Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon
This year I decided not to do the usual Sprint and Olympic distance races when I spend time in USA over the summer for work, but opted to go up to Ironman 70.3 which is made of a 1.2m swim, 56m bike and half marathon. I knew I had no chance to podium since there were 47 pros entering (and it is the quals for the 70.3 worlds). 2500 signed up for the worlds most popular 70.3 event, which got sold out in 1 hour. (amazing when you think the event cost is a MASSIVE $250ea…). The event was held in Napa Valley area, California, which is where a ton of wine is produced and as you would expect the scenery is fantastic.
The swim started well and luckily not all 2500 people were not starting at the same time, so they broke it down by age and set the groups off in 6 min intervals. It was a bit crazy when we started to swim past the slower groups which meant a lot of zig zagging with the usual kicks and punches to the face. 28mins went by quickly so happy with that as the average pro man did 22-29mins (29min seems a bit slow for a pro, not sure what happened there to him).
Next section was the bike and as the airline charges $400 round trip for each bike, I could only justify taking one bike for this trip and went with the road bike. I tried to make it as much like a TT bike as possible, so added the aero wheel, bars & helmet. Over the rolling hill 56m course the average was 22.8mph, so cant complain with that, cant see having my TT would have made a massive improvement, maybe another 1mph I guess ? (I was trying to keep telling myself don’t push it too hard as you have a stupid ass long run after, so that was worrying me in the back of my dumb head). Completed it in 2hr 27min – pros did between 2hr 7min – 2hr 22min
The run was mainly on flatish roads, with a few annoying drags here & there, part of the run went through the vineyards, which was a nice change. The feed stations unfortunately were only giving out water & Gatorade (so no free wine samples). The goal I gave myself was to do a sub 5hr for the whole event, and as the run went well (for me) I did a 1hr 42 half marathon (pros 1hr 11min – 1hr 25min) which gave a finishing time of 4hr 44mins.
Overall I came 116 out of 2300 which turned up, so taking out 47 pros, I was very happy with the final result. No prizes / no podium, but I feel it was my best result of the year.