On May 10, 2014, I participated in the Gulf Coast Triathlon. The triathlon was a half-iron distance (70.3 miles). We rented a condo at the Shores of Panama, which was about a 1/2 mile from the start and finish line. The day before, Susan and Aaron made several signs to hold during the race. Here is the sign that Aaron made for the swim portion. How funny is that considering Aaron is getting into triathlons?
On the morning of the triathlon, the winds were strong out of the south. Rescue crews were having problems getting into position. Several kayaks flipped at the wave breaks. The swim was cancelled for the first time in 32 years. I was bummed. I trained hard for the swim and was ready to tackle it. We had to do about a 1/2 mile beach run before starting the bike leg.
The 56 mile bike leg started out very fast. The wind was at my back. I was averaging about 24mph. I knew that would change once I hit the turn around. I wanted to average 20-21 mph. On the way back, my averaged dropped below 21 mph. I picked up the pace a bit and ended with a 20.3 mph average. At the dismount line some clydesdale almost ran into me. I was pretty upset. I couldn’t believe how careless someone could be.
I imploded on the run. By mile four I was experiencing severe cramps. Apparently, I did not drink enough on the bike. The run turned into a run/walk race for me. The half marathon run took me about two and a half hours. I finished the entire race in 5:36.
I signed up for this race as part of my training toward Ironman Florida. The bike and run course are similar to Ironman Florida. Although the race did not go well for me, it was a great learning experience. I feel better prepared for my first Ironman.
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