Legend 100 took place on Sunday in Lawrence, Kansas. It was scheduled as a tune-up for Ironman Boulder. This was way more of a “tune up” than we bargained for!
Friday: We left home shortly after noon and stopped at Kyle’s Bikes to have Kyle “bless” our bikes before the race. Thankfully we did, since he found and removed a small piece of glass from my front tire. Thank you Kyle!! Mojo held her own in Kansas!!
Saturday: After breakfast, we drove one part of the bike course that we haven’t ridden in previous Ironman Kansas 70.3 events before going to the race site to check in.
We also went down to the transition area to check out just how flooded it was. While there, we found the Iowa flag on the perimeter of the transition area.
The afternoon was spent preparing for Sunday’s race and kicking the feet up to relax.
After an early dinner, we put our race number tattoos on before heading to bed early.
Race morning: The alarm went off at 3:30 am and it was already 78F and really humid. This can only mean one thing…it is going to be a rough day at the races. I followed my wake up call with getting ready to race, preparing breakfast and heading out the door at 4:30 am to Clinton State Park. Transition was approximately a mile from where we parked, so we knew we would have to leave early if we wanted to get to transition by 5 am when they opened.
Pre Race: After rolling into transition (we didn’t have to check any gear or our bikes in on Saturday, so we rode our bikes the mile to transition), I set up my gear, hit the toilet a time or two, donned my wetsuit and headed to the swim start.
Swim: Time to get slapped by the water
The Iron Hippie started at 6:30 am, Allen started at 6:33 am and my wave was to start at 6:36 am. My goal was to beat them both out of the water. When it was time to start swimming, I was thankful there weren’t a lot of people in my wave. The first loop of the swim was somewhat choppy, but it wasn’t too bad once I figured out when to breathe and not drink half the lake. After completing the first lap, we exited the water only to get back in and repeat the loop.
When I entered the water for lap two, the women’s Olympic distance swimmers were filing into the water RIGHT. IN. MY. WAY. Thankfully the race director was on the dock and was yelling at them to get on the other side of the barricade so I could have somewhat clean water. Clean is relative since the lake was flooded (it was murky and had a lot of debris), it was full of swimmers (more entering the water every 3 minutes) and the winds had picked up making that chop even worse than it was during the first lap. This loop was MESSY!! There were a LOT more people and the waves were no longer small. They had definitely grown in size. I did my best to keep my focus and not worry about all of the people I saw swimming toward boats, kayaks, canoes, etc. “Just Keep Swimming” was definitely my mantra. With about 500 yards to go, I noticed a familiar face. With every breath I took on the left, Allen was staring me in the face. I knew he would try to hold on and swim my pace, but I also knew I could beat him out of the water. Now the question would be…will I also beat the Iron Hippie?!?!?!?!
As I exited the water, Kay (our SUPER spectator) was there and told me that the Iron Hippie did in fact beat me out of the water, but only by about 30 seconds.
Swim Time: 1:16:04 (2:22/100 yards)
I was hoping for about 1:10:00, but with the water slapping me in the face for 2 miles, I was pretty happy with this time.
As I approached my transition area and stopped moving, this is what was going through my mind, “WOAH!! Where did that dizziness come from?!?!?! Am I sea sick???? I’ve never been sea sick before!!! I don’t know what that feels like. I think I might be. I better sit down to finish getting this wetsuit off and get my bike gear on. That’s better.” When I was ready to stand back up, I was no longer dizzy and was ready to rock the bike. It just so happened that the Iron Hippie was too…
T1 Time: 6:04…apparently sitting in transition cost me more time than I thought.
Bike: Time to get beat up by the hills and winds on the bike
I’ve raced the former Ironman Kansas 70.3 distance at this venue twice, so I knew most of the bike course and I knew it would be challenging. I had no idea we were going to get beat up so badly!! By this time of day, the temperatures were at 80F (with high humidity) and winds were from the south/southwest at 13 mph, which isn’t bad. But as it got closer to noon, the winds increased to 21 mph with gusts up to 28 mph and the temperatures climbed to 87F. Speaking of climbing did I mention that we had ~3000 feet of climbing with most of it into the headwind?!?!?! Well, needless to say, the Iron Hippie is a stronger cyclist than I am, so he took off. I got to see him plenty as there were 4 out and back sections on this course. At the last turn around, I knew he couldn’t be more than 2 miles in front of me.
Bike Time: 5:24:27 (14.8 mph)…this was a sure sign of the hills and wind beating me up!!
As I came into transition, there was carnage everywhere. People were literally laying down in transition on the ground. Beat up from the ride, so I had to maneuver around them to get to my transition spot. I thought I quickly transitioned to the run…I guess I was slower than I thought.
T2 Time: 4:58
Run: Time for the sun to torch us
Where is that wind?!?!?! I would love to have the built in air conditioner right now!! Being back in the park meant we were surrounded by trees that blocked most of the wind. As I left transition, Kay told me that the Iron Hippie was about 7 minutes ahead of me. I was pretty sure I could catch him, but there was no guarantee. Boy was it HOT!! Anything could happen…
We had a 3 loop run course, with the first 2 loops being about 6.5 miles each and the last loop being about 5 miles. By the time we made it to the run, it was 92F and still humid!! Because we were relatively protected by the strong winds, we got TORCHED!!
I caught the Iron Hippie at about mile 5 and I decided to put my pride on the shelf and run/walk with him to the finish. With Ironman Boulder being our “A” race and with only one more build before we leave for a long vacation in Colorado, we decided that we needed to save face and go into damage control mode. It wasn’t worth not being able to complete our last build and be properly prepared for IMBoulder. We ran when we could and walked when we had to. It was great to see Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara out on the run course multiple times cheering us on!!
The highest temperature of the day was 94F and with very little breeze, we felt like we were running in an oven. On another note, the amount of moths that we encountered were RIDICULOUS!! They would land on us and we would carry them on our backs for a while before wiping each other off. I felt like we were monkeys grooming each other. If I never see another moth again, I would be overjoyed!! At this point, we didn’t need to carry any extra weight…even if it was minimal 😉
Run Time: (or should I say walk time) 4:22:49…We were definitely torched and cooked on the run!!
We crossed the finish line together, hand in hand, hands held high and smiles on our faces, despite being slapped, beat up and torched throughout the day.
Finish Time: 11:14:19…Far from the goal time of 9-10 hours, but done. Persevering required a lot of #heartandcourage on a day like today.
I felt good for quite a while…I was hungry…I ate two hamburgers (without buns) and a bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese chips, drank a Gatorade and plenty of water. I had peed twice on the run course, so I knew I was properly hydrated. A special thanks to Osmo Nutrition for the Active Hydration that replaced all the salt I sweat out and helped me prevent cramping!! Afterall, #womenarenotsmallmen and the hydration worked perfectly for me!! The Iron Hippie and I went back down to transition to get all of our stuff, since Allen went to the medical tent after he finished. At this point, I noticed I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.
Hello heat stroke…I could have done without you today!! I packed up my stuff in transition and Allen’s. I grabbed all of our (the Iron Hippie, Allen and mine) transition bags, gear and my bike, hopped on a gator and got a ride back to the car. At the car, I decided I needed to lay down in the back of my vehicle. I was lightheaded, dizzy, my lips were numb and my muscles were starting to shake uncontrollably. I wasn’t cold and I wasn’t dehydrated (I had peed at the start and finish of the run). Allen decided to join me and Sam wiped faces with wet wipes…
Once the Iron Hippie arrived with his bike and Allen’s (thanks to another gator), we had a group photo taken at the car…
I’ve raced in the cold, rain and high temperatures before, but this was the worst race conditions I’ve ever raced in. Hopefully this means that Ironman Boulder will be mild in comparison.
Thank you to Kay, Lora, Sam and Sara for enduring a very long, hot and miserable day as you cheered us all on to #belegend finishers!!
What are the toughest conditions you’ve ever raced in? Have you ever had to change your race plans while racing to go into “damage control” mode?
39 thoughts on “Legend 100 Race Report: Slapped, Beat Up and Torched”
I can’t do hot and humid. I did IMTX in 2011 and it was 90 – something and very humid when I started the run. My goal quicky became “finish and mo med tent”.
You’ll do well in Boulder. It’s hot, but not humid! I’m working the T2 tent and finisher medals from 8 to midnight. Hopefully I’ll get to help you in the tent or cheer you on for the run 🙂
Thanks Erin! We’ll be out there 3 weeks early, so hopefully we acclimate a bit and aren’t torched too much by the heat. It would be nice to meet up, so I know who to look for in T2 and the finish line 😊
I’ll be around in July, so let me know where you’d like to meet up or if you need any recommendations on things.
I’ve been patiently waiting to hear how your weekend went! And wow, sounds absolutely terrible, but you all just put the pedal to the medal and did it- congrats!!!!! You just have to adjust when you must in order to finish- glad you’re all ok though- heat is tricky. I’ve definitely had to adjust during a race before. It sucks but sometimes it must be done! You guys are gonna rock Boulder!!
Thanks Kelli! It was definitely a necessity to modify our goals to make sure we can still finish our peak training over these next few weeks.
Dang that is hot! Hot and humid is the worst…my performance suffers terribly in the heat! What a race to prepare you for anything though, I feel like IM Boulder will be a breeze for you.
I sure hope there is nothing as awful as this race. Thanks Jessie 🙂
It is always nice to have the tune-up be the “hard” race!! You are stronger because you completed this race!! Sounds brutal! But you got it finished! That swim sounds like Wildflower. I was always in one of the last waves and the sprint goes after us and we have to merge with them to the finish. It is ridiculous!! The wind on the bike sounds miserable and the temps on the run. Good for you!! Congrats on a tough race!!!
I hope the tune-up race is the hard one and IMBoulder is a breeze in comparison 😉 Thanks Leslie!!
Nice race in tough conditions. That course is very under-rated in terms of level of difficulty. It is a tough bike and there is no breeze or shade on the run. Weather is a big variable and ranges from hot, humid and windy to extremely hot, humid and windy. It was rough in 2013 when I did the 70.3, and it was the best weather in years. I wore the IM Kansas kit when I did Muskoka 70.3 (arguably the toughest IM 70.3 bike course in North America) and someone commented after the race “At least that course was flat”. My reply was “You could think that, but you would be wrong. With the heat and the wind, it was tougher then this course…” Her jaw dropped!
You already know this, but I played defense on the run in Madison. I was weak and dehydrated due to nutrition issues. Once I figured that I would finish if I could maintain a 30 min/mile, I walked the rest of the way.
Was there just one transition this year? It was always a split transition in the past.
How was Legends at organizing the event? The medal is sweet, but I heard some logistical nightmares that made me happy I ran the venue under the IM brand.
Congrats again! You will rock Boulder!!!
I have finished IM Kansas 70.3 in 2010 and 2013. While the conditions both years were warm, it was not unbearable. This was unbearable.
There was only one transition area this year down at the lake. I wasn’t a fan. I liked the 2 transitions much better. Getting our gear after the race was awful. Especially with all of the athletes who finished the sprint and Olympic events getting their gear from transition while we were coming into transition on the bike…it was a collision waiting to happen.
The Legend Company did a good job with the inaugural event. They are the same company that ran the event for Ironman (Ironman farms out most of their races to local companies) in years past, so they had a really good grasp of what needed to be done. There are a few things that need to be changed for the future, but I don’t know of any event that gets it right the first year.
Thanks Raymond! I sure hope so 😉
Wow–that sounds like a hell of a race! I don’t know if I would have stuck with it until the bitter end, but I’m sure it made it a bit better to finish with the Iron Hippie. Misery loves company?? Congratulations on finishing a very tough race 🙂
It was hell, Amy!! Misery does love company, so finishing with the Iron Hippie made it more tolerable 😉 Thanks!!
Holy smokes, that sounds like a tough race!! Way to get it done. Hope you are feeling better now Kecia!! I love that you and Iron Hippie got to race and finish together, too cute 🙂 and yes, probably a good thing for both of you under those conditions. I’m sure you’re more than ready for Boulder now!
It was the toughest race I’ve ever done Kelsey! It was fun to finish together and I certainly hope this means we are that much closer to ready for Boulder 😉
Oh my! What a day that you endured! Way to hang in and gut it out! It definitely makes you stronger in many ways. It was good that you kept the necessary perspective during the later half of the run as to your IM goal. The heat and conditions already were giving you more than you bargained for, so being smart was of utmost importance. It was awesome how much you were able to be with the Iron Hippie. I can only imagine that helped because misery loves company, right?!?!?
How has your recovery been? How are you feeling now that it is a few days post race? I know you had a massage, but the heat factor must be playing a role in how you have felt since.
Thanks Lee!! Misery does love company 😉 Sometimes being smart and putting pride on the shelf is harder than continuing with the original goal.
I did not exercise for 2 days and have tried to stay indoors in the air conditioning as much as possible since Sunday. Today I feel much better. I am tired, but I no longer feel like I’m being baked to death when I go outside in the 95F temperatures. I have been sleeping a lot, drinking lots of fluids and kicking my feet up. I think we might try swimming tonight when the sun lowers a bit and isn’t directly overhead. Nothing strenuous, just a short swim with some drills and easy swimming. If not tonight, definitely tomorrow morning 😉
Great race report! It was fun to meet you and see you out there. I’m also counting on Boulder seeming easier than this race….Fingers crossed.
It was great to meet you!! Boulder will be Ironman #3 for me. I have also ran 11 stand alone marathons and many other races. This one was by far the toughest conditions I’ve ever raced in. Boulder has to be better than this!!
Wow – what a race! Good for you for managing your expectations and dealing with those conditions! It does sound like a great experience before Boulder. Good luck with the final build – and I’d love to see you in Boulder before race day!
Thanks Kristina! Sometimes the hardest decisions to make in the moment are the best ones! I’d love to meet up in Boulder before race day! We’ll have to plan something 🙂
Nice one! Well done in that heat! Got ironman70.3 this Sunday here in the UK! My first ironman event !!!!👍
Thanks! Good luck!!
Good job gutting it out Kecia. Musta been brutal!
Thanks Jim!! I’m still recovering…it was awful! There were just under 200 participants that started and only 119 that finished.
The heat for me is a deal breaker. I can race in most conditions, but if it is hot, there’s no escaping the negative effects it can have on performance. I think you raced a solid race, given the winds and heat. I’m just impressed that you finished. I know this was not your “A” race, so you could have easily pulled out. But you dug deep and showed a lot of heart out there. You are more than ready for Boulder. Hopefully the conditions will be milder and more prime for racing. That is awesome that you and the Iron Hippie got to run and finish together. Great job, Kecia!
Heat is usually a deal breaker for me as well, Kristen. I decided to start the “run” and see what would happen. I probably should have pulled out of the race, but instead decided to back off and use it more for training than for racing. It did help that we were able to “run” together and talk about how we were feeling, and what we wanted to get out of the race.
OMG!!! You go my tri sister!!! big congrats to you!!! looking at all the photos i thought i was there with you lol!!! you freaking ROCK!!!! #coeurbeautylotsofheartandcourage
Thanks chica!! It was a tough day full of #heartandcourage 😉
Way to persevere in tough conditions and get it done! Congrats! And, super cool that you and the Iron Hippie crossed the finish line together… the best!
Thanks Erin!! I keep hoping that you don’t have similar conditions this coming Sunday, but you might have a similar experience…except for the wind. Be strong and race with heart and courage!! I’ll be sending you all my energy, cooling thoughts and positive vibes!! xoxo
Sounds like you did awesome and really pushed through given the conditions…congratulations! And although heat like that is never ideal, good practice for Boulder, perhaps?
I love that you two finished the run together. It must’ve made it a lot more bearable!
I hope that we don’t encounter those kinds of temps (or higher like predicted this weekend in Coeur d’Alene), but if so, it was good practice. Catching my husband at about mile 5 and running/walking the last 13 miles with him made it much more bearable 🙂