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Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2009, Race Report

June 25th, 2009

This past weekend was my second time racing IMCDA.  After a long and drawn out winter in Calgary, I was able to get a few solid weeks of training under my belt just in time to make me feel quite confident that my body was fit and ready to race.  I spent a good chunk of my bike training riding up and down hills, trying to best simulate the race terrain.  I also emphasized always building my bike efforts with the aim of even splitting the 2-looped bike course.  I emphasized hitting my goal run pace during my transition runs – striving for efficient speed.  My goal for the race was 1) to swim well, with the leaders, 2) even split the bike, staying in control,…easy up every hill, building on the flats, and punching the downhills, 3) run an even split marathon, aiming for a 3hour marathon, arriving at the half way mark in under 1hr30min.

I woke up at 3:50am, drank 400cal of CarboPro right away, cooked up some steel-cut oats, had some branch-chain amino acids (Recover), Vantage (V02 max), B-vitamin, Calplex (Ca, Mg, zinc, selenium..), green’s powder, and 2 motivator capsules (providing a precursor of caffeine, supporting metabolism/energy production without causing the shakes).

Body marking

It was good to see adopted-Canadian rockstar Olly Piggins in the race, we both wished each other good luck.  Another Canadian I knew, Trevor Wurtele was also racing – told him that he’s got my vote of becoming a star long distance triathlete.

It was beach water start.  Eventual winner F. Pontano is at the far left with the green cap.  I tried to wish him good luck in English, but he didn’t understand; I asked him if he spoke french, and he replied, “un peu”, I then offered, “bonne chance”.

There’s not much to say about my swim, other than it was bad.  Just a poor showing.  Evidently, I need to learn how to swim in choppy conditions – I was sighting poorly, I had trouble staying on people’s feet.  I felt very little authority and feel for the water.  On a positive note, I had excellent energy, was able to breathe very well (air quality was very good I found).  I finished the swim in a shocking 10th place in the pro division in 57:50.  Ouch.  All I could do is stay calm and focused for the day ahead.  “Stick to the plan”, I told myself.

IMCdA Swim

The ‘thumbs up’ sign,…despite knowing I was way down from the leaders, I knew my strongest leg was to come.

Scott Curry Cycling IMCdA 2009

I met Larry Rosa – legendary triathlon photographer while I was racking my bike the day before.  He was super friendly, and took a few of the following photos of me during the race.  The bike was a 2-loop course, I was looking for what I call ‘easy speed’ early on, and build upon it throughout the race.  I settled into an effort that was defined by being relaxed and controlled, while emphasizing efficiency and using the ‘prime movers’ – notably my gluts.  When I needed more “umph” for the second half of the bike, I called upon more hamstring and calf muscle activation.

There were portions of the race whereby the wind was so strong coming from behind, that I got out of my aero-position, opening up my hip angle, in a more powerful position.  On the second lap, I noticed I passed a lot of age-groupers who stayed in their aerobars during parts of the race where they probably didn’t need to.   I even split the bike, with my second lap being exactly even with my first.  I was in 8th place by the end of the 1st lap, then moved up to 4th place by the end, in a time of 4hr50:09.

Scott Curry Cycling IMCdA 2009

This is a funny photo, I’m passing someone on her first lap on the bike.  She’s PUSHING her bike up the hill – I’m sorry that I ruined her photo op.

In T2 I took 2 Motivator capsules, 1 thermolyte (electolyte), and 1 Vantage VO2max capsule; I felt amazing starting the marathon, nothing hurt, i felt springy, I had calories and energy.  My focus was on the technical aspect of running, I was focusing on activating my gluts to pull my leg behind me, openning up my hip.  I also worked on keeping my turnover high, and arms/face relaxed.

Scott running at IMCdA

After about 15km, I over took Brian Rhodes who was struggling with pain in his achilles tendon.  Was then in 3rd place, and still felt really strong.  Just before the 1/2 point, the cyclist who was leading me through the course turned down the wrong street,…leading me down Front St instead of Sherman.  I naturally followed her, but soon had an uncomfortable feeling that we had turned the wrong way as it just didn’t seem like part of the course.  I called out to her, “are you sure this is the right way??!!”.  I then turned back without her, she then turned around and started leading me again.  This reaffirms the belief that you must learn the course yourself, don’t expect guidance from anybody.

I completed 21km in 1:29min, and was holding strong systemically, however my right foot started becoming quite bothersome.  In past races, I’ve been reduced to dropping out from the same issue,…this time however, was completely workable; I openned my can of ‘suck it up’, and did the best I could from this point on.  I lost a tonne of time over the last 21km,…finishing the second half in 1:44, with a total time of 3hr13min.

Scott Curry finishing IMCdA 2009

I was happy to feel good about my efforts at IMCDA, and all the preparation that went into this race.  Ironman is such a brutal sport; it has no mercy for weakness, and rewards only the bravest efforts.

I finished in 7th place overall in a time of 9:04:45.

Next up: Osoyoos Desert Half Iron (Canadian Long Distance Champs) on July 12th.  A Joe and Sarah Dixon Outback Events Race, will be an excellent event.

Scott