We’ve been behind on blogging recently. Very behind. No good excuse, just been lazy. Now that race season has started and the weather is getting warmer, the calendar is filled with activities and the blogging must resume. The weekend of April 22nd we joined Michael’s family in New Orleans for what was supposed to be his first 70.3 (half-ironman: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run). The race turned out to be a 66.3 after the swim had to be cancelled due to high winds (and therefore unsafe swimming conditions) and 4 miles of the bike course were removed due to storm debris blocking the roads. The swim was replaced by a 2 mile run, presumably in an effort to thin the crowds before they hit the bike course. Another pre-race surprise: the shifter on Mike’s bike broke, leaving him with only his big ring to use during the bike (thankfully the course was FLAT!).
Race day weather held up well considering the very high winds that were in the forecast. It was windy but could have been worse. The temperature was nice enough – high 70s. Mike’s pre-race warm-up went as planned. We were all able to watch the pros start. They had a good field which included Ms. Sarah Piampiano, a relatively new pro who would go on to win her first pro-race later that day!
For the 2 mile run, the pros went off in large groups, but they started the age-group waves in pairs of two runners going off about every 2-5 seconds or so. Mike’s 2 mile run time: 13:28 (27th in his age group). After the out-and-back run it was into transition (T1: 1:49) and then out onto the bike course.
The bike course was flat, but windy. Michael’s weakest race leg showed improvement with a 52 mile bike time: 2:29:27 (40th in his age group). Then, it was on to transition again (T2: 1:37). Next up, RUN! The weather was getting warmer and the cold sponges were much appreciated. Mike made up some time on the run and had a great 13.1 miles to round out his ALMOST first half-ironman.
13.1 mile run time: 1:30:44 (13th in his age group)
Overall, a great first race out! New Orleans Finish Time: 4:17:04 (24th in his age group).