Feeling salty and grey so this trip to the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge matched my mood. I wrote a post for Wicked Wednesday about my last chance of the year to complete an Ironman triathlon. Well I didn’t.
I was most concerned about the swim. I had 2 1/2 hours to complete it. I did it in 2 hours and 26 minutes. After that, I had until 6 pm to complete the 112 mile bike ride. I got pulled off the course with half an hour until the deadline due to a technicality that the police intersection presence in town was set to stop at 6:00 and there was “uncertainty” of them being in place for my ride through town in the first 7 of 11 miles remaining (the final 5k or so was in the park).
I’ve failed to finish ultramarathons my fair share of times and wasn’t fine with it, of course, but I accepted it as it was on me and my training or beyond human control due to injury, etc. But this time was different. My pace was there, albeit barely. The problem is that I registered for the beginner wave of the swim, which was completely reasonable, my being a beginner after all! But once there, I found out the beginner’s wave was the final wave, not the first as I and everybody I’ve talked to agreed would be the logical assumption. That meant I started 20-25 minutes after the first wave, which was the wave I’d been in if I hadn’t selected beginner. That meant 20-25 minutes less time to finish the bike! I fail to see how this benefits a beginner!
Long story short, being in the beginner wave is supposed to set up new triathletes in a better position, but it mathematically, truthfully set me up for failure. I feel cheated and I think I have a sound argument that I was cheated. This was the most disappointing and infuriating race experience of my life by a wide margin. Now it’s a full year before another shot at completing an Ironman. This cast a pall over everything else I’ve accomplished this year and will eat away like acid in my stomach all off season. I still feel a little sick.