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Ironman 70.3 St. Croix - Triathlon

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St. Criox,
Virgin Islands, U.S.
World Triathlon Corporation
81F / 27C
Total Time = 8h 14m 56s
Overall Rank = 159/202
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 5/8
Pre-race routine:

Set alarm for 4am. Triple checked my bag to make sure I had everything. I had ordered breakfast the day before at the hotel and put it in the refrigerator in our room since I knew nothing would be open as early as I would need it on the morning of the race. The taxis had a sign up sheet the day before, so I signed up and rode the van to the race start. Most of us did this and didn’t ride our bikes. The roads were dark and none of us had thought to bring a headlamp or bike lights. We looked like a big jigsaw puzzle with people, gear bags and bikes in a 15 passenger van.
Event warmup:

At the race start, I set out my stuff at transition and ran through the day in my head. I lathered up sunscreen and then used baby wipes that I brought to clean my hands. We didn’t have body marking so I didn’t have to worry about smearing that all over. I drank my Nuun and ate my waffle just before the race director announced that we could start swimming over to Hotel on the Cay. Everyone jumped off the wharf and cruised over. This was a beach start with an immediate hard left turn around the island and then straight out into the harbor.
  • 59m 25s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 49s / 100 yards

The swim started off beautifully. You could see the divers below you on the course and at the buoys. That was really neat. They waved to you :) There were no buoys in between the turn buoys, so sighting was difficult. There were 4 round buoys at the Hotel on the Cay as a staging box, but otherwise there were only 2 buoys out at the turn around and one at the Fort at the last turn. On the way out it wasn’t a problem as I just followed the swimmers in front of me. About halfway on the return leg, it started pouring rain and the wind was howling. The water got pretty rough and sighting was impossible. I stopped and asked a kayak where the buoy was so that I could find something bigger on shore to use to sight. He just said swim to the next kayak. So I ended up using the kayaks to sight…which made my path very irregular. I finally spotted the fort and the last turn buoy. Once there, sighting was simple. I just followed the wharf until I got to the ramp and was pulled out. There were no steps. The guys literally grabbed your arms and lifted you out.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure what I could have done differently. I could see where we were supposed to be heading, so I did the best that I could. I'm a slow swimmer to begin with but this was an exceptionally bad second half of the swim.
Transition 1
  • 02m 24s

The rain slacked up as I entered T1. I didn’t realize it during the swim but I had to go to the bathroom and I didn’t want to pee myself on the bike so I had a short stop in T1.
What would you do differently?:

cut out the bathroom stop in T1 if I had realized it earlier during the swim
  • 4h 16m 51s
  • 56 miles
  • 13.08 mile/hr

Heading out on the bike, the roads were wet so I paid extra attention on turns and lane markers so I wouldn’t crash. I saw tons of people on the sides of the roads with flats throughout the course. I didn’t see any crashes but found out later that there were several. I did see one poor rider about mile 50 with a broken chain. The whole time out there, I never saw one SAG vehicle or assistance other than volunteers at the aid stations. After the first 8 mile loop in town, the front half of the bike ride was absolutely gorgeous!! Then we hit The Beast. I find it funny now that in my coach's pre-race email that she said “if I need to walk The Beast”….I had aspirations of not walking it at all. I figured that if I could slowly grind up Brockway Summit in Tahoe, I could do this. Yeah right! If I had the chance to pre-ride the course (either on bike or by car), I would have laughed. I made it just to the T in the BeasT before I had to stop and walk it or risk tipping over without being able to unclip. I was in a large group walking up it at that time. One guy did come flying (relatively speaking) past us up The Beast. I think he was a guy that I had passed earlier on the side of the road with a flat. I never saw him again after that. At the top of The Beast, I stopped at that aid station. Those volunteers on the course were AMAZING. Easily the best of any race that I’ve been to EVER! I poured water over my head between openings on my helmet. Drank some, ate a waffle and got going again. I knew that we would be climbing again around mile 40 or so. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. We hit Grassy Point and a few others that I don’t remember the names of. I’m not sure if the back half of the ride wasn’t as pretty as the front half or if I was just plain done but I don’t remember the end of the ride being pretty, lol. My nutrition schedule got thrown off due to the hills and need to focus on the descents (the roads had loose gravel at the bottom of most of the turns).
What would you do differently?:

Perhaps I should have used Infinit (which I used primarily all last season) so that I wouldn't have had to worry about getting waffles out of my bento or pocket.
Transition 2
  • 03m 11s

Once into T2, I got off at the dismount line. My legs were spaghetti. I walked into transition and racked my bike. Took a second to breathe…forgot to take off my HR strap (coach said to take it off to help with breathing. I did have the optical on my Garmin anyway). I figured that I could give it to the hubby since I was running past our hotel room on the run course (we stayed at The Buccaneer). I never did see him though, so it stayed on the whole run. I did unzip the front of my top which helped get some breeze.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe move faster and jog with bike instead of walking but my legs were just toast.
  • 2h 53m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 13s  min/mile

The plan was to run aid station to aid station and walk the aid station to take in fluids and nutrition. I tried to focus on running to the aid station, but I had a hard time even lifting my feet up to jog. I ended up walking way more than planned, but I just wanted to finish. I ended up at an aid station with another lady. We started chatting about how our race plan went to hell. We decided that we would help each other and make sure we both finished this thing and not get pulled from the course…which we did.
What would you do differently?:

I could have left her and run more on the second loop but after she kept me moving on the first loop, I decided that my times were so bad that shaving 15 minutes wasn't worth it.
Post race
Warm down:

By the time we finished though, the post race area was being taken apart. There was no food or drink available other than cliff bars and water. I tried to catch a taxi (they use big passenger vans on the island) back to The Buccaneer as the road on the run course was open as we finished (we had to dodge traffic a few times). The taxi driver wouldn’t take me stating that the roads were closed until 4pm. So, I decided not to wait almost an hour for a ride. I wanted to get back to the hotel room, take a shower and get dry as I was tired of being wet all over. I got back onto my bike with my backpack on my shoulders and rode the 2.5-3 miles back to my hotel room. That was the most miserable part of the day. My legs were toast and I had to stay on the horns as if I had tried to get in aerobars with my backpack, I’d end up crashing. I had planned on riding the van back so I had my flip flops on. I had to remember when I stopped at red lights, that I needed to pull the pedal upwards with the top of my foot, and that I couldn’t just lift my foot up as I wasn’t clipped in. LOL…I’ve never ridden my trip bike without clip in shoes before so that was interesting. I didn’t want to put wet shoes back on my prune looking wet feet, so I just kept riding in flip flops.

I finally got back to the hotel, showered and we went to an early dinner, since by that time, I was starving. I think we ate at 5pm and I was in bed by 8:30pm :)

Event comments:

Since this was the last year of IM St. Croix 70.3, I think the financial budget was slim and it was obvious. At packet pickup, your running bib (which was a simple bib number and didn't have your name on it like at other IM races) was in a plastic bag. No backpacks were given out as swag. You did get a white T-shirt with IM ST. Croix on the front of it. There was a small room for bike mechanic (thank goodness because my front brake cable got snapped en route (TSA completely unpacked my bike box when we were flying out of mainland US and didn't repack properly). In the room adjacent to the bike mechanic was the "merchandise." There were CO2 cartridges, cliff bars and 4-5 tank tops with St. Croix on them. That's it. No other merchandise for sale. I had hoped to get the finisher shirt with the participants names on the back. There was none of the gear that you can usually buy at an IM race. The post race festivities were being taken down by the time I finished which is ok as well. I wasn't feeling much like real food at that point. There were no finisher hats or T-shirts..just your medal as you crossed the finish line. You could really tell that this race had a tight budget. Saying all of that, the locals on the island were GREAT!! They were out on the entire course cheering and clapping. This was by far the best race with local's support. I'm sad to see this race going as it truly seemed that the locals were happy we were there racing. We provided them entertainment and spent a lot of money while we were there. We stayed almost a whole week after the race to enjoy the island. The volunteers were AMAZING. Best volunteers at an IM race I've ever been to. They did their best to get you what you asked for and then some!

Last updated: 2017-05-16 12:00 AM
00:59:25 | 2112 yards | 02m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/8
Overall: 180/202
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:24
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
04:16:51 | 56 miles | 13.08 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/8
Overall: 165/202
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: This is pretty much a tour of the majority of the island. There is usually a strong headwind when you make the turn East to head back into town around mile 45 or so.
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Hills: Below average
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:11
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:53:05 | 13.1 miles | 13m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/8
Overall: 159/202
Performance: Bad
Course: This is a 2 loop run course from downtown Christiansted to The Buccaneer hotel. Most of the run at The Buccaneer is on gravel or grass running trail. The run entering and exiting the hotel was on paved road. The run to and from Christiansted was on paved road.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5]

2017-05-16 10:51 AM

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Subject: Ironman 70.3 St. Croix

2017-05-17 2:29 PM
in reply to: #5220543

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Subject: RE: Ironman 70.3 St. Croix

Congrats!  Sounds like a well paced 70.3--right about my speed! The swim sounded cool with the divers below!  

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