Race Coverage

Tevin's Transformation...


By Tevin Neegaard

Ironman 70.3 Texas Race Report - Pretty wild what can change in just one year. Last year at this time, I didn't own a bike and had never swam a lap in my life. So, when I say anything is possible if you're willing to work for it, I really mean it.

My triathlon journey began with the Fairmont Sprint last June, a daunting experience where I almost quit during the mass start swim with only 40 participants. Yet, it fueled my determination to improve. Progressing to the Chisago Lakes Olympic Triathlon, I felt a bit stronger, slowly gaining confidence in all disciplines....

By the fall, I tackled Madison 70.3 with the simple goal of finishing. Surprisingly, I finished in a respectable 4:40, placing 32nd, which was quite an achievement considering I had no real structure to my training. Reflecting on my training from a year ago, the evolution is almost comical.

The most significant change was getting a coach and focusing on intentional training. Working with DK Endurance under the guidance of David Koppel has transformed my approach to training, reinforcing that there is no secret to success in endurance sports other than consistent effort and enjoying the journey, both the ups and the downs.


Now, onto Texas 70.3—

Heading into this race, my expectations were significantly higher. I was not just there to finish; I was there to compete. After discussing with David, we anticipated the splits would have me in a range between 4:13 and 4:18, considering how our training blocks had gone.

Race day was a blend of nerves and excitement. Jumping off the pier was a cool experience to start a race. Shortly into the swim it took me a solid 500yds to swim straight and figure out sighting, and after that I got in a groove, and just swam my race as I knew going in this would probably be my weakest discipline. It was best open water swim to date, feeling surprisingly strong.

• Swim Pace: 1:30/100yd
• Age Group Swim Rank: 12th M25-29
• Overall Swim Rank: 108th out of 1818

Knowing I could be competitive on land, I transitioned to the bike. Despite not hitting the power targets I aimed for, I still managed a solid performance on a flat, straight, and well-maintained San Luis Pass Rd, moving from 54th to 18th place:

• Bike Pace: 25.18 mph (248W)
• Age Group Bike Rank: 4th
• Overall Bike Rank: 16th out of 1818

The run was the real test, featuring a challenging triple loop course that got progressively hotter, and more humid. It was 75° & 95% humidity… no thanks! Adapting to the conditions, especially coming from Minnesota's cooler climate this time of year, I focused on maintaining pace and cooling down at aid stations grabbing ice at nearly every one:

• Run Pace: 6:44/mile
• Age Group Run Rank: 2nd
• Overall Run Rank: 11th out of 1818

Crossing the finish line, not only did I hit our projected time, but I also set a new personal record by 23 minutes. The sense of accomplishment was profound, reflecting not just on the day's success but also on the tremendous growth over the 6+ months. From a novice in local triathlons to a strong competitor in a demanding 70.3.

Overall Time: 4:17:00

Age Group Rank Overall: 3rd
Overall: 10th/1818

Ironman 70.3 Texas was more than a race; it was a milestone that highlighted my development and potential for future growth. Each race, each training session, and every challenge along the way has taught me that endurance sports require as much mental strength as physical capability.

Looking forward, I am excited to continue improving and participate in some local races as the season rolls around here in Minnesota! The journey is long, the training can be challenging, but this community is truly inspiring me to keep getting better!