This Vegas course was the World Championship for Ironman 70.3 in 2012 when I raced it. It was a brutal triple H: Hot, Hilly, Hard. And that’s exactly why I wanted to come back to do this race as a standard 70.3 once the Championship moved venues to Canada. I seem to do well comparatively in these conditions and it turns out I was right, finishing third overall with the fastest run in the race. Another solid result and milestone against my 2014 goal: race for overall amateur podiums.
The Swim: (00:29:18) Usually I come here and mope about how I could swim better. Hats off to Ironman for putting and AWA (All-World Athlete) wave out front of the amateur divisions, as the fastest amateurs in the race were able to actually race each other. Additionally, it was in the beautiful Lake Mead instead of the questionable, murky resort Lake Las Vegas. This meant clear water and pack swimming and I had a great time in light of my 70.3 history.
The Bike: (02:39:30) More the the bike took place in Lake Mead National Park with the swim venue change, which was awesome. It’s really beautiful to ride your bike in the red rocks and this lead to open roads and grooving rollers. Someone very fast cruised by me half way through, I’d later learn that he was an ex-professional cyclist named the Cuban Missile (link). Overall I rode well and set myself up for a strong run.
T2 It is worth noting that this was a very smooth transition for me. Races can be lost in the Ts, and I beat myself up when I do them poorly, so worth a nod!
The Run: (01:22:57) I ran like I knew I could on this course and put down the fastest run of the day including pros. I know this course really well from racing World’s here because it’s a 3-time loop. There are two things you need to know about it: it’s up, and then it’s down. Over, and over, and over again. It’s also totally exposed in the dessert sun, so hydration and effort management are key. Even though I finished as first amateur, turns out it wasn’t enough to get by the Cuban Missile and one other super biker who started out in the amateur waves.
Thanks – Our cousin Gina who has become my race headquarters in Vegas. My mom who has seen me race in Vegas twice now and has been a great supporter – it was returning to familiar ground for both of us! GU Energy for supporting my entry – happy to represent the GU Crew! M2 Revolution crew for being a great training community. Everyone who supports me in this crazy journey – thank you!