Vegas 70.3 World Championships Race Report

Ironman 70.3

Transition area the day before the race.   Yes, I had to sleep without my bike.
Transition area the day before the race. Yes, I had to sleep without my bike.

“Expect nothing. Be prepared for anything”

There is always an unknown at races and this was no different. So when I was thinking we were getting 104 degree heat on race day, it took me a while to register that the weather had took a turn and it was raining on race morning…

Prepared and ready!
Prepared and ready!

9/8/13
I woke up to raindrops on my hotel window… DEJA VU! Last time I was here (refer to ITU Worlds in 2011) it rained the night before the race! Must be me, I am just destined to pick races with crazy weather…. Vegas rains 27 days a year and today just happened to be one of them.

I got that same feeling in my gut driving to the venue. Last time I was here it was unexpected bad weather and they cancelled the swim. You learn to expect the unexpected….. Despite the nasty brown canal, I was actually pretty excited to swim in this Lake. I didn’t get the chance last time and it was just something I needed, wanted to do. I arrived and instantly was soaked. Checked my bike and then met a friend in her very conveniently located room about a 2 minute walk from the start. Thank you!!! With the rain, it was nice to have a dry warm place to hang out in and provide some joint comic relief with all the people getting ready…. We headed down to the lake with about 15 minutes to go. I get into line with my yellow cap friends (us 40 year olds….), make some small talk, and get prepared when I hear the announcer mention my name.

“And today we have Jennifer Temperley racing in honor of her father. Good luck Jennifer”

Woah. I took a deep breath, smiled, and for a second I heard nothing. In fact, I felt nothing. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I could hear people’s voices but they didn’t register. I felt so proud! Then I thought about doorknobs.

We walked into the water and swam to the bridge, anxiously awaiting the gun start. Canon went off and BOOM, the day had officially begun. Swim fairly uneventful… just like staring at the bottom of the pool all day during a workout (except you can’t see your hands in front of you). The best news was I got out and wasn’t totally winded or exhausted! 31 minutes. Not record breaking by any means, but right behind a few other girls which made me 5th in my age group. Not bad for a healing shoulder….

Pictures never do the weather justice.....
Pictures never do the weather justice…..

Then we get on the bike… mind you it’s still raining. It’s hard to complain about the rain when the original forecast was 104. Rain vs. Heat. The answer will be different no matter who you talk to. The reality of it is a) you really have no choice when it comes to the weather and b) everyone has to deal with the same conditions. I mean, you get what you get (do I sound like a mom or what?!) and it’s who deals with it the best that perseveres in the end. My goal during the bike was to stay upright (i.e. not wipe out). I know, hefty goal, eh? With the slick roads, and Kona on the near horizon, I didn’t want the rain to mess up my parade (no pun intended). I made this decision after about a mile or two into the ride when I witnessed a few wipeouts in front of me. That’s when (instead of getting pissed off) I started thinking about the positives of the rain:

  1. You feel “clean dirty” rather than “sweaty dirty”
  2. I only ride a few times a year in the rain and now I could count this as one of them
  3. No one knows when you pee on the bike (I know, gross)
  4. I didn’t have any spectators to worry about getting their hair wet
  5. It’s rain…. who cares ๐Ÿ˜‰

The course was great, a lot of hills, great pavement (that sounded funny), and just like I remember a few years ago.. (except WET). I was a bit reserved, but only because I couldn’t risk getting sidelined, nor could I risk pushing myself to the extent I had to recover a week or two after the race. The goal was to finish strong, feel good, nail down nutrition, and get Top 10. I managed the first 3, but my time this year gave me 20th. 20th in the world isn’t bad, I’ll take it ๐Ÿ™‚ I think people either really excelled on this course, or just blew up. I felt lucky to just be “Average”. Normally I wouldn’t want this – but today it was a good day. Perfect prep for the 4 weeks more I have before Kona….

Oh, back to the run. The course is, well, how do I say this, miserable!? It is basically 2.3 miles up, then 2.3 miles down, then repeat 2 more times. Up. Down. Up. Down. Up Down. Calves were burning!!! I enjoyed seeing all the spectators out there and even pretended they were people I knew. Very helpful! A lot of them would scream “Go Jennifer” as my race number had my name on it, or better yet, “Go Betty”. I was wearing my super slick Betty Designs Kit for the race. Loved it and felt confident w/ the pink butterflies and skulls. Who knew you could get compliments on your race kit in the middle of a race? Wow if only I had combed my hair!

Smiling makes you stronger.  Or so they say.
Smiling makes you stronger. Or so they say.

I went through the finish line chute and felt an overwhelming relief. I had some doubts of whether to even do this race and in the end it was a good choice. It helped in so many ways, most of which are not even pertaining to racing.

So, at the end of the day, I can say I qualified for “The Double”. Two World Championships in one year. That, my friends, will most likely not happen again.

Then again, never say never.

FINISHED!! Look at the size of that hardware! Sweeeeetttt!!!
FINISHED!! Look at the size of that hardware! Sweeeeetttt!!!

The man on the Internet feed said more than 90,000 athletes attempt to qualify for the 70.3 world championships but only 2,310 make it. (Their collective percentage of body fat: about 2.6.) – See more at: http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/ron-kantowski/triathlon-ultimate-test-will-if-you-can-stomach-it#sthash.sojLHNvo.dpuf

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