Saturday, September 24, 2011
Imagine running miles upon miles in a torrential downpour after swimming 1.2 miles and cycling 56 miles through the long climbs of the Ozark Mountains. Yeah, I hadn't imagined it either, but that's what those of us who did the Branson 70.3 Ironman encountered.
All the details are below, but suffice it to say, this was the most challenging single athletic event I've ever accomplished. Had the weather been great, it still would've been extremely challenging but the heavy rain added another dimension. In a word it was brutal. The bike is so hard the run is almost an afterthought, but the rain main the run extra-difficult. It was a feat I was not only happy to finish, but happy to improve my time from my first 70.3.
The long-winded details are below. Hope you enjoy my journey.
A week before my "A" race I had the opportunity to do one final "sprint" race as practice. There was a Razorback game in Little Rock on Saturday and the race was in Conway on Sunday. Perfect! I could go to the game, race on Sunday morning and be back to the hotel in time to have breakfast with my wife before heading home. It's like it was meant to meant to be. So, it was.
I had a good race. I didn't go all out but still went hard. Had my best swim in any race. Had a very good bike but never felt 100%. Very solid run with no complaints. I knew I was in decent shape for the finish but didn't really know where I stood. Ended up I was the second best in the 40-44 age group and the 1st best guy won the overall "masters" award, so I got the first place for the age group. Pretty nice! Great practice race and some hardware to top it off.
Definitely worth the effort and I will do it again if the opportunity exists again. Details below.