While in Kissimmee, Florida we ate dinner at FishBones. A restaurant more impressed with itself than impressive to us. You can read about this restaurant and others we visited on our trip in a later blog.
We stopped in Kissimmee for the night and stayed at a Hampton Inn near Disney World.
|Hampton Inn in Kissimmee, Florida near Disney World|
|Our room overlooking the freeway|
|Hurricane Sandy update|
|Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender|
|My race-ready haircut|
Our hosts for the race were my brother-in-law, Susan's brother Mark and his wife Beth. They live in Fort Lauderdale amongst the Mercedez-Benz, Ferrari, and Lamborghini dealerships just 30 miles north of Miami.
|Beth and Mark during the race|
|Before - X-Lab Carbon Wing|
|X-Lab Delta Wing 200|
|The mounting bracket fasteners to the seat rails|
|After - X-Lab Delta Wing 200 (with carbon cage)|
The plan for the trip was to get to Fort Lauderdale early so we could visit with family and meet up with my old friend Don. Don and I grew up together in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Now he and his wife Sofia, and their three (3) daughters Stefanie, Amanda, and Tabitha live west of Fort Lauderdale in bike friendly Weston, although he doesn't bike.
|Stefanie, Amanda, and Tabitha|
|Fort Lauderdale Anglin's Pier as Hurricane Sandy passes offshore|
|Seaweed and trash brought ashore at Delray Beach by Hurricane Sandy|
On Saturday, while Susan and my in-laws were shopping at an arts festival nearer to home, my Sherpa for the day Don, and I drove to Miami to pickup my race packet and check-in my bike.
|Sherpa Don with my bike and race packet|
|The view from Bayside Mall|
|The transition area before the race - Good Morning Miami!|
|The male pro triathletes as they enter the water|
|The Male 50-54 swim wave|
|A helicopter hovers over the swimmers|
|The start of the bike segment|
|The finish of the bike segment|
The run course winds along the bay front over the MacArthur Causeway bridge and back to the transition area twice. At the start of my run I saw pro triathletes Matty Reed and Leanda Cave right behind him heading for the finish line. Leanda was the 2012 Ironman World Championship female overall winner in Kona, Hawaii only two week earlier. I saw several other pros too but I didn't recognize any of them. In addition to the pros there were participants from every Latin American country. It was an international field of competitors.
The run course was hot, windy, and humid with a funky loop to a water station. As I plodded along I saw Matt Cole and three other racers from Team Podium in Decatur, Georgia. Matt who now owns Podium Multisport did my tri-bike fit when he was still with All3Sports in 2010. It was nice to see a familiar face on the course.
|Lap 2 of the run|
|Headed to the finish line|
|That's the real look of exhaustion|
My race cons have to be the failed use of my Garmin 910XT watch. I had everything setup correctly. I'd even practiced using the watch in multisport mode the day before. However, instead of pressing "LAP" following the swim segment I pressed "STOP". Out of T-1 I pressed "START" again. I pressed STOP again after the bike segment resulting in a 60-mile swim segment and no bike data. As I exited T-2 I reset my watch to use during the run segment. That worked! I don't like the heart rate monitor constricting my breathing either. Also, with the PVC mount my finger became numb and I wasn't able to maintain a secure grip of my aerobars. I think that from now on I'll only use my Garmin during training. A second con has to be the use of a Gatorade bottle to refill Bontrager Aero Pack. With the CamelBak bite valve restricting ventilation it spills as much as it fills. I'll have to try other bottle types to see what works best. My third and final con has to be adjusting my bike fit only two (2) weeks before the race and than not riding enough to get used to it.
The event pros and cons were few. The pros were the police. They had the bike and run courses locked down tight. Nobody wants to hear about someone involved in a vehicle-vs-bicycle accident. In fact the only accident I saw was where someone rode their bike into an orange cone. He was probably blown into the cone by a gust of wind. I also saw a runner laid out flat on the ground in the middle of the run course near the first run water station. Two (2) volunteers were on him like white on rice as one of them radioed for help. Kudos to them!
The cons were that, in my humble opinion, the City Bikes Ironman Miami 70.3 Facebook page was under utilized. It was clearly not a destination to ask questions or to chat with other participants. Also, on the event website, the posting of participant bib #'s was not done and the bike and run courses were not well defined. Access to transition area was delayed by two (2) hours. That wasn't a big deal in light of the foul weather Miami had on Thursday and Friday. There was no fresh water shower, water hose or anything to rinse off the salt water after the swim. There were no sponges on the run course and the 82Go bags of water were just weird. All minor issues considering but worth noting.
After the race we packed up my stuff and headed back to Fort Lauderdale where we had some cold beer waiting in the fridge. I knew there was no need for me to stick around to collect any additional hardware. If I was going to be a contender than I'd have to train like it.
|My race bib|
|2012 Ironman Miami 70.3 technical t-shirt|
|2012 Ironman Miami 70.3 Finisher medal|
Susan and I left Fort Lauderdale just before 6:00 am on Monday morning. Once again driving through the gauntlet of Right to Life and We Bare it All! billboards, we were $19.65 poorer from the one-way trip on the Florida Turnpike. Florida has a boat load of toll roads.
|Cafe' Risque billboard|
|Superstorm Sandy hits the East Coast on Tuesday|
Thanks for reading.
Checkout all the pictures from our trip.
|2012 Ironman Miami 70.3|