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Local Celeb, Brian Boyle Competes in Third Full Triathlon
FLORIDA - 11/11/2010
On Nov. 6, local athlete and miracle survivor, Brian Boyle competed in the Ironman Florida; his third full Ironman in his short athletic career and achieved a personal best reducing his overall time by 40 minutes, finishing in 10:14.
“I really enjoyed this race a lot and I loved the course. Ironman Florida is typically one of the most competitive age-group races of the year. The swim takes place in the Gulf of Mexico. The water is warm enough for a comfortable swim, but cool enough to allow wetsuits. The bike course is flat and fast. The run passes through one of America’s most popular state parks, and just as it is on the bike, the run course is also flat, and, in theory, fast,” said Boyle.
He indicated that the run portion of the contest was interesting in that it started with a mile along the beachfront before winding its way through a series of residential neighborhoods. “During this part of the course, the athletes enjoy almost non-stop support as people wait outside their houses to greet them.”
Boyle stated that the weather was unusually cool for Florida. “It was not what you would consider ‘warm and sunny Florida’ because the temperature was in the 30’s when the race began; the air and sand were so cold that we all huddled around in the water before the cannon went off.”
Adding to the spectacle was the sun rising at the swim with athletes glimmering in golden gulf waters in a very competitive contest. “The swim was very aggressive since it was a mass swim start and it took about 500 yards to finally find some space to get into a rhythm.”
In this event, unlike other triathlons, the swim portion consisted of two 1.2 mile loops with a short run on the beach between swim segments. “I was planning to make a mad dash out of the water, get something to drink, and dive back in for the second lap, but for some reason my legs have a tendency to cramp during the swim so I jogged through the aid station and eased into the next lap. The overall 2.4 mile swim went great and I was able to set a personal record by improving my swim time to a 1:05,” beamed Boyle.
Boyle reported that after the swim his transitioning to the bike portion of the race was smooth. “I was ready to go all out on this course that was known to be fast due to the single loop that wrapped around the long and flat sections of Florida highways. I kept a strong and steady pace as soon as I got on the bike and pushed through the headwinds that never seemed to go away during the entire ride; the air temperature was so cold already but to add the headwinds just made it even more brutal.”
Despite frozen fingers and stubborn gears, Boyle was able to make it to the halfway point of the 112 miles with a time of 2:23. “I felt really good the entire way even though I knew I was using up some extra energy fighting the wind.” Boyle ended up finishing the bike segment in 4:57. “I was so thrilled with my time because I really wanted to have a sub-5 bike split for this race,” said Boyle.
By the time the run portion of the race started the temperature had warmed a little. “The crowds of spectators really gave a much needed boost of adrenaline to start the marathon out with a good pace. I was able to keep the first six miles in the 7-7:30 range, which began to slowly rise as the race went on to 8 minute miles to even 9 minute miles by the halfway point and even a few 10 minutes here and there near mile 20. I was able to get back down to the 8 and 7 minute splits near the last few miles and made a strong finish with a marathon of 4:03.”
Boyle admitted reflecting on his progress during the race. “I couldn’t help but reflect on how much improvement I had made since my first Ironman in 2007. To go from finishing in the high 14’s to the low 10’s is such a great feeling because I’ve been working so hard in this sport.”
Boyle credits his success to the people who have stuck with him and encouraged to continue. “I’m so fortunate to have had all the encouragement from so many amazing people all over the world,” said Boyle.
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