I completed the Redman Half iron triathlon Saturday Sept 19th 2009. This was my fifth half iron race.
The Redman's race packet pickup was unorganized, chaotic, & took forever.
On race morning there was a %20 chance of rain. Shortly after I set up my transition area a torrential downpour started. within 20 minutes the transition area was filled with an inch of standing water. The rain had flooded the surrounding area so badly that the RD was contemplating making the race a swim/ run/ swim.
They ended up postponing the race 1.5 hrs. thankfully they still had the race as planned, just a bit late.
I swam the 1.2 miles feeling comfortable & much faster than I've ever swam in an open water mass start. My finishing swim time was 35 minutes 45 seconds. A PR of 8 minutes!
The transition area was very long & I was in the worse placing possible. About as far from the entrance & exit for both the run & bike a person could be.
Before the race start I had placed all my race equipment inside a water proof gym bag to prevent my race gear from getting wet. I was expecting a slower T-1 time from having to dig my cycling gear out of the bag. Surprisingly my transition time was relatively fast. 1 minute 46 seconds.
The 56 mile bike was a NIGHTMARE! The first 25-30 miles of streets had puddles of water at least on inch deep. There was a 100 foot section where the water was so deep the USAT officials had a mandatory dismount to walk our bike through the 16 inches of water that had flooded an intersection. I believe most RD's would have handled these conditions poorly by making knee jerk or imprper decisions. The Redman RD handled the situations & obsticles perfectly. Throughout the entire course the volunteers were AWSOME!
The Redman RD's exagerated, the bike course was not nearly as flat as they had claimed on the web. I rode a disk, and regretted it. I'd of been much faster on a pair of tri-spoke wheels. Of the 5 half's I've done both Soma & the 5430 has easier bike courses. It was pretty large rollers the whole way out & back, throw the free standing water into the equation & that led me to have a long & slow bike. I also bonked at mile 40. My bike time was 2 hrs 57 minutes.
I had another great T-2 time of 1 minute 54 seconds.
The majority of the 13.1 mile run course had flooded. There was at least a quarter inch of water on most of the course with an occasional low area being 4 or 5 inches deep.
I had bonked on the bike & didn't start feeling better again until mile 6 of the run. I was shocked at the half way mark of the run to see my time was only 53 minutes! Even with the bad run course condition & me having bonked I was on my way to a run PR. I started picking up the pace from mile 6 to mile 10. At mile 10 my hamstring started to cramp up so I tried switching my run style up. I ran more heel to toe which puts more of the stress on the quads & relieves it on the hams. That prevented my cramping in the hamstring from getting worse, but the cramping didn't go away. It was still there grinding away on the back of my leg.
At mile 11 my lower back started to seize up. I ran through the pain.
At mile 12.5 I saw another clydesdale 100 yards in front of me so I picked up the pace hoping to leave him in the dust. That was a mistake. Half way to running him down my quad & ham in my right leg cramped simultaneously & so badly I had to lay down right in the middle of the course. I laid there for about a minute trying to work the cramps out. Once they went away I got back up & tried to run as close to my pain threshold as possible without pushing so far as to cramp up again as badly
Somehow even with the water on the run course, the sporadic rain, & the horrible cramping I still PR'd the run by over two and a half minutes with a 1 hour 54 minute time.
I ended up having PR'd my half iron time with a 5 hour 30 minute 11 second race. I finished 8th total out of 28 Clydes & 273rd out of 750. I wonder what time I could of completed the race in if it wasn't for the poor conditions? I also realize that if I finished so well with those kinds of conditions I obviously had a great fitness level, so I'm looking foreword to CRUSHING the Silverman half in a 7 weeks. Without a doubt my coach is the bomb!
I must say I've never seem more aproachable & friendly RD's than the Redman's RD. I would do the Redman again, but only if they are NOT a part of the Halfmax series!.
The Halfmax National Championships promised to give out national awards for top 3 in each AG plus clyd's 39 & under, clyd's 40 plus, & same for the Athenas. They didn't. As a matter of a fact there was nothing there at all that that showed any hints the Halfmax being there or a part of anything at the REDMAN at all. There wasn't any awards, swag, or even any recognition from Halfmax. I believe the Halfmax is just a gimmick. Just a way someone has thought of to try & steal $ from athletes & race RD's. There's still no info posted anywhere on who finished in what place for the Halfmax National Championships. Only the rsults for the Redman. A felow Blooger triathlete went and complained to a Halfmax rep & the Halfmax rep said if she complained they would disqualify her! One of my biggest goals this year was to qualify for next years Halfmax National Championships. Now that I know what a shabby & untrustworthy organization they are I WONT race the Halfmax Championships even though I did end up qualifying by time. Dont get taken, ignore anything and all from this organization.