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Great White North Half Ironman

July 7, 2010

Saturday was my day to scope out the course. I dropped my bike off in Transition in the afternoon, then headed off on a drive of the 90km bike course. 90km is a very long way, and there were only two hills of note, one starting at km 45 the other starting at km 55.  The run course was very clearly marked a green line running down the middle of the roads and paths showing the way.

Sunday started early, the alarm went off at 5:45am and I finally made it out to the lake at 6:30am, I was dropped off at the top of the hill and made may way down to the transition area. Even though I was there early there were hundreds of people milling around so many bikes! I set up my transition area, dropped off my run transition bag and started to get ready for the swim.

8:00am July 4th

The swim started, 30 seconds latter the gun went off and 30 seconds after that I made it into the water. The swim course was two laps of a 1km triangle. There was a 1hr 10 min time limit on the swim. If I didn’t make the cutoff I would be pulled from the race. I came out of my first lap in 25mins, then headed out for my second. I was only 3 mins slower on my second lap. At the end of the swim they have wetsuit strippers – I wasn’t so sure how to use a wetsuit stripper so I raced up the beach, found someone who wasn’t busy and stood there. To effectively use a wetsuit stripper you should have the zip down and the wetsuit down around your hips then lay down on your back so the person can just yank it off. I finally had my suit in my hand and was off to find my bike.

Lucky I could still count to 4 🙂 I made it to my bike, got changed and was quickly off onto my ride. I was amazed as I started my ride just how much junk was littering the road (I was one of the last people out of the swim 604th out of 645) bars, gu shots, bike pumps, water bottles. The first 2km was up hill then a 10km coast down Highway 16  towards town. It was a nice recovery after the swim -lots of time to drink and refuel.

The ride was mostly uneventful, I’ve decided I’m not quite as bad at climbing hills as I thought I was. I managed to stay on my bike for the entire ride – I didn’t have to walk up the heartbreak hill! The ride back into town was very fast (averaging 35km/hr) due to the nice tail wind.

I was super happy coming in off the ride, 3hrs 39min! I had more then 3hrs and 30 mins to finish my half Marathon.

I was surprisingly happy with my run, I didn’t run quite as much of it as I thought I could, but I was only about 40 mins slower than my time from the Saskatchewan Marathon. All said and done I finished my run in 3:04:27 and ran about 50% of it, not bad for a days work.

I felt strong for most of the day, I knew I was never going to be at the top of the race, my race was against the clock. I had to get everything done in under 8hrs, with pesky checkpoints all the way along. Clearing the swim hurdle was an amazing confidence boost, after my swim I went to my strong leg the ride, and created enough of a buffer for me to walk the entire run if I needed to.

It still hasn’t really sunk in. A silly idea I had at this time last year has been converted into an achievement. I don’t have any aims to go longer or repeat this type of distance, but I’m excited for learning more about adventure racing, but for now it is rest and recovery for me.

Oh, and my reward for hammering the refresh button at back in September, was being #4 and a sweet position in transition. Fourth bike in from the end on the open side of a bike rack!

Swim: 53:48
Ride (including both transitions):  3:39:04
Run: 3:04:27
Total time for my first ever half ironman 7:37:18

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Brett Ringger permalink
    July 8, 2010 8:55 am

    Awesome job, Sheryl! You tackled a very difficult race and finished strong. You have more stones than me. Congrats!

  2. ChristyMcB permalink
    July 10, 2010 1:18 pm


    Great race report!! Congratulations on a great time and being bitten by the Tri-bug! Enjoy your recovery, you deserve it!


  3. brkeyes7 permalink
    August 17, 2010 6:04 pm

    Sheryl, Awesome! Very well done and looking forward to more race reports.

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