Ironman World Championships in Kona

2016 IRONMAN RANKING: 10th USA/ 25th Worldwide in 30-34 age group                                                                                           

By far the toughest race I have ever done! Wind (check!), heat (check!), lava fields (check!) ... shade? Of course not! With all these factors I am very happy with my results. I really had no idea what to expect, but I knew I would do better than my previous race in Boulder. I spent most of the day on the conservative side. I wanted to be able to give an even effort in all three disciplines. I feel my day was on point with this. Here is how the day unfolded.

Swim: 59:28 (12th AG)

I couldn’t have asked for better conditions race morning! All 700 women gathered in the water a few minutes after the men went off. Ten minutes later we were off! I started up near the front. Wow, so many faces. I had no idea who I could potentially swim with. Within the first 200 meters I thought I was in great position. I kept locking arms with the girl next to me. I wasn’t going to slow down, therefore upped with my kick to get into a better position. I had a very steady swim and felt very much in control. I exited and glanced at my watch: 59, where I need to be! One of my friends asked how the swim was, my response, “Like a mosh pit”. Efficient swimmers all wanting the same line makes for a tough 2.4 miles. I’m not much of a rocker, it was challenging!

Bike: 5:30:31 (3rd AG)

Exited T1 in good time. The roads were tight in town. I had a tough time maneuvering around other athletes. Once onto the Queen K I settled into my typical low cadence, some refer to as pedal mashing. That’s been me for years. My power meter didn’t turn on so my entire ride I road by RPE. I tried to keep even pacing with the tail/crosswind on the way out to Hawi. My effort was moderately hard. On the climb up to Hawi I felt great. I stayed aero and kept my breathing and effort under control. Still a long ways to go and the majority of the ride back on the Queen K was a head/crosswind. By the turn around I knew I was in good position after passing several women. The ride back was tough, winds had picked up. A few times I was only going 13-15mph. Seriously?! Augh! I finished the bike 3rd overall in the 30-34 AG.  

Cycling has always been one of my strengths but I owe a big THANKS to sports dietitian, Niki Kubiak for my solid nutrition plan. I was ingesting roughly 70-80g of carbohydrates-- Lots of TYR Endurance Sport Drink- My absolute favorite! My plan was very standard, same thing every 15 minutes. It helped lead me to a great ride!

A big thanks to The Bike Way for checking over my bike before I left. It was race ready from the start! These guys do great work!

Run: 3:53:19 (11th AG)

Running has been my nemesis this year. After not running more than 13 miles outside in 5 months (other than IM Boulder) I wasn’t sure how I would do. Thanks to Specialized Physical Therapy I was able to get in many long hours on the AlterG. Without their guidance I wouldn’t have ran as well as I did! My goal was 8:30-40 pace. I held it together pretty well the first half of the run. It was hot, there was no shade, and the asphalt radiated the heat. I reached for every water cup to throw over my head and every soaked sponge in sight. By mile 16 I could start to feel my lack of run fitness. My mind started drifting. I kept bringing it back to Mitch waiting for me at the finish line, my mother and Jeff screaming for me on the run, my father, best friend, Renee, and all of my friends tracking me at home. My coach saying, “You can do this Morgan- you’re tough!” I kept on trucking, tell myself you have to GO, this is Kona!! I was hindered by GI issues and had to stop twice, sigh! Not fun with a one piece kit. This issue will be addressed before my next IM in 2017. There is always something to learn! By the final mile I had nothing; I don’t even remember my legs moving. I crossed the finish line and stood for a bit. My hands and face were tingling, I was cold and nauseous. At this point I knew I left everything out there! Two men put their arms around me and off to the medical tent we went. I laid there while they checked my vitals. Heart rate was high, blood pressure was extremely low, but I wasn’t dehydrated (another thanks for Niki!). They gave me Zofran under my tongue for nausea (After an IM? gross!), drank some chicken broth and I was good to go! I couldn’t wait to find Mitch!

Thank you to my amazing sponsors and friends!

  • Specialized
    Physical Therapy
  • Rotella’s Italian Bakery
  • First Nebraska
    Financial Services
  • Running with Scissors
    by Janet
  • Martin Chiropractic
    and Wellness
  • Medicine Man
  • TYR Endurance Sport
  • Triple Threat Racing!

I can’t wait for 2017!

-Morgan Chaffin

*IF you would like to print a receipt for this payment, please turn off any pop-up blockers until your payment has been completed.