70.3 World Championship …… Hot, Hot, Hot in Sin City!

70.3 World Championship …… Hot, Hot, Hot in Sin City!
We have never been to Las Vegas, but it’s one of those places that we have always wanted to visit. I really didn’t even know what to expect. The flight is were I got to see a birds eye view of the lay of the land. Looking out the planes window we caught a glimpse of Lake Mead and the Hover Dam which is carved into a red landscape of mountains (not 1 tree). You can see every detail and it looks like you might be flying over Mars (this is where a portion of the bike takes place). There was a much smaller lake we saw a few minutes later was Lake Las Vegas (this is where we will swim). The next few minutes we get a glimpse of the desert area (flat and still no trees). The unmistakable sin city is our next glimpse …….. just as we are landing. WOW! Not a freakin tree anywhere, you can see for miles and miles. We step off the plane and it is 105 degrees. Yes it is dry, but it’s still freakin HOT!

We grab our rental car and off we go. We head directly to the city before hotel check-in. We found a great little resturant in the Venetian Hotel. It was just like Venice without the dirty water and decaying buildings. The food, company and atmosphere was perfect for our first taste of Las Vegas. Then it was off to find our hotel. The hotel is about 5-6 miles from the strip and about 12 miles from the start of the race. Because of the last minute booking we had to settle with it. As we approach the Green Valley Ranch hotel/casino we realize that this place is no joke. Might be the nicest place we have ever stayed at. The decor, grounds, spa and pool are all top shelf. At this point I can deal with the inconvenience we will endure on race day.

Sometimes you step in a pile of sh!t and you come out smelling like roses.

Morning rolls around and we head to the lobby to grab our car from the valet. We tell him were heading to the Expo ….. he mentions that it is down the street, bang a right at the lights and it’s up on the left. Wait! The expo is less than a half mile from our hotel. That means the run start and finish line is there also. Our hotel is at the best possible location ………¬†Sometimes you step in a pile of sh!t and you come out smelling like roses. We grab my packet and head pack to grab the bike for a quick ride with Mary, Jill, Paul, Tom and Mike. We load the bikes and off we go to the start area where the swim will take place. We rode for just over an hour and it was freakin HOT (close to 110 degrees). Then the (B!tches) I mean Girls decide to take us on a section of a bike path that’s just off the course (I think they just wanted to torture me). We had to do these series of climbs called the 3 sisters #goodstuff. Then it was back to the pool to Relax.

Kellalina is my sherpa for the day

Vegas 70.3 Sherpa

Race Day:
Got up super early to head to transition. Because the Pro race starts at 6:30 ….. they close transition at 6am. It is dark at 6am and there are ants all over everyones bikes (ants like sports drinks). My wave is the 2nd from last and we don’t start till about 8am (7:55ish). The good news is Tom and Patty have rented a room at the start and I can head up there to relax and eat my breakfast. After eating I headed back down to the water to watch the Pro’s come out of the water (that was cool).

Swim start at the 70.3 World ChampionshipMary went off right after the Pro’s, Jill, Tom and Paul were off about 20 minutes later. Mike and I suited up and off we went (speedsuits not wetsuits) into the 85 degree water. 7:55 rolls around and off we go. The swims the swim and I feel I swam pretty good. That might have been the first time that I could feel myself sweating while swimming (the sun was beating down hard by this time in the am). I grab my bike and really happy that Im done swimming. The first few miles of the bike are straight up to the highway. I already knew that I needed to meter myself early or I would be walking or even crawling the run. The bike takes place in the hills in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It’s somewhat hilly and it’s getting real hot quickly. The miles go by quickly and I seem to be picking riders off, but some don’t want to be passed. At this early stage of the ride I just let em go. At about 25 miles there is a turnaround. Once I made the turn, not to many are willing to fight back and I still feel real good. Im downing about 3 bottles every 20 miles and I know that this will pay dividends on the run. Now Im starting to see riders pulled over slouched on their handlebars and have overheated. Because of the late start we get to see all the carnage of the people who went to hard to early.
Vegas 70.3 World Championship Bike CourseThe last 12 miles back into town are a nice change of scenery (literally). Mead was cool for a few miles, but there wasn’t one tree and it was like riding on the surface of Mars. The last several miles had some good climbing. Was this a sign of things to come on the run. I hand my bike off and off to the tent to throw my sneaks on. My watch was baking in the sun in my transition bag (It felt like it was branding my wrist). The tent was so hot that I couldn’t wait to get out and run. The first mile of the run is fast because you head downhill. Make a turn and the next 2 plus miles are uphill. Make a turn head downhill for about a mile, run by the finish. Head up this steep little hill run around the Amphitheater down a steep sidewalk and then continue onto the same downhill that you started on. Just over 4 miles per lap no flat sections and you do this 3 times. My foot surprised me and it was pain free for the first 6 miles. The last 7 miles the pain was bearable, but it hurt a lot more while running downhill. Even though the hills are tough, Im not sure you could think straight. It was really hot by now. Easily in the 100’s on a couple of sections because of the lack of air movement and the heat of the pavement and I was still running at 1pm. I finished in 5:17 which wasn’t stellar, but only about 6 guys in my age group broke 4:50. Based on how my foot felt I was really happy with my result. I might have set myself back a few weeks, but it was worth it to do one of the coolest races on the Planet. Plus ……… It might be hot in Kona!

Then it was off to the pool to relax. While sitting by the pool we noticed that most of the Pro’s were staying at the same hotel. They were all at the pool and we stalked them all for photos ………. Good Stuff

Vegas 70.3 World Championship finisher medal