First time to Vegas calls for only one thing- a race! Silverman 70.3 boasted a competitive pro field and a very challenging course right from the gun. To cut to the chase, I came 10th
and was initially very upset with that. Really this was only because I was outside the money, and am very stressed about that whole situation (not that I didn’t know this was what I was getting into, and not that I haven’t applied for jobs, but apparently having a BSc makes you over-qualified for part-time work). After chatting with a fellow competitor who was at the same hotel, I realized that I shouldn’t be upset with the race. He asked what I could have done differently, and the answer is nothing. There is nothing I could have done to place better, I raced to the best of my ability and simply have work to do to be faster.
The swim takes place in Lake Mead, which is a small part of Lake Las Vegas, a massive, man-made body of water.
The swim course was essentially a triangle, but the top side was only 300m, with the other two sides being very long. I mention this because it made the swim extremely challenging. The wind (at 40+km/hr) was coming from the side, which meant we had big waves coming from the side for the majority of the swim. I am sure I spent more energy attempting to swim in a straight line than I did trying to go forward, and also drank A LOT of water (yum yum, all that algae). Warm water temperatures meant no wetsuit, but this was the first time I had a Nineteen speed suit- it definitely made the swimming feel smoother. I started on the outside, which was technically the furthest distance to the first turn buoy, but with the waves this was a smart choice as they pushed me over to the side without me consciously needing to do it (I actually had to make sure I didn’t go too far inside the buoys). With 40 pro women signed up for the race, I was 7th out of the water- I honestly cannot ask for more than that at this point, that is a really great swim for me.
Onto the bike. Here is the elevation profile:
So yes, that is 1,300m of climbing in 90km. It was not as challenging as I was expecting, as the hills are very rolling- I think the only times I stood up were to stretch my legs, and not really because I needed to to climb the hill. However, the wind. Holy crap. This makes that race in Georgina seem like we had a gentle breeze. On multiple occasions I had to get out of aero just to control my bike, and this is with only a 33mm depth Blade Carbon race wheel on the front. I caught a couple people on the bike, but 3 or 4 passed me. I was already going as hard as I could and had nothing to try and go with them, so spent most of the ride going solo. As a person who likes greenery and trees, I found this course to be very boring. Just brown rolling hills with dead vegetation- it all looked the same so seemed like we would never get out of the national park.
By the time I got to T2 I was totally fried, physically and mentally.
On went the Skechers GoRun Ultras and onto the run course. Here is the run course profile:
I hope you are cringing as you imagine running that. Up, up, up, down, down, down and repeat x3. The first lap I focused on trying to settle into a manageable pace and taking one lap at a time. By lap two I was thinking things weren’t so bad and managed to catch two people, Kate Bevilaqua (3x ironman champion) and Melanie McQuaid (3x Xterra world champion and person who beat me in St. Andrew’s)- this race really had top notch athletes. But then I got to lap 3 and things started to not feel so good. I hadn’t been able to totally follow my nutrition plan on the bike and coke wasn’t sitting well on the run, so I was running on empty and definitely feeling the effects of it. Malindi Elmore (former track Olympian) passed me like I was standing still at 10miles and another athlete caught me as I shuffled up the gigantic hill. I held on for 10thand was completely drained crossing the finish line.
I have taken some extra recovery time from the race as it was definitely needed, but will now do a good block of training in preparation for the FLAT Miami 70.3 on October 25th