Ironman CDA 2008 Race
Ironman is addicting! Less than 48 hours after completing my
first Ironman at CDA (no I cannot spell Coeur d’ Alene) last year and saying 1
and done; I signed up for Ironman #2 back at CDA for a variety of reasons. However
the main reason was a group of friends acquaintances that centered around the Triathlon
Lab in Redondo Beach and the South Bay
chapter LA Tri Club was making the trip.
CDA is a great venue for to go participate in an Ironman,
and I say this because of the beautiful location, a challenge course, but most
important the local people who put on the race. The whole town seams to love
having the race and is VERY supportive. In a sense they treat it as a big
party, which is very evident during the marathon.
Pre Race drama: The Lake was 48 degrees with 2 weeks until
race day. It snowed in town 2weeks before race day! They are going to cancel
the swim. Blah! Blah! Blah! The lake is cold. This is Mountain Lake,
and I have been in it on the third week of June for two consecutive years. The
water temp last year was about 62, and this year it was 59 degrees. So if you
are planning to on doing this race be prepared for to start your day cold. The
race officials provided 3 heated tents and 3 hot tubs for us folks who cannot
Ok now to the stats:
Finish time 13:29: 1:28 swim (Very Good for Me), 19 minute
T1 (I said the lake was cold), 6:38 bike (should have been faster, but I had a
few stops), and a 4:55 Marathon (Death
March). However, these are the important
numbers for the day: Kit changes 3 including my favorite Pink “Splish” swim
briefs, LA Tri Club kit for the bike, and Tri Lab kit for the run. Yams 5,
Bakers Cookies 3, 6 bottles of Strawberry Ensure Protein Plus, 1 total waste of
a stop at bike special needs and 4 deuces on the marathon and $300 dollars
spent at the expo.
Now to the race!
Swim: 2 loops on a rectangle 900 yard down, 100 across, and
back 900 with brief stop on the beach to go across a timing mat.
Yep the water was COLD to me and after swimming all winter
long, I was VERY happy with the time. As usual with an Ironman it is a mass
start with 2000 of your closest friends. After spending the entire winter cold
and wet in a pool 4 to 5 days per week, I was able to stay in the mix of things
for the 2 lap swim. My version of the swim started pretty strange as I got 400
yards of open water to get started. Then as soon as I got a rhythm, I hit the
first log jam and bumped and grinded for the next 400 yards to first turn at
far end of the course. If you are planning on racing CDA, be prepared for a
horrific situation at the first turn. Big Chop, swimming again the current, and
traffic jam of elbows and feet. I just want to know who was grabbing my a$$,
because that individual owes me dinner at least! Things calmed down after the
turn back to the beach. The 2nd loop was pretty uneventful, just
more cold water a little bumping from time to time but went by pretty quickly!
15 minutes shivering in a heated tent, where a volunteer
brought me my kit and warm liquid that could have been chicken broth as
Bike: 2 Loops with sections of flats, rolling hills, and
farmland around both the town of CDA and Hayden Lake.
Theme for the bike course in Hayden downhill, sharp right
turn, with a short sharp climb behind it. When they say “Slow Down” they mean
On to the bike, and the realization that this was going to
be a long day! Since I was cold and it seamed like there could be overcast, I
choose to wear arm warmers and a Craft windshirt to get and stay warm. This
would be mistake number 1 of the day, and a mistake that I think would set the
tone for a VERY long day. Needless to say I over heated immediately and stopped
at the second aid station to “donate” my Craft windstopper base layer and arm
warmers to the aid station volunteers. After about 10 miles, I cooled down and
began to feel human again. So the rest of the ride, I spent chatting with other
racer, checking out the cool bikes (THERE WERE A TON OF GURU’s), cheering on
friends, and trying to stay in the moment and enjoy the ride. So after 112
miles in the sun, and a sore taint I went to change 1 more time and go off to
Run: 2 Loops on a mostly flat course through the town center,
adjacent neighborhoods, and long stretch along the lake that has a half mile
uphill to the turn around.
This is where you really see that the people of CDA love
having this race in their town! The cheering did not stop when you left the
main drag in town, but continued through the VERY nice neighborhood along the
lake where people were having IM parties and playing inspirational music like
the Rocky theme. Since I was already a train wreck at mile 1 of the marathon
these folks helped make my death march bearable and almost fun. The aid stations
were even better, the volunteers made this race great! Service with a smile,
encouragement and a joke or two, what more can a suffering triathlete ask for?
They even tell you that you look great when you know different, much different!
The volunteers are AWESOME at this race. Remember those arm
warmers I donated on the bike course? Well they miraculously made it back into
my bag! The guy remembered my number, transported my arm warmers from 20 miles
out of town back to the transition area, and had them put into my bag! Talk
about above and beyond!
The community is great! Everyone in town that I spoke to was
friendly and wanted to have that good vacation chat of a good host! Hi how are
you? Where you from? How long you in town? How can I help?