As part of my training for HalfMax I raced at the FIRMman Half in Narragansett Rhode Island. My goal pre-race was to go 5:40:XX and qualify as an age grouper for HalfMax (as an aside I had already qualified as an Athena but wanted to compete as a age grouper, so I needed the 5:40:XX qualifying time. My coach though 5:50:XX was reasonable.

Shaun and I headed to Rhode Island on Saturday, picked up packets and drove the bike course. From the car, the course looked hilly and I did a good job of psyching out myself. Despite the pre-race jitters, I had a kick ass day:

Swim — 29:11
T1 — 2:14
Bike — 2:57:18
T2 — 1:58
Run — 1:58:50
Total — 5:29:34 — Huge PR!


Wicked rocky with lots if waves but generally the current and waves were pushing so it made for a fast swim (I think it may have been a little short as well).


Bike was a little bit long. First 5 miles or so were turny and hilly getting out of town. Next 10 were fast and flat on an open highway. Miles 15-30 or so were lots of climbing followed by a descent at the end. 30-35 were fast and flat with a tail wind to the turnaround. 35-56 were back on a straightway directly into a headwind. Tough to be peddling downhill and only be doing 18 mph.

I came in before Shaun on the swim so it took until about mile 10 for him to catch me. I used him as a pace bunny through the hill section but he flatted at about mile 30, so I rode on without him. Apparently he spent the rest of the bike trying to catch me but to no avail.


Y shaped course with three out and backs, rolling hills decent wind.

Mile 1 – 8:59 / 155 bpm
Mile 2 – 9:18 / 155 bpm
Mile 3 – 8:52 / 154 bpm
Mile 4 – 9:01 / 155 bpm
Mile 5 – 9:08 / 157 bpm
Mile 6 – 9:09 / 157 bpm
Mile 7 – 9:09 / 156 bpm
Mile 8 – 9:15 / 157 bpm
Mile 9 – 9:29 / 156 bpm
Mile 10 – 9:22 / 157 bpm
Mile 11 – 9:48 / 160 bpm (long hill)
Mile 12 – 9:22 / 157 bpm
Mile 13.1 – 8:52 /162 (booked it home)

Throughout the entire run the only information I looked at was my HR. It wasn’t until I saw Shaun at mile 12.5 that I switch my watch to time mode, saw I was at 5:24 and realized I could come in under 5:30. I picked up the pace and booked it through the sand finish and to the finish line in just under 5:30. BEST RACE EVER.

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Kelly Burns Gallagher

mccarter english employment litigator / oiselle team runner / coeur sports triathlete / sonic endurance coach & race director / writer / dartmouth '02 / emorylaw '05

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