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Locals tame Ironman



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Paul Nicholas finished just two spots and 29 seconds back of Suter to place 26 th out of 295 racers in the men’s 35 to 39 age category. Although he improved on all of his stage times, he had hoped to qualify for Hawaii this year and fell just seven minutes short of that goal.

"I was quite happy with my time, but you’re never quite satisfied. You always say to yourself, ‘I could have cut some time here, and here’, after a race."

Nicholas enjoyed the changes to the course, and the fact that he had Paul Suter to chase down on the run stage. "It was a bit nerve-wracking, sitting around and waiting to find out if the event was going to be cancelled after a year of training for it, but the changes worked really well," he said.

Although he planned to take some time off after racing Ironman five years in a row, Nicholas is already reconsidering. "Now that I’ve come so close (to qualifying for Hawaii) and I didn’t quite get to where I wanted to go, I want to go back and do it again. That’s how you get hooked into this sport, I guess, trying to do just a little better, and a little better than that.

"I haven’t decided anything yet, but it’s on my mind."

Ian Goard was 194 th overall, posting a time of 10:29:42 to finish 40 th in the 30 to 34 group.

David Higgins, also competing in the 30 to 34 group, was 322 nd overall, and 64 th among his peers with a time of 10:51:43. Brandi Higgins, David’s spouse, was 94 th in the 30 to 34 category with a time of 13:03:31.

Daniel Havens was 334 th across the line, and 26 th out of 175 racers in the 45 to 49 age group with his time of 10:54:10. Havens missed out on months of training and was considering pulling out of the race as a result of a foot injury.

"I was ecstatic with my race," said Havens. "I put in a volume of training all winter, and spring and summer, but it wasn’t intensity training or power training. I wasn’t going to compete this year, but changed my mind a week and a half before the race. I just wanted to have fun, finish – anything else would be a bonus."

Havens had an infection in his foot after scraping it on some coral last fall. He didn’t even know he had an infection until recently, treating it as a common runner’s injury.