Honu 70.3 2011 Race Report

Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Kohala Coast, Hawaii
United States
85F / 29C
Triathlon1/2 Ironman
Total Time = 4h 51m 13s
Overall Rank = 112/1745
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 24/226
Pre-race routine:

This trip started out on the wrong foot. I decided because of the bike cases and lots of luggage to hire a driver to take Ashley and I to LAX for our flight to Kona. The driver arrived on time, I made sure to call Ashley at about 5am and make sure she was awake as we were picking her up from her house. She was up and the driver and I loaded up the Escalade and headed over to Ashley’s. I called again when we were about 5 minutes away and there was no answer. Called again…again, no answer. Then she calls me….I fell back asleep and I’m still at my house sitting clients house and I’m coming right now. Ugh…ok, if she hurries, we’re fine. 20 minutes later, she shows up. Not a good start. Now we are right on the bubble if anything should go wrong or delay us, we will not be able to check bags and most likely miss the flight.

We pull up to LAX and are pointed directly to the over sized baggage check and there are only 2-3 people in line…awesome, we will breeze through this…30 minutes later, we have not moved and now have passed the 45 minute deadline to check bags. I had to step up and tell someone. Turns out, the three idiots in line ahead of us that couldn’t figure out why nothing jived, were booked to leave THE NEXT DAY. Ugh, so we checked our bags and they rushed them out for us and we took off running for the plane. We made it…phew. I still wasn’t happy about being late.

Plane ride was pretty uneventful as Ashley slept the whole way. I watched the movie and it seemed to go by pretty quick. Then, with about 40 minutes of flight time left, Ashley proceeds to knock a full cup of coke right in my lap…are you kidding me. I am soaked in coke. It has filled my shoes and splattered all over my white shirt. I swear at this point, I wanted them to turn the plane around.

Get off the plane and get our rental car and make our way to the Hapuna Prince Hotel which is where the swim start is. Ashley was put on complete probation until she shaped up ūüėČ

Working on the puter in the room

We arrived a full week in advance of the race and took the next few days to get in some swims in the bay, some rides on the Queen K and some runs around the resort. The island is hot but not too bad at all. It’s actually not that humid either. I haven’t been to the Big Island since I was a little kid…but here are my immediate observations.

1. I have never been anywhere in my life where people drive slower than this island…it is mind numbingly frustrating.

2. It’s not that hot nor humid as people make it out to be. Mornings and evenings are actually quit nice to run during. High noon is a little warm, but not too bad.

3. The Queen K Highway is the worst stretch of cycling road I have ever been on…that may be a tad harsh, but it sucked. Windy, ugly, boring etc etc.

Other than that, it looks exactly like it does on TV each year.

To race day:

My plan was to get up super early and drop the car off at the finish and take the shuttle back to my hotel at the swim start and relax for a little bit before heading back down to start the race. Everything went exactly according to plan except that when I got back to the hotel, I realized I left my T1 bag in the truck…ah shit, are you kidding me. So now my relaxing morning was turned into a frantic rush. We had to hop the shuttle back to the finish, get the bag and take the shuttle back to the start. We lucked out and caught the shuttle right away and made it back with plenty of time.

Getting body marked before swim

I got body marked, threw on some sun screen and headed to the start.

Arriving at swim start

Event warmup:

Nothing. I got in the water and swam to the front of the mass start and was ready to go.




All of us going for the same buoy,...trouble ahead!

This was a 1745 athlete mass start. The start was indicated by two buoys about 30-40 feet apart. We were suppose to be behind those buoys. Everyone kept creeping forward and before I knew it, we were like 20-30 feet in front of the buoys. So the paddle boarders came up and pushed us back. I remembered from the prerace meeting, that they were going to shoot the gun at 7am no matter what. So I knew they were not going to wait for us to back up. I started to back up with everyone else, but I knew to be ready for the canon….and boom, it went off.

The mass start wasn’t too rough. Lot’s of people waited on the beach and then went in when the gun went off. It was rough and there was a lot of thrashing going on but it never flustered me. The only thing I thought was funny is about 300 yards in, someone swam straight over me..ok, not the first time that has happened…but I looked up and it was a pink cap. Yup, I was swam over by a girl. I’ve never had that happen. She was gone too…adios, down the road, I was mad for a split second and then kind of chuckled as she was leaving me in her wake.

Coming out of the water to T1

I never really found clear water for the entire swim. I was always moving around, trying to draft, swimming around people and having people come by me. It was pretty much a mass swim the entire time. Swim times were slow across the board. I exited the water and ran up the beach and only saw 31:xx…I said, ah man, that sucks. In reality though, based on other times, it was right there for what I should be doing in a non wetsuit swim.

I did struggle a little to stay comfy on the swim but not just completely relaxed. I wanted to put out a good effort but keep things under control from a energy expenditure stand point. That pace was a little tough to find. I think I picked it up towards the end and probably could have swam that pace the entire swim. I was happy with the result though, good time and nothing bad happened…great, on to the next sport.


What would you do differently?:

Maybe a little quicker through the middle and second half of the race.

00:31:47 | 2112 yards | 01m 30s / 100yards
Age Group: 21/226
Overall: 0/1745
Performance: Good
Suit: Desoto Liftfoil Speed
Course: Hapuna Bay, Rectangle course.



Ok transition…The run up the beach was a little long and I think I could have moved a little quicker. Other than that, there were no problems and I got going just fine.

Exiting T1

What would you do differently?:

Maybe run a little faster out of the water.




People were all around at the start

There’s a nice little hill right out of transition and then a slow climb up to the Queen K. I waited to get up to the second climb before strapping my shoes in. As I’m getting ready to put my shoes on a guy yells, “On your inside”…that’s right, he yelled it like it was my fault that I didn’t realize he was passing on the RIGHT. I yelled back at the guy when he passed, “Really Dude, you’re passing me on the right 500ft into the race?” He didn’t look back as he was grinding up the hill. Yes, in case you were wondering, he was caught and dropped like 5 miles later. Dumbass.

My power target for this race was 210. I thought that was a bit low, but my coach Brian Stover nailed it. It was tough to watch people pass me up the rollers but then they always came back on the backside. You can tell so easy who is riding with power and who isn’t. The folks who are not always charge up the hills and then rest on the down hills. I was doing the exact opposite. Just smooth power the whole time. That meant A LOT of passing and repassing. I was fine with that though…I just rode my race. After the turnoff the 19 onto the 270 a pack started to form around me. I wasn’t having any of it though. I would let the guys pass and pass them back totally legal. On the uphills when they would pass me, they would just stay in pack the entire time. It’s frustrating, but what can you do. Until about mile 15 or so…I had just passed the pack and was in front when the motorcycle pulled up and nailed everyone but me…HAHA! There is a god and he likes me. One of the guys started arguing. I was just laughing…After that moment of complete glory it was down to business and the windy climb up to Hawi. Again, I stuck to my power and just kept cruising. The ride was actually very easy for me. This is why I thought the power target was too low. Now, about halfway through the ride, I was passing and not being passed back. I blew the group I was with apart and it was fun to watch people drop off. Then, when we reached the turn around, it was game on.

Coming down from Hawi on the gas!

So fun to go hauling ass back down the hill. I caught several people on this stretch. Brian gave me the option at about 70k to up the power a bit. I felt so good, I decided not too…well, not really at least. I know that sounds backwards but here was my philosophy. I had already ridden the hard part. Extra watts at this point of the ride, with the downhills, isn’t going to gain me that much. I would rather save the energy. I could have blasted the last 10 miles, but I did the math in my head and I was on my way to sub 2:30 and I was really really happy with that. So let’s relax and save the energy for the run where I really need it. The last 10 miles were easy and I cruised into T2 with a lot left in the tank.

Oh, nutrition, almost forgot. I went with the same nutrition as Wildflower. One 20 Ounce bottle of Gatorade in the bars. Water in the P4 bottle and a Gu Flask with about 5 Gus in it. I only ate about half the flask but was taking in water from each aid station. I sipped on the Gatorade bottle until I was about 5 miles out of T2 and then downed the rest so I wouldn’t have to drink it right before starting to run. I wanted it to settle a bit. Worked out perfect.


What would you do differently?:

Nothing…I had a really good bike.

02:27:58 | 56 miles | 22.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 14/226
Overall: 0/1745
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Out to the Queen K Highway. Up to Hawi and back.

Coming out of T2


Took my time and did run with socks because I was running with new shoes. Actually a pretty good transition for how slow I felt like I was going.


What would you do differently?:





On to the run. It was weird handing off my bike…lol. I had to grab the computer off it and then just sent it on its way. Fun Stuff. A volunteer grabbed my bag and I put on my new K-Swiss California’s for the run. I love these new shoes and I was stoked to run in them.

Believe it or not, this is the start of the run and I look like death already!

I think I only really made one mistake the whole race and that was the first mile of the run. I was feeling so good, I took off at too fast a pace. I looked down at a 7:30 something and thought, awesome, until about 2-3 minutes later when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish. The heat off the grass of the fairways hit me like a ton of bricks. I said, don’t panic, just slow down a bit. I did and brought it to just over 8 minute miles and started putting cold sponges in my tri top like Macca does. That works so well. So this became my routine. Two new cold sponges at every aid station and a cup of ice down the shirt. By the time the next aid station would come, I was ready to swap out. People were passing me left and right. When I came off the bike I was in 13th in AG and 68th overall…So I dropped a ton of spots. Bree Wee the female champion passed me at about mile 4…I thought, at least I was in the girl lead for a while..lol.

As the run went along, I just kept saying to myself, “Stay comfortable until the last 5K” Just keep a nice pace and don’t over exert until you see the 10 mile mark. Then you can do whatever. So I did…I stayed with the sponges and ice and added coke to the mix after about the first 10K. I started to feel better and better and the miles were going by, albeit slowly, but going by.

This was just before the finish...looking much better!

I finally reached the 10 mile mark at the end of this long desolate road and I decided to at least try and pick it up. I did and ran the last three miles faster than any of the previous ones except for the very first mile. I was proud of this. I think this showed that I paced really well for the entire race and was able to get the very last bit of energy out at the end without falling apart.

This was the best run I could expect with the little run fitness I have. I crossed the line and felt great. Shoes were completely soaked and some small blisters were starting to form, but that was it.

Ashley was there at the finish line and she did a great job spectating and taking photos all day. I guess we can let her off probation now ūüėČ


Finally Done!

What would you do differently?:

Just build some run fitness….that’s looking good now.

01:46:37 | 13.1 miles | 08m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 40/226
Overall: 0/1745
Performance: Average
Course: Through the Golf Course at Mauna Lani Resort. Very tough, hot course.
Post race


Warm down:

Shower Time !

Took a shower on the beach….best feeling I’ve had in a long time.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Run fitness…that will come.

Event comments:
This was a fantastic race. I had a great time in Kona and didn’t want to come home. I have so many people to thank as always for this great performance…most notably Brian Stover my coach and Ashley, my wonderful girlfriend who always puts up with me. Also, to all my BT friends, you guys and gals are the best and a great inspiration to keep training and get faster.

Dusty, Jeffrey, Cheryll and Scott

Jeffery, Cheryll and Scott who let us hang out with them all weekend. ¬† I’m really looking forward to the next one. I also want to thank my sponsors and team mates….101 Pipe & Casing. Inc., Kurt Orban Partners LLC, LA Tri Club, Accelerate 3 Coaching, CVMM, Fortius Racing, K-Swiss and Wins Wheels


Ashley and I at the finish....she's off probation now!

About Dusty Nabor

I'm an Age Group triathlete out of Southern California...
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4 Responses to Honu 70.3 2011 Race Report

  1. brianestover says:

    Keep her on probation.

  2. mhutto says:

    Great race out there! Thanks for sharing your race report!

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