Ironman Season – Part 1/9: Beach to Battleship II

This iron distance race in Wilmington, North Carolina, starts with a 2.4 mile Atlantic swim near Cape Fear, on to a pretty flat 112 mile bike ride, and then a marathon through town.  There really is a WW II battleship for the tourists.  Last year it was a disaster: I crashed into a misplaced cone while checking my sportswatch, broke a couple of ribs, and finished the marathon hobbling to avoid the pain in the rib cage.  The drive back home was torture.  This year went much better, with "545" as my lucky number: I finally reached my goal of a sub-4 ironman marathon for the first time, coming in at 3:51.  An overall PR eluded me because the ocean current was not helping (1:15 swim), and because of some mechanical difficulties with the pedals that cost 10 minutes, but I'll take that any day over broken ribs!  I finished in 11:04, placing 64 out of 701 participants in the top 10% as usual. Next date: Ironman Cozumel on December 1st, all Caribbean beach fun!
Photo: Martin on the bike ride around Cape Fear