IRONMAN MIAMI 70.3 RACE REPORT BY PAUL ALLINGHAM

I completed that Miami 70.3, finished 2cd in my age group and took the qualifying spot for the 70.3 World Championship in Australia (Mooloolaba on the Sun Coast) next September 2016.

I have a mixed review of the race.  I did very well in both the swim and bike portions but poorly in the run.
The day started good weather wise, about 80F and overcast and not quite as windy as earlier in the week although still pretty breezy.  But the temperature rose to about 90F with 80% humidity as the sun came out for most of the run.  Water temperature for the swim was 80F and not wet suit legal.  And they started warning of jellyfish at the start and encouraged those who had allergies or were in any way fearful to wear wet suits, start in the last wave, or only do the bike and run portions – of course you would get no official time or qualification if you did any of these.
My swim went well in 38:52 including a 2 minute run to transition before the timing mat. Salt water does help buoyancy and speed and I mastered keeping the salt water out of my mouth while breathing as it made me nauseous.  But I kept feeling “niggled” and tingly on my bare arms and shoulders during the swim.  I thought it was weeds as there were a lot to swim through in parts but later realized that it was also jellyfish tentacles that were stinging me somewhat.  I even bumped into a couple that I could feel.  I didn’t really suffer but did take the volunteers up on the offer of being sprayed with some kind of medication or disinfectant when I got out of the water.
The bike course was pretty flat out and back but the wind was behind us going out and a headwind coming back.  It went along an eastern part of the Everglades west of Miami for a bit but I saw no alligators.  (I did see some yesterday at the Kennedy Space Centre Tour.) Averaged 34kph going out and 26kph or so coming back as I tired somewhat into the wind.  Time was 3 hours 5 min including T-2 and beat my buddy Derek by a minute although he stated 2 minutes ahead of me after the swim.
Then onto the run where the heat and humidity did me in.  I really tired and probably either dehydrated a bit (although I drank 4 1/2 bottles on the bike and at every water stop on the run) or suffered a bit of heat stroke.  I had sunscreen on but still go burned a bit as it wore off. I ran and walked a bit on the first loop and then pretty much walked the 2cd loop.  Slowing quite a bit a the end and I threw up  2 Km from the end and rested a bit on a bench.  My old nemesis.
Derek beat me by and half hour overall but 2cd place for me was OK on the day and since he didn’t take the Australia spot for our age group I got it it.  That will be 2 nice trips next year including the Italy 70.3 in June I registered for earlier.  A great 50th anniversary year for travel with Joanne (and races he says quietly).
Finally the season is over and now just light training for a month or two and then it begins again for next year’s race season.

Trekky’s Tale the Saga by Paul Goodrow

Trekky’s Tale

We all ride bikes. And we all have our reasons. We’ve been to bike shops where we examine the merchandise. We inspect, we question, we judge. We want a fast bike. We want the perfect bike for us. But is ours the only story? Is there another untold tale?

Yo!! You bet there is! Hey, I’m glad I finally get to tell the real story.

My friends call me Trekky. You see, me and all my friends are bikes. Yeah, I’m a bike…a fast bike…a really fast bike. But I’m jumpin’ ahead.

It all started one day at the bike shop – a pretty cool bike shop actually– nothin’ but serious bikes for serious riders. Me and Felty and Canon and Cervo and all the other bikes on the floor – you gotta know we spend all our time lookin’ you guys over when you come in. What? You don’t think we do to you what you do to us? And you should hear what we say about you!! You see, we’re lookin’ for the perfect rider … you know, young, fit and strong. Someone who can make us do what we were made to do.

So one day this older guy – you know, lotsa snow on the roof – starts snoopin’ around. We’re like “Whoa grandpa, you lost? Can’t find Canadian Tire?” Then to my horror, he picks me out! And our sales guy’s starts tellin’ him all my features, like how light and aero I am, great on hills and in the wind, all the usual stuff. “Ok, I’ll take it” he says… and I’m like “S**t, my life is over and it ain’t even started”. And my so-called friends are all ”Yo, Trekky, you’ll look great with a basket” “Watch out Trekky, he’ll crash you and turn you into a walker”. “At least you’ll be the fastest walker at the home!” Yeah, real funny guys.

Next day my rider takes me out for a spin, to get used to my feel and my peddles he says. I’m like “Please don’t tip me over. Don’t crash me. Please, please, please”. Then to my surprise, he starts to ride me like he almost knows what he’s doin’… shifts my gears kinda smooth, doesn’t grind me, clips out at stops, handles me okay.

Soon we’re out with other bikes. Real good looking bikes too…with young and fit and strong riders. They all look fast. And I’m all “Why me?” “We’re gonna get dropped like last period French”. And again, to my surprise, we keep up. I mean we seriously keep up. This so doesn’t suck! And I’m now starting to think “Man was I made for this!!”

The season goes on and we go out on lots of rides, sometimes with other bikes, sometimes it’s just us. And the more we’re together, the more I realize I got my first impression all wrong. My guy just loves to ride! It must be the release – you know, the feelin’ of gettin’ away from it all for awhile.  I heard him say one time I “take him to freedom and beyond!”

Maybe it’s just the country air, and sense of motion. Or the honesty and the purity of it all. You know we can’t go anywhere where he doesn’t make it happen… with real, actual effort, not just pressin’ his big toe on a gas pedal.

And how he loves all the speed I can give him. And the danger! The more the one, the more the thrill of the other. If you ask me, I think he’s addicted!

One day we’re doin’ hill repeats. I’m takin’ him up just like I’m supposed to, and he’s resting goin’ down, just like he’s supposed to. Then I hear him say to the guys “I’m going to open it up on the descent. See how fast we can get it going”. I’m like “you sure?” cause I know how fast we can get me goin’. And it’s not called Snake Road for nothin’! We approach the first turn and I’m “Ah s**t, we’re goin’ into the guard rail. But he leans a little more and he keeps me just on the edge of the road. I’m sweating the oil off my chain!! Then he heads to the centre line for the next turn, takes me to high gear, and then really leans. If he so much as looks at my brakes, we’re down and I’m scrap. But he keeps peddling. Every turn, we’re Right…On…The…Edge! I’m thinkin’ either he knows what he’s doin’, or he’s freakin’ crazy. We make it to the bottom and he starts screaming “yes, yes, yes”. I know how fast we’re doin’ and decide yeah, he’s a little bit freakin’ crazy.

So he decides to enter a race. It’s one of those things where he swims a bit, then we ride for a bit, and then he takes off by himself and runs for a bit. (I know, don’t ask!!!). Anyway, we’re into the bike part and I know he’s goin’ to give it all he’s got. But we’ve never been in a race, so I don’t know what he’s really got. I shouldn’t have worried. As soon as I feel him get loose, he puts the hammer down. I can’t tell you how much fun it is passing other bikes. We even pull up to Canon from the bike shop, and then blow right by. All I got time to shout is “Who needs a basket now?”

Well, it’s been a whole season and I’ve been thinkin’ about how we started and what we’ve done together. And what I’ve learned. You know, you just can’t tell by lookin’ how much heart someone’s got. Or what kind of an engine they’ve got. Or how much kid is still left inside.

What I’m sayin’ is I’m real glad my guy picked me in the shop. I used to say “I was meant for this”. But now it’s “we were meant for this!!!”