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Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Ensenada, Baja California
Total Time = 6h 55m 6s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 35/47
Event warmup:

Not much. Just set up T1 and talked to some friends. Light stretching.
  • 39m 43s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

The race started about 20 minutes late but everything went well on the swim. Actually this has gotten to be the event that I least worry about. I made a point of just taking it easy and going out slow. I got into a good rhythm and everything was fine except for my usual zig zagging. The course half in a small harbor and the rest in open ocean. The water quality was very murky so couldn’t see much. I stayed pretty much on the outside so I only got bumped a couple of times. I kept thinking how times change. When I first started this sport, the swim was actually fearful. I hyperventilated the first time I went out for a ow swim. Plus I could not swim more than 25 meters at a time. When my pool would change to the 50 meter setup I would get very nervous. Like all things you get comfortable over time.

I was hoping to come in on the swim under 45 minutes. That is how easy I expected to take it. Surprise surprise, I did in 39:46. Plus I came out of the water without breathing hard. I think I can swim much faster if I push myself. Not too worried about it though since the swim is a small portion of the race. I was very happy about the swim and knew this might be the highlight of the day.
What would you do differently?:

Go a bit harder. Try to find someone to draft off of.
Transition 1
  • 08m 8s

I think the reason this is such a long T1 is due to the 500 yard run from the swim exit to T1.
What would you do differently?:

  • 3h 38m 58s
  • 56 miles
  • 15.34 mile/hr

Once I got on the course I had to take a right and head into the main part of Ensenada. Immediately I saw people with flats along the course. You could tell no one swept this course prior to the start and there was quite a bit of glass along the way. Even though the first 7 miles is along the ocean, it was not that appealing. A lot of shacks and factories along the coast. There was some kind of fish processing center which gave off quite a stink. The first 7 miles was along a stretch that had cars in one lane and racers in the other and separated by cones. Sounds good except I saw a few cars making u turns and would swing the front end of the car into our lanes. Plus in Mexico they may have a cone shortage since it seemed like the cones were every 100 feet instead of the nice 6 foot spread you seen in California. Bleh, I need to stop complaining. I am just mad because this race exposed my weakness for all the world to see. My weakness is climbing.

As I exited the toll road and started into the inland road which made up the majority of the race, I knew I was in for a long bike ride. I had driven this course the day before and knew what was ahead. The first 9 miles was just some rollers that you could tell were getting a little higher. The first climb started which was about a mile or two long. I think it went up about 300-400 feet up. You then get a small break and then as you come down the hill you see a sign on your right that reads “El Tigre” which I knew was when the pain was going to start . At this point I was wondering about the drafting rules since it was like the death march up the hills. It was so quiet out there is except for the breathing of the racers. Few words were spoken except for the occasional “on your left”. At this point I just had my head down and pedaling. There were points of this climb that my speed was at 6-7 mph. I might have been able to go faster but I kept thinking I have 35 miles to ride, plus more hills and 13.1 miles to run so I tried to keep a steady rhythm with my pedals. Once you get off the switch backs you come to the top but this was a false flat. Even though I was pushing hard I just could not get it above 16 mph. Finally hit a real flat and then a small downhill into the mesa. This is where the 2nd aid station was and a port potty. Happily I got off and went to pee. Sorry guys but I refuse to pee on the bike at this point in my career. I had been eating and drinking so I was pleased about that. Now you come to the ¼ to ½ mile rollers which were ok. A few more small climbs and headed down into La Mision. A very small town where the turnaround was. Hit the turnaround , got the blue paint mark on my arm. ( I guess no time mats out here) , grabbed Gatorade , dumped one of my empty Accelerade bottles and off we go. BTW did I mention that descent into La Mision was fun but now I get to climb out of it again

Started the outward climb and now guess what? WIND, yes folks, when your slow you get the buffet of elements and now the wind has picked up. Thank god it was not a tough wind but when you’re my size, wind is wind. This climb was of course a little tougher but at least I was on the way home. The wind was stopping me from getting the good downhill speed to get a jump on the next hill. Well, everyone was dealing with it so no complaints.. Hit the next aid station and had to pee again. My hydration was going well. Just a little nauseated from the last climb but I can live with that. Start climbing out of the mesa to the top of El Tigre again and then hit the downhill. What a ride! People were very spread out at this time so I could just let it go. Since the curves were tight and no guardrail I was cautious. I think my top speed was 37. The rest of the ride was uneventful as I made my way back into town. My final thoughts of this bike leg was it was just plain tough on me. I think there as over 2000 feet of climbing if you add up all the elevation gains over the course. However, I did it and while it showed a glaring weakness, it made me stronger because I did it. I will become a climber.
What would you do differently?:

Work on hills more
Transition 2
  • 03m 11s

Nice volunteers took my bike and led me to my bag. Helped me get everything together.
  • 2h 25m 4s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 04s  min/mile

Ahh the run. This is where El Tigre came to make my pay my dues again. It wasn’t enough that Tigre made me suffer on the bike. Tigre now wanted to ride my back all 13.1 miles. Actually I didn’t feel that bad for the first 3 miles but then I started hurting. I made the mistake of walking a hill and that was that. The course ran from downtown Ensenada to Hotel Coral where we had the swim and T1. After the bike, T2 was in town and along the main street of Ensenada. Pretty flat course except for two small hills that made the hr go up quite a bit. Once I walked the first hill it became to easy to walk the aid stations and anything resembling a hill. Plus walking didn’t help that much. My knees started hurting halfway through the first loop which was first for me. I guess I found new aches and pains on that run. As far as the run goes, it was uneventful but I will say it was the toughest run I have ever done. It was the first time I ever felt that my legs had reached the point of no more power. I actually felt the knee give a little as I was running down the finishing chute. It has been said many times. Bike fitness makes the race. I am a firm believer of that now because I know that the bike made what should have been a easy run into what became a very difficult run.

My family was there to cheer me on during the run and that helped so much. Plus I knew a number of people in the race and we pushed each other as they went by. Of course they were in front of me but that was ok.

Post race
Event comments:

Now let me comment about the race, the venue and its organizers. This is not like doing a race in the states. Things are a little different here. First let me say. The organizers did a good job. I can't imagine what it would be like dealing with the the city oficials in Ensenada. They had great volunteers who were enthusiastic and very helpful. They didn't speak alot of english but they shouldnt have to. Spanish is thier national language. Specatators were great. The city seemed to embrace this race. Overall I think they did a fine job.

Now let me go over what is different than the states. You don't get the big time sponsers tents with all the free stuff. Not happening here. The village was a small room in the host hotel with about 4 booths. I came to buy stuff but there wasnt much to buy. I did get a BAja 70.3 bike jersey but just by the hair of my teeth. They only had one in XL and it had a dirt mark on it but my lovely bride took care of that for me.

The course was beautiful once you get outside the city. Myself I like the country. The bike course is tough in my opinion but that is a good thing. If this distance was easy everyone would do it. I will probably come back someday but not next year since there are other halfs I want to do. Plus in a moment of insanity I just signed up for IMAZ 2007.

Last updated: 2006-05-23 12:00 AM
00:39:43 | 1931 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/47
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Kind of a L shape. 300 meters in a small harbor then out to open ocean.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 08:08
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
03:38:58 | 56 miles | 15.34 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/47
Overall: 0/
Wind: Some
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 03:11
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:25:04 | 13.1 miles | 11m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/47
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2006-05-23 10:20 AM

Chula Vista, Ca
Subject: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja

2006-05-23 10:32 AM
in reply to: #431374

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Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja
Way to tough it out on El Tigre! I've ridden the route which covers El Tigre and the ride through Ensenada, and I know how mean those hills are. Aren't they about 12 % grade? Ensenada stank like that too when I was there too. I guess they aren't too concerned about it, eh. Anyway, way to stick with it!!

Edited by robin314159 2006-05-23 10:33 AM
2006-05-23 10:33 AM
in reply to: #431374

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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja
CONGRATS on your race and I am happy you had a good time on Mexico. Just to put things in perspective I did the FL 70.3 in Orlando capital of the "I will sell you stuff until you are broke" and it was in the heart of Disney! Well for my surprise the expo was very small, unappealing and there wasn't much stuff to buy/do. The race was well organized but the racing course wasn't the best and a few things could have been better. The lesson here I think it is that this is a new series and it is not directly managed by IMNA so organizers and RDs will  eventually fine tune all the details and hopefully we'll get even better races. BUT, as long as we can race and have fun in the process it is all good!

Enjoy your achievement, you are a rock star and go cowboys!

2006-05-23 10:57 AM
in reply to: #431374

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Subject: RE: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja
Congratulations! That sounded grueling! Yikes.
2006-05-26 6:46 PM
in reply to: #431374

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Subject: RE: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja
Congrats!! I've done el tigre too ( a looong time ago), didn't know it was on this course too.  A race I'd like to try someday
2006-05-29 9:11 AM
in reply to: #431374

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Subject: RE: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja

Great race report and congrats on gutting out a tough course!!!!!

I can't believe they still don't have the official results up on the web site yet.

So what's the next HIM for you?

2006-05-29 5:34 PM
in reply to: #431374

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Subject: RE: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja
Congratulations on your race and the lessons of El Tigre. I may do this one next year, so I thank you for sharing the knowledge you gained from the race.
2006-09-27 5:43 PM
in reply to: #431374

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Newport Beach, CA
Subject: RE: Mexico IronMan 70.3 Baja
Congrats on a great race!

I was checking out your race report, as I was thinking about doing this race next year. I just finished the Cancun 70.3, and I had a lot of similar notes comparable to yours. It is definitely not like doing a race in the states, they had few sponsors, and almost no gear available to buy (just a t-shirt). But, at least they had port-o-potties for your guys......we didn't even get that!

See you in AZ in 07!
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