Tag Archives: Race Recap

Jordan and Nick’s Journey to 140.6 {Ironman Los Cabos}

Ironman Cabo - Post Race

If you saw my post earlier this week, you know that my brother, Jordan, and his friend, Nick, accomplished the amazing feat of becoming Ironmen! If you are unfamiliar with the Ironman competition it is a grueling test of the human will, dedication, and endurance. Participants swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and finish it off with a marathon (26.2 miles) coming to a total of 140.6 miles.

Ironman Cabo

Ironman Cabo - Post Race - The Family

To support Jordan and Nick our family happily traveled down to Cabo San Lucas to cheer on the duo! In total we had a group of 13 (Nick, Jordan, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Debbie and Uncle Wayne, Aunt Karen and Uncle Dan, Nathalie [Jordan’s gf], and Kyle and myself).

Ironman Cabo - Family Picture

Before I get to the details of the race let me give you a little bit of the back story. About 6 months ago Jordan decided to do an Ironman. He signed up and we started making travel plans to support him. For the months leading up to the official training he had been building a base with a lot of biking and swimming. Due to his diligent training he was very well conditioned once the training began.

At the start of December, about a week after racing a half ironman and about four months out from his Ironman, he found out he had Melanoma In situ on his foot. This is stage 0 of Melanoma, meaning it is contained to the upper layers of the skin and has not spread. Within a few days, during Christmas break, he went down to Houston and had it removed. Praise the Lord, it had not spread and the doctor was able to removed all of the cancer tissues!

Initially, he hoped he would only have to take a few weeks off for it to heal but he ended up having to take 6 weeks off. 6 weeks with basically zero training. Once the doctor cleared him, he dove back into training with only two months to go until race day.

So come Sunday he raced with essentially only two months of training and as you already have noticed he still finished!!!! He finished until 14 hours after taking off 6 weeks! Words cannot even begin to describe how incredibly proud I am of him. Through everything he has had an amazing attitude, spirit, determination, and work ethic that few could match. Jordan you are my hero!

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Check out the shirt we made to surprise Jordan and Nick! Young Gunz is their cycling group in Loma Linda!

Well let’s get back to the race. Usually, I am the one in the races, so unlike my usual “race recaps” this one is a “spectator recap.” I must say I was honored to be on the sidelines playing cheerleader!

Starting line: The night before the race we stayed at one of the race hotels so we did not have to drive to San Jose from Cabo earlier in the am. After missing the shuttle that Nat and the boys took to the starting line, my parents dropped me off at the start.  While the boys got organized and ready to start, I quickly found Nat and we went down to the water to stake out a good viewing point.

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(I’ll add more photos as I get them from Nathalie)

The Swim:  After the gun went off and the boys were in the water we headed over to the end of the swim. Jordan thought he would finish around 1:30 and Nick was hoping for 1:45. As a spectator the swim is the most anxious segment. In all honesty we just wanted to the swim to be over! While we waited we met an amazing lady who has completed 11 Ironmans with almost half being Kona! Her husband was on race number 11. Close to the hour mark she noted that an abnormal amount of racers were finishing in under an hour! So we hoped this meant the boys would be in soon and they were! Jordan got out of the water at 1:07:35 and Nick at 1:15:26!

Ironman - Cabo

Transition: While the boys transitioned into their cycling gear, we transitioned to our cycling viewing location. To our great surprise our hotel ended up being the absolute perfect location, situated on a corner where the bike (just before the turn around) and run (mile 2, 11, and 20) passed multiple times.

Ironman Cabo San Lucas

This was our hangout while we waited for the boys to get to our viewing spot.

The bike: The bike course consisted of 3 loops. As a racer I would probably hate it but as a spectator it was awesome because we saw Jordan and Nick 5 times each. Since Jordan finished the swim a bit faster and transited quicker, Jordan was about 20-30 minutes ahead of Nick.


Kyle got this awesome photo on the GoPro as Jordan passed us!

Ironman Cabo - Bike

Both boys did awesome on the bike (maybe a little too awesome?) Jordan finished the bike in 6:40:23 and Nick clocked in at 6:58:44.

Transition 2: After Jordan passed us a final time, half of the cheering crew headed over the run course (located just in front of our hotel), while my dad, Kyle, and I stayed to cheer on Nick a final time.

The run:  They say the run is where the race really begins. Starting the race Jordan and Nick thought they would be spaced out by about by 20-3o minutes going into the run with Jordan slightly ahead, the goal was for Nick to catch Jordan on the run.

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Mile 11: I think both Jordan and Nick would agree that the run was the most difficult part of the race. By the time they started they had been racing for close to 8 hours ! I would also say that as a spectator this was the toughest leg to watch. Especially knowing how difficult a marathon is, I cannot imagine doing one after swimming + biking! I missed Jordan the first time he passed our hotel but saw him at mile 11. This was tough to see, he was running low on energy and still had 15 miles to  go! Shortly after, Nick came into view. He was looking strong and narrowing the distance between he and Jordan. We all kept wishing they would met up so they could power through together!

Mile 17ish: After both Nick and Jordan passed the 11 mile marker we headed closer to the finish. After walking against the running traffic for a mile or so we finally crossed paths with Jordan. This was the most difficult moment of the race for me to witness. Jordan was walking and he looked like he had nothing left! But he still had 9 miles to go. I tried to stay strong but I was choking back tears. Kyle and I walked/ran with him for bit and then stayed to wait for Nick (Nat was just around the corner so I knew Jordan would be good!). About 2 minutes after Jordan left, Nick was there! As soon as we saw him we let him know how close he was to Jordan and he was off.

The final miles: Aunt Karen, Kyle, and I made it to the finish line and scouted out our viewing options before the rest of the Team Young Gunz support team arrived. When we finally met up with the rest of the group (mom, Nat, Aunt Debbie, Uncle Wayne, and Uncle Dan – my dad was in the car following Jordan and Nick along the course) my mom told me that Nick and Jordan finally met up and that Nick told Jordan they would finish together at whatever pace Jordan needed to go! Nick you are incredible! As soon as I heard this my emotions were put to ease and I knew they would finish strong!

The finish: Kyle and I had an awesome view at the finish line, Nat was on the bleachers in the finishing chute, and my aunts and uncles were at a roof top restaurant that had a perfect view of the finish line. Kyle and I had it all set up to get an epic video of them crossing the line with the announcer saying “Nick Bucholz, you are an Ironman” and “Jordan The, you are an Ironman.” We had the GoPro charged and ready, the iPad attached to a pole (with magnets), and my camera set to take photos. Well…even the best of plans sometimes don’t work out. My mom sent a text saying their were coming, so we thought they were about 5 minutes out. And then BAM they were there, crossing the finish line! Nick crossed so fast I barely realized it was him. Kyle was able to hit record just as Jordan stood in the finishing arches. Thankfully, Nat got a video of them running in front of her and passing through. You can see it all in Kyle’s amazing video!!

Post race: Wow! Wow! Wow! There really are no words that can adequately describe witnessing an Ironman competition. Jordan, Nick, and all the other finishers you AMAZE me! As a marathoner I can only partially understand what you went through this past Sunday. You have inspired and move me to accomplish great things!!! All I know is that after watching you guys become Ironman, a fire was lit within me! One day I will join the Ironman club.


Right now I am setting the gaol: The year I turn 30 I will do an Ironman! But until then (I need some time to build my swimming and biking…and save money, these Ironman races aren’t cheap) I am going to have to settle for running…that’s right I am going to conquer 26.2 again. See ya in Victoria for round 3!

Ironman Los Cabo Ironman Los Cabo


HITS Triathlon | Palm Springs | 12.7.13

Oh my life has been busy! This post is waaaaaay overdue. At the beginning of December my brother, his girlfriend, and roommates did the Palm Springs HITS triathlon. Unfortunately, I was not there to watch and cheer them on. But they sent me some awesome pictures!


This was Jordan’s first half Ironman. He hit a bit of a roadblock when his tire went flat and he had no spare. The race director actually ended up bringing him a new wheel and Jordan was able to finish. Even though he had a two hour “break,” he finished strong and was incredibly impressed with this race series!

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Nathalie started off her sprint in the freezing Palm Spring water. This was her first tri!

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Jordan’s roommate, D’Hahn and Ryan, also joined in the triathlon fun!

HITS Tri.jpg

Race Recap: Nike Women’s Marathon

In celebration of #ingnycm I am reliving my #nwm 26.2:) Enjoy! P.S. This is a long one…

Nike Women's Marathon, Finish Line, Tiffany's, Nikeplus

Amazing photo by Phil

Whoa, I cannot believe it has taken me two weeks to sit down and write this recap. Running a marathon will do that to you:) Various factors contributed to the delay: starting my next master’s class, a major project at work, and family visiting. However, the biggest reason is that this race took a lot out of me, it was such an extreme and difficult test of mental, physical, and emotional strength. But blogging is not just for the pretty stuff, so here it goes…


Race day started out incredibly early (which was not great since Saturday morning I work up at 2am to fly into San Francisco) when I woke up around 3:30am. Thankfully, I was so exhausted the night before that I actually slept about 7 hours. And if you have ever ran a race before you know that was a miraculous feat.

Nike Women's Marathon Pre-Race

We made it into the city with no traffic and plenty of time to find Kirsi and get into our corral. It was quite a cold morning, thankfully my mom and aunt had made a quick trip to Target the night before to buy a warm pair of socks and gloves. With some handy scissor work the socks became arm warmers and I was set.

Nike Women's Marathon, Pre-Race

Here’s a photo of my DIY arm warmers (a pair of black socks with the toes cut off = best idea ever) and my Tiffany’s Blue tutu.

Nike Women's Marathon, Wave Start

Nike Women's Marathon, Gear Check, Start Corral

This photo is one intersection of the runners, multiply that by about 20 and you can get a feel for how many people filled the streets.  

Nike Women's Marathon, Pre-Race

Yay, I found Kirsi! Phil took some great photos of us and the start area (photos above) before we set off into the sea of 30,000 people.


Nike Women's Marathon, Start Line

Nike Women's Marathon Startline


The Start – For having 30,000 runners the start went incredibly smooth. Kirsi and I were at the back of the second to last starting group and we crossed the line 31 minutes after the gun went off.

5k: 00:34:27

Nike Women's Marathon, 5k split

The first 5k flew by, Kirsi and I ran the first mile and a half together and went our separate ways just as we came to Pier 1 (after looking at our race photos we were actually right next to each other at the 10k mark but had no idea, crazy!). I was trying to keep my pace around 10:42. With so many people at the start at the it was extremely hard to get into a rhythm.

Nike Women's Marathon, Pier 1


10K: 01:08:12

Nike Women's Marathon, 10k

Before I knew it 6 miles had come and gone. This was the start of the hills and where my whole race plan started to fade away. As the hills came I was more focused on my overall pace and sticking to 10:42 miles that I neglected to conserve and take it easy over the hills.

Nike Women's Marathon, first hill


15k: 01:42:43

More hills! Still feeling in control, like I was running my race. That would end soon:)

NIke Women's Marathon, 15k

Nike Women's Marathon, San Francisco Hills


13.1: 02:24:20

This was the moment I realized I had made some big race mistakes early on. I had worked too hard on the hills and quickly realized that it was a huge possibility that I may bonk in the second half. Enter, negative thoughts. Seriously, I honestly to myself “you have nothing left.” I rarely have negative thoughts while training, usually I am able to push myself though pretty much anything. But for some reason the negativity came fooling in.

Nike Women's Marathon, 13.1

25k: 02:51:23

Nike Women's Marathon, Mile 15

Praise the Lord my family found me around mile 14! I had just seen two Walla Walla friends before the halfway mark and I was overjoyed when I saw my parents, grandparents, and aunt & uncle cheering me on. I was still struggling to find a good pace but they gave me much needed energy.

Nike Women's Marathon, 25k

30k: 03:27:36

Hello, Wall. The 16th miler maker is at a terrible location. It is the finish line for the 13.1ers and the start of a 10 mile out and back for the marathoners. Seriously, this is not a race course catered to marathoners.

Nike Women's Marathon, 30k

As I checked my watch and pace chart I realized there was no way I could make up the time to reach my original goal, so it was time for plan b, finish under 5 hours. In a very symbolic gesture I torn off my pace chart and threw it on the ground. I also opened but a full pack of Shot Bloks and inhaled them!

Nike Women's Marathon Playlist

Not only was it time for pacing plan b, but it was also time for iPod plan b. Sorry Mrs. Rowling but I had to rely on a different Harry to keep me going today, Harry Styles. Yes, if it was not for a handful of One Direction songs on repeat for the final 10 miles, I am not sure I could have finished the race.

35k: 04:05:46

As mentioned the final ten miles is out and back and miles 19-22 were probably the worst of it (seriously look at those times…ahhh).  This part of the course is a long and uneventful highway. So desperately I just wanted to reach the turn around point because I knew I would be rejuvenated once the final stretch began. Just when I would think the turn around was close, it wasn’t and the course kept going on. Talk about a huge mental obstacle!

Nike Women's Marathon, 35k

Just as I was heading up the final hill, I spotted Lori. I had already been on the brink of tears and an emotional breakdown for the past 7ish miles, so as soon as I saw her face I knew I could not stop. Not only would I not be able to start running again but I would also lose any composure I was holding on to.

40K: 04:42:36

Nike Women's Marathon, 40k

Mile 24 was were things started looking up. My family found me again, my mom started to run with me but I was way tooooo emotional. They gave me the final kick I needed! Only 2.2 miles to go. With some quick mental calculations, I realized I would finish in under 5 hours and I was instantly re-energized!

Nike Women's Marathon, Mile 23

She looks like a natural! I see a Disney Princess Half in our future….what do you think , momma????

Nike Women's Marathon, Cheer Squad

Sidebar: My family is amazing!!! My parents and grandparents flew out from Texas and my aunt and uncle drove down from Northern California to cheer me on and share this amazing experience with me!

Finish: 04:57:08

As soon as I saw the Tiffany’s Blue finish line, I locked my eyes on it and did not look at anything else! With my music One Direction blaring in my ears (later Kirsi told me she and Phil were yelling out my name) I sprinted, yes sprinted, hands raised in victory and crossed the line.

Nike Women's Marathon, Finish Line

Nike Women's Marathon, 40k

I ran the final mile almost 30 seconds faster. I know it reads 11:16 but I sure felt like I was Usain Bolt!

Nike Women's Marathon, Finish Line

So not impressed with the marathon photos. Seriously, I run 26.2 miles just for this photo and the camera doesn’t have a wide angle lens! Nike, please fix this for future races!

Nike Women's Marathon, Finish Line

Just in case you were wondering if the other camera guy got a decent shot, he didn’t:( Thankfully, Phil captured some great moments after I crossed the line.

Nike Women's Marathon, Half Marathon Finish

To get an idea of how packed the course was for the first half, here’s a photo of the half marathoners (and some super fast marathoners) finish. Kirsi is at the top, just under the “e.”

Everything after the Red Carpet Finish

Nike women's Marathon

As soon as I crossed the finish line I all the emotions I had been battling the final 10 miles spilled over. I stopped on the red carpet for a few moments to calm myself down but I lost it again once I found Kirsi and Phil.

Nike Women's Marathon, Finish Line, Emotion

All composure lost!

Nike Women's marathon

A look at the reality of how intense running a marathon is, as Kirsi comforts me through a mild emotional breakdown!

NIke Women's Marathon, Finish Line

Breakdown over, now on the reality of how much joy and pride finishing a marathon can bring!

Some firemen in tuxes with a silver tray of little blue boxes!!!

NIke Women's Marathon, Tiffany's, Firefighters, Tux

I know I already posted this photo but I had to share it again. I cannot believe Phil was able to capture this incredible moment! I love it!

Finisher Shirts & necklace!

Nike Women's Marathon, Finisher Shirts

I loooove that it says 26.2 nice and big on the front! And the necklace is so stinking cute! I proudly wear it everyday to school:)

The Finisher Boutique

I heard navigation through the finishing area was crazy for the half marathon finishers but since so few people ran the full it was pretty much empty by the time I came through. With no desire to be on my feet any longer than need be, I zipped through the little store and bought the long sleeve finisher dri-fit top. I did not hesitate to drop the $45, telling myself I deserved it (yes, Nike knows what they are doing!).

Nike Women's Marathon, Finisher Gear

There were a few other tents, food, race results, freshen up area, and massages, for the runners to experience but as I stood at the edge of the Finisher Boutique with the next tent about 25 feet away, my body decided nothing was worth being on my feet any longer. It would be awesome if Nike just put all the free stuff in a big Tiffany’s bag for the 26.2ers. I think we deserve it after running that far!

The Race Course & My Final Thoughts

Nike Women's Marathon, Nike Plus, Race Course

The good:

  • I finish in under 5 hours
  • I ran the whole race, no walking breaks this time around
  • I PRed on a much more difficult course
  • Overall, I was very well prepared mentally and physically, especially in comparison to my first full
  • The weather was perfect! I was worried about it being warmer than BC so I was incredibly happy that it was overcast and foggy the whole morning.

The bad:

  • I missed my target time by almost 30 minutes
  • I know I can run a marathon in my target time because my 20 miler was 3:31…
  • I ran a positive split, which I rarely ever do!

As, I read over my recap I find it hard to adequately describe the marathon experience. You put everything into running 26.2 miles for 4+ months and you lay it all on the line come race day. The pride and joy in conquering some few attempt to complete is indescribable. All I can say is let the countdown for the next one commence!