Ironman Races Ranked

I have been training for the Ironman distance since 2008. I lived in Colorado while training for my first two Ironman races. Living at 8,000 feet while training really helped my race day at lower elevations. In 2016 I finished two Ironman races in a year: Arizona and Lake Placid; my last finish to date. I DNF’d my last two Ironman races in Florida and Mont Tremblant, coincidently while living back in New Hampshire. 

I’m currently training for Mont Tremblant despite it being rescheduled to 2021. 

Below is my ranking of my favorite Ironman races based on finishing time, fun with friends on race weekend and all around venue enjoyment. 

#1 Lake Placid, New York, July 2016, age 45
Swim: 1:32, Bike 7:08, Run 5:30. Total: 14:24
Division Rank: 53

Post Race with Mark, Ironman Lake Placid

My all time favorite race day. My family and Mark’s family came to support us racing. It was hot and humid. It was my worst race time-wise despite coming from elevation in Colorado. Ironman Lake Placid was a tough day but a great race experience. I loved the town of Lake Placid and driving to the top of Whiteface the day before the race. Swimming in the lake was refreshing,  I actually biked a little bit with Mark on the bike course but then never saw him again and the run was pure hell in the humidity. Ironman Lake Placid is a race weekend I will never forget. Best Support Team Ever.

#2 Ironman Arizona, Tempe, November 2010, age 39
Swim: 1:24, Bike 6:18, Run 4:46 Total: 12:42 – PR
Division Rank 33

My best race ever. My PR. I was lean and ready to race. Coming from elevation, I could breath in Tempe and felt like a million bucks. Race day brought favorable conditions all day long. The swim was a mass start treading water in Tempe Town Lake. The bike was pretty flat with a few long hills and a bit of wind but not bad. The run was loops and loops and finishing in the dark. It was a good race day. 

#3 Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 2009, age 38
Swim: 1:29, Bike 6:50, Run 5:00. Total: 13:34
Division Rank 58

My first Ironman. My parents flew out to Idaho to cheer me on. Perfect conditions and a great race day that I will always remember. It’s one of those races that you sign up for when you live in Colorado so you can drive to it; so many friends in Colorado do this race. It was a gorgeous drive through Wyoming and Montana; and a great place to race. I met my BFF Mark Nash on race morning and we’ve been racing together ever since. 

#4 The Woodlands, Texas, May 2015, age 44
Swim: 1:40, Bike 6:42, Run 4:59. Total: 13:37
Division Rank: 31

Ironman Texas Finish Line

Training for Ironman Texas was the best training to date. I lived in Tucson and I put in the training time. I finished well despite the heat and humidity. Placing 31st in my division group was my best placement to date. Looking back I see the progress that is possible when you put in the time and train well without distractions.

#5 Ironman Arizona, Tempe, November 2016, age 45
Swim: 1:37, Bike 6:50, Run 4:58. Total: 13:41
Division Rank: 56

Mary and Kathy at the Finish

I was hoping for a PR but it was not to be had. I was living in Colorado, hoping the elevation training would help. This was a tougher race than I remembered. The wind on the bike was leg-deadening, and running in the dark was sucky. But I had great support from friends and that made it memorable. I raced with Mark who did much better than I did, as always. Thank you to the support team: Than, Kathy, Mary, Scott, Kassandra.

#6 Ironman Wisconsin, Madison, September 2013 age 42
Swim: 1:33, Bike 6:48, Run 5:128. Total: 13:50
Rank 63

Ironman Wisconsin Finish Line

The months leading up to Ironman Wisconsin turned out to be the worst training blocks ever. I lived in Tucson and didn’t have altitude training to help me on race day. Injuries and adopting Winnie three months before the race were contributing factors to a less than stellar performance. But I LOVED Madison; a great place to visit and a great race venue. Swimming in the Lake Monona was a treat. Mark and I were interviewed by a local news crew while we practice swam. I had a great time racing with Mark and trying to find him on the course (I never did). Another great support team: Than and Pat. 

Florida and Mont Tremblant – I will finish your race before I die. Note: both were awesome vacation races despite the DNF. Florida especially was so fun swimming in the ocean and eating seafood everyday. Of course, both with Mark.

Training & Racing Update – Week 3

I’m still recovering from the sprained ankle but I’m excited about my run/bike streak. While it’s really a walk/bike streak right now. As soon as I can run, which I am hoping in a week, it will be a rightful run/bike streak.

My walks are typically around Concord, trying to walk a different street each day. The cover image above is Merrimack Street. I love the big houses and front lawns on this street.

Here was a sign near the high school that made me smile. I really like the plants in the logs.

The weather is finally getting a bit warmer and that is good. I hope to ride the tri bike this afternoon.

The bad news: Rock Hopper Chocorua Race, IM Mont Tremblant, – canceled. And I learned today that Mark’s Ironman Santa Rosa was canceled, too. Bummer.

Good News: White Mountain TriRagged Mountain Stage Race,  Gunstock Trailfest – still on as of today. So we just go about our days and make the best of the situation. We get up, we work hard, we get outside and love the one were with.

Trying all things

I love this quote from Charlotte Bronte. I had this quote on my refrigerator in almost all the houses I’ve lived in the last ten years. It reminds me that I need to keep trying, keep searching to find the best people, the best places, and to not give up or settle for second best in anything I do.

Last year was good but this year it going to be epic. 100 miles. 3-Day Stage Race. Ironman. 4,000 Footers.

Final 2020 Race Plan

I made the plunge – in 2020 I’m an ultra runner and triathlete. I never would’ve guessed that I’d go back to triathlon, but I do love the bike. I do love swimming and being in water. I guess I like to run (LOL), but mainly on trail, maybe.

Well, I guess I love it all. I love the planning, the training and execution.

Cheers to 2020 and mixing it up.

Oh Canada, I love your politics, your people and your landscape

I just got back from a long weekend trip to Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.

Oh, how I love Canada – my friends to the north. Loved traveling through your countryside. However, Montreal, your highway is a bit of a mess. 

About a year ago I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant thinking what a great location for a race. I’d never been west of Montreal.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking that Mary wanted to go and Mark followed suit. Why the heck not. I can drive to the race and not fly. With my bike in the car I could bring all the gear I needed. My plan was to train like heck on the hills in Concord and run all the hills in the mountains. 

Sweet!

Heading into the weekend I thought I was prepared. Kind of. Well…….. hmmm. I’m not sure…. Some things didn’t go as planned such as motivation and sticking to a training plan. I forget that when it comes to my plans and future goals  – it  is truly a crapshoot.

Crapshoot definition: a risky or uncertain matter.

Yep sounds like my life. And I’m okay with it. Really, really I am. 

Okay – truth: I’ve DNF my last two big races in the last 12 months leading up to the weekend in Mont Tremblant. Ego wise – I needed to finish the %^&$#@%^ thing and retire from Ironman.

Again ….. Well …… I didn’t finish this race, but I had a wicked, awesome vacation and swam 2.4 miles and biked a crazy, hilly 56 miles (I still can’t convert to metric despite loving me some Canada). Holy schnikes Batman, those hills were obscene. I admire every single person who crossed that finish line. Well deserved kudos to every… single …. one!

I’m breaking up with Ironman. I have fallen out of love with you  Ironman – it’s not you, it’s me.

Mont Tremblant had a little to do with it but I was not in love with the bike course. However, I do have to call out the race director, who hugged me and told me how I have to come back soon, after I crashed the finish line with the pros.

Here are the highlights of the road trip north with some pretty cool people. I’d say I’d try it again but I’m retired.

Marianne & Richard – Two peas in a pod. Fun. Adventurous. Kind. Thoughtful. Silly. Richard is a comedian and Marianne gets punchy at 10 pm. They helped me turn the DNF into sherpa-ing and, seriously, it was probably easier to finish the race. 


Mark #13 Ironman. Headed to Kona. Driven. Kind. Accomplished. Steadfast. Travel Buddy. Friend. I admire Mark’s tenacity and his single minded pursuit of a goal. 

The village at Mont Tremblant – so European and beautiful. Am I in Paris or Mont Tremblant? You decide.