So it’s been a while since I raced Lake Placid but, as we all do, I remember step by step what happened during the race! So I’ll try to break it down, write about what happened personally as well as my thoughts on the race itself, course, etc.
First of all is of course race morning:
The race was scheduled to start at 6:30am, so that meant 30 minutes less of sleep than usual! Woke up at 3:30am, the normal ritual for me is to wake up and have a shower, have breakfast…bananas, bread with nutella and eggs. Grab the bag pack packed from the past night with everything needed for the race and go to transition. If there is one piece of advice I can give you is never put your stuff in the bike and run bags the day before, if it rains, like it did, then you will find everything wet. Just put something in them to make them look like they have something inside when you check them in, and then on race morning set them up, as well as your stuff on your bike. After this visit to transition was done headed down to the lake to where my friends were and started putting on the wetsuit.
The Swim (1:03:46)
So the swim started with the new “swim-smart” initiative, which is supposed to work fine, but that would only be for they first lap. I seeded myself with the under 60min people, my target was to do it the closest I could to an hour. The first lap was fine and was fast (30:00) but then the second lap is where the swim smart is not so smart, because the slow swimmers are still at the beginning of the swim so you have to pass them all, and that takes an extra effort on you to pass all these people and it will cost you time, my 2nd lap was 33:00. That said, I did an excellent swim for my abilities and ended up very happy with the results. In our “mini” competition amongst my friends, I beat every one I thought I could, so the race started in a good mental spot!
The swim in this lake is pretty good in the sense that you have the famous cable to swim on top, so you don’t have to look up, BUT it is not that easy to see with a bunch of people trying to find it, Anyway the swim is pretty easy in terms of navigation, the lake is very narrow and straight so it very hard to get lost while swimming. While finishing the swim it started to rain…hard, so I just kept thinking about the bike, that was a completely different story with the roads wet, and it was cold!
After exiting the water, you just want to get to your bike as fast as possible, since this was obviously a wetsuit swim, first hit the wetsuit peelers, Overall I think they’re one of the biggest helps in an ironman and it will help save a few seconds on that time (seconds do matter!). T1 was pretty long, about 400m to the transition, grabbed my bike gear, and then when I exited my bike was ready for me. Off to 112mi of rain, cold and hills.
The bike started with rain pouring all over the course and the temperature lowered a lot. Since cycling is my best sport, I only thought that the rain was going to give me an advantage against the least experienced riders and it did. I was 20th out of the water and 3rd off the bike. It started with a couple of short hills on the way out of town, not very big or steep, It was not as hard as people put them, but after a couple of miles came al long descent, which with the rain it was harder than I thought. The drops really hit me hard on the body plus I had to be extra careful with not falling, so it wasn’t as fast as I would’ve wanted it to be.
After this descent then came the longest part of the course which as flat and fast as well, the good thing about the rain was that it lowered the wind a bit. After an out and back part came the real hills, but still, for me personally wasn’t the hardest part of this course, it was yet to come. On this part you went up a couple of hills ups and downs. After that there was a left turn into a beautiful scenery, but it was slightly uphill, and a crazy wind against you. It was an aerobat slow ride for about 7 miles. (the real hard part) this was when you came back into the town of lake placid. Once I made the first loop I already knew what I had coming for the second time around, only that the rain had stopped, so it turned out to be a nicer loop. the total for my bike time was 5:27:53. I was aiming for a 5:20 so I was a little disappointed, only that I knew after the race that it was the 2nd fastest time of my age group and I was 3rd off the bike. Amazing results in retrospect.
This marathon is supposed to be one of the fastest of the circuit and it effectively is a nice course to run despite the long uphill at the end of the loop. It is a 2 loop run. So I started the marathon with a downhill and trying to maintain a 8:00min/mile or 5:00min/km pace, and I did for about 9kms. But then I started to see a lot of people passing me and I personally believe I went way too soft on this marathon and could’ve ran harder. Back to the course, it was already sunny and perfect weather, so I went down the hill and for about 5kms of out and back it was pancake flat. Then back to the hill, only that this time it was up! by the time my pace had already fallen a lot. After the uphill came a couple of kilometres around the lake and lots of people which always helps. The 2nd loop was terribly slow, I was going too slow but couldn’t get my self to run any faster nevertheless I never felt bad, it was a mental block what I suffered in the marathon. Ended up doing it in 3:51:23
12th place for my age group / 99 overall. A total race time of 10:30:03 which beats my PR of 10:41:08 in mont trembling 2013. So overall I was really happy with my results and I knew I was going to suffer on the marathon given the injury I had. I was only left with a little bit of disappointment after knowing that I was 3rd and dropped all the way to 12th place. Kona was in my hands and I ran away from it! But anyway it was just another amazing experience, getting to run with all my training friends made it a unique race and definitely recommend anyone to race this beautiful, well organised race.
If anyone wants feedback on anything about this race, hotel info, course info, advice feel free to contact me from the contact link above or click here!