Tupper Lake Toughman Half Ironman 2014

by Joanne on June 29, 2014

Ted has done quite a few sprint triathlons.  He has done a couple of Olympic distance.  He has never done a half triathlon aka half ironman aka Tupper Lake Tinman/Toughman until Saturday, June 28th. 


He did it!  He finished and it wasn’t easy. 

We arrived in Tupper Lake on Friday and drove straight to the Wilderness Museum for packet pick up. It was organized and not crowded.  Very straight forward.

Tupper sign in

We found our motel, one mile down the road, The Tupper Lake Motel.  It was nothing fancy but very clean and in such a convenient location.  The run for the event was going to take the runners right past our Motel.  This might have been too much temptation for a tired Ted at that time in the event so we made sure I held the room key.  Just kidding

The motel was also one mile from the event transition area. This made it an easy day for me to do a long run as well as be at the transition area every time Ted transitioned from swim to bike to run.

After a carb-loaded dinner, we tried to get an early night’s sleep. 

Tupper pasta dinner

The bed wasn’t the most comfortable, nervousness came into play, and a noisy air conditioner all played a part in a very restless night.

We were up at 5:30 am, eating oatmeal and getting it together.

Tupper ted face

We parked on the outside of the fence to the parking area.  This seemed like a strategic location. I was going to be running while Ted was riding his bike so I would made stops at the truck and the motel room for water if needed.

Tupper set up

Ted sets up in transition. 

We had about an hour to spare so walked around before hearing his name called over the loud speaker. Apparently he was missing a plug in his bike handlebars (they do a bike inspection to make sure your bike meets all USAT criteria).  Got that fixed, got the wet suit, went for a warm up swim and waited for 15 minutes until the start.

Tupper map swim

Tupper swim

The swim took Ted about 6 minutes longer than he anticipated even though the water was a perfect 71 degrees and very calm.  He was in no rush because the day was going to be hot and he had a lot more to accomplish after that swim.

Tupper map bike

This bike course was no piece of cake. It was hill followed by hill followed by hill with athletes proclaiming the last 15 miles were killers.  This ride took him about 8 minutes longer than he had thought it would.

Tupper bike start

Ted takes about 3 minutes in transition after the swim, eating a PBJ sammy then got under way.  At the half way point turn around, he stopped for about 5 minutes to take in more nutrition, get it together and get underway for the return on the bike course.  *The roads are left open to traffic and some MORON almost clipped him while making a turn.  Seriously! You see bikes, you see signs saying an event is going on, yet you still almost hit a cyclist?!!

Tupper bike finish

The last leg… The Run.  In the heat of the day.

Tupper map run

These poor athletes, these TOUGHMEN/WOMEN! They had such a climb in the first mile and a half of this course, it was hard to imagine after just getting off the bike, in 85 degree temps, legs still trying to get in running mode. 

Tupper run start

I saw Ted as he left the park on his run, in good spirits but concerned about the heat.  I walked up the first mile, following him run out of sight but cheering on all athletes, waited a bit, then jogged with him back down the hill to the 6 1/2 mile turn to continue on the running course. 

The run course was rolling hills.  The main complaint was thick sand which covered railroad tracks at about mile 11 or so. 

Ted said he stopped every mile which was every aid station for watermelon, water, Gatorade, He had fun with the volunteers who were very nice, fun, helpful.  He had to do a walk – run routine because of the heat and his energy was gone. 

In about 50 minutes longer than he wanted, he crossed the finish line.

Tupper finish line

Not feeling too good but managing to choke down a Blue Moon after about 25 minutes then some BBQ, he began to recover and realized what an accomplishment he had just achieved.

Tupper medal

So proud!  These triathlons are just amazing to me. I give him all the credit in the world, starting this kind of endurance challenge at 59 years of age is amazing. 

I’m not sure I’m excited or nervous about this but his comments as we drove home were all about figuring out how to take in more nutrition, fuel his bike and run better…. which means MORE Toughman/Ironman competitions.   My husband is just simply amazing to me.

What does a wife do as she is waiting for her athlete to complete an event?  Why run 16 miles in a strange village, over extremely hilly terrain, finding wilderness trails, and scenic views of course!

Tupper wilderness run

Since Ted was out there suffering in the heat, I figured I’d do the same.   I ran a long run of the week, 16 miles, while Ted rode the bike portion of the event.  The Wilderness Museum trails were so beautiful, I could have run all day.  Instead, I jumped in a very cold pool.  Showered, then waited to see Ted run, finish and get his first Tupper Lake Toughman medal. 

1.  The event:  Excellent. Promoted as a good first half ironman competition.  A lot of athletes using this events as a warm up to Lake Placid Ironman next month/July.  Very well organized.  Very friendly, helpful volunteers.  Hilly, challenging course for both bike and run. 

2.  Location:  Tupper Lake New York is beautiful.  It’s a small village where everyone welcomes visitors.  Unfortunately, a lot of athletes leave after the Triathlon.  We took full advantage of the area and stayed an extra night.  Eating and drinking at local establishments where the food and prices were good.

Are you an Ironman athlete/marathon runner?  Do you have an Ironman athlete/marathon runner in your family?  What do you do while waiting for the athlete to finish the event?

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  • At 2014.06.30 09:05, Donna said:

    How amazing!!!!! I’m proud of Ted too!

    • At 2014.06.30 15:17, Joanne said:

      Thanks Donna 🙂

    • At 2014.06.30 09:30, Heather said:

      This is fantastic. Congrats, Ted!!!! You’re such a supportive wife – he’s a lucky guy! Hopefully Ted enjoys some much deserved rest days…… 🙂

      • At 2014.06.30 15:18, Joanne said:

        Rest days…I do know he’ll take a day or so off from running, maybe biking, maybe NOT swimming…but he was back in the gym this morning. It must have been the CrossFit challenge we were watching yesterday 😉

      • At 2014.06.30 11:24, Nancy Jean said:

        Ah, amazing! Loved hearing the details … wish we could have been along to see that medal placed around Ted’s neck!! WOO HOO!! Great that you stayed another night to relax and soak in the lovely surroundings. Incredible feat … we applaud Ted’s determination and unwavering dedication to his training. He looks fabulously fit and well. It’s truly wonderful how you two wholeheartedly support one another … you both shine so brightly! XOXO

        • At 2014.06.30 15:18, Joanne said:

          Thanks Nancy. It would have been wonderful if you guys were there with us.

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