My name is Chad Soileau and this is my account
of swimming, biking and running the T-Gator
Triathlon Series #3. The distances were
525m swim, 15 mile bike and 2.5 mile run.
times in previous years have I neglected the
simple pleasures of life? As I made my way
to new Orleans Saturday morning to ride the
Ironman 70.3 course with Hunter and his dad I
took in an amazing sunrise which I consider to
be one of those simple pleasures. As Jack
Johnson strummed through his latest hit on the
radio a smile crept across my face as I realize
that my 'new' life now consists of early morning
only fair to start this race report a day early
to include the training ride of the 56 mile New
Orleans Ironman 70.3 bike course. A few
wrong turns and that 56 mile, three hour ride
balooned into 70 miles and 6 hours. The
ride itself was great. The scenery and company
made it better so I didn't mind the extra
mileage and time. I even got to change my first
flat on Hunter's dad's bike. The main thing I
got out of the ride on Saturday? I knew I could
have gone more. I think I could have easily done
the 112 with no issues. So on to the T-Gator
As Beth and I made our way to Lake Charles I was
surprised that I wasn't sore from the New
Orleans training ride. We got out of Baton Rouge
late so I had to speed . Well, that was a
mistake since it resulted in a speeding ticket
on the other side of Lafayette.
"But officer, I'm sorry I was speeding because
I'm late for a triathlon in Lake Charles.
Registration closes in less than 30 minutes," I
"That's where you swim and bike and stuff?
That's great. Good luck with that Mr.
Soileau," he responded as he inked in my name on
white paper and started writing the ticket.
We made it to the race site with only a few
minutes to spare. I rushed through body marking,
picked up my packet and wheeled my bike into
transition to setup my gear. The bike racks were
tight as I squeezed my bike into a tiny spot
near the center of the transition area. No time
for a warmup this morning as everyone started
moving down to the boat launch to start the
carefully shuffled down the slick boat ramp and
slid into the water. It was comfortable, if not
a little warm. I waded out towards the middle
out front and chatted with Boggs for a few
seconds before the race director announced the
30 second warning. I adjusted my goggles and
readied myself for the 525m swim. 5 - 4 - 3 - 2
- 1 - GO!
was easy. Yeah, I just typed that. The swim was
EASY! It was a warmup for the bike and nothing
more. I wasn't the least bit nervous and I did
freestyle the entire time. I got off course a
few times and I had some issues with my RoadID
falling off but other than that it was a
non-event. In each of the other two T-Gator
triathlons earlier in the year I was WAY at the
back of the pack and each of the waves that
started after me caught me. That wouldn't be the
case today. I got out of the water WITH my wave.
It was the back of my wave but I got out of the
water with them which is a first for me.
I ran up the embankment through the grassy path
doing my best to avoid the roots. After a quick
foot bath in the kiddie pools I jogged into T1
to get ready for the bike. I put my bike shoes
on first and then realized that I didn't have my
bike shorts on. Thankfully I was able to
maneuver my bike shorts around my shoes. I put
on my Team 464 jersey, my helmet and my glasses,
grabbed my bike and clopped to the mount point.
know if I was going to have the legs after the
New Orleans ride on Saturday but I pleasantly
surprised myself as my bike computer said 20 -
24 the entire 15 mile ride. A couple people
passed me but I know I passed at least a dozen
or more. I geared low going down the small hills
and hammered going back up. My bike average
ended up being 21.3 mph! Biking is still my
least favorite of three events in multisport.
Saying that I don't like biking is not accurate
though. Compare having to choose a vacation
destination that included Hawaii, Florida or
California. I'd probably choose Florida last of
those three locations but they are all
vacations. The bike is my Florida but
that's slowly changing. 21.3 mph and I'd say
that would definitely be changing!
I coasted to the dismount point and popped out
of my clips. I'm not comfortable enough doing a
flying dismount yet. I figure MY flying dismount
would involve me actually taking flight into the
air before I came down in a spectacular mess on
the pavement. I'll stick to just unclipping and
swinging my leg over for now after I stop. I
only spent 41 seconds in T2 anyway so I doubt
the 4 seconds I would have gained by executing a
perfect flying dismount would have really
The run course for the 2.5 mile trek was changed
up just a little for this race to accommodate
the extra .5 miles. From the moment my feet
touched the pavement of the run course I started
to experience gastric distress. I reluctantly
passed up each of the bathrooms on the course as
it winded it's way out to the path that cut
through the woods. I wasn't too keen on sock
sacrifices so I made sure to prepare by loading
up my race belt with a huge gob of toilet paper.
I think the twangs of gastric discomfort really
hurt me on the run. Wow, was it HOT! I know the
temperature had to be over 95 when I hit the
turnaround point. I dumped a couple cups of
water over my head and sloshed a big gulp around
in my mouth as I shuffled through the aid
station. I constantly fought the urge to go off
path and dart into the woods for the entire run
but I luckily ended up completing it without any
explosions. I finished the last half mile to the
finish at a moderate 8:45 - 9:00 mile pace and
crossed the finish line at 1:25:40.07.
A few first for me for the T-Gator #3 included a
finish in the top half of all the competitors.
I finished 64th of 134 racers overall and my
21.3mph bike split got me a 30th of 164 place
for the bike course. I'll take it. I
really enjoyed the T-Gator series this year and
I look forward to racing them again next year if
they don't interfere with training for the full
Ironman in Florida and / or in Hawaii. I'm
sure they won't but I'll leave that up to my tri
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading
my race report as much as I enjoyed writing (and
Best of luck on YOUR life journey!!!!
May you reach all your goals and achieve all your dreams!