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Florida Ironman 70.3 Race Report by Julia Rutledge

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Beth Deazeley and I had the pleasure (?!?) of participating in the 70.3 FLORIDA on April 12th

Although Beth and I met up at the expo we did not get a chance of having a picture together or to compare notes on the actual race after it was complete…so…here is my version of race day….

I have to say that was one of the ugliest races I have ever had the pleasure of “paying” to be in!

It started when we learned that they had to dredge the lake 2 times for alligators the day before!…so that was playing on my mind a bit!… The morning dawned with lightening and we were told at 4:30am that the water was 81.8 degrees…sooooooo…if you decided to wear a wetsuit you were removed from receiving your timing in your age class and had to swim in the 17th wave!…at 8am…ugh!…so made the decision to try for a naked swim in swampy bath water!…  (I had never heard of a “swim skin” before…but I now have one on my shopping list!)

It was VERY weedy and although I was in wave 4 at 7:02 am there were 13 waves behind me of faster and younger swimmers that literally swam over top of us!…


The swim was a very odd shape…the Ironman “M” and the worst part was when everyone was converging on the middle point of the “M”…which was one little buoy and dozens of swimmers all trying to get around it at once.  You literally had to tread water (like stopping in a traffic jam) until it was your turn to swim around it…and did I mention it was weedy?!…  My lifelong friend Silvana was with me for the race and she was laughing that many of us looked like swamp people as we emerged from the water covered in weeds!

The bike was awesome…but did you know that central Florida is HILLY?!?!…wtf…but ok it was good training for LP (if I decide to do it!)… and btw the  guys are real pr’s on the bikes…they pass without caring who they are endangering and pull in right in on top of you…it was nasty as I was riding with a lot of boys that were in the swim waves behind me and so therefore young, fast and RUDE!!!…oh well…I passed many of them on my run…er…ok call it a jog!

The run started and it was already hot…and getting hotter…and btw…who the heck put SO MANY HILLS in FLORIDA!… It was clear in the first of 3 loop on the run that the heat was going to be a huge component…it was now in the high 90’s!…and by 10km everyone was walking!…  I was in trouble as I started to retch and lose focus…thank goodness for water, ice and COKE COLA!…brought me back around…and thank goodness for all the residences along the run who came out with garden hoses to soak us down…

I just kept running…er…”jogging” and eventually many those that swam over me or rode by me were soon behind me!…

It was an ugly ugly run and race but I overcame a lot of personal demons by swimming naked in an alligator invested bath tub…and “jogging” until my little legs crossed the finish line…

Thanks again everyone…all I can say is…”I DIDN’T DROWN”!!!…and now I can wear the swag!

Julia Rutledge