race report // ironman 70.3 wisconsin


IRONMAN 70.3 Wisconsin can be summed up with Hs – heat, humidity + hills. It was also really hard… but then again, it’s supposed to be hard! And it was the perfect race to dust off the multisport cobwebs and test my fitness seven weeks out from IRONMAN Canada. Work to do, but overall on track! 

We kicked off race festivities Saturday morning with a shakeout swim at Olin Park, followed by brunch at Marigold Kitchen (a must when in Madison). After a quick midday run + bike, we racked our bikes and were ready to go. 

Pre-race swim with Coeur Sports teammates Michaela, Kendra and Steena.

At bike check-in with my main man.

Race morning with teammate Kendra. Her first 70.3 – success and full of joy!

Swim // 34:51

The race started from Olin Park, just around the bend in the lake from the start of IMWI. It was a run-of-the-mill time trial start, so for me at least, waters were calm and there was no fighting for position. I swam straight on the inside of the buoys – so close that I hit a couple with my arm – and maybe a third of the way in, Nick popped up to my left. I felt like I swam pretty strong, so I’m not super stoked with my time. Clearly I still need to work on finding my edge in the water… why is that so difficult?! Swim time aside, the new arms-up technology on my ROKA wetsuit was fantastic! Much more range of motion, and for the first time ever in a race, zero neck chafe. 

Finish prediction?!

Bike // 2:46:23, 20.19 mph

There really wasn’t anything easy about the bike course. If you weren’t climbing or descending – several at 40mph+ – you were turning… 40+ times, in fact, with a few at the bottom of 40mph descents. Needless to say, there wasn’t much of a steady rhythm – exactly the type of bike course I thrive on. And despite an out-of-whack power meter (pretty sure there’s something wrong with it because there’s no way I biked what I did at the watts it read… the same thing happened at IMAZ), now, a couple weeks later, I feel good about my ride. 

A few bike highlights:

  • Nick passing me at mile 13 with a big slap on my ass
  • Riding my dreamy + speedy Argon 18
  • Wind, wind and more wind
  • About 2,800 feet of climbing 

Run // 1:42:54, 7:51 pace

My run manta: run the mile you’re in. And that’s exactly what I did. The first few miles of neighborhood rollers ticked by on target (7:45 pace – adjusted because of the humid 93F weather), and with Nick in my sight just ahead of me, I had a good carrot to keep me going. Much to my surprise, I caught him around mile four. He was having a rough day, so after a few strides together and some encouragement – and obviously a slap on his ass – he told me to go run ’em down. I felt ok, so I plugged along keeping my pace steady. Running through every sprinkler and taking ice at every aid station helped kept me fairly cool (and was reminiscent of the CdA inferno). 

Three miles to go!

The last three miles weren’t easy (maybe because I fueled the entire run on Coke?!). I was borderline bonking and was just ready to be done moving. Thank you to friend Linus for the pep talk the final miles – he always shows up when I need a boost the most (he did the final miles of IMWI, too). 

The last mile and a half – my fastest of the day – brought happy IMWI memories and cruised by as we wound around Monona Terrace and the lake. The uphill finish was fun as evident in my race pics… ha! 

Official results: 5:09:28, 2nd AG, 8th OA

Big thank yous + high-fives to my tribe – Nick ♥, coach Andy, friends Kathy + Pat, team Coeur Sports, Argon 18 Bike, ROKA Sports, HOKA ONE ONE, Sound Probiotics, Smith Optics and pure clean powder. You all help me race happy and healthy! 

35-39F podium!

Stoked with second AG! I declined my 70.3 Worlds spot this go-round and am totally ok with it 🙂

Almost the lone bike in transition.

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  • Reply Valerie Meyer 06/29/2017 at 2:02 pm

    You rock, Erin! Love the finisher pic of you and Nick! Keep on keepin’ on…..

  • Reply Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate 06/29/2017 at 5:05 pm

    Nice work, Erin! It was so hot that day, and that course wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. I have a sleeveless wetsuit but am looking into getting one with sleeves…tempted to purchase yours if I can find a good deal!

  • Reply Leslie @ TriathleteTreats 06/29/2017 at 9:55 pm

    Awesome Erin! As usual a total bad ass!!! Congrats on 2nd and who wants to go to Chat for worlds!! Wait until it’s at a cooler spot!! 🙂 Good luck with the last build to Whistler!!

  • Reply carrisamarie 06/30/2017 at 9:52 am

    Loved reading this update! It’s so great to see you chasing that light and goals! Onward!

  • Reply 321delish 06/30/2017 at 12:33 pm

    You are such a rockstar Erin!! Way to go on a tough day (and hearing you say it was hard makes me feel a little better about my day!!! 🙂 )

  • Reply Kristina 07/03/2017 at 10:46 am

    Congrats on such a strong race, despite the conditions! Good luck to you with your training as you ramp up for Canada – seems like you’ll continue to find the joy in it all.

  • Reply Scott B 07/07/2017 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Erin, great race! Fellow Sound athlete here – you may remember me (or not, no judgment) – my wife and I sat across from you and Nick at Ted and Liz’s wedding reception last year, and I was thinking about jumping up to the 70.3 tri distance. Well, you and Nick were convincing – I took your advice, trained, and made the WI Ironman my first 70.3! Ditto on the heat, humidity, and hills comment. Those traits definitely made it a challenging first effort, but I’m proud to say I crossed the finish line in 6:41:33. Definitely room for improvement but given the conditions, and some conservative pacing, I have no complaints. Thanks to you and Nick for your encouragement that day last year! It made a big difference!

    Ted pointed me in the direction of your blog, and I’ve enjoyed your race reviews and information on what you use for races. It’s good to hear the views of those with more experience! Happy racing!

    • Reply erin 02/12/2018 at 1:24 pm

      Hi, Scott! Super delayed reply… so sorry! Thanks for stopping by (and yes, I remember!). And big congrats to you on your first 70.3! So awesome. Are you racing it again this year?! Hope to see you! Pretty sure we’ll be there.

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