What’s That Noise: The Mike Spence Triathlon Race Report

Okay,here is my very brief race report….over one week late! I know, I have been slacking lately.

As I am watching my 9 month old slowly inch his way towards me, I am going to keep this brief. Honestly, I mean it this time!


Previously, this race was called the Summit Solstice Triathlon. Why? You guessed it: because it was about a month earlier and put on by the Summit Medical Fitness Center. The date was changed as we were tired of the semi frigid swim that goes with June in Montana. The name was changed for less ideal reasons. The new name put in place in order to honor a colleague of mine, Dr. Mike Spence, who passed away from cancer last year. Not only was Dr. Spence a dedicated physician, he was a passionate supporter of endurance sports, exemplified by his nearly annual volunteering in the medical tent of the Kona Ironman during the last 20 years. It was only fitting for his memory to be honored with this local race.


Okay, but to cutting to the chase. Nothing new….oh except for the set of Zipp 808s and Zipp Disc. FUN.



Pseudo big meal the night before. Just some Nutella on toast with coffee the morning of. Best of all, it took me all of ten minutes to drive to the race, so for once, I didn’t warm up by sprinting to the bathroom from my car after my bladder filled from a combination of HEED and coffee over a two hour drive.



Quick ride for warm up. Cannonball into the water, which was awesome warm. Lined up just behind the fast guys, and it was show time.

Swim: ½ mile, 14:57.

Off we go and I focus on three things: Long reach (thanks Karen!), sighting, and drafting. I am pretty good at sucking in the swim, so these days I figure I might as well do what I am good and suck off someone’s else’s slipstream. I am more prone to veering with my longer reach, so I sighted every six strokes.

Our beautiful swim venue.

Our beautiful swim venue.

Pretty much, it went like clock work. Last year, I was roughly 16:10, and per my colleagues, this year’s course was measured about right. So coming in at 14:57 was a good start to the day.

T1: 1:03

Only things that matters: I didn’t fall in front of Krista on exiting the water. Everything smooth here except I didn’t turn on my action camera. And I even had the perfect cheesy music to set the video to.

Bike: 12.4, 36:19

This is the second time I have done the “bike cleats in the pedals” start and it didn’t work out so well. As I tried to put my left foot in, the strap came out of the loop. It took a good 15 seconds to rethread that and then I was finally on my way.

Pretty much my whole goal for this race has been to crush the bike as much as possible. Last year I was 36:10 and I had been beating this during training. So, with the new wheels, I was eagerly anticipating a PR. Winds were down from before the start, and as expected, heading out was like riding a rocket. First five miles average speed was 28.0!!

On the way out, the only goal I had was not to crash. Accomplished. Coming back, it was uphill and I just worked on pushing it. I don’t know if the disc really helped. What I do know is that it sounded AWESOME. I may have not been the fastest, but I was certainly the loudest. It was like this…

Coming at 34:19 was a dream ride for me. With that plus the PR swim, I knew I had earned my beer(s) no matter what.

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 5.05.55 PM

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 5.06.49 PM

T2: 42.73

Slipped in and out faster than a whistleblower in a Moscow airport.

Run: 3.1, 23:00

With my frequent easy runs and the dropping back on the intervals, my legs were in no state for pushing the red line and I knew it. I settled into a comfortably uneasy pace and hoped too many people wouldn’t pass me. I made my way up the short hill in much better fashion than last year. Despite my gains on the bike, it wasn’t enough with my run, and I lost two spaces overall. I was about 50 seconds slower than last year, but it was a good pace run. At least I crossed the line standing and not on my knees this time.

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 5.09.02 PM

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 5.09.37 PM

Overall 1:14:03, 7th male, 3rd place age group, and most importantly, 2:04 PR.

I would describe the race overall as “solid.” Good controlled swim. Steady controlled effort on the bike. Steady run. I comment on this because in the past, my triathlons have basically been moments of hell. I’m not sure if replacing the “solid and steady” race with the surging “oh my God I am going to vomit and crap my pants” race is a good thing, but I will take it, especially as I head back into the territory of the half ironman.

In either case, it was a great day with great friends in honor of a great physician.

PS. I just discovered this online. And you thought you were going to get out of a video. For the interested stalker, I go through at 5:15,  39:30, 40:20, and 1:03:00. See, not on my knees.

About Ironvan

From couch potato to Ironman triathlete in 2 years.

Posted on August 4, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: