Ironman Victoria 70.3 2016

 Victoria 70.3 and some random drama.

In the weeks leading up to this race I had several very difficult things to deal with. Two family emergencies made training difficult and life very stressful. Then 9 days out from the race I was descending on Mt. Lemmon when I came upon a car driving slowly, as I approached the car pulled on to the shoulder and slowed even more. I assumed the car was allowing me to pass, when I began to pass the car abruptly did a u turn. I swerved and almost made it around but my front wheel grazed the front bumper and I went tumbling down the road. The fact that I went down at over 30 mph and didn’t break anything was astonishing, even more amazing was the fact that my bike didn’t have a single scratch on it. So bruises and road rash and some nasty holes/cuts were the end result.

I decided at the last minute(with my family’s blessing) that I would go ahead with my plan to race in Victoria. Training had been going really well prior to all the drama and I was itching to show off my fitness after a DNF at IM Texas.

I arrived in Victoria the Wednesday before the race and the first thing I noticed was the nearly 60 degree temperature difference from Tucson(it was 113 when I left Tucson). I had trained in Victoria before so I knew it would be cold, as it turned out race week temps were going to be even cooler than normal.
Swim-19:26 11th out of the water *course was shortened to 1600m
I got out well at the gun and quickly settled into the back of the main group(2 fast guys off the front). The field was much smaller than usual which made for a very comfortable low stress swim. I came out of the water just over a minute behind the two leaders and just off the back of the main group.
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Bike-2:17:30 10th off the bike
I would like to say I got on my bike, put the hammer down and went straight to the front of the race, but that didn’t happen. The first hour and a half I was struggling to hold Ironman watts. It was 52 degrees at the start of the bike and I was FREEZING. My hands especially were numb and not working. Thankfully I had a cold weather mix of Infinit in a bottle with a straw and another bottle on the frame to refill with, so my frozen hands had little to deal with other than trying to brake for the 50 turns on the course (which I did not manage very well). The bike course was amazing with a variety of flats, rolling hills and even a 2 mile climb. The course included road surfaces from ultra smooth to bone jarringly bumpy. Fortunately I did start to feel better in the last hour (the 2 mile climb helped me to warm up) and I managed to hold higher watts the second half of the bike something I have never done in all my days of racing!

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Run-1:20:22 7th place overall finish
The run course was also amazing! It was two loops around a picturesque lake, all on rocky dirt trails. After a few miles to shake the bike effort out of my legs I found some rhythm and made peace with pain. I ran alone the first loop but at the beginning of the second two guys passed me so I settled in behind them and did my best to hold on. As the finish line drew near I decided to put in a surge to see what might happen. Apparently the guys I was with were not interested in coming along for the ride and I was able to pass one more guy in the last mile.
Considering the lead up to this race and the conditions I am pleased with how things went. Victoria is an incredibly beautiful city and this is truly an amazing race, possibly my favorite course I have ever done(except for the cold)!

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