Race Coverage

Bon Jovi, Broken Brains, Drinking Urine, Making the Right Call...


ED. We couldn't find any triathlon photos of Kyle, so instead we are posting  a pic from a MTB race and one from his bygone basketball days. As you can see, he had a sweet baseline jumper. 

By Kyle Krause

2022 Ironman Wisconsin Race Report - Once upon a time, not so long ago. Those are the first spoken words in Bon Jovi’s 1986 intergalactic mega-hit “Livin’ on a Prayer” and it also describes when I had my first go at a full Ironman. In 2019 I managed a 12:01 in Madison with a dreadful 4:55 marathon to end the day. Everything was going well the whole day until around mile 8 on the run when I decided to walk a little to get my heart rate down and collect myself. I guess my brain broke because I was not able to pick my legs up into a run after that. With no change in preparation I figured I should have been at least an hour faster. With that sour taste in my mouth, and after getting past the initial reaction of “I’m never doing that again”, I knew I wanted to make another attempt at some point just to improve my time. Armed with that experience, there wasn’t a lot I thought I needed to change aside from running more. I also stopped drinking beer after June 4th, with the exception of one in July after riding a mountain bike in Cable, WI (shoutout Nicollet Bike for paying). Was that necessary? No. “Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine? No, but I do it anyway because it’s sterile and I like the taste.” (The previous sentence is a line from the character Patches O’Houlihan in the documentary Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004, 92 min). But hey, enough chitchat, let’s party. ...

The Wisconsin 70.3 athletes had picture perfect conditions on that Saturday in September. An abundance of sunshine and temps reaching 80 degrees made for a beautiful day in Madison. I got in a short cruise on the bike and a few mile jog, then biked over to a golf course near the hotel and saw a family who had moved out of Mankato recently as they were watching one of their sons run cross-country. I went to bike check-in an hour earlier than my “ticketed” time slot, but got in anyway which was nice. I returned to the hotel to watch the Badgers lose a non-conference home football game, which has led to a complete overhaul of the football program. Sometime Saturday night into Sunday morning, it began raining and it was still raining when my parents and I left on Monday morning. The conditions on Sunday for the full Ironman were terrible. A constant rain/drizzle/mist, temperatures in the mid-50s, and wind that was steady at 10-15 mph and gusting to probably 20-25 mph. I found the coverage of the day on YouTube a few weeks later and it looked so ugly.

Swim – 1:11:16
The swim is the swim. You can’t slack off and coast and you can’t go over the limit to begin the day. I don’t find swimming that fun and it is so difficult to gain and improve in the pool. After a couple years of no swimming, within a few weeks I felt like I was right back where I was in 2019 and didn’t change much the remainder of the summer. Getting up at 4:30 to go to Masters swim put me in a bad mood, so then I would swim like trash. The only open water swim I did this year was the Fairmont Triathlon. Stupid? Maybe. I was really debating going to do the Chisago 70.3 but ultimately decided I didn’t want to deal with possible high heat and wind or pay the entry fee. It would have also required being on the road at 3:30 AM and that sucks, too.


The swim ended up being the warmest part of the day thanks to a wetsuit and water temps much warmer than the air. IM Wisconsin changed to a two loop swim which didn’t make much of a difference to me except that it’s a little disappointing when you get back to the start and have to begin the 2nd one. I figured I’d be in the 1:10-1:15 range regardless of how much time I put in over the summer and that turned out to be true. My yearly Strava totals tell me that I logged 36 swims in 2022 for roughly 116,000 yards. That is incredibly low compared to serious Ironman competitors but that’s okay with me. In order for some people to be above-average, there has to be some people below-average.

Bike – 6:11:48
The bike is what I’m best at so there’s really no worry about being prepared for that. Coming in to IM, I was roughly 150 miles behind the same point in 2019. Not a big deal, as I was willing to give up biking hours this year to spend that time running. I love the Wisconsin course and all the hills which are a great separator of people. It keeps you honest and makes sure you get out of the aero position every so often and even up off the saddle so things are never boring out there. It also reminds me of the riding around my hometown and my college home of La Crosse (shoutout UW-La Crosse).

I did not have any cold or wet-weather cycling gear packed for the weekend but I’m not sure that would have saved me from ultimately DNFing anyway. I didn’t look at the weather in the week leading up to the race because I didn’t want to psych myself out if it looked poor. Luckily I did pack my cycling vest but coming out of the water and into rain meant that the whole day would be wet. I was cold pretty much immediately and the screw on my Garmin stem mount backed out so I had to mess with that while riding to get the tether undone and put my 510 in my pocket. Around the halfway mark, my fingers and arms were really suffering from the cold. I had opened up my Clif bars in the morning, otherwise there’s no way I could have opened up a package while riding. I could hardly squeeze my gels and when I reached back to discard into my vest pocket, my brain couldn’t tell my fingers to let go so I had to stuff things in my jersey. This led to falling behind on my planned nutrition timing and not drinking enough as well. There was a period of time where I was hoping for a flat tire so my day could end, because I knew there was no chance I could change a tube the way I was feeling. The last 20 miles were embarrassingly slow and my power numbers were probably negative if that’s possible. (Hot Take: Power meters should not be allowed in competition) Coming off the bike, my parents were standing at the entrance of the Terrace and I told them that I’d be awhile in transition. It turns out my 2nd transition never ended. A volunteer took off my cycling shoes for me and put on my socks and running shoes but now that I was inside, I started shivering more. In the end, since I was behind on nutrition and probably wouldn’t have warmed up much by going out in the rain to jog, it didn’t make sense to continue.

I didn’t have anything pre-written for the run.
In 2019 I was woefully unprepared for this segment and how it would feel starting at 7.5 hours into the day. For 2022 I ran roughly 100 more miles in the lead-up to Ironman than I did in 2019. I spent more time running slower than I usually do and was feeling fairly confident. I also enjoy the Madison run loop and have run it a couple times when I’ve been in Madison for football games too. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to use any of my running fitness. I went back down to State Street around 9 PM with my parents to eat, and we watched the people still out there grinding in the bad weather. Since I was trying to better my 2019 time and didn’t care about the satisfaction of finishing, it was the right call to end my day early.

It seems that last fall I couldn’t escape bad weather. The next Saturday after Ironman, I was racing the Chequamegon mountain bike race in Hayward, WI and we got absolutely down poured on halfway through and it became a muddy mess. I returned to Madison in early November for a football game with friends and that day was also in the 50s with rain beginning just before kickoff and lasting all day. That game set the record for highest amount of no-shows in at least 16 seasons.

I’m not sure that I’ll attempt another Ironman and may be done with triathlons, at least for the next few years. On that note, I have a triathlon bike for sale: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1204937620088296/
Don’t worry about the price. It’s not been a hot commodity so I’ll have to come down from there.

If you’ve made it this far, God bless you.

Kyle Krause

2022 Events
MN MTB Series – Rochester
Birkie Epic Singletrack
Fairmont Triathlon – Olympic
MN MTB Series – River Falls
MN MTB Series – Mankato
Buck Hill Thursday MTB Races – 8/25
Ironman Wisconsin
Chequamegon 40