Race Report: Rhode Island 70.3

July 14, 2008

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/


I’m wicked sore, and am going on vacation tomorrow, I wanted to get something out there quickly to give you an update on the race today.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

Race prep went down pretty easily. Since I dropped off almost everything yesterday, I just had to show up with my wetsuit, goggles, and chip down in Naragansett. We didn’t end up getting a hotel in RI, so my girlfriend (who can be thanked for all the awesome pics) got up extra early and left Boston at 3:30 a.m. to get to the race start, an hour and a half away.

Even though the first pro wave went off at around 6:00, I wasn’t going off until the very last wave, more than an hour later. It was nice to have some extra time to get mentally psyched for the race and run through my plan.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

I’m not sure why I’m standing really awkardly like that. I think I might have been peeing and didn’t want to stand in a puddle of my own pee. Haha. You can make out the swim buoys off in the distance behind my right shoulder.

The time finally came, I got rounded up with the rest of the 19-29 men, waited for the cannon to go off, and off we went. It was my first running swim start and it was pretty cool. With all of the waves crashing in to shore we got to dive through the waves, which was pretty cool. The water further out was a little choppy, but it was surprisingly warm.

Other than that, it was pretty uneventful. I held a solid pace, stayed on course and came out with a pretty solid time of 36:47. As soon as I got to shore and stood up, I saw Chris swimming in right next to me. It was good to see a familiar face.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

T1: 4:58 (1:56/100m)

A lot slower than my normal transitions, but I had to re-pack everything into a bag to be transported up to Providence for me to pick up after the race, so it took a little longer.


I felt really strong, and was passing a lot of people in front of me from my swim wave and from all of the waves ahead of me, keeping my HR pretty low at around 145-155. I totally came up with those numbers out of nowhere, but figured it would be a good idea to stay about 10 bpm lower than what I did at the Mooseman Olympic.

The rolling hills let me pass a lot of people who weren’t from New England and were used to riding on anything else but flats. I also blew past tons of people on fancy carbon bikes and aero helmets. It is definitely an ego boost to casually blow by these guys on a clucky ‘ol road bike. Besides a dropped chain, everything went pretty smoothly.

At about mile 50 I did the math and realized that I was REALLY close to meeting my “A” goal of breaking 3:00 on the bike. It almost wished that I hadn’t figured that out since I probably went way too fast on the last 5 miles on the bike instead of resting and staying loose for the run. Oh Well!

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

I ended up finishing the bike in 3:01:51. SO CLOSE! (18.48 mph)

T2: 3:07


Since my knee was definitely feeling a little tight during the bike and I was a little worried about it, I decided to just take it REALLY easy for the first of two loops on the run. I was going almost awkwardly slow, doing something in between a slow jog and a shuffle, but it kept my knee feeling alright as long as I kept it moving so it wouldn’t tighten up on me.

When I stopped at the water stations and started running again, I could tell that my knee was tightening up really fast, so I just tried to find one really slow pace, have a nice open stride, and keep moving forward because starting running again after stopping hurt like a BITCH. The hardest part was running up the MONSTER hill at mile 2 and 8. This thing was practically straight up for what seemed like half a mile.

This was the hill that the X Games used for street luge when they came to town. Yeah. Seriously. This thing was no joke and I had no choice but to keep running up it, even though it was only slightly faster than walking up.

First lap – felt good. Wicked tired, but good. I think my first lap was about 1:05.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3
Second lap:

Just like the first, but a LOT more painful. I kept moving except for really quick stops to take in as much water as I could and strap some cold sponges in to my race jersey.

Because I was the very last wave, the second lap was a lot more lonely since a lot of the faster/earlier racers had already finished by the time I hit the turn around but the volunteers and spectators were still out there rocking it. It was great to see all the locals out there supporting an inaugural event like this.

Except for a brief 400 meter stint at about mile 12 where I walked, I kept on truckin’ the whole time. Definitely the hardest run of my life. I wanted to just stop and lay down on the pavement after every single step I took.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

The finish line was the greatest place in the world. It was by far the most emotional race that I had ever done, and it felt amazing to run through the chute and hit that line.

I finished the run in 2:33:27 (11:42/mile) for a total time of 6:20:10. It wasn’t the time that I was hoping for a few months ago, but I was really psyched given the obstacles.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

I couldn’t walk too well, but sucked down a whole lot of Gatorade and water and layed out in the shade. I probably looked light a nightmare, but was too distracted by the amazing feeling of finishing to pay attention to all of the pain that I was in.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

Here is a pic of the race finish (sans spectators) right under the state capitol.


Amazing race. Really well supported and it was an absolute blast. It was the most pain that I had been in in a long time, but was absolutely worth it.

Oh and I think that I may be classified as a “heavy sweater” now given the salt farm that I grew over my entire body. Check out this sick pic of my tri shorts after the race with the salt crystals all over the place. HI larious.

Ironman Rhode Island 70.3

That is all. Now off to bed and stretch and head off on vacation until next week! Check out some more pictures from the race on my Flickr page on the badge on the right.



  1. […] here’s the account of a fellow WordPress blogger that competed in the triathlon.  He gives a full 2 paragraph […]

  2. Nice job! I am impressed you made it through such a long event with a hurting IT Band. I know how that feels since that is why I was out all last winter from running. I can’t imagine running 13 miles in pain like that. That is hardcore for sure! Time for some major R&R. Have a great vacation and congrats!!

  3. Congratulations!! That is a great time considering the IT Band – you raced smart and tough! Yay for the first HIM! Have a great vacation!

  4. i think you talked to me during the run portion! it was nice to read your story. this was my first half ironman as well. do you think all the salt could have been from the seawater from the swim? i still had some seaweed on me when i crossed the finish line. congratulations on finishing!! it was definitely a TOUGH course, and the hardest run of my life!

  5. Salt from the swim, too, I bet.

    Great work! Sounds like even though it was difficult, you had a great, very solid race!

  6. Congrats on that finish, you did well bro!! be proud!

  7. YAY!!! I am so happy for you! I love this race report, it is so worth celebrating! You were so so so close on the bike split, no worries, next time! And way to handle the run… I am with you on the finish line too- that is one AWESOME place. I love how happy you are crossing that line with your arms up-like a champ! Super job CHAMP! And I say, get your visors, you deserve em’.

  8. Congratulations on finishing you first Half Ironman! I enjoyed reading you report… you had a great race!!! Do you think there is a full IM in your future… I think so!!

  9. Great job on the race!! That salt is crazy!! I get that from running sometimes..but wondered if it was because I was running by saltwater…or if I was really that much of a beast and sweat that much! haha… keep up the good work

  10. way to go jamie!!! im so proud of you buddy! you rocked it out!

  11. Nice job on the race, and I totally know what the pain is like when starting to run again – ouch!

  12. Can’t believe I didn’t have this link before.

    GREAT JOB!!!!

    Always appreciate your tips and insight 🙂

  13. Great Job finishing through all that crap. I can completely relate to the knee and leg problems on the run. In fact I think we both did the same mistake, At Tupper Lake I pushed too hard on the Bike, paid for it on the run.

  14. Thanks for your report of the Rhode Island 70.3 Tri. This was just what I was looking for. Your description gave me a good picture of what the course was like. Thanks again. Congratulations on a job well done.

  15. Hey I was just reading your page and congrats on finishing last year providence ironman. This year I will be taking part in the race on july 12th. I was just getting in contact with you to get some info on what the course is like. I am from western mass and have been training on hilly rides and open water swims, but I just haven’t had a chance to get out and see how the course is. If you could just give me some helpful feed back that would be great! are you doing it again this year?! Keep up the good work and training!

    BJ Williams

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