took a trip to NH to finally meet Stv face to face.

Sunday morning started at 4am with food, drink, and a shower. Made it to the park by 5:20 only to be greeted with a line of cars about 1/3mi long. Guess they weren't kidding when they said get there early. Once in transition, I loaded my gear in separate garbage bags (one for bike, one for run) to guard against the rain. It was only a light drizzle, but forecast called for T-showers later. Took a nice easy warmup in the lake and sooner than I realized it was time for my wave.

The swim was pretty uneventful. The lake was clear and calm, and the parallel-to-shore swim helped with sighting. Given that this was going to be a long day for me, I just tried to keep things very relaxed. I had hoped for something in the 30min range, but since my primary goal was just to finish I was pretty happy with my 33:30 finish.

For some reason I had pictured the course as being really hilly. I did the Sprint there last year which uses the first 7.5mi of the Half course, and I had driven the sections where some of the larger hills were supposed to be. Turns out that I didn't actually see miles 15-40 which are actually pretty flat. As a result, I exceeded my 16mph goal by a fair amount, coming in at 3:12:01 (17.5mph). I'm guessing it was around mile 35 that I learned my first Half IM lesson -- weather tends to change during long races. Stupid me had put the sunscreen back in the car during my transition setup 'cause who needs that stuff in the rain? Guess that itchy pre-sunburn tingle on my arms was going to be with me for another few hours.

This is where things get a little hazy. I'm pretty sure I saw Steve finishing his race as I was heading out. Either that or someone else got a "Go Steve" shoutout on their last 1/4mi. In any event, my run didn't go anywhere near as well as I had hoped, but 2:46:17 later I *did* complete the 2 loop mostly flat course doing my approximation of running. I learned many more lessons during that muggy run; how wonderful bananas can be, how pretzels need a little something to help wash them down, and how HRM readings should be confirmed by looking at whose arm is attached to the watch (OK..that one wasn't me...I ran with a guy for about 1/4mi before he said he was dropping back 'cause his HR was too high...10yds later, I hear him say "wait, that was *your* watch, not mine).

The opinion of a more seasoned FOP/MOP athlete might be different, but as a fairly green BOP type I can't say enough about the venue, volunteers, community support, race management, and caliber of triathlete that this race attracts. Hopefully I'll be back next year with a bit more experience and training under my belt.