News and Blog
56.77 miles, 4:09 moving time, 3,432 ft elevation gain.
The club ride was small but mighty today, with some of the crew at Victoria, BC for Ironman 70.3 and another crew saving it up for tomorrow’s Triathlon Los Angeles. Club started from Sierra Madre and picked up one Jeff at Duarte Encanto park. It was cool and overcast, unclear if we would get any SoCal sun today. We rode up the San Gabriel River Trail to the end, then took the Hwy 39 Azusa Canyon up to Cogswell dam (west fork). All the dams were full and discharging a lot of water. I stopped and took a peek at the Eagle Nest. I got a pic of mama eagle, but couldn’t see any babies in the nest. The closed section of the west fork to Cogswell is amazing. We broke through the clouds about a mile from the dam. The babbling stream was full of life with the sun sprinkling through the trees.
Bjoern, Felipe, Gregg, Peter, Jeff, Kirk, David, Joe
This is a hard course. And the weather is always an extreme factor. This year was on par. Temps were 85F. Fortunately, no winds.
For the overview here’s the numbers, then you can jump down to see the pics. For those that want the gory details and blow-by-blow, see below the line. Thanks to Scott, Deanna, and Steve for the Race Pics. We had a great post-race party at Alvin’s rental house. It was very comfy and homey. Amy, Jaime, Gregg and I stayed with Alvin at the house.
Congrats to all the finishers! Well Done. Please share your ride reports too!
|Erick Garcia (1st 70.3!)||5:32:42|
Here’s the blow-by-blow report.
4:30am. Lynda swings by the rental house and picks us up. Sprinter van gets a sweet parking spot on the corner by the Finish Line.
4:45am. Drop off nutrition at T2 for the run. Parking lot in Town Center. One block from Finish Line. I have a panic attack, cuz I go the rack with my label number, and my stuff isn’t there. This spot also isn’t where I remember dropping off my Run Bag yesterday. Yikes. Lynda and Amy saw me frantically running around looking at bags. Amy found my bag hanging in the spot left it. I just had a huge brain fart yesterday. Whew! I had to find my bag, cuz my shoes, shirt, cooling towel, running bottle, and hat were in there. Anyway, added nutrition (snacks, powders, pills, no liquids, cuz it will bake all day until the Run).
5:15am ish. Board the shuttle bus, right outside T2. 25 minute bus ride 20+ miles to Hurricane, UT, at Sand Hollow Reservoir. It’s still pitch black when we get out of the bus. Clean Transition setup means that the T1 has a couple staging areas. At Swim In, you walk to the racks and pick up your Bike Bag. There is a Changing Area, with sets of folding chairs to change into your bike gear. Then, you drop off the Bike Bag to the volunteers and run to your bike. There is no transition stuff at the bike racks. So, in the morning, we loaded our bike computer and put all the nutrition on the bike. Pump up the tires. Then, load up the Bike Bag with other clothing. The take home story here, is you have to plan each Bag wisely. No mistakes. This race, I did pretty good. I only forgot a white cycling jersey at home. I had a black one with me, but I thought that would be too hot on a hot bike day. I also had a vest in the Bike Bag in case it was still chilly after the swim. Special thanks to Alvin, for letting me borrow his white PTC jersey. Perfect. I borrowed Lynda’s bike pump and pumped up my tires. I chose to swim bare chested under the wetsuit. Then, put on a PTC cycling jersey for the bike, then switch to a light PTC running shirt for the Run.
I took a couple Potty breaks at the swim start / T1 and I was ready to go. Tummy was cooperating. Good news.
6:40am. I slicked up with Body Glide and squeezed into my wetsuit. Dropped off morning bag. Morning bag will be delivered to Town Center, next to T2, later. Put my sweat shirt and pants away. Kept on throw away flip flops on my feet. While I was shimmying in my wetsuit, a friend recognized me and said ‘hi’. A former PTC member, who still follows me on Strava (sorry, forgot your name, buddy). He did good on recognizing me, cuz I was half way in my wetsuit and I wasn’t wearing any PTC gear. Woah. Fans!
6:45am. Pro Athletes start.
7am. Age groupers start. Everyone is lined up by their self seeded swim time. Signs for Under 25 mins. 25-30 minutes. 30-33 minutes. 33-35 min. 35-37 min. This is where I stood. Rolling swim start. 4 athletes at a time, every 5 seconds. Your start time is at the departure gate. Loud beeper every 5 seconds.
Swim: 7:45am ish. I started the Swim. Swim was fine. It was cold water. But, not icy cold. I didn’t jostle with anyone this time. My swim was pretty straight too. Not too many wiggles. I was astonished at my Strava map was straight. 40 minutes was okay. I only took one coughing break. It seemed a little choppy after the 1st turn. I took a gulp of water and had to re-set myself.
T1. Wetsuit strippers were great. I had the timing chip on my right ankle and thought it was stuck inside my wetsuit for a second. I jogged over to the Bike Bag rack and took my bag. I sat down next to Amy, who was on her way out. I heard Scott yelling at Amy on her way. He took my pic. I sat down, dumped out the bag and looked at everything. I worked from the Head down. It was nice to be able to sit and put on my socks and bike shoes. The cycling jersey was a little troublesome on a wet body, but not too bad. The pockets convenience made up for it.
Bike: Garmin didn’t start until a little outside the first turn, missed about 1/4 mile distance. Course is rollers. I felt fine for the 1st half. I hit some fast downhills. Top speed 43.8 mph. I was feeling pretty good until the Snow Canyon. That just got tough. Alvin passed me just before rolling up to Snow Canyon. I took a potty break and Lynda passed me there. At the top of Snow Canyon, I had to walk it a little bit. When I turned the corner, I got an unusual groin cramp, way up high on my left side. I had to breath in /out hoo/haw and keep pedaling to get through it. On the way down to town, there was fun fast descents. As I was making the last turn, I saw Lynda on the run.
T2: Ditched the bike. Shed the Jersey and put on a light PTC running shirt. I slid on a pair of shorts with pockets over my tri shorts.
Run: I didn’t have any energy left after the run. Zero. It was a walk fest. There were very few people behind me. It was heating up too. I had a full hat and filled it with ice at every aid station. I had a hand water bottle and filled it with ice and water. My gut and butt were barely hanging on. I had one potty stop, not much pee, but what kinda scared me was that I would get really really cold. I was afraid my body was gonna really shut down, so I ran out of there and kept moving. It was slow and steady back to the finish line.
Finish: Deanna saw me after the finish line. Pic. I stumbled over toward the bag pick ups and T2. I ran into Steve and Lorie and their friend Gail. I dropped off a few things and went directly to get my Morning Bag, Bike Bag, Run Bag, and Bike. I knew if I stopped and chatted, I would sit and not ever get up again. I got a strong watch strap tan. Tan lines at the strap holes!
Lynda, Leanne were at Awards and Roll Down.
Post-Party. That fun. Hawaiian BBQ, salads, Apple and Blueberry Pie a la mode! drinks. There were lots of fun stories about each persons race and when we saw each other. Best times together! I slept great that night.
This year, we have 13 racers going out to Ironman 70.3 St. George UT. Fun times. The fun days before a race are the best. The anticipation, the nerves, the previews. Hanging out with friends, tweaking little things on all your gear.
With a Saturday race day, we left on Wednesday and returned on Sunday. And back to work on Monday morning. The road trip is a 6+ hr drive from LA to St. George. It’s about an hour past Las Vegas on I-15. I hopped on a ride with Lynda in the sprinter van. Packing with a sprinter van is a no-brainer: just bring it all.
On Wednesday, we arrived at the hotel and checked in. We shook out our legs with a short 3 mile run around town. Then, we drove the 2nd half of the bike course, which heads west of the city and up through Snow Canyon. As the sun was heading down, the light in Snow Canyon was beautiful.
On Thursday, we finished all our previews. We started by riding our bike on the Run Course. The run course is basically a 3 mile climb + 3 mile flat / roller to the bluff that sits above the town. The flat and rollers is like another world. It’s desert landscape with red rocks. Then, 2 out and backs and then, back down the way you came. The Red Rock at Pioneer Park is cool.
Quick change at the hotel and snack at Starbucks, then drove out to Sand Hollow for a swim preview. The reservoir was filled up. The red sand beach was under water. The ramps from the reservoir go down directly to the water. Leanne was off and swimming loops around. Amy and I swam out 1000 yds to two buoys, and then swam to the big rock formation. We sat on the rocks at waved at Jaime, who was plucking his guitar at the picnic tables. The water temp was very cool, but not breath taking cold. There definitely cold patches in the water too. The Swim Course is basic square around the big rock formation. The water was fairly clear, you could see the sun rays glistening down through the light green blue water.
We returned to town for Registration. All the early bird type-A kids were lined up at registration. It was kind of a wait through there. Then, we shopped. I got a IM70.3 ST.G Cycling Jersey and tri shorts. Also, I always get a t-shirt with everyone’s name on it. Then, it was dinner time. A few more friends had arrived in to join us for dinner.
I moved all my gear over from the hotel to the rental house, where a group of PTC are staying for the rest of the weekend. I stayed up a little too late on Thursday, putting all my stickers on my gear, and packing my stuff in the IM Bags. You have to pack each bag separately: Bike Bag, Run Bag, Morning Bag.
On Friday, it was feet up Friday. No workouts. We took it easy. Went back to the IM village and local Red Rock Bike Shop. We bought food for the after-race party.
Mandatory Bike Drop Off at T1 Sand Hollow. The new ‘clean’ transition has transitioning out of your swim gear and into your bike gear in a bull pen, then running to your bike.
Mandatory Run Drop Off at T2 at Town Center. Hot parking lot. Hang your shoes.
Feet up. Light dinner. Go to bed early. RACE DAY TOMORROW.
Getting ready for Ironman 70.3 St. George Utah, we met down in Long Beach to stage a race rehearsal. Awesome place to Swim, Bike, and Run.
Swim: 1 mile (1870 yds), 37 min moving time.
We started with a 1 mile swim at Belmont Shores Beach. The water was cold. My hands and face got kinda numb. And my right ear had a moment. Before the swim, I met a fan of The Journey movie, and we took a selfie. He thought I had lost weight since the movie. Hmmmm, not true, but thanks… We had a great turn out for the open water swim. Mark braved the water with a big cut on his finger. Jeff and Jezz swam open water for the first time! We had the special joy of having Scott joining us, fresh off Boston Marathon. Scott was the human turn-around-buoy at half mile point. Thanks, Scott.
Bike: 40.2 miles, 2:09 moving time, 397 ft elevation
We transitioned to our bike stuff back at the van. Then, we rode up the San Gabriel River Trail. The weather didn’t warm up, and we had head winds on the return trip. Thank you, Steve! For letting me borrow his extra jacket. 20 miles up and flip it. The flip it came up right after the Tunnel of Doom. A Steep down, super dark, narrow tunnel, with big scary gutters on both sides, and blind to the exit.
Run. 7.2 miles, 1:28 moving time
T2 and into our run gear. I headed around the canals. Beautiful homes and perfect running weather. Others headed out the water front and running along the beach.
Great day of training.
Mark, Scott, Lynda, Sue, Erick, Steve, Bob, Bjoern, Blake, Leanne, Sven, GT, Kristen, Gregg, Jeff, Jezz. Joe. George, Tiff.
PTC ran hard on a stormy SoCal morning at the Surf City Half Marathon. The Sprinter van left Eagle Rock at Zero Dark 5am. We chilled and warmed up downstairs in the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. Although it was raining in LA county, it lightened up in the OC. Peter started early for the full Marathon at 6:30am. The rest of us started around 7:45am. The sun was peaking through at the start. But, we were running straight toward the brooding dark cloud. By mile 3, it started sprinkling. The main route along Pacific Coast Highway was cold and windy. The last stretch is an 8 mile run back to the finish line. We picked up our gear check and then went to Lazy Dog Cafe for a nice big beer and lunch. Gregg drove us home through the rain. Then, we all scooted off to Super Bowl parties. Here’s the results.
|Bjoern + Amilia Helfer. Stroller Division!||1:38:19|
|Sven + Cornelius Nolte. Stroller Division!||1:38:20|
|Peter Day (full)||3:24:58|
|Tiffany Birkett (full)||3:46:56|
Pasadena Half Marathon Race Report
First big club race of 2019. Super well attended – 34 racers. PTC had a great crew show up and everybody raced really hard. Awesome facility warm up at Rose Bowl Locker Room thanks to the Pasadena Pacers, our friendly, cross-over, home-town buddies. THANK YOU, Pacers. Perfect weather. Finish line on the 50 yd line inside the stadium. Got an alumni pic with Joe and Joe Bruin. Breakfast at Brookside Country Club afterwards. Awesome day. Well Done. Here are the finishing the times. Impressive! This is the first leg of the February Fecta. See you at #2, Surf City Half Marathon on Super Bowl Sunday (both AFC and NFC championship game were doozies today. OT in both. what?!)
|Theo van Joolen||1:42|
|Amilia H. (kids run)|
Trevor, Alvin, Gregg, Lynda, Tyler, Danny, Rudy, Arden, Helena, Sven, Bjoern, Joe, Graz, Paul, Leanne, Blake, Mike, Daryl, Carrie, Marco, Julie, Christina.