Miami 70.3 – 2010

Logo for Miami 70.3 raceFor this race you get TWO race reports. The quick and dirty by El Conquistador and if you have the time you must read the novel by El Shuffler. Regardless of how the race turned out it was awesome to get the boys together for a weekend and do a race in benefit for ALS. We apologize for the delay in posting the race reports and the lack of photos of the event.

The Quick and Dirty on Miami Ironman 70.3 2010

  • What better than an Ironman 70.3 race in our backyard? We had to sign up! Especially since it was in benefit of Blazeman Foundation
  • We got our friends come and race but did not realize our friends included 2,900 triathletes.
  • Not a word from the race director until race day (oh except when they signed a new sponsor – they had over 15).
  • The production company could not make up its mind and kept us in suspense changing the race course and having maps not match text descriptions.
  • Race morning chaos with bikes missing because of lack of bike racks, people being thrown off the pier to not miss the start line.
  • Swimmers went through the race course without knowing the direction as we were only gifted with four beautiful buoys in the dark.
  • Sharp turns on the bike course, unmarked holes and bumps. Tour de France peletons without an official in sight. Unmanned aid stations and of course no ramp on the sidewalk to go up to transition.
  • But the thing we remember the most is that beautiful bridge we had to go over eight times. As El Shuffler puts it “Hey Kids, Big Ben and the Parliament” every time we hit the top. Hygiene was unimportant as athletes were scooping their own water and Gatorade from tubs. Watch your every step so you do not trip.
  • If you wanted a specific finisher t-shirt size, we can assure you that they did not have it. Finish line chaos all around. One thing we can’t complain about is the abundance of food where the race director was spotted eating more than two times.
  • Better luck next time now that WTC is taking over this race. I guess we can’t complain since we got a free entry to a 70.3 next year. At least WTC admitted the mistakes. We wonder if 5150 MIT will experience the same fate.

Tshirt Symbol

El Shuffler’s Race Report as a Novel:

This whole event started coming together almost a year ago when they announced that Miami would be hosting a half Ironman…WOO HOO a big race right in our backyard and in benefit of the Blazeman Foundation. The Phone lines and email were buzzing off the hook… El Conquistador and I wanted to host and get a bunch of the extended family down here to race…. calls went out to Team Duffy and the crew. Before we knew it, we had a nice group signed up and the race was sold out!

With the race still months away…. we could not wait to get together and expand the Hate2Run friends…The day and months flew by and training seemed to be going well with everyone (or so we were told). With a few weeks left we got an email from Team Duffy that the hate2run / hate ALS shirts were done (yes, our own group shirts to go with our visors). Team Duffy was also quick to remind El Conquistador and I that we only had a few weeks left to start our training with the race less than a month away.

Thursday the 28th arrives and the airports in South Florida were hopping with activity. I took care of Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach airports while El Conquistador had to fly unexpectedly to California. However, El Conquistador arranged for Team Duffy and Smiling Frank were to be picked up by none other than JESUS. We could only imagine the look on their faces when JESUS was holding a sign that said Hola welcome to Miami Team Duffy and Smiling Frank. And as with the first meeting of this group everyone hit it off like we had known each other for years…(we all have Jon to thank for that as he is the one that brought us together one way or another).

Friday morning arrives with more excitement than we needed. Team Duffy and Smiling Frank were having MAJOR bike problems with Frank’s bike (it wasn’t just taken apart to be shipped; it was completely it was disassembled!!!). Obviously Frank was moved by the Miami scene and claimed himself a bike mechanic thinking it would be an easy fix “Just need to tighten, cut, pull, cut, pull some more…… woops…..we should have waited for the bike mechanic…..now my cables are stripped”. Stress begins to mount.

Friday afternoon brought long lines at the expo as the race directors were disorganized; to be honest, they were chaotic and people were not happy. The lines for USAT day memberships were mixed with the annual memberships. Swag bags started breaking after we got them in our hands, the transition was half a mile from the expo and the expo was not in the host hotel. Not a good sign for a WTC event (to be fair it was being run by a local production company).

All the men had their hate2run / hate 2 ALS shirts and race packets. Team Duffy and Smiling Frank were still trying to get bike fixed and had developed 5 back-up plans just in case. The one selected was the smartest one: head to transition and get a bike mechanic that knew something (Specialized tent) compared to those at the expo. Gorilla D ate and went back to nap….. Deadwood hung out with KF who was there to claim his medal, race swag and finisher’s shirt by only completing the run and making sure he rubbed it in our faces…If we didn’t hate to run so much we may have done the same but the bike and swim adds a bit of balance in our lives. We think that KF may come back the next two years to complete the other segments and finally finish Miami 70.3.

El Conquistador and I grab our goggles (and tequila) in order to toast Roger, a huge influence in El Conquistador’s life when he was growing up. SALUTE Roger…and into the ocean went the shot glasses.

Dinner at Chez El Conquistador for an amazing Vegetable Lasagna prepared by Green Gables Café. The company was perfect and the BS was flowing but the night ended early as everyone wanted to be rested for the race.

4:00am and I decide to wake up El Conquistador before his alarms sounds (40 minutes before). They looked at each other and realized they were thinking the same thing “Why are we doing this? Let’s roll over and go back to sleep” but nooooooooo coffee is going the toaster is hot and breakfast is ready. We head to transition for what is to be a beautiful race in Miami…OR SO WE THOUGH.

Music and mayhem is the easiest way to describe the electricity in the air. Let’s just say that the race directors did not know that 1+1=2 and were short on bike racks in transition asking people to find a place wherever they could. All of a sudden we hear the PA asking people to help locate the bike of one of the athletes within transition. Are you kidding me? Apparently some people moved bikes the night before trying to find a space to rack. Oh well, we know where our bikes are – only 20 min to start…. Music is playing loud and nobody can hear the announcer. The race is delayed so they can secure the race course (ok that does not sound good). Athletes are gathering like stampedes, people can’t figure out what to do…total chaos. Our group members are going through their respective morning routines: Team Duffy is choking up a hair ball…. Smiling Frank is visiting the porta-potty for the 4th time in three hours, Gorilla Dave is making sure his baby isn’t born yet (his wife was due any moment), I am stretching since I do not follow a specific race routine and nobody can find El Conquistador (apparently he was already at the start area). Calling out El Conquistador in South Florida at a race with loud music leads to no results. So the famous hate2run call is used….KA KA….. KAKA….and whammo…… there he was…….

Gorilla Dave started in the group right behind the pro’s. El Conquistador followed after he was forced in the water by the race organizers (people were being thrown in from the dock in order to not miss the starting guns). Team Duffy, Smiling Frank and I (old guys rule) followed El Conquistador and the speedy Gazelle came last.

Pretty uneventful swim considering nobody could see the turn buoys (yes they did not have sighting buoys and it was dark…yet another mistake by the race directors). The swim all of a sudden became an obstacle course as we made the last turn, swimming against the current. I won’t go into details but he hopes his hands got caught up on a popped balloon (it makes him feel better) and his feet weren’t tangled on a dirty diaper. Apparently everyone picked up quite a bit of trash in the last yards as we got close to the exit where only four people could come out at one time courtesy of the race directors.

Bike was interesting to say the least – bad roads, narrow streets, huge packs of drafters, no officials on the course, sharp turns, no mile markers, no volunteers at the first aid station, no water at the first aid station. El Conquistador lost his nutrition on mile three of the bike at the hands of the Miami finest pavement and his computer stopped working at mile 7. However, the cops did a great job with the traffic…. BRAVO boys!!!!!!!!!! Saw a few accidents…. I ran into Deadwood and they rode side to side for a few miles (they still don’t realize it’s against the rules) until they got yelled at for talking by another racer who was drafting behind them. Believe it or not, everyone in our group finished the bike unhurt and feeling good until T2. No water at the first aid station only Gatorade (why would they do this to us). I was 3 steps out of T2 and my calf gave way….it would be a long day.

The Bridge by MrClean1982 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrclean/

First mile of the run done but 12 more to go. But then looming in the distance was “THE *BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPING* BRIDGE”. At first glance it did not look to too bad. I ran into Team Duffy who is walking, not

smiling and leaning to his left. Did we mention that they changed the course five days before the race and we had to go over the bridge EIGHT times? “LOOK KIDS BIG BEN, PARLIAMENT YET AGAIN”.

So much for the scenic run to south beach. With 2 bridges to go (by this time el Conquistador is eating at the food tents), I see the Gazelle was walking but at least he was smiling. A few high fives were exchanged, the bridge was cursed and they kept going. We all finished rolling in Jon’s memory. Gorilla Dave and Smiling Frank no longer 70.3 virgins.

Just like that the weekend was over and there was talk about getting together next year and all of us racing and hanging out courtesy of WTC given all of the mistakes of the race.

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