2012 Ironman Louisville Race Report
Ironman Louisville was awesome and a total success… I had a few surprises during the race but in the end I met my first time Ironman goal, finish and become an Ironman and LEARN. I arrived in Louisville on Thursday morning. I drove all night to get there with my son Boston. I got rested, had a swim and a run, and started getting mentally prepared for race day. I spent a lot of time with my family leading up to the race because I am from Louisville, KY and my entire family lives there, so it was perfect to keep the nerves at bay.
Race day started at 4am, I had a 500 calorie breakfast, my mom drove me to the race start and dropped me off worry free from parking and stuff. I met up with a friend from grade school, David (who was also racing), and we both kept each other busy talking and it made the time fly. Before I knew it we were in the water.
THE SWIM: The swim was absolutely amazing! The water was warm, calm, and the time trial start was the best way to get the day rolling calmly without massive insanity. I stayed right on the bouy line the whole time and never really had contact with anyone. I can only remember one time that someone really bumped into me hard. Once you got around the island and started heading home sighting was SO easy because you just had to keep the city skyline and the tall buildings in your center view. I barely sighted since it was so easy. 1500 meters left and you could hear the music and see the crowd and it really got you pumped up every time you popped up for a breath. The swim exit was smooth and fast and the volunteers were there to get you out very quick. The transition was smooth, fun, packed with people, and my family found my instantly and I had zero problems finding them as well. My brother snapped this picture as I came out and he gave me a quick shake… I love this picture…
My brother grabbing my hand at swim exit
THE BIKE: The bike started out very nice and I took extra precaution to ride out the first 25 miles pretty easy. It was also very fast and exciting in the first out and back until I met the first batch of hills. I trained in Louisiana so I don’t think I was quite ready for the onslaught of rollers that seemed to never stop. I knew there would be a few hills but it was actually a very tough course in my opinion. I felt like I was working pretty hard the whole time and I was not hitting my nutrition enough. I got caught up in the excitement and definitely messed up my nutrition and hydration plan by not staying on top of it as closely as I should have. BUT!! I think by working those uphills so much I just didn’t have a ton of time to take my hands off the bars to think about it. In the future I will need to be more prepared for that situation. Everything was actually going very good until mile 55 when I rode over some tacks that some asshole(s) threw onto the course and I caught a flat. Ironman was already on top of the situation, they had techs out there replacing tires, tubes, and installs for free… It was a small uphill section and when you came up over the top it was too late because you could see a ton of people on the side of the road flatted out and you had already went over them, pretty clever placement…
I lost 24:32 on the side of the road because the tech had to fix a few tires in front of me. Why didn’t I just use my tube and change my tires and get out of there you ask? They said there were reports of tacks all over the course and I was only on loop 1, meaning I had to come back around. The techs also said some people had already taken on 3 flats… I only had two tubes.. SO, I waited and got the extra free tube, he checked out my tire (a pro tech), and that gave me peace of mind that A.) I would still have two tubes in the kit just in case I had a really bad case of luck and had two more flats. B.) The pro tech just checked everything out and did my install C.) I was doing everything to make sure that I became an IRONMAN that day… I got back on the bike and starting riding again. I was pretty tired coming into the transition but all in all I said I wanted to come in between 6:30-:7:00 hours and I came in 7:24:59… If you take out the 24:32 on the side of the road (which I can’t) then I hit my goal So screw those tack guys… Oh well LOL… I took my sweet ass time in transition from bike to run because I really did not feel well, my left foot was in a lot of pain, and I was not hydrated. I hit the water hard, ate some food, and then got to work.
THE RUN: You can call this the run or the ultimate sufferfest, whatever sounds better to you… LOL… I ran a 6:24 marathon and I’m 100% happy with that.. If that statement doesn’t help you understand what sufferfest is then I don’t know how else to describe it. I came into the run under nutrition and a little dehydrated so I spent the first 6-7 miles nursing myself back to decent strength with food and water. The EFS Liquid shot was my savoir and brought me back to life before the last 13.1 miles, I also hit bananas and some Ironman Perform.
Official Ironman Photographer Snaps This Amazing Shot Of My Son And ALL Of My
Nieces Holding The Signs They Created The Night Before. It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than That!!!
At the end of the first loop I got to see a sick joke, the finish line (LOL), I grabbed my special needs bag and started hitting my 2nd bottle of EFS Liquid Shot (AWESOME), and I saw my entire family and it made me pretty emotional that I had to go back out there for another half marathon. I reached down and gave my son a big kiss and hug and he said “Love you Daddy” and I just started getting very choked up emotionally. My mom, family, and friends saw the hurt and emotion in my face and I think they all started to really understand what Ironman is really all about, “RELENTESS FORWARD PROGRESS” and “NEVER GIVING UP”.
at mile 13.1
I got a huge surge of energy from that emotion and I think I ran without stopping for about 4-5 miles… I have never felt that much pain in my life… My legs were on fire and getting stabbed with glass every time I took a step. My body was just pretty much done at that point and it was time for the good old brain to take over the race from here on out. I started a solid Run/Walk based on stop signs and stop lights and just made sure to keep moving forward as fast as I could. When I got to the turnaround I started getting barn sour for sure and my run phase started getting longer and longer. My friend Todd was at mile 22 or 23 and he was relaying my position back to my family at the finish line so they could get my son right up there. Todd yelled some awesome words of encouragement, he was running on the sidewalk (off of the course) next to me relentlessly, and he said something I will never forget, “The turn is right up there… Go and get it man… I don’t know how you are still running but just go get it”.
I ran the last 2 miles without stopping and I felt like I was moving fast… As I took that left and then right and saw the lights glaring like a huge christmas tree, the finish line I had been dreaming about for so long, SO many freaking people cheering, thousands lining the streets screaming, ringing bells, reaching out to slap my hand, the announcer yelling out “COME ON HOME IRONMEN”, My dad ran out to me and said “GO AND GET IT SON.. IT’S YOURS.. IT’S RIGHT THERE” (he said some other crazy shit too but I’ll keep that to myself hahaha), and in that moment it kinda went silent and slow motion… I saw the hours and hours of lonely runs, bike rides, and empty swim lanes… I saw the injuries… The heart break… I saw my fears… I saw my friends/coaches Ryan and Bud watching a computer back in Louisiana… I looked all around and soaked it up… Took a bunch of mental pictures… And then I saw my son Boston, on my brothers shoulders next to my mom and family. His smile was not explainable with words. He was screaming so loud at me, he had been waiting 15 hours and 55 mins for me to come to this finish line. My brother ran beside me with him all the way through the line and that’s when the announcer said it “DUSTIN HINTON, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN”… I let out a huge scream and my volunteer got me and just said “Welcome home fellow Ironman, how did that feel?”, I said, “great brother.. great”.
I walked over and grabbed Boston and brought him into the finish line area. He squeezed me so tight and I could tell he knew this was a massively special day. he was just saying over and over “daddy daddy!!! and laughing and smiling and hugging me”. They went to put the medal on me and I told them to put the medal around him, the volunteer was caught off guard and I said, ” Dude, I’ve been promising him this medal for over a year” and when they put the medal around him he was glowing with excitement. We walked over to the final finish line photographer (which I guess we are not supposed to do.. We are supposed to be alone) and the photographer started to shake his head NO and I said “Dude take the picture this is definitely happening” and he shrugged his shoulder and said, “whatever”, and took our picture together.
I can’t believe it happened… It’s a dream come true. I crossed the finish line with my son, my family, my friends, and SO many people watching online and cheering me on from across the country. I have received so many facebook comments, tweets, emails, and phone calls that I am overwhelmed with love and support from so many great people. My mom threw a big party the next day and everyone came out to celebrate, it was awesome. This journey has been so amazing and I know it’s not over. I learned a lot from this race but mainly that good people have supported me and helped me along the way. So many people to thank that the list would go on forever. Just know that I love you guys and you have made this very very special. I will never forget Ironman Louisville 2012!!!
Just remember “Never Give Up” and “Anything Is Possible”
A special thanks to: