Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Just in case. . . .

When bad things happen to good triathletes. . . .

I heard about a woman at Ironman Canada who crossed the finish line at 17 minutes after midnight. I feel badly for her. I do consider her an Ironman, although she may not have a medal to show for it! She did the same course as everyone else! It just must have felt horrible to be a mile or two from the finish line at midnight and know the cutoff was happening and you still had a ways to go to get there.

Another woman I know had FIVE flats during an Ironman race. And still finished.

Which made me think today during my workout about exactly what minimum pace I'll need to have to finish the "run" section of the course, in a worst-case scenario. Those finishing the bike leg before the T2 cutoff will probably have plenty of time to walk the course, if necessary.

But what about if I'm just barely able to get out of T2 at the cutoff time, 5:15PM, to be permitted to continue in the run leg? In order to finish by 11:59PM, the run course would have to be completed in 6:44. That's an average pace of less than 15:44 minutes per mile, not even counting aid station or portapotty stops.

I timed myself on the track today at a reasonably comfortable walking pace at 4:40 for the quarter mile. That's a normal walking pace of 18:20 minutes per mile - and I'd probably walk more slowly if I were very fatigued. I couldn't finish the Ironman in time if I had to walk the entire run course. I'd have to jog probably one third to one half of the run course in order to make it over the finish line in time.

Now I know! I certainly hope that doesn't become a consideration, but at least I know what I have to accomplish if for some reason I have a disaster on the bike course and I'm up against the cutoffs.

YMMV, of course!

My training partner John, walked the entire run portion of IMAZ this year. He had to do under 17 min miles. It is doable Nancy. Even fatigued you will be able to pace that out. And you will come in under the bike cut off so there you go.

At IMAZ they had a minimum distance cut off on the run at 10:30 pm, meaning you had to be 'here' or you got yanked. I know for a fact that there was six people on the course after midnight that did not come through the shoot, they must have pulled them.

My friend John came in at 11:34 pm or 16hrs 34min for the finish time. He has been a constant motivation for me since then. He had the best, most even atittude in the run of all the people I knew.
Good info to know, Comm! Thanks for that. I'll have to listen VERY carefully at the pre-race meeting!!!
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