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He decided to tough it out, and while he didnt beat his time of last year, his first Ironman, he still surprised himself.
"I had the best swim of my life," he said. Havens said his strategy was to fall in behind faster swimmers and keep up as long as he could before dropping back to the next swimmer or group.
"You had to pick your lines like that, and use (the other swimmers) as a kind of sling shot."
Havens was the 283 rd swimmer out of the water, but dropped back on the next leg. Because of the smoke from fires at different sections of the road, Havens decided to take it easy and focus on the run. He was 940 th on the bike.
His strongest section was the run, where he completed the marathon distance in a strong 3:37:48 the 165 th fastest run time of the day.
"I really felt I had my legs under me going into the run," said Havens. "I felt my foot a little in the second half of the first lap, but that went away by the second lap.
The three lap marathon format also agreed with Havens, who says he usually prefers straighter courses with longer sections.
"All the corners broke up my run a little bit, and of course the spectators, the music, they were very motivating as well all the way through," he said.
Havens said he would not participate next year at Penticton, but planned to compete in the Ironman in New Zealand instead.
Also in the 45 to 49 age category, Whistlers John Block finished 36 th out of 175 competitors, landing 417 th overall in 11:07:12. Like Havens, Blok missed out on early season preparation as a result of a knee injury.
Although the injury was still bothering him in the weeks leading up to the race, Blok said the races chiropractors took care of the pain before the race by performing Active Release Techniques.
"I would say every Whistler athlete went to them for one thing or another, and they were amazing," said Blok.
The low point of the race came after the swim leg.
"I came out of the water and my stomach was upset, either from drinking too much (lake) water, or going a little too hard and not pacing myself. It definitely didnt settle down while riding the bike," said Blok.