Ironman California 2022 – Sacramento

After waiting for three years, having the race postponed for reasons we all know, this was the year that all the training came to fruition.


Flew into Sacramento on Friday, and did an early morning check-in. Was postponing my bike pickup until Saturday, as I had it all tuned up and ready to go. So was just planning on picking the bike up, spinning it out for 30 mins, and then dropping it off at T1.

However, fate had something else in mind. I went to the Tri Bike Transport booth, and after a search could not find my bike. Got told that my bike may be among the 2 bikes, that have been stolen. I did not believe it. My power pedals and race wheels were on the bike. I was stunned, but still not stressed, don’t know why. While the TBT guy was all crying, I still was not stressed.

After concluding that my bike is stolen, TBT offered to take care of me by providing me a rental bike from PlayTri sports. Great, they had a frame size for me, but the bike fit was pretty awful. The crank was 10 mm longer than I am used to, the aero bars were wider than I am used to, and my body was in a crunched position.

Took the bike for a spin 2-3 times for 30-40 mins each, so as to dial in the fit as much as I can.

Race Day

Woke up at 4am after a night of pretty good sleep. Packed the bags, packed some oats, and off to the race venue 12 – 15 mins drive.

Special needs bag drop-off was pretty easy. After that headed over to the bike area, added the bike bottles, walked back into the changing tent, and in quiteness ate my pre-race oats. Had a lot of time in hand, and I wanted to head to the swim start sooner than later. Was lucky to get on the bus early, as later I learned that people were in the Transition until 7:30 am.


The swim was fast, in spite of poor buoy placements at the turnarounds. The swim was in the river, downstream. I clocked in a sub 1 hr swim for a 2.4 mile, which was pretty cool. The swim finish was not well marked, and therefore I kind of missed the finish, and passed the swim line, before being asked by a volunteer to swim back against the current.


The longest transition I have seen. 1.1 mile of running to get the bike, and then bike out.


112 miles on an unfitted bike. The bike course was flat and supposedly super fast. But the wind on the course was brutal.There was hardly much of a tail wind. Either head wind or cross wind, with gusts of 50 mph.

I kept the first half conservative for 1) course being too windy, so wanted to save the matches for the run, and 2) new bike with a poor fit.

Nutrition on the bike was also a challenge, as I could not fit in everything that I needed, so put the extras in the special needs bag.

Anyways, was able to complete the bike in over 7 hours (was expecting a conservative sub 6 finish here).


Bike to run transition was relatively easy. stretched out my back a bit while changing into run shoes. Meniscus on the both the knees had been irritated.

Started running from the Transition, and the run was perfect for the first half, about 12 -13 miles. Stomach was bloated, and it was getting hard to run with stomach irritation. During the run, I made sure to take in water, and coke from each aid station, but that did not help much.

After 13 miles, I started doing a run walk until mile 16, when I joined a very nice lady, whose walking speed was better than my run-walk speed. Walked out the rest of the marathon with her, as the legs were thrashed and felt jelly.

Conrolling the controllable was what I was doing. I wish I had my own bike, that would have allowed me to land a bit better on the run. Concluded the run by walking two loops around the capitol state building, and running the last 100m to the finish line.

I do not plan to do another full distance in the near future !!

As I write this post after 2-3 days of the event, I actually do not feel a big achievement. It feels like completing any other 70.3 triathlon and body has been recovering really well. Might just mean that my coach and I did a good job in the training.

Ironman 70.3 Cour De Alene

2.5 years of hiatus from being active, this was my first big race. Going into this meant a lot to me. My training commitment had changed, my scheduled and other things on my plate were different and demanded time. I had to revise my goals all the time to the starting line, make sure I was fit and healthy, and make sure I had balanced other aspects of my life.

So I signed up for this race which I believe is the closest IM branded race in US from Seattle. The cost part was OK’ish (the IM brand can get super expensive at times). We booked a place a mile from the race venue, so that we can all walk to the race site and not worry about parking and all. Continue reading

Freaking 140.6 – My first Iron distance !! – Vineman, Windsor, CA.

Swim 2.4 miles + Bike 112 miles + Run 26.2 miles

Swim 2.4 miles + Bike 112 miles + Run 26.2 miles

Doing the toughest one day endurance event in the world, was just a thought in my head over 2 years back. And here I am writing my very first Iron distance triathlon race report.

Continue reading

Twenty thirteen – 2013 !!

I did things that to me seemed insane and crazy just a year back. Half-Ironman, UltraMarathon, Century rides and lots of climbing and swimming. Continue reading

Race Report – Big Kahuna 70.3 HalfIronMan distance Triathlon

Big Kahuna Triathlon - Half Ironman distance

Big Kahuna Triathlon – Half Ironman distance

Having done two 70.3 HalfIron distance triathlons before, and the second one just 3 weeks back, I came into Big Kahuna with anxiety, because –

1) This is an ocean swim Triathlon – my first Ocean Triathlon race.

2) Havent had much mental rest, and any planned training, since the last tri.

Goal –

To have an overall finish time of 6 hrs, no expectations basically. My first triathlon finish was in 6hr:18mins, second one in 5hr:59mins, and now I would have been happy with a just under 6hr finish.

Goals for each segment of the sport-

1) For the swim I was targeting a 45 mins, compared to my last swim time of 42 mins, because I was not able to get much swim practice since my last event.

2) On the bike, a sub 3hr finish would be great.

3) On the run, a sub 2 hr finish would be awesome, running off the bike is still not easy.

4) In Transitions, reduce the time as much as I can. But this Big Kahuna course, has a long T1, because there is a quarter mile run from the beach to the Transition area.

Anyways, I woke up at 3:30 am, not from a sound sleep :). Well, that is normal !!

Packed my stuff in the car, my bike, my transition bags, air pump, bottles, and some breakfast to eat on my way. Drive to Santa Cruz was 40 mins. Again, courtesy my friend, who texted me the address of parking lot, just by the transition setup. This was supercool, except for the fact that the Parking Pay station was not working.

Athletes entering the T1 setup

Athletes entering the T1 setup

This is from the early morning, transition   setup.








The transition area closed at 6:45 am, for everyone to gather at the beach, for pre-race instructions, and a small prayer the Hawaiian style.

Athletes gathering for the swim start

Athletes gathering for the swim start 

They do it the Hawaiian style

They do it the Hawaiian style












The website said the water temperature was around 60 F, not bad. The swim was around the wharf.  Water was not bad, but the barking of the sea-lions was a little scary (am being honest !!). And here is the swim map, courtesy my friend’s Garmin (mine only measures bike and run)

Swim Part of Big Kahuna Triathlon

Best swim timing so far of 36 mins – Mission 1 accomplished 🙂 !!

Now there was this crazy run to the T1, barefoot, with the wetsuit on, and heart-rate pumping high :(.

Here is the Garmin capture from the beach to the T1 (courtesy my friends Garmin – Saurabh)

Run upto the T1 – a quarter mile

The bike course was pretty scenic. The bike course starts with a little hill, and then you are on CA-1 in just 3 miles. I did not munch on the bike for the first 7-8 miles, except for taking in some GU drink. Generally, people tend to eat as soon as they are on the bike, and this tends to over-eating, which later on during the run part causes stomach upset.

Remember, your digestive system does not work well, because the blood flow is mostly to your muscles. So take the food, slowly, and in little quantities. I kept myself to eating gels, Roctane GU, chews, and some home made energy bars (diced into squares) as real food.

The beginning of the bike course was not well for me, as my muscles were tight, and wasn’t feeling well. I guess once I saw the 10 mile mark, made me realize that I am competing in a triathlon :). lolz!!

Strava Bike segment-

Time : 2:53:09  – damn happy with the bike finish !! overjoyed 🙂 Mission 2 accomplished.

Big Kahuna Triathlon Bike Course

Big Kahuna Triathlon Bike Course

About the bike course, it is pretty scenic. As you ride on Hwy-1 for the entire course, except for first 3 and last 3 miles. Great views of the ocean, and cliffs, and beaches.

Off the bike, into the Transition, put on the running shoes, and my run start was pretty good. I did pop-in a salt capsule. However, the dreaded side stitch happened yet again, after the 1 mile mark. And I had to take a walking break till mile 3.  I tried deep breathings, slowed down, jumping on the left side, and anything to reduce the pain. I finally started running by the third mile. Once I was on the run, I did not stop, just kept the momentum. I knew I wasn’t running fast, but I was actually passing most of the guys, who passed me during the first 3 miles. Key ingredient is to keep a steady pace, so as not to hurt yourself.

View during the run course

    View during the run course                  

Part of the run course was on the trail, which I loved. This    was a loop run, and here is a view from the cliff drive, of the run course-.

Big Kahuna Triathlon - Run

Big Kahuna Triathlon – Run









The finish for the run was over a quarter mile run on the  beach. This seriously was the most difficult part :(. Key again is to run on the wet sand to get more solid surface under your foot. And also dodge as many kids and their sand houses as you can :). Basically to make your finish strong !!

The finish line

The finish line

Run time – 2:00:52. Just in 2 hrs !! mission 3 accomplished !!

Strava segment – 

Overall stats: 05:44:00

Overall Finish time

Overall Finish time

A   A big thanks to the Volunteers !!

I ate the best bagel ever !!

I ate the best bagel ever !!

Nothing possible without them !!

Nothing possible without them !!