Sunday, April 18, 2004

The World's Toughest 1/2 Ironman? You BET!

April 18th, Christi and I drove to Auburn, CA for the World's Toughest 1/2 Ironman. With a name like that, you don't expect a nice flat course, and I wasn't disappointed - 6,400' vertical on the bike, another 3,000' on the trail run half marathon. And to top it off, we got to swim our way through sub-55 degree water to start. You know when they are handing out mandatory neoprene caps, it's gonna be C-C-C-COLD! I've tried a lot of triathlons (Escape from Alcatraz, Big Kahuna, Hawaii, Pacific Crest, Wildflower, etc), and this one is the most bad ass around.

With triathlons greats like the DeBooms out in front, the rest of us could take our time and try to get the feeling in our extremeties back (I did finally feel my toes about mile 3 of the run). Still, it was the most challenging course I have ever seen. You can't really complain when the title is "World's Toughest", I mean, it's not like you weren't warned. The bike was hilly with lots of canyon descents and climbs, and the run was challenging, covering sections of the famed Western States 100 course. I finished near the end of the pack in about six hours, and had a great time.

I felt really strong on the run, and I think it was largely a mental boost from finishing that marathon a few weeks previous. I signed up for the Park City Marathon in a few more weeks to try another marathon, this time a trail/road mix. Again, I understand this isn't the best training method (let the flame comments begin), but I'm trying to fit in as much as possible for the Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series.

Honey of a sun burn on this event too, btw. As soon as you think you're the pro, another rookie move comes along to remind you. ;oP

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