Event: Magic Mountain Man half iron distance triathlon
Date: October 10, 2010
Location: Castaic Lake, CA
This was kind of a last minute race. My last attempt at the half distance was my first DNF and I did not want to end the season on a sour note. Fortunately, the guys at Fluid Muscle Recovery Drink were able to pull a few string to get me in. No, not a freebee. I was able to bypass the mandatory Saturday packet pick up, since it was such a last minute decision on my part and Castaic Lake is almost a three hour drive for me.
I had been looking over the event web site for about a week in advance, reviewing the course detail. It was noted to be a very hilly bike course and best for riding on a road bike. Besides being called M3 for Magic Mountain Man it is also the GPS profile of the bike course. Castaic Lake is pretty much the last city along Interstate 5, just before hit the grape vine thru middle of CA.
I drove up the night before and had a great dinner at Denny’s in downtown Castaic and then headed to the race site. Parked a couple blocks away, tilted the seat back and got some shut eye. This was kind of a festival event, there was a 5k and a 10k run along with a olympic distance triathlon. The half iron distance attracted a hearty170 athletes in which 24 were DNFers while the Olympic had 171 including DNFers.
If I remember correctly, pretty much everyone checked their bikes into transition the day before, so I had slide my bike in the “perfect” spot without disrupting the other’s perfect spot. I have done a few races here before, but there were Xterra off road triathlons, only the lake swim would be in common.
The Swim: One wave start for the long course participants. It was a land start. Pretty much a three sided rectangle. Only the two corners were marked with one halfway buoy on the long side. My Sable goggles have been giving me trouble lately, but I decided to give them a try again. They are the new 101 MTR version. The anti-fog seem to have worn out. Their tag line is “Swear by your goggles – not at them“. This is usually true for me. The optical quality is the best out there, but when they fog up it does not matter how good the optics are. I had to “defog” them about five time during the swim. Kinda pissed but my fault for using them this day. Ended up with a average swim time of 34 min and change. Good enough for 4th in AG and 9th OV. I knew there would be a long run to the transition area, so I placed my “famous transition shoes” near the water exit to save my feet. They are getting pretty sensitive now. Had the 3rd fasted T1 time of the day.
The Bike: Yes, I studied the bike course on line but did not expect it to be like this. I did prep the bike with drop bars and clip on extensions. I also rewrapped the handle bars with (the best) Lizard Skin DSP tape. There was no flat part of the course, see profile above. It was either up or down. I can do pretty good going up hills but I take it easy on the descents. I like to keep my body in one piece and I do not have nerves of steel. I let the others whiz by going down but I pass them once again on the up hill. It was relentless, and fortunately it was only 54 miles not the true 56 mile. Was 25th overall with a bike split of 3:44. That is pretty much an hour more than my average 56 mile half iron leg. I think the average bike split was around 4:20. If you want a challenging race or just bike ride, this is it! The bike course here is the toughest one going. It is tougher than Silverman half, Auburn half , Las Vegas Triathlon, Pumpkinman (Lake Mead, NV), Wildflower. Plan on adding 45 minutes to those times.
The Run: Ya, I may have been a little too conservative on the bike. I just wanted to save my legs for the run. I knew it was going to be a flat course. By the time we got to the bike the sun was a blaze and much of the course had not protection. Great water stations and volunteers to aid with hydration. I chose to wear my Saucony Grid Getgo shoes. I have not raced in them yet and want to give them a go. These offer more support and cushioning than the Kinvara. They also have a traditional ride platform, and finally my orthotics fit in them. My foot has been acting up a little and needed the higher heel to keep thing in check. I really like the feeling and support they offer. The one thing I dis like is, for some reason my foot seem to cross over the center line and I end up scraping my medial side of my right ankle with my right fore foot. When racing without socks it can hurt and draw a little blood. There were a few spot on the course where I could feel my foot acting up and had to be very caution to avoid any heel striking. Fortunately these areas were short and not a lot of them. Despite not being in top running form I ended up the the 5th fastest run split of the day with a time of 1:42:40. I ran my way into 2nd place in the age group with this run. I was pretty happy with my overall effort. but still crushed by the 1st place guy who had a time of 5:48:26 compared to mine of 6:04:51.
Ended up placing 11th overall and 9th of overall males. That means 2 chick were totally awesome. One had the 2nd fastest run of the day and about four gals kick my but on the bike. I like racing against and cheering on the gals who are ahead of me on closing in on me.
My average half iron triathlon finish is around 4:48, so it you really want a race that will challenge you this is it.
Bike and run Garmin GPS data was tracked and Polar WIND Data for power and pedaling efficiency. With all those hills on the bike my pedaling efficiency was pretty bad.
The bonus of the event was the mystery cash card from Sports Chalet. Mine ended up having a value of $25.00. I ended up getting some wetsuit glue and some Body Glove pool shoes so I can increase my run milage without damaging my feet from pounding the pavement.