IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz [race report]

It’s been more than a week since I finished IM70.3 Santa Cruz it was a great race. Fast course and a new 70.3 PR (05:57:29).

From a logistics perspective everything went as expected. After several 70.3s I was sure I had most of things I needed to have a successful race. We drove down to Santa Cruz on Saturday morning. No traffic or delays (win!). Easy athlete and bike check-in.

Later that day, we had a great and helpful Matt Dixon talk, however someone recommended to use two swimming caps (mistake). After that we went back to the AirBnB to prepare our transitions bags and we had dinner with some Golden Gate Triathlon Club friends.

Sunday, 05:00am, race day. It’s time.

Breakfast (win): banana, yogurt, sandwich with butter, almond butter and Jelly.

Transition closed at 06:30am, we got there around 06:00, enough time to pump my tires and get everything ready for T1/T2. Unfortunately my age group didn’t start till 08:02am. That’s 90 minutes in the cold before gun shot. I started warming up 30 minutes before start, luckily the water wasn’t too cold.

Swim (lose): this was the worst part of the race and the worst swim I have done so far. I got kicked, my goggles started leaking and eventually lost my swim cap. Stopping to put my cap and goggles back on took a long time, plus I lost my momentum.

Bike (room for improvement): I was aiming for a 3hour bike split. Ended up doing 03:05:20. Overall I did a good job in the bike ride. Should have started a little bit stronger but I kept a good pace during the climb without blowing up, slowed down for the last mile to losing up my legs. It’s going to be a matter of training and get faster next year.

Run (win): I had a great run. 1:55:17 split time (8:48/mi pace). This is awesome considering the fact that I blew up at mile 10 during IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene in June and ended up with a 02:21:58 split (10:50/mi avg. pace). I was able to finish strong. Pacing myself during the first miles, slowly picking up pace and pushing hard in the last 3 miles.

Need to work on that swim!

What went well:

  • Nutrition
  • Pacing
  • I had a lot of fun!

What to improve next time:

  • Do an easy run/bike ride the day before.
  • After mile 1 bike go faster on the bike, it’s a race.
  • Do more open water swims.

Thanks to Claire for the race support and driving. To my club, Golden Gate Triathlon Club, and my coach Michael Olzinski from Purple Patch.

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