Virtual Racing for the Slot?: Qualifying the New Fashioned Way – TriCoachGeorgia

Qualify for the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in New Zealand virtually ! WHAT? !

Yes, you read that correctly. Ironman is doing their best to keep the spark for all us competitive types out there. The new IM VR series is a love hate for most given some of the very skewed results and time postings from a few. Ironman heard the complaints and has done their best to remedy this situation.
Here is a brief of what we are looking at.

The Championship Series Division debuts this weekend beginning Friday, June 5 at 6pm GMT. The series will go for the next four weekends with a different race each weekend. Your best three out of four virtual races will count. You will accumulate points for each race. One race will be a 70. 3 distance and the other three will be Olympic-distance events. It appears that about 100 slots will be up for grabs across the age groups for the new date in 2021 for the postponed 2020 Championship in New Zealand. Spots will roll down like normal until accepted.

In the Championship Series Division you must complete your bike leg on the Rouvy Platform in race mode. No exception. Your run leg’s must be completed outdoors only. No exception. Ironman is doing their best to curtail the false results. You must have completed an Ironman/70.3 even either virtually or out in the real world for them to compare your splits. If anything does look out of place they will be requesting your data files for proof. Age group winners will be looked at closely – this a guarantee. It has been said that if a competitor is caught falsifying results you could be banned from events virtual and real world Ironman events in the future so let’s not go there.

Also, these virtual events are FREE! Championship series or the normal Classic division where you are allowed to ride/run inside. The Classic division does not put you in the running for the Championship spots. It’s your just for fun division. As always when you register read the fine print and make sure your devices sync properly and you are registering for the correct division. Check the ever changing and updated rules so you know you are performing properly. Ironman has given a generous time window over a whole weekend to get the races complete. No need to rush out of T1 or T2 unless you’ve been slacking all weekend!

Yes, some will say this should not be a Championship qualifying method. Agree or disagree but at this current time this is what Ironman is doing for us. It keeps people engaged and training because we will race again. Do Your Job! The TriCoachGeorgia Reaper’s sure are.

– Courtney Connolly aka Wicked

Augusta 70.3 Race Report by Coach Brother John – TriCoachGeorgia

2018 Augusta 70.3 Race Report Blog by Coach Brother John

Coach Brother John is a busy man. He has several irons in the fire including owning and operating Hill on Wheels in Richmond Hill, Ga. at any one time so training time is limited. And he has dealt with injuries in his build to Augusta 70.3. He felt very empowered by his race day experiences and wanted to share his race report because he believes there is good that can be taken from it by others. Have a read and see how he did his job.


I usually don’t take time to write public race reports. I typically journal notes about the day, what went right, what to change, etc. This was a different race and worth putting some thoughts out there which may help others.

I have patellar tendonitis in my right knee. For those who have experienced this, you know the challenges. If you have never had this issue, PT is a sharp pain just below the knee cap. The feeling is that of a nail going through your knee when you apply force such as walking up a stair or hard pedaling a bike. Sitting down or getting out of a car after being in it for extended periods made it difficult to walk until blood flow returns to the knee.

I noticed this issue right after camp and like a stubborn guy, I ignored it and kept up with the race build thinking it was just a nagging sore spot. I iced it plenty after each workout but I should have backed off at that point and rehabbed it. Lesson learned is to listen to your body, be humble enough to reduce the volume, and take what you can do each day and be satisfied of the progress – rather than push through pain and prolong the injury.

Pre Race:

After visits with my physical therapist, I was instructed to take it easy. I chose to back off and get as healthy as possible realizing that fitness may be off somewhat by race day (3 weeks out). I did have some good base mileage in me during the build and thought that I would be fit enough to show up and give it a go. I got in some soft pedal training to see what race day may look like with longer soft pedal workouts. I felt after a few weeks of this I could make a go of it but had to restructure my race plan accordingly to put me in the best position to at least finish the day, represent my team as good as possible, and glean what I can for future races.

Race Day:

After a few weeks off I showed up to Augusta fully tapered, quite hungry, but very realistic about what this race would be about. Being around friends on the team helped me manage the nerves and I was excited about the turnout we had at the race. My mind was in a good place and I though I was not sure how it was going to go, I thought it would be better than what I thought it would be a few weeks prior.

The Swim

The Swim was 32:56. I enjoy rolling starts and did not have any issues. I knew I needed to keep max energy for the rest of the day, so I took a nice pace and just enjoyed the swim. No need to get in a hurry and it really didn’t matter if I made any time on anybody because I expected to give it all back later. I took longer time in transition to lube up my knee with bio freeze and apply the knee strap.

The Bike

The bike was so much different than past race days. I had a goal of 18mph with no efforts over 70% ftp for the entire course. This was drastically different than camp but I practiced this leading up to the race and was able to get a long effort of 42 miles in without any real pain. I was not certain the knee would hold up with the elevation but was prepared to walk the hills if need be. The first few miles were what I thought they would be, lots of bottle ejected and other gear on the roads. This course is rather rough up front but gets better as you go. I used the small chain ring for all hills, spun them out, and just sat back and watched people pass me. I then jumped to the big ring and took advantage of the descents. Oh, how I love to go fast down those hills!

To make the hills go by I starting whistling the Andy Griffith show tune and other melodies. I decided to have fun with it all and not let my condition get the best of me. Some probably thought I was an idiot but it made the miles go by. I did have one guy come up beside me and say “is this where it sucks to be a good swimmer?” I said “no, see you on the run”…which I did, and as I passed him asked if he over biked the course…no response! I treated the rest of the bike as an easy recovery ride with my buddies. I was surprised with how little I was sweating but kept pounding the fluids and I even stopped 3 times at the stations to pee pee! 3:07:54 @ 18mph and was exactly as I planned. Much slower than during our Augusta 70.3 team camp but no pain! Heck, I felt really good in T2.

The Run

I knew the run would be where the rubber met the road. I caught myself early churning out a faster pace than the plan, so I slowed myself down as I knew the day could be a long one. Sean Summers, aka BetterMan, passed by and I gave him some kudos – he was moving and was sweating profusely. I planned the Half n Half method of half mile run – a short walk – then run to the aid stations. This kept the knee in good shape, heart rate under control, and allowed me to fuel with ease. I usually know by the time I get on broad if I fueled improperly, over biked, or both. Nope – I felt really good! I heard the TCGa spot before I even saw it. I could hear the yells and I could feel the vibe as I approached. I had my shop kit on so they didn’t recognize me but that allowed me to cop a few feels as I passed by the tall devil. I thought about my team and hoped they were having great days out there. I was having a great day too. I had no pain so far and I felt really strong.

By mile 6 I realized I had not ran that far in several weeks. I was wanting to break loose and push the pace but held steady in the plan of letting that happen after mile 10 once I felt I was in the clear that I was going to make it. I was reeling those fast bikers in one by one and having a good time with those cheering us on. After my last pass of the tent, I let it out and pushed it into 7:30’s and felt really great. I had so much bio freeze on the knee I didn’t feel anything anyways. Time to rock to the finish! 2:17:28 and I felt I could go longer! I was very happy about my slow run.

I really focused on my nutrition for this race and I feel like I really nailed it. I took a few hits of coke and red bull around the turn – shouldn’t have as it made me burp and upset the gut with the added sugar. I won’t do that again. Outside of that I felt great, no gastrointestinal issue, and no cramping.
Final time 6:09:08


In conclusion, I want to say that this day was dramatically different than any race I have ever participated in. Though this was my slowest 70.3, I felt like this was my best one. I executed a plan based on taking what was there with my body and making the day mine. A few weeks prior, I didn’t even think I would make it. Even felt like pulling out and spectating…or perhaps being a no show. I noticed more at this race than any other. I was energized by watching others suffer, the spectators cheering, my team having a good day, and the thought of what would become when I crossed the line. I was able to see some of my local team complete their first 70.3 and was there to hug them at the end. I thought about those who may never get to do this and how lucky I am to be able to do so. I’ll need to take some time to rebuild and heal.

Mentally, I am very pumped! I grew as an athlete in being humble in the moment, accepting the issue, but making the best of it. No quit, no surrender. Show up and do my job! I learned that when the body gives a warning, to heed it rather than push it. I learned that a proper plan that is trusted and executed on race day feels like I found some gold. I also had fun. To me, this race was extra special and one that I will cherish for the rest of my racing career. I’ll be able to take what I learned and help others and that is what makes this gig the best.

Run Across Georgia – A Race Report Diary by Coach Angel K – TriCoachGeorgia

I ( Coach Angel K of TriCoachGeorgia )joined an 8 person relay team to run 260 miles of backroads from Savannah to Columbus over 37 hours without stopping – Run Across Georgia. I ran about 29 miles in 6 legs of varying length (between 3.1 and 7.5 miles each for me). I think a combination of sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion puts you in this strange frame of mind where emotion and your senses are heightened. I ran through Claxton where mom and dad came to see me and it meant so much. I ran down dark highways into small towns. One town was having a big party at their municipal building with music and fireworks. A young guy ran along side me for a minute to ask where I was running and offer me a can of beer. I ran at 2am past farms where the only sounds were the frogs, whip-poor-wills and my feet hitting the ground. The smell of night jasmine came in waves. At one point either car lights hit them just right, or electricity acts in ways I hadn’t considered, but the powerlines overhead glittered in a row like shooting stars.

I rode in the back of a truck sometimes and watched the pecan groves and cornfields roll by. Sometimes I sat back there with new friends and laughed, sometimes I just soaked in the scenery. One morning I sat there as the sun was rising over a pristine farm field while a flock of white birds flew into the air. I became almost overwhelmed with the beauty of it.

The running got hard sometimes but each person on our team was really dedicated to racing as best we could. I think everyone nailed almost all of their paces. We had an equally dedicated support crew who made sure everyone was where they were supposed to be at all times and had everything that they needed. We cheered for other teams and had fun with all of them while we waited for our runners together.

As I ran my last leg into Columbus (the only one that wound up being scary due to traffic) I saw Eddie and the kids drive by cheering with big signs they made for me in the windows. I ran across the bridge with the huge statues and flags that mark the entrance to Fort Benning. It seemed very fitting since this was Memorial Day weekend and this race is in part a tribute to the soldiers who gave everything for their country by being an important fundraiser for House of Heroes. My family was waiting for me at the checkpoint. I hugged my sweet kids who were smiling and hugging me back so tightly and Eddie who had worked really hard to find me in the right spot.

Our team met up and ran all together to the finish line on Broadway. My friends and family were waiting for me. I have felt loved and supported by my running/triathlon community for some time and this felt like an incredible celebration of that. We hugged each other and couldn’t stop smiling.

I fell a little more in love with the country and all the people around me. We raised a ton of money for 2 great charities in town. And when I came home to Columbus, I’ve really never felt more at home.

Coach’s Training Considerations

My overall average pace for this event was a little over 8 min/mile, which is roughly my half marathon pace. Had I not been still somewhat recovering from Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast 2 weeks prior, I would have targeted a pace in between half marathon and 10k since you do get significant periods of rest in between legs. Walking a little and stretching/foam rolling after completing each leg kept my muscles from getting stiff and helped prevent injury. Fueling can be tricky for those with sensitive stomachs, since in a race this long you need at least a few actual meals. As a big believer in “training your stomach” I brought along the fuel that I use for ALL of my long runs (currently Clif bloks) and drank Gatorade each mile on the course. I did consume caffeine, but no more than I would on a typical race day. I ate a few sandwiches, popcorn (and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on) in between runs and had no GI issues.

I did not do any real race-specific training for this event. I stuck to my triathlon training for Gulf Coast. A key product of any good triathlon training program is the ability to run on tired legs. For non-triathletes, building some 2-a-day runs into your plan is a common way to achieve this. Some people try to train for the fatigue aspect of this event by getting up in the middle of the night to run. While not a bad idea, I also don’t think it’s necessary. You can’t fully predict how your body will respond, taking into consideration factors such as adrenaline, effective fueling, heat, etc.

I would recommend this type of relay race to any serious runner who would like a little variety on their race schedule. I really enjoyed the team aspect of it and found it to be a most interesting challenge- part endurance race, part adventure quest.

BetterMan’s 2017 Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga Race Report – Sean Summers – TriCoachGeorgia

Sean Summers aka BetterMan’s 2017 Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga Race Report

May 21, 2017 Race Morning

Race morning came with a 4:05 wake up, expecting to see and hear rain and then mentally prepare for the day. Fortunately there wasn’t any rain and the streets were dry, unfortunately I went to bed the night before to thunderstorms and mentally didn’t know how I was feeling about the race. Funny enough, as I was staring out the window of the hotel, my amazing wife Kelly woke up and asked if it was raining, “no, and the streets are dry” was my exact response.

Honestly, by the time I got up, ate something and got some caffeine in me I still wasn’t sure how I felt about the race. I think the weather threw me for a loop and although I was prepared with my gear and knew that I could only control what I can control I still was in a very mediocre mental state. Ready to go but not feeling as amped up as I expected.

We walked to transition to pump tires, load nutrition and set up and all went as normal as normal is on race morning. The only thing that threw me off was the lending my pump out and then helping with getting someone’s tires pumped. It didn’t upset me but did throw me off my normal zoned out in my own world race morning routine. I left transition and proceeded to meet Kelly and a friend racing and we loaded onto the shuttle to go to the swim start. (side note: I wanted to meet the team but knew it would put too much pressure on me in the morning to rush to get done in transition).


Again, pretty normal wait for the swim start, hanging around and making small talk. I ate a little more food and drank some more water as we waited. With no in water warm up I tried to stretch some and get loose and or course had to pee, nowhere to go so I stepped to the side and christened the wetsuit, after that I was ready to get in the water!

Swim – 00:19:11 (shortened to 0.8 mile due to current)

I watched the pro women start and seeing how they appeared to struggle against the current it was no surprise when they delayed our start. Honestly, I understood why but I felt it take some of the wind out of my sail when I knew we wouldn’t be racing a full 70.3. With a strong current it would have been a disaster but I just get annoyed with shortened races. I reminded myself that I can only race the race in front of me and it could have been worse if the weather didn’t cooperate.

Once they got the buoys in place and started the age groupers it was the normal race line waddle to the start. I was actually pretty calm and ready to go. I jumped off the dock and began day. I probably swam a little hard at first and backed off some, wanting to stay in control and not get too amped up. I guess it worked but swimming is swimming and the heart rate always jumps up there. My full sleeve wet suit was o.k. at best, I definitely could feel it in my shoulders and just tried to block it out and keep moving (I have to figure out what to do about it, if it’s the suit or if it needs to get broken in or what). Overall the swim went well, I made it to the swim exit, got some help getting up and then made my way up the stairs. As I heard the volunteers say be careful of the last step I managed to trip over it and almost…almost eat it! I worked my wetsuit off of my shoulders and started jogging to transition. I hadn’t made up my mind about using the wetsuit strippers but as I approached them I decided yes, make my life easier. Down, stripped up and on to the bike.

T1 – 00:04:06

Nothing too eventful here, threw on my glasses, helmet and shoes grabbed my bike and started jogging to the mount line. I passed the mount line and got on the bike. As I clipped my left foot in I pushed the pedal down and got rolling so I could clip in my right foot and get to work.

Bike – 02:30:41 (Average Power: 187 watts (78% FTP), Normalized Power: 196 watts (82% FTP)

I tried to settle in the first few miles, get my wits about me and take in some fluid. The first part of the ride is rough in spots with a lot of turns.

I felt good and was ready to start cranking out the miles. As the ride started to take shape I had the privilege of being passed by multiple 70.3 worlds qualifier Estevan Price aka EManBoom, who gave me a “C’mon let’s go!” Very cool to have a teammate encouraging but I knew there was no way I was keeping up with him on the bike. I had my watch set to 8 mile laps with my lap normalized power and overall normalized power displayed. I was pushing higher watts to start (averaging the first few laps in the 204-206 normalized power) and knew I needed to stay in control and stick to the plan. Oh, and I also heard my Coach Slayer’s voice in my head “do not over bike and blow the’s all about the run!” I didn’t want to blow the run and always looks forward to getting off the bike and having a fast run split.

I stayed in control and made sure to drink and eat enough but not too much. It was easy to keep myself occupied as I yelled at people in a pace line and people trying to draft off me. I have no shame. Losers. Anyways, a couple things on the bike that did happen:

On the straight and clear sections I tried to keep my head down longer while taking peaks up to make sure I wasn’t coming up on anyone or anything. Not sure if this is better or not but it made me feel faster.

With some of the dip wads out there I did get passed on the right as I was coming back over to the right from my pass. This caught me off guard, I cussed the guy and ended up hitting a rumble strip..bye bye base salt. Luckily I was immediately aware and made sure to get more Gatorade in me to make up some of the salt.

I knew I was having a fast bike and started to worry that I was going to blow the run so I paid attention on the way in and eased off a little to give my legs a chance to recover. In the final half mile I got my feet out of my shoes and prepared to dismount the bike. As I came up on the dismount line, I swung my right leg over, slowed down and did a pretty good flying dismount without issue (not my first time though).

Looking at my normalized power post race I learned I may have been able to reach even higher for the upper limit we discussed pre-race but really didn’t want to hurt my run. Coach and I may try this next 70.3.

T2 – 00:02:20

Running with the bike is always fun, shoes bouncing (and I’m anal about my stuff so I always have that thought of I’m beating up my shoes). I knew from racking my bike I was in the 3rd row at the playground and trailer. Well, being a little out of it I started towards the second row, which would have been fine since I could have crossed over at an aisle but noooo, I tried to correct to get to the third row (pushing the bike perpendicular to the wheels) and kicked banged my shin into the pedal. Awesome. I didn’t eat it, although the volunteer thought I was going to, and didn’t notice my beat up shin. Oh well.

Make it to my spot, rack my bike. Helmet off, socks on, shoes on, sip of water. I grabbed my visor and race belt and started running out of transition as I put on the visor and belt. Here we go..

Run – 01:32:18 (7:02/mi average) (Half Marathon PR!!!)

Coming out of transition the run course takes you along the spectators for maybe a quarter mile where you turn around and run back by them, closer this time. I can always hear Kelly when I am at a race and spot her within seconds. I heard her as I left T2, when I made the turnaround and started running back, closer to the spectators this time and I heard her again “yeah baby, looking good!” As I looked at the people on the side I saw her instantly, it always makes me smile and gives me a boost.

I made the turn down towards the river and was ready to see what I had in me, knowing I was coming up on the #EnergyWall tent full of lunatics. As I approached the tent at the first little hill I could see my Coach Slayer and hear him say with a big smile “You are having a great day!”. It felt good and gave me a little boost, but I knew I had to control it.

Up the little hill and on to the big hill, I knew what I felt I could do and knew what I wanted to do on the run but wanted to let it come to me (As is standard at most of my races, the first mile off the bike is pretty fast, but I think I did do a good job of keeping it in check.)

As I climbed the second hill out of transition I was keeping it under control and ready to settle in. I approached the first aid station and I’m not sure if I took a cup of water or not but it was for a quick sip if so. I continued on and was really feeling like I could have a great run, I was approaching the hurt locker and knew what was coming. One of the male pros passed me and I could tell he was suffering and I remember thinking, that’s right that’s what the last lap is supposed to be, leave it all out here.

I stayed comfortably uncomfortable and kept ticking the miles off, each mile that went by I checked my pace and knew I could keep it up, being mindful to keep it in check going up the hills. It just started to feel like one of those days you couldn’t wait to be over but you didn’t want to end. Pushing to the limit and then pushing some more. I could tell all the training was paying off. I stuck to my plan of a gu every 3-4 miles with water or Gatorade at the aid stations, sips and not slowing down too much. I also took ice twice and dumped it down my kit, wow that will wake you up but it cools you off.

This was the first longer race I did where I didn’t carry a water bottle and it went great, with aid stations every mile I didn’t feel I needed to carry it.

I remember some random things:

  1. At the big aid station “Kona-Nooga” I think, there were chocolate chip cookies. I told the woman on my first lap “those look good” and she smiled because I am so cute in my Reaper Wattie Kit (or at least I think that’s why-maybe it was because I am a dork).
  2. I always high 5 the kids! Power boost!
  3. As I crossed over the bridge to the other side of the river and the short uphill turnaround I was feeling good (relative) and as a spectator made eye contact and said keep it up I said with a smile “it’s starting to hurt now.” LOL
  4. I was in the hurt locker as I made my way up the hill at the start of the second lap and I remember thinking “there it is” and the Chris McCormack (I think) quote: “When your legs scream stop and your lungs are bursting, that’s when it starts, that’s the hurt locker. Winners love it in there.” And I embraced it and welcomed it, knowing I was going to suffer some on the last half and that is what I wanted.
  5. I kept seeing teammates and yelled at them “let’s go Reaper! Do your job!”
  6. When I passed someone else (a teammate I think) he put his fist out and fist bumped me and said keep going you are moving. It just felt amazing and gives you that boost you need to finish strong.
  7. Randomly some guy said as I was making a pass “speed coming through” I guess to let others know. I’m not trying to sound cocky it was just a first.

As I kept pushing through the last few miles of the race it was time to shine in the last couple miles. I made the turn for home and saw the TriCoachGeorgia #EnergyWall again, and Coach Slayer yells at me to GO! GO! Get Him (I think meaning pass the guy in front of me, which I did with a burst of speed) and I hear and see Kelly again. Goose bumps and an amazing feeling went through me as I surged down the chute.

Game Over

As with every race I do I always think of my Dad and how I wonder what he would think or say but I know he is watching. I race through the finish line full gas. Done! A new Half Ironman PR (with a shortened and fast current swim) and a Half Marathon PR. Crazy.

The volunteers thought I needed medical but I told them I was o.k. just tired. They support me for a second, take my chip, give me water I get a couple pictures and I’m on my way to see Kelly.

For reference:
Mile splits (Garmin 920XT): 6:55, 7:06, 7:08, 7:06, 7:20, 7:06, 7:06, 7:03, 7:07, 7:14, 7:25, 7:00 and 6:44
That’s why I love racing, I don’t think I would have seen those numbers (on the bike and run) in training.

Overall Time – 04:28:36 (Overall 143, Gender 131, Age Group 19)

All told, this was an epic day that makes me ready to keep pushing and digging to see what else I have in me. The weather cooperated and my bike and run splits were incredible, and all the dedicated consistent training is showing. The only disappointment is the shortened swim so the overall time is skewed but there will be another day and I raced the race set before me. There was a slight hope for a Ironman 70.3 Worlds spot with a roll down slot but it didn’t happen, but now, suddenly and surprisingly to most everyone but my Coach, I think I have it in me and just have to work harder for it.

Now I have to keep on the plan and continue to Do My Job! Hope to see you out training or on the race course everyone!

Slayer’s Ironman World Championship at Kona: Getting High (and Low Lights) – TriCoachGeorgia


Qualifying in October last year was the performance of a lifetime and it delivered a qualifying slot to the Ironman World Championship in Kona! This was the trip of a lifetime. The reward for a great race that followed many hard years of endless yards and miles. Or was it punishment for being self-interested and passionately shooting for a dream goal that most will never achieve?  Despite a year to prepare, I was still going to have to contend with the course that produces the second slowest results on the ironman circuit even though it’s not the most challenging topography. What was I getting myself into?

Give Them What They Want

You want the inside story. Admit it. You want my secrets like if I crapped myself during the race (negative but I did pee on myself a few times), was I emotional at any point(s) (yes but more on the fear and frustrated side than happy/sad side), does she still love me after all this hell (debatable but may depend on the phase of the moon more than the actual training), and how much alcohol I consumed the night before the race (one bottle of nice Justin California Cabernet Sauvignon but over a few hours. Hey, anti-oxidants are healthy right!?)

Not What They Don’t Want

You don’t care about my heat adaptation process, my fueling, hydration, electrolyte and caffeine plans, my pace and power metrics, my placement overall and in age group (unless you’re a hater who wants to show the world I suck and didn’t deserve to be there, or a data geek and there are many of you out there but you can private message me for that information).

I don’t want another boring race report floating out there.  So here are my highlights and lowlights from Ironman World Championship on the Big Island of Kona in Hawaii. My apologies if I forgot to mention you or if I left something funny out.

Highlights and Lowlights

Highlight 1. THE RACE!

From the rock star treatment throughout the entire race-cation and amazing festivities like the Underpants RunPath 5k/10k, which DocSlay podiumed on, and Hoala Ironman Training Swim and pre-race activities beforehand, to the helicopters blaring overhead and the cannon blast to start From the tropical fish swimming beneath our feet during the swim, to the expansive lava fields and breathtaking ocean views on the bike, to the amazing adoring crowds and views of top professional triathletes dueling it out on the run, this event was everything I was hoping for and more!

Lowlight 1. THE RACE!

The theme of the day was ‘be aggressive”. For everyone else but me. I just wanted to ensure I finished my one and maybe only Kona and soaked it all in! Maybe next time, I will go for a more aggressive and faster race. This put me at odds with the field right off the bat. In contrast to my usual balls to the falls approach, I began the race defensively as noted in my pre-race Facebook post and it only got worse as the day wore on.

My race nearly ended within the first 5 minutes of the 2.4 mile swim as I got pummeled like a mouse in a hungry lion’s cage. A relative newcomer to swimming without a wetsuit for the first time at the distance, I was struggling to catch my breath and getting swam over and clobbered on the back of my head multiple times by aggressive swimmers. This sent my heart rate through the roof and it took about 10 minutes of swimming head above the water to settle down and find a rhythm. Thankfully, I got out in time and immediately saw the team on the balcony overlooking the swim exit and I didn’t DNF (did not finish) given my state of panic. However, that wasn’t the only aggressive part.

Once I was on the bike for the 112 mile ride, I was confronted with the most aggressive referees I have ever seen (and I have served as an aggressive one myself so maybe it was #karma!). I am not complaining as they did their jobs but it was humiliating as a referee to get nailed myself. In fact, I got nailed for my first dreaded drafting call early (5 minutes in the penalty tent) for not keeping my focus and pulling over to the center to make a pass of a group of elite women. However, for whatever reason (probably got distracted), I failed to complete the pass within the required 25 seconds. So, while not gaining any drafting benefit, I did violate the letter of the rule and deserved some penalty time with a full penalty tent of fellow transgressors! There were about a dozen in the tent with me and a volunteer who jokingly took a selfie with me, but I took it as a chance to get a nice little rest on the early part of the bike post-long-swim.

One penalty is too many and equaled the amount of times I was penalized in my entire Ironman life. However, that was not the end of that aspect of this lowlight. I actually got another in a similar vein in the mid 90 mile range on an uphill with fierce headwind and me out of the saddle.

This 2nd penalty (along with another 5 minutes in another full penalty tent) put me precariously close to the dreaded DQ (disqualification) for three infractions so I was forced to soft pedal the final 15 miles or so to avoid any possibility of not getting my medal! I believe my split for the final section of the bike was 13 miles per hour when I probably have never had a bike split below 20 miles per hour in any of the other half or full ironman races I have done. All of this may have cost me another 20-30 minutes plus a lot of unwarranted aggravation.

This aggression also included natural elements of wind and sunny heat.  The aforementioned headwinds along with crosswinds were by far the most aggressive I had ever ridden in. I watched lighter riders being blown off their bikes and being shifted on the road. Some smaller athletes were pulling off the road to eat and drink as they couldn’t take their hands off their handlebars, to do so without potentially crashing. During the bike and run, the sun and heat radiating off the black top and lava was like an oven baking us. That’s all fine and dandy when you’re not doing an ironman but they add to the difficulty of this long grueling event.

Highlight 2. Friends and teammates on course!

Having my close buddy, athlete and fellow coach Wes Hargrove aka Coach Taz racing with me was just amazing. We got to share the stress throughout the build, march into battle together, and encourage each other on course when we started the swim and passed each other on the bike and run. There was my all-time ultimate favorite Sherpa, Julie aka DocSlay to make sure I was ok on all fronts, which was no easy feat between my mood swings, magnified ironman anxiety, and medical complications of late.

There were some other misfits and Reapers of the highest order including the Taxes, Seth and Becky Waltman aka Coach TaxSlayer and Tax Dr., Chuck aka Coach BAMF and his wife Beatriz Sims, Kim Hargrove aka Coach Kim Possible, We also had Viper aka Steve Smith, our team photographer and videographer and IronMouse aka Amy Smith, who volunteered nearly all day catching sweaty near death athletes including me when my leg cramped after my infamous bottle smash at the finish line. They are both of #TeamTagg. Also from the team, was the Millers including Jarhead aka James and his mother Theresa Miller, who raced strong herself, and our new friends, the super cool couple, Alex Baggett and Angie Norrell.

It was awesome to also see many others we knew and really liked like the generous and wise Hauschildt‘s (Melissa and Jared), the Kinmartins, Izumi Z. (who got married in Kona the day after she crossed not too far behind me), Bea, Betty, Thomas, and all the greenies of my former team Dynamo Multisport, etc., These folks made all the difference to us on the lead up to and on the day. It helped me immensely to keep a positive mental attitude in the tough conditions.

LowLight 2. No Socks!

You never know how much the little things mean until you do ironman. Then you learn that these little things are more important than you can imagine. Due to some more forgetfulness on my behalf and some other foul ups like trying to swap socks to my run bag late in the game because of the sopping wet floors in the changing tents, I went out on the bike sockless and preceded to get a severe sunburn on the tops of my exposed feet. Then onto the 26.2 mile run, with the sunburnt and already blistered feet, I made things far worse in the soaking wet shoes. Obviously, this was my biggest error. I’ve never experienced such pain as feet pain and I am not quite the masochist I appear to be. I won’t go as far to say it was as bad as natural childbirth, but, damn, I have never suffered so much as I did from blistering and sunburn feet as I did on race day. I know, suck it up Slayer.

Highlight 3. 2 Week Vacation!

Admittedly, I was desperate for my kids to be there with us when I crossed but school was still in session so that made it a no go for them. Thankfully their grandparents came in to look after them while we traveled. Regardless, who goes on vacation to paradise (except for the dastardly aspects of the race) in Kona for a week before and Oahu at Turtle Bay Resort with some of their closest friends in September? Generally, never us. Enough said but I have to mention the joint massage on the beach cabana with DocSlay, several meals at the amazing Jackie Rey’s restaurant owned by Athens’ Real Estate Guru Reign Streiter’s brother in Kona, the umbrella drinks and great bartenders Eddie and Dennis at the pool bar at Turtle Bay, and the fresh fish (aka Poke Bowl).

Lowlight 3.   Tourist Helicopter Rides.

Somehow, of the four of us riding, I drew the most dangerous open door front passenger seat in the PI Magnum helicopter ride we attended while at Turtle Bay Resort. Within a couple minutes, with my right butt cheek half out 1000+ feet in the air and a lot of turbulence, I had enough. However, we had 50 minutes to go and I could barely breathe, let alone talk. Thankfully, the pilot asked me how I was doing while I was white knuckling the oh s**t strap and turning white as a ghost myself. DocSlay helped me to communicate I was not having fun and he took me back early for the walk of shame which I am sure Steve Smith aka Viper or  Amy Smith aka IronMouse captured on film.

Highlight 4. Slayer Video Productions.

With the help of DocSlay and Coach Taz, some of those videos were some of my/our best mass communications work ever. Ok, maybe that overstates it but they didn’t suck and they drew some laughter and praise despite the complete amateurish and sophomoric nature of them. I have to give thanks to Chance Regina of Fusion Sports US, Micah Morlock of Georgia Cycle Sports, which deals my favorite brands like Specialized, Lee Stansell of TifosiOptics, Jason Williamson of Orr Carbon wheels, Varun Sriram of Generation Ucan, and Crisp McDonald Owner/Race Director for Go Race Productions for the encouragement and guidance on these funny videos and support throughout the year.

Lowlight 4. Some of the Things were Letdowns.

I hate to be a downer but not all was as it seemed on social media. Although I heard so much good about Lava Java and Kona coffee, I found it hard to find a great cup of coffee except for on our Greenwell Farms coffee tour and at a Frenchman’s Café near Holy Donuts in Kona. In actual fact, the food in general wasn’t all that special to me except for some spots like Jackie Rey’s, the food truck stops in North Shore of Oahu, and some fish and poke spots. The Luau we went to later in our stay felt like some trumped up pseudo religious cult experience and wasn’t as authentic as I had hoped. I expected to be at a pig picking and it was a big Disney-like production complete with long queues to get in and long waits to get to the mediocre buffet.

Another huge letdown was not being able to keep up with all the positive messages coming in from the mainland. Y’all crushed my PM, text app, FB, IG, twitter, and email!

Highlight 5. I got my medal!

The ironman monkey on your back that grows into a gorilla by the time of the race is gone. It can become a burden especially in the case of such a unique and big opportunity. With my medical issues there was some doubt if I would even race again and it would ever happen, and it finally did! What a relief…

Lowlight 5. Ambiguity.

With such a singular focus for the better part of the last decade, I am now suddenly left without a clear target even though I have a few good ideas. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing per se as it allows me time to refocus on what’s important. However, for me, getting there and finishing was the challenge. Now I need to figure out what’s next apart from enjoying my family and doing better with coaching and at my office.


So there you have it. Maybe this isn’t the race report the data geeks wanted but it’s the highs and lows of my day in the sun, heat, wind, hills, and aggression of the racers and referees. There’s a little taste of the behind the scenes.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I couldn’t have done it without your support whether you are near or far, family, friend, or acquaintance, etc. Folks like Angela and Reuben Adams, Kirk Smith, Kim Stemple of #WeFinishTogether, Ryan Marsh, who trained a lot with me, and each and everyone of my athletes and supporters.

I wanted you to see what the “real” elite athletes may not show you. I wanted Kona to be accessible and less intimidating. I wanted to provide an insider’s view from a regular former fat joe who made it to the top of the mountain for a brief moment.

I sure hope you will someday be able to go watch if you can’t compete. I also deeply wish that you can capture your moment and see that it’s not all good but that the good far outweighs the bad. Thank you for following along during this aspect of my life, your life.

Hit me up if you want more of the nitty gritty details or to be a part of the squad. We would love to have you join the fray! This year and event has only brought so many of us closer. From the youth of TriKidsGeorgia to the merry band of misfits aka the Reapers and all our families, there’s genuine unity that you can’t understand unless you are a part of it.

9Lives’s Ironman Raleigh 70.3 Race Report – TriCoachGeorgia


Many of you know our loyal and dedicated athlete #9Lives aka Richard Nasser and you know how difficult Ironman Raleigh 70.3 can be. It is known as one of the tougher swims for the distance and the heat and humidity has been known to crush many a triathlete’s dreams.

Tough Winter/Spring

Coming off a difficult Winter with another bike wreck that was both physically and mentally challenging and limited training, #9Lives had to do quite a bit of traveling for business and leisure in the Spring. Nevertheless, he had a tremendous short ramp up despite some foot issues that emerged.

Results Speak Louder than Words

#9Lives performed admirably in spite of many obstacles on the day as well. In fact, it was just a sublime race and we are punishing his race report because we believe it would convey too much to the reader about how triathlon is more than just a physical sport. Coach Slayer often says that endurance sports are 90% mental and 50% physical. Well this race result was a great example.

Coach Slayer and #9Lives plotted the course. #9Lives than executed a brilliant race on a day described by a well known local triathlete as “Cambodian jungle conditions.” The heat and humiditiy were overpowering, the morning of the race was nerve racking, and the result was even more rewarding for what had to be overcome. Here follows the unedited #9Lives’ race report for Ironman Raleigh 70.3:

General Info:


Race Summary:



I did not want to do this race. I wasn’t in good swim shape and injuries and travel have thrown off my training year. No one I knew was there, it was going to be 90 degrees, and there were two transitions 40 miles apart.

Raleigh was a cool college and young professional types city, and upon conversing with several, locals I realized it’s a very nerdy place, which I love. We got there and it was 94 degrees, and very humid. We checked into hotel at about 6:30 PM and I planned to go out for a 2 mile jog, but needed more and to see what my race pace felt like in this heat and what heart rate it produced. Looked like about 7:30 would be a 162 HR and that I would need to be a little slower than that so that I wouldn’t have to suffer and walk like I did in Miami. Then we went out to dinner had a couple drinks and explored the city. Fun night! The next morning we walked 1.4 miles in the heat and it was miserable. My anxiety started to build, but then I thought to myself “if it’s hurting me it’s killing zem” quote from Sebastian Kienle. Ali had all the things we needed, maps and plans and things like she does.

Today she wasn’t ready to deal with my child like disregard for organization, so fortunately AWA treated us amazing, we skipped the lines, got a cool cap, I felt like an OG walking into the hood. Plus I had a tan, hot blonde walking around with S-Works Shiv Di2 with 808’s and 404’s. Sex. I remember my first expo in New Orleans with my road bike with aero bars, and I knew that clicking sound the carbon wheels make just gave me goosebumps. I met Jason from Orr Wheels at expo which was cool because I wanted his full back disk for my bike, and we were Facebook friends, but hadn’t met in real life. Ali pulled out the “things to get at expo” list and we picked up a few things and headed to drive up to transition to check my bike. I observed the roads all looks very nice and smooth, and not too many potholes, looked like it could be a fun ride.

The T1 area was like a camp sight full of expensive bikes, colorful garments, and stress. I got on my bike to spin my legs out a little from the run of the previous night. Ali carried my bag and the lists were good. It felt like a good fit and the Rudy Project helmet felt fast, because my other helmet shows my ears and I know I’m not aero if I can hear the wind draft. Plus it looked fucking badass. I unclip. Am ready to set up bike. Head to T2 and get ready for the race the next day. I felt my seat tilted forward a little bit, which it does sometimes if the screw is too loose, and I was horrified to see a completely severed piece of my saddle, that meant that the saddle was gone, and it also had my hydration strategy, the double bottle wing in the back.

We checked the bike in and called the bike store. We had to stop by to pick up a bladder because the one I had was from the previous owner on eBay, and probably should have been quarantined weeks ago, I typically only drink from bottles while training. None of their locations had a tri specific saddle, and it was 4:30 on saturday, all the bike shops closed at 5:00 and we still hadn’t eaten since breakfast.Needless to say I was a wreck, luckily Ali told me “stop being a little bitch, we will figure it out – call Wei, call Slayer, call Ironman, we will find a saddle.” Slayer had a back up, and I found a triathlon store 20 minutes away that closed at 6:00, and it was by Panera Bread which was an extra bonus because that is Ali’s favorite. I got a similar ISM because luckily the guy had my same bike, so I had good advice, and he told me it would fit the wing too. Now it was too late to go to T2 so we had to set it up now by between 4:00-5:15am, joy my wave was at 8:12. We drove back to hotel went and had dinner and went to bed at 9:30.

Race Day:

I slept ok, only woke up 2-3 times, which is good for me. Got up around 4:30, rushed to get stuff together and find T2. We pulled the truck out of the parking deck, and Apple maps took us nowhere fast, it was 5:13 and T2 was nowhere to be found, then we had to figure out a back up plan. Ali said she would just throw the bag over worst case, but we found it and made it in. But hold let me rewind 30 minutes. I woke up and said, “fuck this race, I’m not in shape, I don’t know anyone, my bike is broken, and I’m 20 pounds over where I raced in Miami that had wind and I walked.”

Ali was like whatever do what you want to do, but we gotta get your bike. So I eventually calmed down, but was not in a happy morning smile mood. I hated everyone in T2 laughing and smiling and shit, fuck them, “I hate triathlon.” We find a gas station somehow in the hood, and people were still up from partying the night before, I picked up my gatorade and cliff bar for the race, and headed back out to the car. There was a freaking crackhead touching and pretending to wash the windshield with with a piece of newspaper or some other bullshit, I don’t like when Ali drives, she’s in the driver’s seat after I told the crackhead to get the fuck away from my car and he looked and me and didn’t say another word and we drove off. I was ready to go out and just get it done, I’m not going to let down Slayer and TriCoachGeorgia and TriAugusta and ATC and ITL and everyone in the fucking triathlon world. So I went in, got my bike fixed, set up everything and left transition the last guy out.

I go back to find Ali, tell her that for her Ironman I can go into the transition since I’m a coach. Then I smiled. I’m slowly chipping away at her mentally to get into the sport and she is getting there, but she is super organized whereas, I am like a cannon of confetti mixed with gun powder fired into the Grand Canyon, I just kinda go, and go hard. I get to the swim start to chill and mentally get ready for this race. My bike is ready, time to do my job, and be the best I could be that day, I forgot my heart rate monitor which I rely on, but that was good in the end, but I could go by power and pace, and I was ready to just suffer through this swim, and get to the bike. I go to grab my….goggles. I left two pair in the hotel room. Shit! Emergency, fuck this I quit. Ali told me to find Wei then Wei pointed me in directions I can’t find a tent, I’m getting Facebook notifications, and I am freaking out, I am in line for the port-a-potty. All of the sudden Ali walks back up to me with a pair of old goggles. Miraculously Ali just walked towards swim start and woman had found them and asked if anyone was in need of extra goggles. It was on. Ali saved the day.


45:12- 2:20 per 100 m

Swim I just tried to stay relaxed and not work too hard as I have swam less than 10,000 yards this year. I swam over distance on the friday before the race so I knew I could complete the distance. I used this as training, and I would actually call this my most comfortable swim yet. Most 70.3’s I am 30-40% breast stroke, but this one I was able to stay calm, sight, and freestyle 90% of the time. I was hitting age groupers who were stopped, zig zagging, or panicking. The first 300 yards I drafted off some feet in front of me until I realized that he was zig zagging, so I passed him and went off on my own. I felt my time should have been faster, but the water got extremely choppy, which didn’t hurt my breathing, I am just not as muscularly strong in the upper body as I have been before. I got to T1 at 45, which was about 10 min slower than I expected considering I relaxed and breast stroked and stopped in Miami for a 40 min swim.



I rushed to my bike, caught my breath a little, popped a caffeine pill and ran with shoes on to slowly clip into bike. Transitions will be a good thing for me to work on this year especially mounting and dismounting.


2:35:24- 21.62 mph

I felt pretty good at the beginning, but made sure I held back especially at the beginning. I started to have mini races with a few people, but would end up passing them and taking off after a few miles. I felt very strong on the bike. My nutrition was a water and gatorade at each station, a clif bar, and the initial 2 gatorades I began with. I was crushing people on hills more than I have ever experienced, I was effective at using momentum, rpm control, and limiting redlines, to take advantage of a course where bike handling skills helped. Max speed was 44 mph, and I mentally just blocked out the fear. In my head I was thinking “If i crash, it’ll just hurt, but not giving my best hurts worse.” So I tucked into aero and pushed watts down hill. I watched power meter for redlines, but not as good at using it for consistent effort, which is something I will work on, since number wise I should have gone 10% faster. I get to the end of the bike and legs are a little tired, but I played it right and knew I could run. My main goal here was to have a well done run split no matter what the speed. I had been traveling, 20 pounds heavy, achilles problems and fear of a broken foot, so I made sure I set myself up for a successful of a run as I could. I saw a guy from ATC at about mile 53 and passed him screaming “Go ATC, you better catch my ass on the run!” I saw he was in my age group and I was pumped to get off the bike.



This was confusing as I wasn’t too familiar with rack spot and this was a long transition. I started running in my shoes, then stopped to take them off and continued running with shoes, helmet, and bike. I didn’t want to get my HR up too high during this because my goal was the last 2-3 miles of the run to be fastest, so because of a caution for that I took it a little easier.


1:47:28- 8:12 a mile

I decided to go first mile by just pure feel. It was about 7:31 or so, so I tried to maintain this effort, even though I knew because of hills, and the 94 degree heat with no shade that pace would go down at higher effort. I was 20lbs over race weight so I got hot really fast. Every aid station I would soak myself with water, grab a gatorade, and put ice in my crotch to cool the jewels, but this got excruciatingly hot. I was looking for Ali at mile 2, but she wasn’t there, which my mind began to freak out a little, but I retook control. I remember Slayer saying, “your problem with ironman is that you get bored and let your mind wander,” so instead of freaking I thought “just run, it doesn’t matter if it’s 11 min/mile, just run, one foot in front of the other.” I see Ali at end of the first loop, and was pumped, but dreaded the second loop because it was hotter, and people were in more pain. It is much harder to run when every single person around you is walking.

There was one point when I was the only person running on the 1.7 mile hill; everyone was doing the death march. I hit mile 10 and things got very painful, the heat was overtaking me, and I was ready to quit. I couldn’t do it though, it was this late in the game and I wasn’t going to let myself or Slayer down. The ATC kid did pass me at mile 3-4, but I could see him. I saw the bright colors, and just tried to keep his pace or faster. He was racing another guy in our age group. Mile 12 I went for the pass and got it. The other guy & the ATC kid was racing was still ahead, so it was me vs him now. The last mile I was on his tail, but I was probably close to max heart rate: everything hurt, and I was seeing stars, but I wasn’t about to give up that pass. The last mile was the fastest mile, and I sprinted through the finish 17th in age group, finding out later that my bike and run were faster than 16th place guy I was racing at the end, he just got me by 8 min on the swim.

Yes there were a lot of challenges and this wasn’t my fastest time but I was happy regardless. I gave it my all and overcame the negative voices in my head and had some negative splits on both the bike and run. Now I can get back to working hard for the late season races. Thanks for reading along.

Virgin Olympic Distance Triathlon Voyage: S’later Takes St. Anthony’s Tri – TriCoachGeorgia


TriCoachGeorgia is quite a diverse group. People of all backgrounds populate the team. There are also people of different shapes and sizes. Many think that the team is one of giants; however, there are many smaller sized athletes as well. No matter the background, shape, size, or color, the athletes share one thing in common. They just won’t quit! Indeed, #NoQuit has become a popular hashtag for them.

S’later for See Ya Later!

One of the team’s hardest working athletes is Missy Dobbins Hatchett aka S’later. She also goes by MissFitness, as she is a certified personal trainer in Northeast Georgia. She and her husband Tommy headed down to St. Petersburg, Florida for the iconic and stacked St. Anthony’s Triathlon. Not only was this her first Olympic distance triathlon, it was her first open water race as well. We thought her race report would give you a little insight the mindset of a successful first timer.  Here is her report in her words:

St. Anthony’s Apr. 24, 2016

“Never say Never…and overcoming many fears would be a good theme. A few years ago when asked if I “do triathlons” my immediate response was “No. Never. I don’t want to swim in icky waters with people kicking me in the face”.

Well…there you have it. A runner of many races in my “comfort zone”, I finally stepped outside and did it. And I must say, the results were not too bad for my first attempt. This was my first olympic distance triathlon race and my first open water ocean swim. It was also my first time on a bike for racing purposes.

I had prepared diligently for the event. I swam, bike, and ran more than I ever thought possible. Above and beyond triathlon training, I took good care of my body. I stayed true to regular Myofascial Release weekly and Chiropractic adjustments/muscle work/stretching (Thank you Todd & Dr. Kevin). As regards to the training plan, I never strayed unless I insisted on some extra rowing or plyometrics. (He might not admit it but Coach Slayer hates it!)


On the days leading up to the event, what helped most was having a solid support system. My husband was with me and participating. He has been the biggest support through all of this.  My close friend Noelle whom I started running with 16 years ago (she’s now an USAT All American and 4-time Ironman) was by my side up until the gun. My coach was there to chat the night before the race. I should note that I also got a practice swim the day before with my crew which calmed also my nerves and set aside some fears I had.

As the morning started, I was nervous and anxiety ridden just like any other race. I had to take multiple pre-race trips to the potty, but I was brave and lined up, ready to go. I thought of all my training and support.

Race Starts!

The swim went surprisingly well and the water was calm. I made my way around the buoys and easily transitioned to the bike. I was prepared for the bike but took it down a notch due to the heat/sun and my own newness at the distance. Coach was there to help shout at me on the early stage of the run and reminded me to pace myself and gave me a pat on the back, which was awesome. I ran strong with some of my best 10k pacing ever.

As I came through the finish line, I took time to quickly review my race. I reflected that I was indeed prepared. I was so prepared that I enjoyed the entire event, even some minor noob foul ups. I even smiled the whole way. I was gracious, and I thanked the cops, volunteers, and spectators. I was humble and felt blessed every step of the way.

I also want to note that four years ago, I almost lost my foot. I fought and after 3 surgeries, 2 grafts, 3 months of hyperbaric chambers and a year in a boot, I vowed to never give up, fight back and not slow down. I don’t forget that and say the Shechechiyanu (a Jewish prayer thanking G-D) every transition to keep me grounded.

Finished Strong

So, it ended. I finished smiling, happy and proud. Throughout the entire event, I felt pretty darn good. I budgeted my energy sources well and stuck to the plan. I did not let anxiety overcome me. I challenged myself yet also listened to my body & my coach. My friends, family and team were shouting me out online and in person. But, of course, I was wondering how I placed like everyone does.

It turned out that I was minutes away from 1st place in The Novice Division that I transferred out of at the last minute to race as a regular age grouper. But, I didn’t need an award that day. I was victorious in so many ways.

Want More

I am humble, but I strive for more. My schedule now includes more short course triathlons and then my A race, Steelhead 70.3 in August. Steelhead, I’m coming for you! I hope to be lucky enough to have all of the same gifts I had at St. Anthony’s triathlon including calm water, great weather, and a stellar support network. I hope I can keep my body well-trained and my head mentally prepared.


Thanks for reading. As for me, I have to get right back to work. I have a 10 mile run & 2000 yard swim in the early morning. Wish me luck, and I will do the same for you. Hollar if you see me on course or out training. If you are looking for a good team or coaches, I’d love to see you on our private forum and/or at the the races! #DoYourJob!”

Mountains to Main Street – A Local Perspective by Coach L Dubb – TriCoachGeorgia


Newest Coach LDubb, aka Lauren White is a native Greenvillian, who has lived in the Upstate for 33 years. She has and is coaching athletes locally and regionally from couch to sprint triathlon, and short court to long course triathlon, and road races like half marathons and marathons.

Coach LDubb can tell you that no one is more excited to see The Mountains to Main Street Triathlon & Festival come to the Upstate than her. She will be doing training days and weekends on the course.

Greenville holds a special place in her heart as she has embraced and witnessed the positive changes, growth and diversity that have emerged over the past 15 years. The Upstate has become one of the hottest emerging tourist destinations as well as being one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. Greenville’s revamped Downtown was just recently named by Forbes as “America’s Ten Best.” As a triathlete, she has trained countless hours in the Upstate and has a deep appreciation and understanding of the area and the course layout. From the crystal blue waters of Lake Keowee – to the scenic rolling hills of the Foothills Mountains – to the freshly paved Swamp Rabbit Trail that will end in heart of Greenville’s Downtown, it will be quite the triathlon experience to remember!

Swim Preview

The swim will take place at South Cove Park at Lake Keowee. It will be a point-to-point swim with water temps most likely in the mid-seventies. That means, most likely this will be a wetsuit legal swim or at least wetsuit optional; although in all races you will learn in the morning of the race. Coach LDubb grew up swimming and boating in this lake and can tell you no other lake in the Southeast beats it. The water is crystal clear, clean and calm and the scenery of the surrounding mountains will take your breath away.

Bike Preview

This bike course is not for the faint of heart! The 56 mile bike course will take you through Oconee, Pickens and Greenville counties and finishing up in the town of Travelers Rest. At that point, will be the second transition with huge crowd support as that area is full of restaurants, bars and businesses. In training for Ironman Louisville and Texas, Coach LDubb became quite familiar with the “rolling hills” and “climbs” of this course and surrounding areas. Over the 56 miles, there is an approximate elevation gain of 3700 feet. The best way to describe the course would be numerous rolling hills with decent climbs.

Attached is a course description that gives the elevation layout according to mileage. The bike course runs along the Foothills – a very scenic and beautiful area so be sure to take it all in.

Run Preview

Now to the fun part! Ready for a fast and epic run? You will enter the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest and will circle around Furman University’s beautiful swan lake and tower before re-entering the trail.

This run course offers a NET LOSS in elevation which makes for a very fast run. Coach LDubb had her fastest half marathon in the GHS Swamp Rabbit Half last year and can attest that athletes will love it after a 56 mile bike ride. There will be numerous aid stations along the route. The run will finish in the heart of Downtown Greenville on the TD stage that overlooks the Reedy River and Falls Park Bridge with an abundance of welcoming spectators and Greenvillians, music and action. It’s a finish that athletes and spectators will forever remember!

The motto for this race is “So you wanna….SWIM with the bear…BIKE with the eagle…RUN with the rabbit…?” We hope you will consider training with and coaching by TriCoachGeorgia’s Coach LDubb as a home field advantage!

Happy Floaty Racing at Augusta 70.3 2015: How to Not Stress and Truly Enjoy Your Race

Many of our athletes at are multi-year athletes. They are not “one and done.” They take a longer view to training and racing and realize that endurance is more of a slow cooker than a microwave. They also get a lot out of our sub-culture and community. Most importantly, they have perspective about what this all means in the context of their lives, which include demanding jobs and lovely and challenging family demands to juggle.

Taylor Lewis is a prime example of the aforementioned. She has been with Coach Slayer going on three years now. She manages her job in Nursing, her husband Duane and their lovely three children. She trains with the team but uses mostly the online aspects as she is many hours away from her teammates. Nonetheless, she keeps rising to the challenges she sets for herself, of which there are many and these are all pretty BIG, as in dangerous and long or hard, events.

More importantly, she “gets it.” Here in her Augusta 70.3 race report we see someone who takes on the challenge of racing her half ironman without pressuring herself or seeing her results as dictating her self-worth. She soaks up the community, the event, and the sport she loves most. We thought her race report might help someone who puts too much pressure on herself to perform or PR and let them see how it can be way more enjoyable. Well done Happy Floaty Taylor #HFT! Thanks for the share.

Ironman Augusta 70.3 Race Report

Race Day

I got up at 4am and made a UCan smoothie in the blender bottle. It ended up being one of the weirder smoothies I’d ever made, but was okay. I got myself organized and spent a few quiet moments visualizing my race. When I left the hotel the temp was cool and there was a misty rain happening. I did run back up to the room to get a bag to put my running shoes in. The hotel I was staying in was just a little over a block from the swim start, so I walked to the shuttle stop there and caught a ride to transition. Once I had everything set up, I rode a shuttle back to swim start and walked back to the hotel. I actually had time to crawl back into bed and rest for an hour before going back for my swim wave! I was able to get my wetsuit on up to my waist at the hotel and grab only what I needed to take with me. I got back to the swim start shortly after 7. While chatting with friends at the race start I ate a banana and drank a bottle of Ucan, I also took 200mg of caffeine at 7:30. I exchanged good luck wishes with everyone and it was time to drop my morning clothes bag and get ready to go. My swim wave started at 7:58 which was super early. In years past I have started closer to 9. I really liked starting earlier! I got my wetsuit on and lined up with the other light blue swim caps in wave 8. Finally the nervous excitement of a race was in full effect, and I loved it! The misty rain stuff was still happening and the sun was nowhere to be found, but none the less it was a beautiful day. As we were filing down towards the swim start we passed Dave Ragsdale and he chatted with the group. I know that officially Mike Reilly is the “voice of IM”. But to me, the voice of IM is Dave Ragsdale. He has been at all 5 HIMs that I’ve done and he was at IMFL, so to me his voice is what I expect to hear at these events! The time had finally come and the ladies in my wave filed down onto the dock. There was 4 minutes between waves, and of course these 4 minutes felt like they lasted for 5 years. Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ was blasting and that felt kinda perfect! I got into the water and was hanging onto the dock when the horn sounded to indicate the swim start.


The race started and so did the mass of women in my wave. Why I thought starting at the end of the dock towards the middle of the river and in the river was a good idea I’ll never know. I was hit and kicked and swam over. Too many bodies. I did not enjoy this race start and wished I had waited just a couple of seconds to let the mass start before I started swimming. Too late for that now. I was hit in the goggles, but they were not knocked off. I just kept swimming and trying to calm down. Both the shock of the chilly water and the adrenaline from the race start and all the people really had me on edge and a little freaked out. It took several minutes and swim strokes for me to calm down. After the crowd had spaced out some I was fine and the remainder of the swim was uneventful. Swim time: 29:36


I felt good coming out of the water and ran to the wetsuit strippers. They did their job very efficiently and in no time I was running to my bike. And I was wet and cold. Still no sunshine and misty drizzle. I got on my bike shoes, sunglasses, and helmet and headed out. T1 time: 4:47


There were a lot of prayers sent up during this ride. I do the majority of my riding on the trainer and I haven’t replaced my rear tire since last summer (2014). I had not bothered with race wheels for this one and I just rode my training wheels. My rear tire is very worn from the trainer and I knew it was slippery. I was very concerned about the possibility of going down on the tire on slick roads. The misty rain fell for most of the bike. Only once or twice did it actually rain, but it was damp for the entire bike. I warmed up quickly, except for my head. The wet hair and the vents in my helmet make for a cold head until my hair dries. I’ve experienced this before, but never seem to get used to it. While it may seem odd to wear sunglasses in the rain, I hate the feeling of the wind in my eyes. It dries my contacts out and just is really annoying. I would periodically have to take the sunglasses off and try to wipe the rain drops off them. The bike was good and I never did push the speed or effort at all. At some point, someone rode past me and told me to make Harvey proud! I was very comfortable on the ‘hills’ and thought about Harvey’s instruction to play the climbs easier than usual. I did stop for the bathroom at the first aid station and that added a little bit of time. I started with only 1 bottle of water and grabbed a fresh bottle at each aid station. I took caffeine at 9:30 and again at 11:30 (every 2 hours). I took at Hammer gel at about 1:45 on the bike, this is a little sooner than I had planned, but I felt like I needed it. The temp was cooler than what I had been training in and I spaced out my electrolytes to every 45’ instead of every 30’ and that worked fine. After the final aid station, I made an effort to keep things under control and not push. Last year, I blew through the last 10 miles on the bike and paid for it on the run. At mile 49 I came upon a crash that had just happened. There were 2 bikes and riders on the ground. Everyone was slowing down and riding around them. I stopped and identified myself as a nurse and checked on both people. They both had some road rash and were clearly shaken up, but both assured me that they were okay. The woman showed me that she had a flat front tire and I offered her my spare tire tube. She said she had one but she didn’t know how to change the tire. I had some pretty rude thoughts run through my mind about her lack of preparation and why didn’t she know how to do that?!?! A police officer pulled up at time and asked if they needed medical assistance. Both people said they were okay, but the lady with the flat did ask for SAG to help her change the tire. I rode off at this point and for the next 10 miles I beat myself up for being a jerk and not doing it for her. I still feel bad about that. My prayers were answered in that I didn’t crash and I had a good ride. Bike time: 3:14:06 – 17.3avg speed. Lost time at bathroom stop and checking on crash, but not a bad ride at all.


Coming into T2 I was tired, but I was really looking forward to running. I got my bike racked and helmet off and changed shoes. Another little prefect touch was that Dave Matthews ‘Jimi Thing’ was playing (‘what I want is what I’ve not got, but what I need is all around me’) – not sure what I want that I don’t have, but what I need was definitely all around me! I took a bottle of Ucan with me to start the run, quick trip into the porto-potty and I was off and running. T2 time: 8:02 (okay, I really need to work on that).


The Augusta run is my favorite run that I’ve ever done in any race. There is so much crowd support that it is an amazing feeling. I had one of the best runs in any race ever. It looks slow to someone who doesn’t know me. But my pace was consistent, my splits even, and I did exactly what I had trained for. I felt good and strong the entire run and really had a blast! I continued with my electrolytes during the run. I had my other Hammer gel around mile 9. I grabbed water at every aid station and added in Coke at the station at mile 5 and had coke and water at aid stations after that. At that mile 5 aid station I was reaching out to grab a cup of water when I could hear someone coming yelling ‘water, water!’ this person zoomed through and cut me off to grab water and sped away. It was Taz!! I have NEVER seen someone run that fast or blast through an aid station like that and I was in awe. My run is typically surround by people running various paces, but as a middle to back of the packer, I don’t see the really fast people and I just couldn’t get over how fast he was moving! Around mile 7 my old right foot pain friend arrived. I noticed that my lower legs were pretty achy near 10 miles, but I was having a good run. I lost track of how many times someone commented about Harvey or Slayer or told me to Do My Job. It was like having little Harvey-spies everywhere! I LOVED running past the TCGA and Tri Augusta tents! Kevin Cheek was one of the most supportive people on the course and I’ve never even met him! I saw Gina at the tent and thought she must have had a spectacular race to already be finished and changed. Later I learned that she had been sick and didn’t race. I finished my race feeling really really good and loved the entire experience! Run time: 2:27:02

Overall Race Time: 6:23:33

This is my slowest time at Augusta, but one of my best races! I had an awesome solid great run that I am proud of! I did new things and met new people and to think that I came very close to not even going. I loved this weekend.

I got my gear bag pretty quickly to get my phone and check on everyone else racing in Augusta and Choo and touch base with my people. I talked to Duane, my mom and sis, Harvey, and Pat. My tribe! And really appreciated hearing from everyone and knowing that they were tracking me. I walked over to the TCGA tent to cheer on everyone else and met a lot more TCGA people. Taz was there and immediately apologized for cutting me off at the aid station. At this time I had no clue that he had finished 4th overall and just commented on how impressed I was with how fast he was! He said he saw I was a team member and figured I would understand being cut-off, which of course I did! He was so humble and kind asking me about my race and how it went, never mentioning how well he had done, Gina told me about his race! I checked and made sure she was okay and she got a little teary-eyed about the DNS. I tried to offer words of comfort but knew that nothing I could say would make it okay. I started following friends on the tracker and was able to cheer for them as they ran by! Holly came by and I trotted a long with her for a few minutes and told her I’d see her at the finish line! I got to see Kim, Darsh, and Bill run by. I met Ryan and Kim at the tent and Gina and Troy were there and overall I just had an amazing time! I made it back to the finish line in time to see Holly cross and I was so extremely proud of her! I made my way to her and teared up (where did this emotion come from??? That was totally unexpected!). I was by far more excited for her than for myself!

I am writing this on Tuesday following the Sunday race. I have to go back to work tomorrow and will be busy and it was write it now or never. I learned so many things at this race and had such a phenomenal weekend.

Top 10 Takeaways from the Ironman Augusta 70.3

  • 1) Sometimes amazing things happen when you least expect it (this entire weekend).
  • 2) Good things happen outside of my comfort zone.
  • 3) Never ever pass up an opportunity to help someone. I wasn’t racing, I was participating in this event and there is no good reason for me not to have changed that lady’s tire. If it was a training ride I wouldn’t have had a second thought about stopping and changing her tire. I wasn’t in a hurry, I was a jerk and I’ve worried about her since then.
  • 4) Motivation and excitement can be found in the most unplanned ways. Coming off of this weekend I feel an excitement towards training and racing that I haven’t felt in a while.
  • 5) Watching someone else fulfill a dream is as good if not better than doing it yourself.
  • 6) Solid nutrition plan during this race, but need to tweak and plan for upcoming ultras.
  • 7) It was fun to ham it up for the race photographers!
  • 8) I looked forward to the timing mats on the run because it meant that I was letting someone know how my race was going.
  • 9) I am a member of the greatest team. I love this crazy group of TCGa misfits.
  • 10) I love the people who support me and appreciate everything thing that everyone who is reading this does or has done to support me, it doesn’t go unnoticed and I thank you.
  • Athens, Georgia’s Own #TriToBeatCancer – TriCoachGeorgia

    A Brilliant Event Occurs

    Much planning goes into a huge event and amazing things happen when so many good people combine efforts to fight cancer. Our team, along with affiliates like Georgia Cycle Sports Concepts and Fleet Feet Athens and many more like the North Oconee High School Cross Country Team, and the UGA Swim Team paired up to help prepare and steer the throngs of participants through the local course of a sprint triathlon at Sandy Creek Park in Athens, Georgia.

    Indeed the TriCoachGeorgia and TriKidsGeorgia teams gathered along with so many others for a quintessential active Athens event, the Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia‘s Tri to Beat Cancer. In fact, the team was honored to be a sponsor.

    The Weekend Started

    The Race Expo on Saturday was a blast and Coach Slayer and Coach BigBad were there to give out free samples of Generation UCan hydration and Base Performance left over from their big #TCGAugustaCamp. They also offered a lot of racers tips to improve their times, rules information, and hydration/fueling strategies. The census for the race was huge like every year and participants registered from all over the State of Georgia and beyond.

    Race Day

    On Sunday, after an early night, so many Reapers were out on the course either racing, volunteering, or spectating, that it felt like we were swimming in a sea of Red and Black, the team’s colors. For the TriKidsGeorgia, there was representation from Jack H., Hatchet Jack aka Jack S. and Jr. TaxSlayer aka Ben W. Also the RedVenger aka Amy Gayer relayed with her Dad, Coach Slayer.

    Going toe to toe with the best in the game, all these kids rocked it out with strong performances in a humid, hilly, foggy course. RedVenger raced in the front pack and held her own with a PR 5k, while her Dad and Coach BigBad, on their relay bikes, put up the two fastest bike splits on the course for the entire race!

    On the grown up side, the Reapers had some stellar performances where athletes crushed prior year times, scored podium slots, and generally reaped what they had sowed. Lots of high fives and words of encouragement were exchanged beforehand, on course, and post-race.

    Literally, huge gains were seen by Darth Vader aka Darsh Cook, Rolling Thunder aka Troy Garland, the Scalpel aka Brad Shepherd, TaxDr, aka Becky Waltman, and FC aka CJ O’Mara. Podium awards went to Virginia Brooks, Longman aka Karl Langenbach and Terminator aka Dr. Dick Thompson. A few narrowly missed the podium due to the high level of competition.

    In addition to very strong relay bikes from Coach BigBad, whose team won the overall smoking fast relay with Dustin Shinhouser from Fleet Feet Athens as a runner, and Coach Slayer, Relayer Social D. aka Danielle Cheek had a great bike. There were many who noticed the tremendous growth of the team from their representation on course. Also, many were appreciative of the team’s moral support on the run course.

    Volunteers were aplenty on the course and the race would not be as good as it is without them. Cheering for the team at the first turn on the run course were Doc Slay and Number 14, aka Julie and Jake Gayer, TaxSlayer and Jr. TaxDr. aka Seth and Allison Waltman, MyTime aka Myrna Powell, Judas Priest aka Judith Garrard, Lauren and McGritty from Greenville, SC. Many other friends and family members made appearances like Brooke Powell, Fran Stansell, Steve Hayes, Nicole O’Mara, the Goss father and son duo, the Chasmans, etc.. It is hard to capture all of the people who were there but suffice to say that everyone was noticed and appreciated.

    My First Ironman Experience – a detailed race report by Gator – TriCoachGeorgia

    One of our original coached athletes, Chris Keysor, aka Gator, took a huge risk racing his first Ironman – Ironman UK. He did it abroad with his family in town in the United Kingdom at Bolton near Manchester. This required a great deal of logistical planning and pragmatic adjustments. He was supposed to race with Coach Slayer but that didn’t work out quite as hoped so he had to race alone. Fortunately, this allowed Coach to be on the course as sherpa and friend along with his wife Julie.

    This is one of the hardest courses on the Ironman circuit. The weather on the day was horrible with winds gusting to 30mph and pouring rain for the early half of the day. His results were strong, his coach and he were satisfied with his day, and his family was all smiles. Gator wrote up a nice little summary that we thought might be of use to first timers and those racing difficult courses on tough days. Have a read and see what we mean:

    My First Ironman Experience – a detailed race report by Chris Keysor aka Gator

    Overall this is one of the tougher Ironman races due to the climbing and narrow roads; however, those factors are off-set by the cooler weather. In addition to the every day factors of the course, this day was specifically challenging because of the rain and wind.

    I originally signed up for this race because Harvey was going and I thought I would be able to tackle the training and logistics better with him in attendance. Of course with his injury in early spring he was out of the race but was still there to guide me through the race. Oh and don’t forget having his lovely wife Julie there gave us someone that could get around the UK with ease.

    Leading up to the race we arrived in Manchester on Thursday morning (3 days before the race). After little sleep on the flight over Thursday was really a wasted day, but we got to see the town and have a casual dinner. We did not sleep during the day so that we would get a good rest. Also, I assembled my bike in the hotel room. Luckily with the Scicon case there is very little re-assembly to be done. On Friday we took the train over to Bolton and started to get familiar with the town and get checked in.

    Saturday Julie and Harvey drove up from London and we started to work through the logistics of racking the bike and my transition bags. Bolton has two separate transitions and a different finishing spot – making logistics particularly challenging. Luckily, Harvey suggested that I take a quick spin on my bike, which resulted in my first flat of the race. Interesting that the flat occurred with a latex tube with sealant in it. However, I made the change and decided to carry a 2nd spare tube on the race.

    We had the pasta dinner at the hotel and made a fairly early night of it.

    There were 2,157 people in the race and about 343 registered  in my age group. Of the 343 registered 266 finished (78%) and 27 started but did not finish (about 10%).

    Swim Notes

    • The swim was a time trial type of start where you lined up according to anticipated swim time and jumped into the water two or three at a time.
    • The water temperature was 16 degrees Celsius (61 F) so as soon as I hit the water I started to hyperventilate and had to pull to the side to get used to the water.
    • It was raining at the end of the first lap so we got pretty wet and made sighting of the buoys very challenging.
    • The second lap of the swim (2-1.2 mile laps) was really enjoyable and I got into my rhythm.
    • On the way to the water exit, I was able to see the lake grass on the bottom. It was so cool because it looked like golden hair waiving up and made me feel like I was going really fast. Sadly not true.
    • I exited the water 88th in my age group.
    • My goal was 1:20 and I was out in 1:18.
    • It was still raining and quite muddy in T1

    Bike Notes

    • The bike is what makes this course. Over 5,400 feet of climbing you are usually either going up or down through the various villages and pastures around north England. Interesting that my Garmin recorded over 7,200 in gain but corrected out to 5,400.
    • What made this race particularly notable was the rain on the first lap and the 20-30mph winds whipping you around on the wet roads and even once they dried out. I had a number of times that the wind moved me on the bike. As a result my down hill speed was very limited.
    • It started out as a cold ride with a rain vest and arm warmers but finished with just my aero shirt.
    • The crowds were incredible. They lined up through the villages and on the three main climbs. It was like the tour de france where the crowds leave you about 2′ to ride through. Not necessarily a good idea to get that close to someone that has lost most of his or her mental abilities. But never the less an incredible experience.
    • On the second large climb I remember averaging 100% of FTP and wishing for another gear so I could cool it down a bit. I am a spinner up hills and really can’t pedal efficiently at 50 rpm. These big power efforts aided the 1.17 Variability Index. Burning lots of matches.
    • Harvey and Julie drove my family out to the one of those hills to see us go by. A one hour drive resulted in a 3″ video of me, but I didn’t see them. Just too many people.
    • The roads were really rough with people flatting and losing stuff off the bikes. I lost two gels and all my caffeine. By the end of the bike my mental fatigue was really high. I was experiencing joint strains and then my right eye started getting blurry as my brain was focusing on my dominant eye (very strange).
    • The other thing about the roads is many of them were really skinny “2-lane” roads. I think 15′ wide total. Oh and did I mention that they drive on the wrong side of the street?
    • I finished the first lap feeling pretty good and even made it up the 2nd climb in really good shape. There were not a lot of riders around me at that point making the roads more tolerable.
    • After the second climb I started feeling fatigued. The wind continued to mess around with the bike and it was a struggle.
    • The third big climb began a death march and my power really started to drop. (Mile 95ish)
    • My family was at the transition of the bike, I heard them but couldn’t pick them out of the crowd.
    • When I dis-mounted off the bike my feet were stinging on each step making me wonder if I was even going to be able to run. Turns out it was just from my feet being damp for 6 hours.
    • I finished the bike in 61st place climbing 27 spots. I was 53rd fastest bike, not stellar versus other bikers.
    • My goal time was 6 hours at 175 NP watts (73% FTP). I rode for about 6 ½ hours at 189 NP (79%). Also, Variability Index was at 1.17. I haven’t had a VI index that high since road racing, but suggest it was because of the hard climbs and coasting down hills (wind limiting speed).

    Run Notes

    • The run started with getting see Jolie and the kids. I hugged Aiden and he told me to go win. Zoe said she loved me and wanted me to finish but don’t dare hug her. I kissed Jolie and headed out.
    • Harvey ran with me for 100 yards or so to give me some advice (it is going to hurt and try not to walk).
    • My first ½ mile was around a 10 minute pace making me wonder how this was going to go.   By the end of the hill I was down to nine minutes and feeling really great.
    • Interesting that the lack of caffeine did not hurt me on the run. My mental fatigue went away and my legs felt almost fresh.
    • The run started out with a leg to get us in downtown Bolton and included a run along a gravel path down the canal.
    • Once we got downtown we started a 3 loop course down one of the wide residential streets and ending at the finish line downtown. There were thousands of people along the route including church groups, bars, house parties and schools. At the finish line people were lined up 4-5 people deep with lot’s of cheering and music.
    • The run course was just as hilly as the bike with two main climbs a lap, one lasting about a ½ mile. From the second lap on I walked the hills to preserve energy.
    • When I ran by the finish line the first time I was at about 12 miles and really was devastated when I couldn’t go down the finish chute.
    • Each time you went by the end of the loop you received a colored hair scrunchy that you put on your arm. Different color for each lap. All those macho men with hair scrunchies.
    • The first lap ended around 13 miles and a pace of 8’50”.
    • By the second lap I was down to around 9’03” .
    • On the third lap I walked the hill and at the top started running again. I found a set of heels to follow and just hung on for the next 2 miles.
    • At the turn-around, we both walked the sag stop and I introduced myself. We walked and talked to the end of the sag then he said see you at the finish. I let him go ahead not knowing whether I could start running again.
    • About 50” later someone in my age group ran by so I started off again and by the end of the residential neighborhood I caught my new friend again and we ran into the crowd filled downtown.
    • Jolie, the kids, Harvey and his wife Julie were on the last corner. Harvey had Zoe up on his shoulder and she was cheering, Aidan was next to the barricade and gave me a big smile and thumbs up.
    • As we ran towards the line my new brit friend grabbed my hand and said we finish together mate.
    • They announced Kyle and Chris you are Ironmen!
    • I finished 42nd and had the 28th fastest run.
    • I had the goal of 4:10:00 (9’30” pace) and I finished in 4:03:30 (9’18” pace).
    • Who would have known my first marathon was my relative strength.

    Transition Notes

    • Normally I wouldn’t write anything about transitions but mine were horrible. 10:50 on the first and 6:45 on the second. Compared to the first place guy in my age group I had 10′ extra in the tents.

    Big Thoughts:

    From a data standpoint I was a little above target at 189 NP watts (.79 IF). That shows a good strong effort. However, what was real telling was the 1.17 VI. I don’t think I have ever run more than 1.1 VI. For instance Raleigh was 1.06. I am a much better pacer than that. But on this course on that day I could only heat it up going up the hills and much of the time down hill I was just coasting and holding on for dear life.

    I think the other major finding was what happens without Caffeine. I think my neuro function was fatigued and shutting down causing my eye issue as well as pain in my right knee. Losing the Caffeine was a bigger deal than I would have thought.

    Run – I know this Marathon won’t translate into anything else. However, it once again proves that pain is all in your head and you can get through anything if you want. I really need to get that mind set if I want to be under a 7’30” run on a half again.

    Overall, I gave it my best shot. I had hoped for a 12 hour finish and made 12 hours 11 minutes. After an 8 month journey I will take the 11 minutes and declare a goal reached. So in the big picture, I am really pleased and think I will be in great form for my August half.

    Really don’t know if I could ever finish another one of these. There was a certain fear of failure of a goal that drove me home.

    My First Half Ironman Experience - TriCoachGeorgia

    My First Half Ironman Experience – a detailed race report by RollingThunder – TriCoachGeorgia

    We chose to share this race report by RollingThunder aka Troy Garland because we believe that it illustrates the many variables that go into the lead up to and actual race of a first time half ironman.

    This race was Ironman Chattanooga 70.3. The river swim lacked the current of the full Ironman there last Autumn. The bike had some slight challenges added and is described as rolling. A power meter was very helpful here. A challenging run course with some steep climbs amongst some flat stretches met the triathletes.

    RT has been a model of consistency in training and he comes to us without prior coaching. He had done a few short course triathlons but wanted TriCoachGeorgia and Coach Slayer to take him to the next level.

    In joining the team and taking on coaching, RT has lost significant weight, logged a ton of yards and miles, even coming in the top 50 overall in the USAT NCC Challenge. He has dropped his times at 5k through Marathon, as well as a PR in just about every triathlon he has attempted since starting coaching.

    Please read this race report and let us know if you have any questions about the training required, the fueling or weight loss techniques we employed, or race strategy we employed. We hope it is informative:

    My First Half Ironman Experience - TriCoachGeorgia

    Chattanooga, TN
    Ironman 70.3

    Total Time = 5:50:50 
    Overall Rank =
    Age Group = 40-44
    Age Group Rank = 145/285

    Pre Race

    I arrived in Chattanooga on Friday, May 15 @ 6:30PM. Atlanta traffic prevented
    the early packet pickup that I had planned. Checked into Choo Choo, and rode
    down to Ironman Village to get a feel for the layout and parking situation. Silver
    Diner (Choo Choo restaurant) pizza was for dinner then early to bed.

    I ate a lite breakfast on Saturday morning at the hotel before heading to Ironman
    Village. Arrived at packet pickup @ 9:15AM for a smooth check-in, chip
    verification, and Tri Club check-in. Terminator (Dick) was exiting the village when
    I arrived. We spoke briefly before I entered packet pickup. The transition area
    was still being setup, so I examined the swim exit, bike exit, and run exit.

    10:45AM practice swim in the river with wet suit. Water felt cool, perfect for a
    wet suit swim. Swam upstream from swim exit to first bridge and back. Water
    current was barely noticeable until swimming through the bridge opening. The
    swim was about 15 minutes for @ 825 yds. Felt more confident about the swim
    after the practice session. I headed back to the truck to put up the wet suit and
    get on my bike. For lunch I grabbed a quick wrap sandwich and PowerAde Zero.

    12:00PM started bike practice ride. Legs felt great and the bike was functioning
    perfectly. Tried to follow the run course, but ended up getting frustrated with the
    traffic and my lack of direction trying to follow the course. Never was able to get
    into a steady training pace for any stretch. I punctured my rear tire on the wood
    bridge returning to the Ironman Village area. No issues changing the tube or
    airing the tire with CO2 cartridge, just considered it good practice that I hoped not
    to need on race day. My 30 minute ride turned into an hour plus outing. Returned
    back to truck to lock bike and change into running shoes.

    1:15PM started the run by heading back toward the finish line before turning right
    up the hill onto the run course. Legs felt really good, so I was constantly slowing
    to keep my pace in check. The two mile run went by quickly and helped restore
    the positive energy about the upcoming race. I checked my bike into transition
    before heading back to Choo Choo to cleanup.

    5:00PM Taco Mac for dinner with the Tri Coach Georgia crew. Love the TCGA
    family for the support, advice, and helping relieve some of the pre-race nerves. I
    had a grilled chicken and avocado sandwich with sweet potato fries plus chocolate
    cake (thanks Slayer) to top off the fuel reserves before heading back to the hotel.
    I packed tri bag and double checked gear, nutrition, and supplies before mixing
    UCAN, water, and PowerAde Zero for bike and transition. In bed @ 11:00PM, but
    did not sleep much.

    Race day and I am up at 3:45AM to eat and triple check everything. Water, peanut
    butter, crackers, UCAN bar are for breakfast. I eat as much as I can, but I am not
    hungry as race day excitement and nerves build. I grab a bottle of water, load my
    gear, check off everything on the list for the finial time, and leave for Chattanooga
    70.3. Parking was quick, but the few dollars paid on Saturday had turned into $15
    for event day parking.

    5:00AM setup transition area, load hydration bottles, and check tire pressure on
    bike before proceeding to the bus for swim start. Quick bathroom stop before
    getting on the bus. Rode with Nasser on the bus across the river. It was good to
    have someone familiar to talk with while waiting for go time. I ended up
    somewhere in the middle of the swim start line. I should have taken shoes and
    extra fluids to sip on while waiting on line. My race finally got underway @ 52
    minutes after the pros started.


    00:38:02 | 2112 yards | 1:58 / M
    Age Group: 211/285
    Performance: Good, about what I expected
    Suit: Xterra Vector Pro Blaze
    Course: 200 yd up stream, right turn to middle of river, left turn to exit at
    Ross’s Landing Start type:
    Water temp: 72

    The water was cool when I jumped feet first into the river. It felt good
    with a wet suit. The toes on my left foot cramped a little as I hit the
    water, but worked out quickly as the swim started. I got into a good
    steady pace as I followed buoys upstream to the first turn. The course
    was crowded until we started on the downstream section of the course.
    Continued to use the buoys to sight as I turned downstream to make my
    way to the swim exit. The bridges were good reference points for
    sighting, but still did not swim as straight as I needed. Left calf cramped
    mildly about twenty minutes into the swim, but loosened-up after about a
    minute of flexing my ankle. Things began to get tight again as I
    approached the steps to exit the water. It was great to hear from the Tri
    Coach Georgia crew as I exited the water and moved to transition. The wet
    suit peelers were able to snatch my suit off with on quick pull as I had
    managed to get it off my shoulders and arms. I felt god about the swim as
    I made my way to transition. I did what I expected to do for the first leg.
    I entered transition feeling good, warmed up, and ready for the bike.


    Time: 05:47
    Performance: OK, slower than I wanted

    The transition area was fairly congested as I made my way to the bike. I sat by
    my bike, dried my feet, and put on socks and bike shoes. The race belt with bib
    number, helmet, and sun glasses went on next as I got a shot of PowerAde. As I
    grabbed my bike and started toward transition exit there was a traffic jam of
    athletes trying to get on the course. Everyone ended up having to walk most of
    the way to the mount line due to the congestion. As I exited transition I
    immediately moved to the far right to an open area for a clean mount.


    02:58:52 | 56 miles | 18.78 mile/hr
    Split 25.9: 01:26:17 | 25.9 miles | 18.01 mile/hr
    Split 56.0: 01:32:35 | 30.1 miles | 19.51 mile/hr
    Age Group: 145/285
    Overall: 1233/2214
    Performance: Good, a little better than expected
    Course: Rolling hills
    Road: Mostly good asphalt roads with several very rough spot and
    railroad crossings
    Cadence: 80 avg / 104 max

    I made it to the far right of the course to mount after crossing the line. The bike
    was set in the proper gear to head out onto the bike course. The bike did not feel
    right as I got started, so I stopped to check tires. It was just paranoia from the
    flat tire I had the day before the race, since both tires were good to go. As I
    started the climb up the first hill away from transition I realized that my Garmin
    and power meter were not synced. It took me a couple of minutes to get my
    watch squared away. A short distance into the ride the first of several bumpy
    areas was traversed. I lost my gels, CO2 cartridges, and adapter when I hit the
    bump too fast. The area looked like a used bike swap meet with all of the bottles
    and other bike parts scattered on the pavement. I felt very good on the bike after
    somewhat of a rough start. I worked to manage my power output on the hills. I
    got passed a lot on the uphill and passed more on the downhill side. After
    worrying about the “hilly” course leading up to the race, I thought the course was
    fun and fast. The rain caused me to hold back on the faster downhill sections and
    sharper curves. Car traffic caused slowdowns on several parts of the ride. I drank
    water and UCAN (3 scoops), water, PowerAde zero mix during the ride. At the 2nd
    aid station I got a few hits off of a bottle of orange Gatorade. The entire ride went
    better than I expected. I managed to stay tucked in aero position the vast
    majority or the ride, and my legs felt good. Looking back I feel that I could have
    gone harder on the bike, but I was trying to play it smart in order to have a good
    run. The ride into transition and dismount were uneventful. My plan to take a gel
    at the end of the ride did not happen since I lost both gels early in the ride.


    Time: 04:07
    Overall: OK, could have been a little quicker

    Dismounted at the line and trotted with the bike into the transition area. The row
    my bike rack was on was congested with several other bikes and athletes, so I
    took a longer route around to get racked. The helmet and sunglasses were shed
    as soon as my Shiv was secure. I sat down to remove my bike shoes, dry my feet
    (wet from rain), put on dry socks, and put on my Hokas. I took another shot of
    PowerAde before moving to the run start.


    02:04:03 | 13.1 miles | 9:28 min/mile
    Split 2.7: 23:13 | 2.7 miles | 8:32 min/mile
    Split 6.8: 35:20 | 4.1 miles | 8:43 min/mile
    Split 8.9: 18:54 | 2.2 miles | 8:45 min/mile
    Split 13.1: 46:36 | 4.2 miles | 11:10 min/mile
    Age Group: 145/285
    Overall: 903/2214
    Performance: Good until cramping @ mile 10
    Course: Rolling hills

    The run started really good right out of transition. I got my run legs
    under me quickly. The hill up from the river went smooth. It was great
    seeing the Tri Coach Georgia tent and hearing all of the cheering as I
    climbed the hill leaving the river. My pace over the first two miles was
    much faster than I had planned, but my legs felt really good. Around mile
    two I took a Gu gel with water and concentrated on getting my pace under
    control. The first lap went according to plan with good pacing and a few
    sips of water or Gatorade at each aid station. Hit another Gu at mile 7 aid
    station. The sun came out from behind the clouds and the temperature
    was starting to rise as I got into the second lap of the run course. Around
    mile 8 my left hamstring started to tighten. I tried the cola at the mile 8
    and mile 10 aid stations. The cola caused me to burp each time after
    ingesting, and I could not tell that I received any benefit from drinking it.
    Then both quads began to tighten-up around mile 9. Just past the mile 10
    marker my left calf cramped. I walked / ran the last 3 miles of the race. I
    caught up with Paul Corley around mile 11.5. He gave me some salt, but it
    was way too late for this to help my cramping. I struggled
    walking/jogging to the finish. Coach Slayer was waiting under the bridge
    yelling as I headed down the hill to the finish line. I was extremely happy
    to finish, but disappointed with the run. Should have had a sub 2 hour


    Overall: I had a good race until cramps got me at the end of the run. I went into
    the Chattanooga Half Ironman hoping to come in under 6 hours. I was shooting
    for a sub 45 minute swim, a 3+ hour bike, and 2 hour run. Overall I
    accomplished the main goal of finishing my first 70.3. I was mentally and
    physically prepared for the challenge of the half distance. I think with a few
    tweaks to my nutrition plan I can have an even better race at Augusta in the fall.

    I stayed in Chattanooga Sunday night after the race. Ate dinner at Blue Plate
    with some of the Tri Augusta members. Felt good the morning after other than
    sore quads and extremely sore calf. Slept in and had a late breakfast buffet at
    the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. At 11:15AM I took in the Chattanooga
    Lookouts minor league baseball game before driving home. Quads and calf were
    much sorer on Tuesday two days after the race. By Saturday morning all of the
    soreness had been worked out of my legs.

    Mental exertion [1-5] 3 (Most of the mental exertion came from the unknowns
    before the race)
    Physical exertion [1-5] 4 (Hills and rising temperature on the run were the
    biggest obstacles)


    Course challenge: Moderate
    Organized: Very well organized
    Events on-time: Everything started as scheduled
    Lots of volunteers: Plenty of volunteers all over the course
    Plenty of drinks: Aid stations were well stocked
    Post-race activities: Food spread was disappointing after the race
    Race evaluation [1-5] 4