Race Report: Showdown at Sundown

Yep a bit late..been busy…

Event: Showdown at Sundown – long course triathlon
Date: March 26, 2010
Start Time: 12 noon – postponed until 12:30

An early season race. There was a great discount offer too good to pass up, so I decided to sign up for Showdown instead of IM California 70.3 or SuperSeal which are very local to me. I like racing out at the Lake (Mead that is). Hills, hill and more hills. SilverMan, PumpkinMan and LV Triathlon all are out in this area and have some part of the course in common. Surface quality of the roads  are  excellent. Wind conditions are unpredictable and depending on the run course, it could be as hilly as the bike segment. The last time I race here, LV Triathlon – September  ’10) I had my first DNF (due to bad food), so I wanted to comeback and redeem myself.

There are not too many events that have a mid day start. That is one feature that drew me to  Showdown. Being an early season race, I figure the race director wanted the water and air to warm up. Its pretty cold  at 6-7am in the area. As last year I did not have much training under my belt for the seasons fist race.  Only a few long rides and careful run training as not wanting to over agitate my plantar issues. I was taking this event as a fast/tempo workout verses an all out race.

Fortunately there was race day registration, so no need to drive out the day before. My drive from SD to Boulder City did take 9 hours (6.5 is normal) but a few power naps along the way  makes for a safe and rested arrival. Since I arrived in the area a bit early, I decided to drive up to Hoover Dam and drive the new bridge. I was expecting to see the dam below from the new bridge but it had high walls ( I guess it would be a distraction for drivers to look down and see the great sight), and no view. I was disappointed and headed back to Bootleg Canyon. Still early at Bootleg Canyon for packet pick up and T2 (bike to run). The crew was still getting the racks market and ready., so a little more rest before finding my rack spot and setting placing my running shoes and heading down to Lake Mead (Boulder Beach).

Hoover Dam bypass.

Entry fee to the Lake has increased 200 percent since last time. The trick to avoiding the fee is to arrive late after the guards/rangers have left for the evening (after 11pm). The entry fee is good for thee day, but only one day needed this time. With the late start, the lake temperature did not warm up so the race director cancelled the swim for all events of the day. Water tem was 52, adn i think they did not want the newtimers to have a tough time. Since I drove all this way, I was not going to miss out on swimming in the lake and decided to get a swim in anyways. Yep, the water was COLD. I usually can handle this (of course with a wetsuit on) but it took about 10 minutes to become fully acclimated. It would have been a rough race swim. Think i was out there for about 25 minutes. Race start was delayed  a half hour so I had plenty of time to warm up and get ready for the race.

The swim that wasn’t.

Race condition looked like they would be ideal, a bit chilly and overcast with the sun popping though once in a time. The debate was to wear a wind jacket or not. At the last minute, the cloud clearing made my decision final; no skull cap and arm coolers (for sun protection). With no swim, it was a TT style start – athletes started 5 to 10 seconds apart. We were all chipped so it did not matter what order or time one started. The first patch stated in race number order but I hopped in early since not wanting to wait another 10/15 minutes.

Some of the smoothest roads I have raced on.


As mentioned the sun was out, not too hot, and not much wind, so great condition for the fist 45 miles. The bike course was pretty fast until the last 10  miles which follows the bike path up hill toward Bootleg Canyon. By this time the wind started to do it job on us, making the climb even harder. GPS says 4,803ft of elevation gain but not sure if that is correct. Only Magic Mountain Man is tougher. Ended up with 3:26 bike split. Ok, but if I was “in shape” could have been maybe 10 minutes faster. As for nutrition, this is the fist time I mad e the commitment to rely solely on 1st Endurance EFS  Drink. It is known for is huge amount of electrolytes compared to the competition and to be very effective in warm/hot racing conditions. I was quite pleased with the results, mo muscle fatigue or cramping.

Notice the elevation gain the last 10 miles.

Finally made it to T2 for the run. With my foot issues, I knew I would be “off my pace” and running with caution. This course made me run more tactically for after the turn around it would be all back uphill and I need to save my legs to avoid any walking. Here is the elevation chart. I was kind of surprised with my quality of run. Slow for the toughness of the course but my legs and feet did not have any issues. happy with my 1:53 split time.


What goes down must go back up.

As I said I was not going to win anything so this event was to be a good work out and to test my current fitness level. Mission accomplished. Came in 5th in AG out of  23 and 40 OV out of  200. No trophies but got my Finishers pint glass. Finish time of 5:16 without the swim, that just shows you how tough/challenging this race is. My average half IM finish time is about 4:57.

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