Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Victoria 70.3

Victoria (BC) 70.3 is a deceptive half Ironman. First, it really isn't in Victoria; it's in Saanich, about 20 miles north. Second, it's a surprisingly tough course, and tough to tell from the maps in advance. The lake swim is, of course, fine, but while the bike course has only about 2600' of elevation (838 m), there were few straights, and it turned out I took the wrong bike; dragging a heavy time trial bike up those hills and rollers wasn't nearly compensated by any speed on the downhills. The run course is almost all on trails or dirt roads, so the scenery might have been fine, but I had to spend my time making sure that my left foot didn't hit a rock or root or hole and end my day. Finally, when I stopped my watch at the end, it said 71.0 miles - 0.7 more than billed (maybe from running in the transition area and to the bathrooms?)

But in the end, it was a fun event - great volunteers, good weather (surprisingly so; little wind, rain held off until the run, and even on the run, the tree canopy kept you from getting too wet), and a huge group from TriScottsdale. I made my base goals. I didn't get hurt, I finished, I finished under 7 hours, and it was 40 degrees cooler than Phoenix, but that was all I could do.

I'm not sure I'd recommend Victoria, however. There's no central location or hotel, so your experience is driven by where you stay. I shared a house with 5 other TriScottsdale athletes (and a spouse and sibling who weren't racing) in Sooke, which is 30 minutes outside Victoria in the other direction, so I had fun but I didn't see much of the other TriScottsdale folks, except at a happy hour on Friday. Other races seem to have much more camaraderie and proximity, but not here. The Ironman "Village" was really out in the middle of nowhere. Plus, those Canadians (and US Pacific Northwesterners) are fast, curse them!

Swim 36:46
T1 8:04
Bike 3:31:47
T2 6:04
Run 2:29:14

Total 6:51:55, 29/34 division, 753/950 gender, 1126/1501 overall

Results here; pictures here.