Sunday, October 23, 2011

Soma Triathlon 70.3 2011

Just finished the Soma Triathlon in Tempe, AZ on October 23, 2011. What a difference from the other 2 events I particpated in this year!

I LOVE Arizona. It is truly my home and we are in the process of moving back here for good (that's another long story). BUT... as far as racing goes, I am amazed at how much the heat takes a toll on a racer! Maybe it's just because I haven't become accustomed to it again, yet. That was the real story today...

Soma does a pretty good job with this one. The expo was as good as Calgary and Boise. It isn't an Ironman marketed race so no IM store with lots of crack to pick up. Still, you get a tech t-shirt, a headsweats visor, a great water bottle and a cool medal so the graft is as good as many races...

Started with the swim @ 6:44 (my wave) in the AM. Temp was 65 degrees and water temp was 73 degrees so was wetsuit legal and fairly warm... This would be the operative word for the day. Swim went great. The hold it is Tempe Town Lake right next to my alma mater, Arizona State University. In fact, the entire course is a scaled down version of IM Arizona which happens later in the year. Swim was unenventful except for a few people smacking me around... Did forget my earplugs and nose plug which I prefer to swim with, but played with the cards dealt to me.

Got out and had some snags with the wetsuit strippers. Probably cost me my PB at least. Still happy to have them there.

The bike course is flat and fast. However, it is like a rat maze. Constant turnings, several U turns and 3 total laps. Haven't decided how I feel about it. Got my best time but could have been better without all the choke points and narrow areas for passing, etc. Saw several crashes. I decided to stick to 2:00 KM pace and play it safe most of the time...

People threw bottles all over and there was a fair amount of littering - something I do not condone and I am not used to it. Made some locations a little dangerous. During the 3rd lap you could feel the temp creeping up.

Slathered plenty of sunscreen on during T2 in prep for the run.

The run is two laps around Tempe Town Lake, running by ASU, apartments and dorms. Not a damn cloud in the sky and almost no shade. Aid stations every mile were my anchors. Given the weather we were dealt, the volunteers did an amazing job keeping us cool with ice, water, snacks and whatever we needed. I walked the aid stations and ran the whole way.

Saw the family for the first time after the first lap. Really brought my spirits up! They were great.

Temperature for the run reached 94 degrees or so. But "it's a dry heat" they say down here...

Totals - 46:48 swim; 3:00 ride; 2:24 run. 347 out of 523 men. Total participants were over a thousand. 57 out of 84 in my age group. Dedicated this race to my daughter, Hannah!


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