Ford IronMAN Arizona 2011 Some more info

2.4 mile swim:

  • The swim course is a big rectangle with the longer side having a WE orientation.
  • The brown and muddy water makes hard to see your own hands in the water and you will notice it as soon as you jump in it.
  • In November the water temperature can really be the first issue of the race, you need to wear a wetsuit no matter what, if you don’t tolerate the cold water for more than sixty minutes then wear a neoprene cap and/or booties unless the rules change.
  • The triathletes start swimming to the east while the sun rises behind the mountains on the horizon so you will have the sun on your face after five minutes all the way to the turn around.
  • The start happens on the narrower side of the 2.4 mile big rectangle so the start can be really challenging, 2900 people swimming at once can be really painful.
  • Swimming under three huge concrete bridges can be intimidate for many of us, so be prepared because you are going to swim under the three bridges twice.
  • One last thing but probably the most important is that the vertical walls slope down a couple inches below the water level and you need to jump as far out as you can, no close to the wall. Try no to go down too much.

112 mile cycling

  • The ride takes you out of the city of Tempe, trough the Indian reservation and turns back once you reach Fountain Hills (Shea Blvd).
  • The ride is a false flat with 1% and 2% sections from the beginning of the loop all the way to the turn around.
  • The wind, it is something unpredictable at this time of the year and it changes of direction at any moment. You need to tune up with nature and this is the beauty of this race.
  • It is a three loop bike leg, full of spectators all the way up and down. You wont feel alone.

26.2 mile run

  • The run is a three loop leg also, it goes around Tempe Town Lake, the surrounding areas, up and down bridges and parks.
  • Once again the entire loop has spectators cheering you on and motivating you.
  • The run is pretty flat except for the part along Washington where you run up hill for about half of a mile with the sun right on your face during the sunset. Here is where a good pair of sunglasses are important unless you can run with your head down for a little while.
  • About the ground I would say sixty percent concrete on the pads, thirty percent is asphalt basically the roads and a ten percent is dirt with small medium size rocks.
  • You are going to be running next to the lake for about forty percent of the time so the reflection of the sun light might be an issue.
  • If you know that you are going to be running during the night,  put a head light in your running bag some parts have poor illumination or no light at all.


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