Race Report: Redman Half-Ironman Triathlon
We both took off of work on Friday to put our feet up and take our time getting all of our stuff ready for the race. Justin’s folks drove over from
Saturday morning came quickly, and we were on our way to the race site by . Justin and I each got our transition areas set-up, and then pulled on our wetsuits. The forecast for the day was pretty good – 70’s with low humidity, but with a bit of wind…20-30 mph! Since we’ve gotten accustomed to riding in Oklahoma, we’re used to the wind, so that wasn’t too big of a deal – the temperature, though, was fantastic news. Last year at this race, we both raced the half-ironman distance and were pretty miserable because it was very hot and humid (just thinking of it makes me cringe). The wind was already blowing a bit, so we were expecting a few small waves during the swim. The water level in the lake where the swim was to be held was pretty low, since
I transitioned onto the bike with no incident and took off onto the course – Justin’s dad, Dave, told me I was first woman onto the bike. The bike course was a big 56-mile loop. The first part of the course was into the wind, and it wasn’t too bad. I was passed by a few guys early in the ride, and then I was pretty much by myself for the remainder of the ride. No incidents, and the ride back towards the lake with the wind behind me was nice! I decided during the ride that I was getting hydration easily and that I would not put on my Fuelbelt for the run (it sometimes chafes, and I also didn’t want the extra weight if I thought I could rely on the aid stations alone). I got into transition again, put my running shoes on, grabbed one of my Fuelbelt bottles, and took off on the run. The spectators were great – they lined the shoot where the athletes were coming out of transition to head onto the run course and cheered loudly – it was hard not to head out with a huge grin! The run went really fantastic for me – I took splits at each mile to see the pace I was running at my target heartrate and was really please to see ’s and ’s. I made it to the turnaround and hit my split button because I would soon find out how far ahead of the next woman I was…and sure enough, I had lots of time (more than 10 minutes). What a relief! The last three miles were into a wall of wind and my splits were showing it, but I made it to the finish line thinking that I should try to run like I was a fast runner (even though I felt like I was running in slow motion trying to make headway into the wind). I crossed the line in , a PR for me by a long shot. This was a 46-minute improvement over my performance last year in meltdown conditions, so I was quite pleased with my race!I finished my race a bit after , so I had a while to wait for Justin to finish his race. I cleaned up as best as I could with a hose and put on my neon-yellow volunteer shirt to go help out where I could. Justin came in off the bike at around , and I was able to talk to him a little when he was in transition. He asked how my race went and told me he was doing good. He looked really strong coming in and pretty comfortable as he took off on the run. The next guy came in 20 minutes after him, and then the third guy came in after another 10 more minutes. Justin’s lead seemed like a lot, but a marathon is a long race and anything can really happen. He came back around in (15 minutes ahead of his goal pace-time), and other than a skirmish to try and get his special needs run bag, he looked comfortable and strong. The next part of the wait until the finish was by far the longest. Now and then, Jeff Kragh would announce where the leader was, but I didn’t know if the 2nd and 3rd place guys were closing in on him or not. Finally, we saw him coming towards the finish line, and when he finally crossed the line, he dropped to his knees (out of happiness/joy/relief/too much emotion…who knows!). He was definitely emotional, and it was impossible not to be teary-eyed seeing him. I walked him over to the med tent and sat with him for the next two hours as they gave him 3.5 bags of fluid. He finished his first ironman-distance race in and won it, on top of everything!
It was fantastic to be able to share this special day for both of us with family and friends. A reporter from the Oklahoman called us to get an interview, and the article was in the paper today.