FirmMan 9/8/21013 – Race Report

I did everything by the seat of my pants. That’s why I got hurt so much.  Evel Knievel

This is a story of a man who decided to race a half Iron distance triathlon without any race specific training.  It’s a tragedy wrapped in a mockery with beer and steak tips on the side.

I signed up for the FirmMan 70.3 the day before the race.  I procrastinated, claiming I wanted to see what the weather was going to be like, but the real reason is because I knew I wasn’t in the proper shape to race well.  The focus this year was on getting faster for shorter distances.  2013 was the summer of Olympic distance races.  However, I did want to do one 70.3 and once it became clear that the weather was not going to be a factor, I was out of excuses and felt compelled to do it.  You see, without a single run over 10 miles since the Providence Half Marathon in May, I knew the run was going to be nightmare, so I set my expectations low and through hell or high water, I was going to keep them there!

Pre-race was great.  It was a beautiful morning and the sun was rising over water.  There were a plethora of FBRT members there.  Some racing the entire the triathlon, others doing the relay.  I was thinking I should have considered the Aquabike.  But no, not me.  I’m not that smart and I needed to do at least one 70.3 this year.  Honestly, I don’t know why, I just needed to…I was reminded a greeting card I once saw of a piñata donkey talking to a therapist saying, “you know, the sick part is, I kind of like it when they hit me….”

The Swim –

The swim was deceiving.  It looked beautiful.  Small waves and it appeared at first as if the current was with us.  However, I’m not sure that was the case.  Once we got around the first buoy, there was a small chop which made both breathing and sighting a little challenging.  A couple of times I got water in my mouth as I tried to breath which caused me to cough and, as bright as the day was, I had trouble spotting the buoys.  A couple of times, I thought one of the buoys was hidden behind a kayaker, but I really couldn’t tell?  Getting back to the current, there were other times where, when passing a buoy, I truly felt like I was swimming in slow motion.  Overall I had pretty lousy swim, almost 7 minutes slower than last year.  )-:

Swim Time – 35:50


My wetsuit got a little stuck at my ankles and it took two women to help strip it off me.  Insert threesome joke here….

T1 Time -2:03

The Bike –

The bike course was relatively flat.  It’s an odd shaped out and back on Rte 1 with a lollipop detour on the way out around the 16 mile mark with some hills.  Being a dry day I expected to go fast.  However, there was an 8-10 mile headwind out on Rte 1 and we experienced the tail wind on the way back for only about 20 miles or so.  It’s interesting to compare year over year.  My first 38 miles were slower than last year (into the wind and then the hills of the lollipop) and last 18 were much faster (tailwind).  Overall I was happy with my bike, but I was hoping to be a few minutes faster than last year.  Instead, I was 1 minute slower.

Bike Time – 2:41:28


T2 was slow.  I choose to wear socks on the run and I had a port-a-jon detour.

T2 Time – 2:45

The Run –

The run was also a relatively flat course.  It’s an oddly shaped course through some residential neighborhoods with a couple of connecting out and back sections.  As I ran out of T2 I started thinking, “let the nightmare begin.”  I kept my pace steady at first.  I was thinking I could easily keep an 8min-8:20 pace per mile until at least the half-way point, and maybe just maybe, the whole thing.  Well, it didn’t take long before my lack of endurance base training caught up to me.  Each mile got progressively slower and by the time I was at mile 6 I was running slower than 9 min pace.  By mile 8 I started a little walk/run program.  At this point all I could think about was beer and football.  I just wanted to make it back before the start of the Patriots game.

Run Time – 2:02:38

Overall Time:  5:24:46


I really did have a great day!  It was a blast to see everyone!!!  I accomplished my goal of completing a 70.3 this year and although I did not race my best, I did have fun!  Especially later in the day eating steak tips, drinking beer and watching football as the East Ave Café!!!  (-: