Home > Race REcap > Redman Full Distance Triathlon

Redman Full Distance Triathlon

This was the race that should have happened in Kentucky.  I spent the last three weeks training my butt off to make up for the DNF at IM L’Ville.  Admittedly, I probably shouldn’t have run this race, especially given that I am running the Chicago Marathon in two weeks, but what can I say, I am as always a “go big or go home” sort of guy 🙂  I also couldn’t stand the thought of a race beating me.  Like I said, I will be back for Louisville either next year or the year after.

The race was held in OKC, which isn’t my favorite place.  After this race, though, I have a newfound like for the city and the people.  I can’t say enough about how great the volunteers were.  I love that both here at Redman and in Louisville the volunteers were so encouraging and helpful.  Even though this was a non-branded race, it was organized and staffed like it was the IM Championship in Kona.

Swim:

This swim was a two loop counter-clockwise swim.  The strangest part of the swim was that the front end of the loop was in about 4 feet of water.  This meant that you could stand for at least the first 500-800 meters of the swim, and plenty of people took advantage of it.  This also meant that the people walking the swim created a bit of a traffic jam.  It was a wetsuit legal race, which was the first time I’d been in a wetsuit since Lonestar back in April.  I thought that maybe I could beat my 1:34 from IMKY, but all I was concerned with was finishing the race and not bonking.

The first loop went well other than the people walking at the front end of the race.  I felt good and, at the beginning of the second loop, I was at 45 minutes, on pace to beat my IMKY time.  The beginning of the second loop saw more people walking, which slowed me down some.  I kept rhythm though, and the remainder of the swim was uneventful.  Well, that’s true save one thing.  At about 750 meters out, there was a fishing boat sitting a few hundred yards off the course.  She had been sitting there for a while and her gas has created a film on the water.  Breathing through that meant that I had the gas taste in my mouth for the rest of the swim.  Not cool at all!  My swim time was 1:45, slower than I wanted, but alright nonetheless.

Bike:

The bike course was a four loop, 28 mile out and back from Lake Hefner out to Deer Creek.  I was cautiously optimistic about this aspect of the bike.  I figured that going on the same roads four times would give me a knowledge of the course and would make it faster, but also thought the redundancy might make me bored.  Going out, the course was gradually down hill which meant that it was moderately uphill going back.  The only down side to the course in the end was one stretch of road that was really rough.  It was a one mile stretch at about mile 11 going out.  The worst part of it was having to cover that same ground 8 times.  The warned us though, so we knew what was coming.

The first loop was great.  I was very focused on my nutrition this time around since that was the weak link in Kentucky.  In addition to taking the Hammer Gels, I added Endurolytes to the mix.  This helped immensely.  Coming back in to the lake, it was a bit more of an incline than I anticipated, and I knew that last loop coming in for the run would be a challenge.  I made it through the first half in about 3:05, which was the fastest 56 miles I’ve done to date.  I felt good and was staying on top of my nutrition.  I was watching for the wall around mile 90, and it came.  I felt my body wanting to stop riding and get off the bike so I stopped at the last aid station for a moment to stretch.  I still felt alright other than being saddle sore, and was right on track for my nutrition.  While the last 10 miles were a little slower than I’d have like, I was still able to finish strong, coming in at 6:15 on the bike.  It was an hour fast than IMKY, and I still think I can drop that time with more training.

Run:

This was the test.  This was the part of the race I was anticipating with equal parts dread and glee 🙂  Like the bike, it was a four loop out and back course, taking you within 100 yards of the finish each time.  Unlike the bike, I had no problem with it being a loop.  One of the things that made Louisville so hard was the long stretch of the out portion where I ultimately bonked.  I liked that I would see the same people four times and know exactly how far from aid station to aid station.

I started out with a nice jog.  My IT Band was still hurting, and it got worse during the run.  Not to the point that I had to stop, but enough to let me know that it was there.  I had my endurolytes with me and took advil in T2, but still needed some more at mile 12.  I was able to run between the aid stations and walk the aid stations for the first half, and then switched to run/walking after that.  My body was obviously hurting, but I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was going to finish.  I had been on top of my nutrition and took what I could at the aid stations, including grapes, pretzels, coke, and gatorade.

Once again I felt myself tearing up at mile 23 when I made the final turn to head home, but this time they were tears of joy.  I felt strong and my adrenaline kicked in.  I ran the final three miles, only stopping once at an aid station to take my last nutrition.  The volunteer at the last aid station were directing people to the finish line and even though it was late, there were still people cheering.  There weren’t as many as in Fourth Street Live, but at that moment it felt like the crowd at Cowboy’s Stadium!  I crossed the line strong at 15:24, making it a 6:00 marathon. Not as fast as I’d have liked, but finishing strong was worth the walking.

Total Time: 15:24

I can’t describe how much I loved this race.  Obviously it will always have a special place in my heart since it was the first ironman that I finished, but I can’t rave enough about how great the organization was, the volunteers were, and the overall experience was.  I will absolutely do this race again in the future and have already been talking it up to other triathletes.  It also confirms that the non-branded races are just as well done and worth the time as the branded races.  I am also planning on having at least one non-branded race on my schedule each year.

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