70.3 Chattanooga Race Report

500 500 Patrick McCrann

Athlete Name: Vincent Sivirine

Race Name: 70.3 Chattanooga
Year: 2024

After two full IM last year (Nice and Florida) I started OutSeason in January but a month into it both mind and body needed a break. So I took February off and started running again in March (small baby steps, one run at the time but that then became a 60+ day run streak). I only decided to do the race the week end before after I realized I could swim 2k in the lake and bike 3 hours relatively ok.

I’m signed up for Chattanooga full end of September so I decided to go race the 70.3 version as if I were racing the full: on limited training that was the only way to avoid the death walk that I’ve experienced too many times on full races. I was focused on the process of swimming easy, biking easy (and avoiding flats I got in the past two races), running the first loop easy and if possible running the second loop a bit faster (at least not walking).

Three years ago I raced a 5h15min at Choo, I knew I was probably looking at at least 30 minutes slower but again I did not have any performance goals, only process goals. I raced in 5h49 min, pretty accurate estimate.

I also realized that when you don’t race you get a bit rusty: i probably woke up too late on Sunday (at 4:30, maybe 4 would have been better), I took it a bit too easy before heading to transition, I forgot my bike computer so I had to go back to the hotel and back to transition), I realized a bit late that I did not ride the bike with the disc wheel etc.. nothing was a big deal but I will need to fix these next time.

I managed a good taper the week before, good carb loading, even a short nap on Saturday afternoon. No pressure really, but was a bit tired. Kept drinking with electrolytes almost the whole week. Very good night sleep on Saturday night (in bed by 8.30, almost immediately asleep).

Swim went relatively fast (~ 32′) on ~ 2k (swim is a bit longer) with good current, super easy with good sighting (pretty straight, close to the island to benefit from the current), very relaxed. I never managed to pee (either before or in the water, I decided to not pee at T1 but to pee on the bike instead) although i felt I had to.

T1 was uneventful and on to the bike. I really needed to pee but there were so many people and the fist few miles are pretty tight (narrow) that i had to hold it but to the point that it was really uncomfortable and almost painful. I rode easy, my bike computer did not connect with the watch so I had no heart rate data so i decided to focus on RPE instead and ride by feel, easy. Power was lower than in previous rides, maybe due to riding a disc (??), or simply because i was playing defense. I kept drinking although it did not feel hot yet but maybe I over hydrated if this is such a thing: I finally managed to pee but i always felt i needed to pee more.. I probably drank too much although i never had an GI issues or anything related. I felt great but kept on having to pee, again and again. Not pleasant at all. In total i must have peed 5 -8 times and had to spend a minute in T2 in the bathroom and another minute during the run just peeing.

And the run. I had decided i would walk two hills, the one at the start and the short steep one towards the end. Only these two. It started getting really hot so i used the same strategy as three years ago, I had my race saver little red bad, filled with ice, resting on my neck and i would rub my head with frozen icy water each 5-10 minutes and then back on top of my neck under the trisuit. I never really felt the heat although it got really hot and humid. And after the first loop, on top of the hill I decided i would accelerate a bit, I felt good. And after the second short steep hill  i ran faster. At that point lots of people were walking (on their first or second loop) and I was running. Goal achieved! I finished the loop feeling i could have run another one (probably not 2 though but for that i’ve still got 4 months of training). I felt that the run streak really helped, my body never broke down nor even felt tired. Granted i wasn’t running fast but still..2h12 for the run. I felt i also lost a lot of time stopping at all aid stations. When i train i drink and get gels every 20-25 minutes and that works well but during the race i must have stopped every 10 minutes or so (and all aid stations were crowded).

And when i finished i felt probably like a 6-7 out of 10. All good. I did not want to push and get injured so i went slow(er) and steady. And it felt great.

Major takeaways from the race: 1/easy swim, easy bike and patience on the first 60% of the run leads to good run at the end (duh!). 2/when it’s hot, race saver bag will actually save the day. And 3/ don’t force yourself to drink too soon in the race, granted I felt hydrated but having this feeling you constantly have to pee, that’s no fun.

Next steps, start rebuilding endurance, don’t get injured, be smart with training, body comp and see you again in 4 months for the big one.

Thanks for reading

PS I did not talk about David Brunner who raced with me and had a fantastic 5h race (6th in his AG), I hope he writes his own report, he’s got much to share. I was fortunate to meet the famous alumni Mike Robert face to face for the first time but missed Jonathan Benson. Next time i hope


Joshua GreenVincent Sivirine thanks for sharing. CHOO is a beast. Whether it is the full or half.  I was there in 2019 for the full and it was crazy hot. I appreciate the time you put into these reports because I learn from all of you.

Dennis CruffThanks Vincent Sivirine Glad your back into the swing of things

Derrek Sanks – Way to race smart and within your current fitness level. Your race execution was perfect with a strong finishing run. We’ll done! Now you know what to (mostly) expect in September. 

Brenda RossI agree with Derrek. Nice execution Vincent.