Race Report – Iron Girl Syracuse

Another race checked off. Boom! Pow! I win! *notreally*

But I did race IG Cuse for the third year in a row last weekend. I’m usually good about getting race reports up shortly after a race so all the good details don’t fall out of my head, but alas, I have been dealing with injury issues, transitioning jobs, finishing the basement, and just being the busiest bee ever lately. I cannot do it all. Go figure.

But Iron Girl, I love it. What a fantastic event. If you ever get the chance to participate in an IG event, go! The atmosphere and environment is incredible, as well as the race organization. Just really well put together events. Love them. If I have unlimited time and money I might just do them all. But alas, life again. Not possible.

Early morning wake up calls never get easier. But at least at repeat events I actually sleep the night before. I went into this race well rested, unlike some previous races this year.

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Oneida Shores, such a nice place, albeit weedy in the water. Very murky, very grassy. But it’s shallow, which is usually nice, but this year proved to be problematic.

The morning was as uneventful as usual. Get body marked, set up transition, hang out with my family some, meet and greet with a few friends and fellow Tri Fecta members.

Friends and Tri-Fecta members!

Friends and Tri-Fecta members!

But as always, I go off in damn near the last wave for Iron Girl. Their swim waves are based oldest and youngest and I’m in the second to last swim wave. And while my swim times are still far from impressive, I must be doing something right because I keep finding myself passing people from earlier waves in races this year.

For the swim in IG, in the past, I’ve taken advantage of the shallows and run for a bit in the beginning, but I always swim the rest. This year I flopped right in to swim and free styled damn near the whole thing. Only switch the breast stroke twice, once at the turn around then again on the way in due to congestion. I saw more people hanging off buoys and kayaks in this race than any other race I’ve ever been in. Apparently they amount of walking people did in the water also caused some discourse afterwards. The water is shallow, you can touch for about 2/3 of the total swim distance, which is great if you need a quick moment to catch your breath, but by the sounds of it a lot of people were not prepared for open water swimming, walked every bit of it they could, and cause a lot of congestion and run in’s for people actually swimming. Either way though, my swim was decent. My stroke, while not perfect, was okay and I was out of the water quickly. Official swim time- 14:00 for 600 meters,  but I lapped my watch when I hit the sand at 13:29. The timing mats for the swim were a bit up the beach and I really like knowing my legit swim time without any running factored in.

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T1 was uneventful. Same old, same old. I’m always on a rack in the far back end of transition, but at least this year I got my bike right on the edge so it was the second one on the rack. Score one for me on an excellent rack placement. Official T1 time- 3:54.

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Taken in the first few miles, when I still had my aero bottle.

Out to the bike course, where I was hoping to really crush this race. The bike course for IG Cuse is about as flat as it can get. There’s one itty bitty hill which is really just an overpass that warrants a gear shift, but you can very easily do on the big chain ring. I was hoping to clock over 19mph for my average pace on this ride. I was passing people like a crazy person, flying through the first few miles, Garmin was showing my paces well over 20-22mph. But this race ultimately was not going to allow me the outcome I was hoping for. At mile 4 there is a nasty set of railroad tracks. It wasn’t until I was already sailing along on my bike I realized I forgot the little bracket that hold my aero bottle onto it’s cage. I hit the railroad tracks cruising at about 18mph and my aero bottle launched out of the cage. “Oh, shit!” was all I managed to say before a volunteer snapped it up, adding it to a rather large pile on the side of the road. I opted not to stop for it, which left me the remaining 14+ miles with no liquid what so ever.

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Can you tell by my hand position that I am very accustom to resting on my aero bottle? Stupid train tracks.

By mile ten I was parched. I had passed a small water station around mile five. I had no idea there was a bike aid station as there hasn’t been in this race in the past. And by the looks of it it was the only one. On top of starting to feel dehydrated, I made the final turn to head back for the last five or so miles and was confronted with a head wind. The combination of no water almost the whole 18+ mile ride and the headwind on the tail few miles back really slowed me down in the end. My Official bike time- 1:00:26, an average speed of 18.5mph. Dammit! So close. I just wanted to come in under the one hour mark and be over 19mph. I didn’t think I was asking much! Ugh.

T2 was equally uneventful. The usual stuff, rerack bike, swap shoes, swap helmet for visor, clip race belt while running to the run out. Official T2 time- 1:20

The run for IG Cuse is also super flat, an easy out and back down a private drive lining the lake shore. Loads of people sitting in the bottoms of their driveways blasting music, cheering, handing out water or spraying their hose. Just a really nice run with tons of support and lots going on to see and enjoy. My initial goal for the run was sub-30, but with my running being such a hot freaking mess this season I adjusted my goal, knowing sub-30 wasn’t going to happen and instead made a shot for negative splits. Nailed it.

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The times of those splits aren’t pretty. They make me cringe in hate and disgust. But I got my negative split, so I’m happy enough with it. I ran the whole way minus one walk break to swig a water cup. They were also handing out iceies, which I avoided. And someone who lived in the house at the turn around was handing out beers. That explained my confusion when a woman on her way back was very clearly chugging a Coors Light while running. Bless her. I want that to be me someday.

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That is clearly the face of someone who wishes they had a beer…

Overall, my run was decent. I was slow, but I managed to keep my heart rate in check this race and felt comfortable and capable the whole run. I was pleased as punch to hit that beach finally again and swing into the finish chute. Love me some finish line action! Official run time- 31:32.

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Hey finish chute!

Official race time- 1:51:12. I placed 20/97 for my age group and 181/1095 overall. I was hoping to place top ten for my age group, but my lost stamina on the end of the bike and my slow run ended up killing that for me. But I jumped 9 spots in my age group and 99 spots overall from last year while taking two more minutes off my time. So I can’t complain.

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Annnd, fidgeting with my watch. A true athlete, can’t finish without immediately checking the stats.

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So there it is, another successful Iron Girl Syracuse under my belt. We waited around for quite a bit afterwards in order for me to get my aero bottle back. Had to wait for the last cyclist to come off the course and for the SAG to sweep the course and bring back the glutton of lost bottles. I’m glad I was clearly not the only one to launch bottles. Note to self, do not forget the little bracket thingy from now on.

As for what’s next, I’m not sure. For those of you who have asked, here’s a small injury update I posted to FB the other day. I am hopeful to still be able to successfully race both my fall half marathons I have planned. I will have a detailed update first thing tomorrow though, including the results of my PT appointment from this morning.

Who else has raced an Iron Girl? Tell me how much you love it!

8 Thoughts on “Race Report – Iron Girl Syracuse

  1. I think a negative running split, regardless of the times is worth celebrating! I mean basically you can reached into an empty tank and went faster! Pretty darn amazing. What’s the difference between an Ironman and an IronGirl? Is it an Olympic distance? That first picture along the water is gorgeous and eerie! But I think that’s my favourite part of the races when it’s early in the morning and you can feel the excitement before the swim.
    Ursula recently posted…Masala Chickpea SnackMy Profile

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on August 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm said:

      Iron Girl is a race series that offers sprint triathlons and varying distances of road races from 5k’s to half marathons. They’re owned by WTC, the same parent company of Ironman.

  2. Funny, I raced my first Iron Girl event on Sunday and I also loved it. Am in the middle of writing my race report now, ha ha. I’ll definitely go back next year!
    Phaedra @ Blisters and Black Toenails recently posted…A Weekend of Racing + A Weekly Re-capMy Profile

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on August 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm said:

      It’s a great event series! I love going back year after year!

  3. I haven’t raced any tris as of yet, but I’m putting one on my radar for next year. I might look and see if an Iron Girl comes close to where I live and make that my first.
    The Famous Mudder recently posted…Week 22 RecapMy Profile

    • Courtney@ The TriGirl Chronicles on August 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm said:

      Iron Girl is an awesome first tri. It’s very beginner friendly but if you want to compete there’s still enough strong triathletes to give you a good run for it!

  4. Yay congrats on an awesome race! I love how you can see improvement from one year to the next. You are so badass! And I’m following your injury report as well, I hope everything gets figured out and you’re back to normal soon!
    Kristen recently posted…Things I’m Loving This WeekMy Profile

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