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Ironman Washington 70.3 Race Report

Saturday: The day before the race!

Ate my normal breakfast English muffin with peanut butter and protein shake. Packed up the car with my bike and we headed to Lake Wilderness to check into the race! I absolutely love this race. This was my 3rd time doing this 70.3, I have also done the Sprint and Olympic Lake Wilderness triathlons several times that they hold in early June! Having a hometown Ironman race in driving distance is so nice. I know the layout of the course very well. Then seeing so many familiar faces on the racecourse is really uplifting. I had 3 athletes racing this weekend as well and I saw them all on the course and cross the finish line!

Going into this race the goal was just to have fun! Go through the motions of swim/bike/run one more time before Kona! This whole build to Kona has been about having fun. I have spent more time training with others over the last couple of months and just enjoying this sport. I haven’t put big stress on myself with performance goals but still getting the most out of myself with each work out. At the end of the day, that is what triathlon is all about. Bettering yourself.

On to the race!


4:20 woke up! English muffin with peanut butter and water. Did some foam rolling and bands. Then drove an hour to Lake Wilderness. Tim and Ryan stayed behind and came to the race later. I parked at the elementary school and walked the 1 mile over to transition with my big bag of stuff, bike pump, and wet suit. Usually, Tim carries all of this stuff so that was a first for me :D

6am Set up my transition and everything went smoothly! I was 3 bikes away from my friend Caitlin! I used the porta potty and then it was time to get in my wet suit! I was able to jump in the water really quickly and do a quick warm up before lining up! I saw Caitlin again and so we chatted. Then I saw Amanda who is also doing Kona. It was good to see so many friends out there!

Swim: 36:30

12th place age group

The race started and we moved up to the front fast! Before I knew it, I was swimming towards the first buoy! The first buoy is 100 yards away and then a quick right turn so it was pretty chaotic at the start. Once we got past that first buoy, I settled into a pretty good rhythm. My sighting felt really good. I wasn’t taking too much effort to look up and I was swimming really straight. At the end of the lake there were a couple of weird turns, so I sighted more often to make sure I kept swimming straight. On the way back, for some reason I kept wanting to go left. I breathe to the left so sometimes that happens. I quickly corrected and was right back with the buoys. I swam hard to the beach and checked my watch. I was more than disappointed to see my time. It was my slowest 70.3 time by minutes. I was actually really surprised and don’t really know what happened. Maybe just fatigue from Ironman training.

T1 3:27

Quick run around transition while taking my wet suit down to my waist. Wet suit came off easily during my transition. Everything was very fluid. Caitlin came in right as I was getting ready to head out and we said a few words and I headed out… I would later find out that a small rock snuck into my sock and I would race with it until the finish. After the race my foot really hurt! And we had to use tweezers to remove the small rock! On my way out of transition I got a surprise cheer from the Irwin’s who came down to see me race! I had no idea they were coming; I just heard a big Go Kelsey Ramberg and looked up to see my friend Katie!

Bike 3:02

12th place age group

In previous years this race has been really cold, and I have worn a wind breaker or gloves. This year was absolutely beautiful! I felt warm out of the water and didn’t need anything to keep me warm. We started through the neighborhood and descended down some hills. I pushed the power and kept my HR in check. Started on nutrition and was feeling in good spirits! Caitlin passed me around the hour mark, and it was good to see her again! I was right behind her for a while! We also went back and forth a little bit playing leapfrog. But it was just good to see a friend out there! I felt really strong climbing the big hill. Around the 2nd hour I started to cramp up a bit which was frustrating, I took in more electrolytes, and they went back to just surface level cramps. Not totally gone but just slightly uncomfortable. I eased off the pace a bit and held back, that seemed to help as well. One more big climb and halfway up it my pedals stopped moving and my chain got stuck. I got off my bike to fix it but it seemed fine. I’m not sure what happened. So, I hopped back on but couldn’t get started while trying to clip in. So, I ran up the hill with my bike. I just laughed at myself and the situation that I was currently in. I got going again and cruised all the way back into transition!

T2 3:06

As we got to the dismount line, I swung my leg over and nearly knocked my water bottle off. It was hanging by the side, but no time to waste. I ran my bike in to transition. Quickly changed my shoes and ran out with my hat and bib after a quick porta potty stop.

Run 1:46:58

4th place age group

I ran out and immediately saw Tim, Ryan, and the Irwin’s! I gave Ryan a high five, said I love you and was out to run 13.1 miles! I had a lot of adrenaline and was feeling really good! I saw my other friend Caitlin who was spectating right before we headed onto the trail! I took the time to admire how beautiful this run course is, because it is one of the most gorgeous run courses on the Ironman circuit. Then I saw Rosanne and Kalee a little after the first mile. The first aid station popped up and it was time for some Maurten gel. The next 3 miles were at a slight incline. I kept the pace steady and told myself to be smart, I wanted to feel good that last half and I didn’t need to push it yet. The aid stations were pretty spaced out, but I was always able to get some calories or water when I needed it. At mile 6.5 we turned around and went back down the hill. I started seeing sub 8s and was like yesss, this is why we didn’t push the first 6. I grabbed some Coca Cola at mile 7 and then the miles were just ticking by. Until we got to mile 10. Then it got rough. A few runners were around me and we were pushing each other. At mile 11 I told myself it’s just 2 miles, you can do this for 2 miles, it will be over soon. I thought about what my coach Jess told me, think about the leg turnover, that helped as well! There was another girl around me who looked like she might be in my age group. But with how Ironman does things now, with a rolling start, you never know what place you are in during the race. So, I just did my best to keep going as fast as I could. I pushed it all the way to the finish line and gave it everything I had!

I finished in a time of 5:32 minutes which was a 7-minute PR from last year! I also got 5th place by less than 40 seconds. So, pushing myself in those last brutal miles paid off!!

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