We love to swim, bike, run and get social

Half Ironman Lake Placid – Mini Race Report by Zindine

The why

Irina and I were looking for a different Ironman event to do after Tremblant. Good reviews from common friends as well as easier logistics put Lake Placid on the map for us. So last year we decide to sign up for the inaugural Half Ironman. The event sold out in a few hours. In retrospect this was one of the best half ironman races we took part in. Louis, Mellen and Paul joined us for the adventure! ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting there

It’s a short drive really (about 7 hours) but we broke it in two and spent the night in Kingston because we like it there. That was really good as we arrived in Placid before lunch and were able to register as soon as the doors opened.

Overall Organization/Expo/Ironman Store

Everything was well marked, we never had issue with parking, the expo had lots of different stores for our last minutes need. The Ironman store as usual was good at getting into your wallet ๐Ÿ˜› The transition area was large and well positioned next to the finish line and stands.


























Weย rented a house about 2K from transition. It came with all we needed. The price was high. The highest we’ve had to pay for a race rental. We ended up cooking a lot and eating out very little because there were not a lot of choices in the town. So having a kitchen ended up being very important.

















Pre race workouts

We were able to swim the actual course with no issue the days prior. The water was clean, a bit cold but nothing us Ontarians are not accustomed to. We found some good running and riding routes and we felt safe all the time. Locals and drivers were very courteous.






















Race morning

We drove close to transition and found parking easily (we were very early). Otherwise there is a shuttle service that should be very convenient. We got body marked, setup our bikes, made the last tweaks and waited patiently for the race to start. It was very cold and we were all fully dressed to the last minute. The morning bag drop off was conveniently placed right at the swim start. This was very appreciated.











The swim was the warmest part of the race. Water temperature was in the low 16 ยฐC. This was a self seeded swim. Fairly uneventful for most of us. A bit crowded in places as there is a line underwater that you can follow the whole swim. Coming out of the water was cold. Air temperature was around 4 ยฐC.ย ย I was in my element though. I love the cold. I used the stripper (they were not busy at all) and picked up the pace to my bike in an attempt to warm up. This worked nicely for me.


I decided against adding any extra layer. But I knew my extremities would be cold so I wore socks and gloves. Putting the gloves was a bit of a challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was out on the bike in no time though.


My plan was to work hard right out of transition again to warm up a little. I used a high cadence for about 15 minutes to raise my heart rate. That worked fairly well for me. I caught Mellen first, she looked good on the bike. She swims really well this year and was out of the water ahead of me. I caught Louis a little later on the longest descent of this bike course. The bike course is kind of cut into two pieces. The out is about 50Kย of a slight downhill. We also had a tailwind. I reached that turn around point at an average of 39+ kph. That was fast! That was the best part of the ride. But I knew the real work was coming. The last 40K of the ride are a constant climb back up to Lake Placid. Nothing steep, just a gradual uphill. And obviously now we were also fighting a headwind. ๐Ÿ™‚ This was tough mentally and I found myself fairly lonely on that stretch and it was hard to stay motivated. I stayed on top of my nutrition as the cold made it hard to feel thirsty or hungry. I kept to my schedule and got off the bike in a very good shape. I was never really cold. Even broke a sweat a little. ๐Ÿ˜‰


I got into transition and it was fairly empty. I was a bit surprised. But I knew I worked hard on the bike and saved a ton of time in T1 by skipping dressing up. Got my shoes on, race belt and my nutrition and off I went.


The run is similar to the ride, a lot of down on the first half, a climb back up to Lake Placid the second half. I was feeling good right away, temperature was still single digit and this is really where I am the happiest. After 3K I started hearing a bike catching up to me, this was the 3rd place lady bike. They passed me but I caught them back up a little later. The bike passed me again a few kilometers later with a new 3rd place lady. The race was on for third place. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had no idea where I was in my age group. I just kept pushing. Made it to the turn around and knew the work was starting now. I started seeing friendly faces too from that point (Mellen was killing it, Louis looked very good, Paul was all smiles so was Irina). It was nice to see them on the course. Sorry I always look like I am about to murder someone. That’s my race face! ๐Ÿ˜› A guy caught up to me on the hardest climb of the run and drafted me a bit sending words of encouragements. Hahahaha, it was so hard and so good at the same time. We worked together up the hill and up the final turn around. That actually helped me stay focused. Getting to the final turn around, 1 mile from the finish line was such a relief. I was on track for personal best for a half marathon off the bike. Breaking 1h40 for the first time ever and on a hard course. I was so happy. I made it to the finish line and then waited for my friends and Irina. I finished 10th in my age group, my best results at an Ironman branded race.





















Next for me is the Hamilton Marathon in November ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Thanks for reading!


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