Interview with Suzanne Turner 3rd in her Age at Ironman Maine 70.3

We sit down for a race debrief with Tristar Athletes Suzanne turner who places third in her age group at Maine 70.3. She nearly misses 2nd by 15 seconds on a quick day in Old Orchard Beach


Arrived into OOB midday.

Checked into Atlantic Ocean Suites. Super convenient & clean. 1/2 block to the water, 1/2 way between swim in/out. 10 minute walk to village/finish line. 10 minute walk to transition.

Registered then lunch with friends.

Practice Swim - Swam out to first turn, with lots of stops, trying to get comfortable with the conditions. Sea breeze had filled in and waves were significantly more work than staring at the black line on the bottom of the pool. Went to first turn and then to second buoy, and then headed back to shore through the middle of the course. All I could do to not have a complete panic attack heading back in. BCT was well aware I was outside of my comfort zone and stayed with me. I need the buoys for reference and comfort that I was indeed getting closer to shore. Very beneficial that I swam, but was thinking if this is what race day will be like, damn. That said, I did tell myself everyone would have same conditions.

Dinner in Portland @ East Ender w/fellow ***’s (Peter, Genn, Doug, Marc, Seb) As well of some of Seb’s fellow Canadians. Group of 14 in total.


Breakfast - UCAN shake w/oatmeal, banana, blueberries, Coconut Water

Headed out early for a loop of the run course by bike, then easy out/back run. Wanted to get done before the streets got congested with athletes, tourists, cars.

Lunch - simple turkey sandwich in room. & pretzels, water, pretzels, water, repeat. Who knew sliced turkey on white bread, yellow mustard and pickles could ever be so appealing.

Practice swim - bit calmer than Friday, but still not so keen on the conditions, short swim and floated.

Dropped bikes and then spent the rest of the day off of our feet in the unit.

Early dinner in Portland w/ Peter and Patricia at Paciarino.


4:00 alarm -UCAN shake, coffee.
5:00 Off to transition to get set up, then back to the unit as was on the way to start.
5:40 Off to start with wetsuit on, barefoot, with cap/goggles

Got wet, but did not swim pre-race. Had a banana 1/2 hr before start. Normally do a bottle of UCAN but forgot it - whoops. Went to line up and thought “I know CC said 35-40, but who is he kidding, fastest I have done is 42 minutes.” So headed to the 40-45 range, middle of the pack, where there were “friendly pink capped” people. Those green capped guys just are intimidating to stand next to. The race starts and as we ever so slowly inch towards the start, I notice that, that dang 40-45 sign is inching further away from me. And think, “oh shit, am I going to tell CC that I didn’t follow his suggestion ” Hand slap about now. 😕Finally I’m up and I head towards the water

Swim- Passed people, swam off peoples feet, took one kick to the chin at the first turn. Stopped momentarily to make sure wasn’t serious, and then went back to 1-2-3-4-5-sight, and counting up yellow then down orange buoys. But yes I probably should have been further up - Second hand slap now 😕 Happy to have done the practice swim as knew there was a northerly push and self corrected shortly after making the second turn.

Bike- Was a bit out of sorts in the beginning, and told myself to calm down and settle in. Aero bottle was full w/skratch, then a concentrated (5 bottles worth)bottle, plus a bottle of water on back. One shot block every 10 minutes starting at 20 min and stopping at mile 50. Also had small rice cakes, mostly for solid food in stomach to settle it if need be. No stomach issues but did eat a few. I did not take extra salt. Previous races had said when @ 21 mph take it back. I found myself doing 23/24 with low watt #’s. I had planned to target 170’s on way out, but just couldn’t get there and get myself to hold it with everything else considered. Had a back/forth with a tall young guy at one point and he finally says “Fast” with a very strong french accent. Made me 🙂 Curious how many people I actually pass. I usually don’t worry about drafting, I bike into the draft zone, then out and around, back over, into a draft zone, then out and around, repeat. Bike course was in great condition. Some tight turns, but could tell that they had been thoroughly swept. Aid stations at 15,30,44. Took water at each one, refilled and drank as much of it as I could before tossing.
Assuming per hour - 2 bottles Skratch (Sodium 900mg , 50 carbs) and 2 sleeves of shot blocks (Sodium 400 mg Carbs 94) = Sodium 1300 mg, Carbs 144g

Run-I could feel my quads from the get go and thought this could be a long 13 miles. I felt really warm and had fingers crossed there would be ice at the first aid station in a mile, which there was. Put some under my hat/in my bra and felt remarkably better. Not sure if it helps my body or my brain to do that. I carry a small handheld that starts with Skratch and my GU’s loaded into the pouch, gets me out of transition quicker and no need to stop. GU at 1/2 hr, then 20-30 min after that depending on where aid stations are. Really tried to stay between 9-10 min pace. Given the 2 loops, easy to get sucked in faster behind someone on my first loop, and easy to get sucked slower on my second loop.
— Suzanne Turner