Every once in a while, Wanderers produce a breakout performance demonstrating “hey, we are serious athletes.” The showing of Chris Verry and Polly Jansen at the Lake Placid Ironman on July 21 was just such a demonstration. Their performance was breathtaking, Chris and Polly finishing 304th and 349th respectively out of a field of more than 2,000 really fit and in many cases elite athletes.
Polly actually finished ninth out of her age group of 118 competitors. Chris finished in a time of 11:36:57 with Polly breathing down his back, less than six minutes behind. Polly was timed in 11:42:53.
Polly was ecstatic after the race. “We both had an amazing day and are so happy about how we finished,” she said. “It was the best day of our lives and all the hard work was so worth it to hear, “You are an Ironman!”
Here is a breakdown of the numbers: Chris finished the 2.4 mile swim in 1:10:41, then completed the 112 mile bike portion in 6:04:06 and polished off the marathon in 4:09:53. Polly was timed in 1:08:45 for the swim, 6:36:56 in the bike and was closing in on Chris in the marathon with a time of 3:45:54.
And this was their first Ironman!! Here were their thoughts after the race.
Q: Were you pleased with your result?
A: We were very pleased with our results. In true Polly and Chris form, we finished within 6 minutes of each other!
Q: What was the low moment for you during the race?
A: The low moment was around mile 18 of the marathon when our legs were cramping up pretty badly. The nutrition at that point was not settling well, so we just had to slog through those last difficult miles. It got better, of course the closer we got to the end!
Q: This was your first Ironman. Was it as tough as you expected?
A: It was definitely a hard course. We trained on the course, but obviously nothing compares to doing the whole event in one day. At the end, it was more of a mental battle just trying to will one foot in front of the other. The pain was worth it in the end!
Q: What was the toughest leg of the race for you?
A: The toughest leg of the race was the marathon. We were definitely hurting on the second half of it. All of the legs had their challenges, though. The swim really is a “washing machine” effect, and Chris especially took a beating as he got sucked into a pack on the buoy line from the very beginning. The bike was extremely hilly and there was a strong headwind on the last part of it. All of the legs were physically, but also mentally challenging!
Q: When is your next Ironman?
A: None planned yet, but we can see one in the future! Looking forward to the Megatransect!
Photos by Chris’ Father Before, During and After the Race:
It takes a village…the Verry/Jansen support crew
Pre-race prep and crossing T’s
Making sure bikes are ready for the hilly course
The real deal
Swag and essentials before the race
Bike transition area before the race
Ready to go after final pre-race swimming workout
Polly on the course
Finishing up the bike leg of the race
Only yards left to go after 11+ hours!
Polly at the finish line