Monday, June 7, 2010

Big Race Weekend

Updated: June 13...
Hunter Callanan smashed the course at Ironman 70.3 Kansas on Sunday, June 6, in 5:25:37. That was nearly 16 minutes faster than her time in 2009. Although her swim time was about a minute slower, she cut time off T1, bike (2+ minutes), T2 (almost 3 minutes), and run (over 10 minutes!). Way to go, Hunter!

Here are Hunter's comments: "The swim started about 15 minutes late due to the EMT's showing up late. I was in the 11th wave to go. There was about 4 minutes of treading water and then we were off. The lake was calm and after the choppy Bluff Creek swim, I was thankful for that. I found a person from my wave and drafted off her for most of the way. Lost her going through traffic toward the end of the swim. Got out of the water and couldn't find my bike. I was close, but my counting skill were off a bit and so I spent about 45 seconds searching.

Finally found the bike and got going. I forgot how truely hilly that course was. It is constant rollers. I think the biggest strech of flat is about 1 mile. About half way through the bike someone had spilled oil all over the road. So we had to slow for about a 1/4 of a mile, dismount our bikes, run through the ditch and then remount on the other side. That pretty much killed everyone's average. As you are coming back into the park from the bike, you go alongside the run course for about 1/4 mile. There were so many people already on the run course, made me feel like I was late to the party.

Got through T2 and on to the run. The course goes through the campground twice, which really helps with support. Lots of cheering, music, cowbells, etc. The run doesn't have much if any shade and it was starting to get really warm. Luckily they have aid stations all over the place with great volunteers. At the end of the run is the Yellow Brick Road, complete with cheerleaders, Dorothy, the lion and all. As I crossed the finish line Chrissie Wellington was there to give me a hug and my finishers medal. My mind was a bit scrambled at that point, so I didn't really register that I had just gotten hugged and congratulated by CHRISSIE WELLINGTON!!! She is such a great role model. She came back after dominating the women's race to give all of us commoners our medals and congratulations!

Ironman Kansas 70.3 is a well organized race with great volunteer support in a great setting. I hope to go back again next year! "

Josh Damm of Forest City raced well, with a total time of 6:17:22. His swim time was 47:02, bike-3:05:41, and run 2:17:22, with excellent transition times. This was Josh's first time at Kansas.

I got up at about 4 am on race morning and headed to the event. I was staying with my aunt and uncle in Lawrence and my uncle Paul got me to T1 at about 5 am.

It was a beautiful morning with temps much cooler than the day before (80s compared to 90s for the high).

I saw Chrissie Wellington as she prepared for the swim and saw Chris Lieto and Andy Potts as transitioned from the swim to the bike (with Chrissie only trailing by a few minute). At 7:30 am I was off!

My swim wasn't as fast as I had hoped for but not having trained as much as I wanted to, I wanted to be sure to pace myself and enjoy the day.

I got elbowed in the face with 200m to go and had to do without my nose clip for the last few minutes (drove me crazy!).

T1 was fast for me as I couldn't wait to get on the bike.

The hilly bike ride was awesome. I managed to average over 18 mph on a hilly course (reasonably close to Hunter's pace!) and felt great about the bike.

T2 was also fast for me and I was excited to be running after 3 hours in the aero position (my back ached something fierce!).

The first seven miles of the run were at about 9:30 to 10:00 miles with short walks at each mile's water stations. The last six miles were tough and I had to play mind games to keep running and not walk....

"Only a few more miles until the finish...."
"Beer instead of water in a couple hours...."
"Wow, that girl ahead of me is hot. I better catch her so I can see the age number of her right calf muscle...."

After crossing paths with Hunter (she was on lap 2 and I was on lap 1 of the run), I ran into her again. Only thing that sucked was that I was running and she was sitting next to their motor home for the weekend and eating/drinking.

Luckily I only had a mile to go, the last mile was great. Felt really proud of my accomplishment and glad to finish in just over six hours (okay, 17 minute over but who's counting).

I still can't imagine doing a full Ironman but I'd like to do one before I turn 30 (I'm 26).

For now, I'm just proud to be Half Ironman-Half Mortal.


John Johnson and Steve Schurtz represented North Iowa Spin at Pigman Sprint, Palo, IA, on Sunday. John had an excellent race, finishing in 1:21:19. He had a bike average of 20.9 mph and a run pace of 7:37. His transitions were so fast that Cheryl Schurtz was unable to get a photograph. He was 85th out of 640 finishers.

Steve's goal was to finish under 2 hours, which he accomplished. After his leg fracture and surgical repair 9 months ago, his Orthopedic surgeon told him that his racing days were over. Steve took to heart John's comment, "To finish is to win."

Also, several runners represented North Iowa Spin at Dam to Dam 20K on Saturday, June 5. Steve Younker was 73rd overall and 5th in M40 with a time of 1:20:19 and a pace of 6:28. Rusty Davenport ran in 1:48:01 at 8:41; Carrie Berg, 2:10:04 at 10:28; and Mary Davenport, 2:12:52 at 10:41. Several other local people ran the rainy race.

Congratulations to all cyclists, runners, and triathletes who represented North Iowa Spin well recently.

(photos will be added later - if you have photos from Kansas, Snake Alley, or Dam to Dam, please send them to me at

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