Friday, August 12, 2011

Ironman Vegas 70.3 World Championships RECON report

Hello from Encinitas, CA! We got back from Vegas last night and it's sure nice to be in the "cool" weather here. Totally makes me appreciate what we got going on in so cal. I spent the past few days on a Super Secret No Boys Allowed Vegas Training Camp (SSNBATC). ALSO known as the TT vacation (talk & train!). It's kind of like a messed up version of my grandma's Stitch & Bitch sewing club. I'll save the girly details for Las Vegas post #2 and just lay out some good old scouting information for you. Ok, so I may be giving the competition a sneak peak into the race, but you know, I DO have this blog to share information and hope that someone somewhere will actually in some way be helped or inspired by something here...so I'm telling it all :). Even though I still want to kick your ass.

View from our condo of Lake Las Vegas
Anyhow, the main mission in the traincation was to get away from our husbands properly scout the Las Vegas 70.3 World Championships bike and run course. I am still not sure how they call it "Las Vegas" when the course takes place entirely in and just outside of Henderson, NV.


THE BIKE- 56 miles
Bike course map
After swimming in Lake Las Vegas (which is about 12 miles from the T2/finish in downtown Henderson, NV), you hop on your bike and ride out of Lake Las Vegas to the left towards "nowhere". Nowhere is actually Lake Mead National Recreation Area and it is very very beautiful. If you've never been, you will be pleasantly stoked!
Check out the pretty view!  me, nooka, brandy, julie, jen

Inside the lake mead park (note: if you come to train- bring $5. you need to pay for a one-week pass to enter the park), hang a left on Northshore Drive, which takes you around the North Shore of Lake Mead. Let's talk road conditions.They are VERY good! They are not perfect freshly paved good, but they still rank far and away above San Diego, Tucson, Vineman, etc. Not quite Queen K smooth, but pretty close! Next, the terrain. Ok, was anyone else picturing steep climbs and a "gnarly" course? I must say, we had a little bit of the "that's it?" talk after day 1. ALL of the climbs are under 3 minutes and none of them are steep at all. You could potentially ride the whole course in the aero bars, but will most like come out on the second half of most climbs. If you've ridden in Kona from Waikoloa ( on Honu 70.3 & IM course) to Kawaihae, they are kind of like that. Lots of longer rollers. Nothing super short & punchy or steep.
Somewhere in the first half of the course, heading out Northshore road
Same area, one of the climbs...you see they have those annoying rumble strips near the white line
Julie and I climbing...or are we? 
Ok, so you do pretty much and out and back in the park, turning at mile 18. When you get back near Lake Las Vegas around mile 38, you start winding through suburban city streets until T2. This looks like the "hilliest" part of the course on an elevation profile, but in actuality is just a heck of a lot of false uphill/ low low low grade climbing to the finish. Nothing hard, but most certainly nothing fast. Don't let your spirits fall if you are creeping along in this section. Everyone is i n the same boat. The good news is, there is nothing to make you do anything stupid and totally trash your legs. Overall, I loved the bike course. It is a great one for me because there is a lot of climbing and descending, but it is nothing very technical or steep. Strength, not skills, seem to prevail and I love this compared to something like vineman where I was a chicken and an idiot when it comes to shifting, cornering, and descending. Drafting should be very minimal because of the constant up/down nature of the course in the park.

THE RUN- 13.1 miles

Ready to Run! Me, Julie, Jen (all Zoot fans!) . I ran 19 miles on that darn course. I am ready! 
The run is hard to describe, because I'm not 100% sure we even got it right, but I think we got pretty close. You start at T2 which is either on the grass or in a parking lot, we couldn't tell. from there, you do a two-mile out and back along Paseo Verde parkway. There is a nice asphalt pedestrian path that I think will serve as the "back" portion of the out and back (thinking you run "out" on the actual street).
Up Paseo Verde Parkway. 9am. You can barely tell they're running up
When we ran, there were short trees that provided shade, but most of the shade was gone by 11am. The gist of mile one is you start flat and then run downhill (low grade, mellow). Then you turn around and run uphill back towards T2. Near T2, you hang a left and run UP Green Valley Parkway towards Horizon Ridge Parkway.
Green Valley Parkway. Jen's unning up, you can't even tell it's UP from the picture! Hoping they use the street not the sidewalk
 This section is a grinding, low grade climb all the way to the turn around (about a mile up), and then you run back down towards T2 on the same road. So it's Like an "L" and T2 is in the corner of the L. Then repeat this 4+ mile course 2 more times to total 3 laps. after the first lap, you basically are running 2 miles uphill and then two miles downhill. There are NO steep hills (that we could find). Just grinds. If you've don't IM St. George, the Green Hills Parkway section is just like diagonal street running out of st. george. I experienced about a 1 minute per mile difference running "up" and running down. Meaning, if you race at say 8-minute pace, you may run 9 minutes on the uphill mile and 7 minutes on the downhill mile. Although the course is repetitive and may get crowded, I actually loved it. Steep is not my specialty, but I can grind away. AND, I was happy to find that unless they use the sidewalks (hope not! they are very narrow!), we are likely running most of the way on asphalt, which is much more forgiving than concrete...

So, that's the recon...I've got the FUN post in the works about the trip, places for triathletes to go in Henderson, NV when you are there for the race, so let me know if you have any more course or other Vegas 70.3 questions I might be able to answer!









21 comments:

Beth said...

Great recon!!! Thanks! I am with you - I will gladly take grinding type hills vs anything technical or really steep. Vineman was about my limit when it comes to technical! :) Looks beautiful there!

X-Country2 said...

Sounds like an amazing trip! I love reading about the other sides of Vegas.

PS- I ordered a pair of Zoot running shoes this week based entirely on the fact that you another other cool tri chicks wear them. So, yay, Zoot sponsorship. Worked for at least one sale. :o)

hillary biscay said...

fomo! we needs another tucson training camp please! sharing this reconn with my athletes-thank you!:)

Teresa said...

Thanks for the recap Beth! I alwasy think the profiles look "way worse" than the actual thing!
What a fun weekend!!!
Did you get a chance to swim? Westuit or non-wetsuit for you girls? I know it can always change ;)

Happy training girl!

tn

Ron said...

Well, I would like to say as a Henderson resident and silverman finisher you guys have the easy course. The word around town was that Ironman was worried about a clearwater to silverman course so they watered down the course a bit. Glad you liked it anyway and if you have any questions I would be happy to help out in any way. Good luck!

Barb said...

Awesome recon, wish I would be there! Sounds like a great course. It is funny that all the roads you mention in my opinion are terrible, we are spoiled in CO :) Can't wait to read the next report!

Heidi Austin, PT, DPT said...

so fun! what a fun girly weekend! i love it and must say i'm a bit jealous :)

Blanco said...

Nice recon speedy ... any thoughts on prevailing winds out there on the bike route? Looks amazing.

Ali Black said...

Hi Beth. Ali Black. Loved the course recon. A friend sent me the link to your blog, love it! I raced Vineman as well, really enjoyed reading about your adventures down in wine country. Sounds like you guys did it right! Anyhoo, thought I'd give you a shout, thanks for the course update!

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