Wednesday, May 27, 2009

RCVman IM STG Preview

CompuTrainer Real Course Video IM St. George Preview

It is a rare opportunity to preview an Ironman course almost a year before its inaugural running. Looking back is easy, what if we had known about Yellow Lake, White Face, Hayden Lake Rd. or Stagecoach Rd. before we first raced them, what would we have done differently? I can say from this experience, that I would have A) trained for hills, B) trained for hills and C) then done some hill training. Maybe then, I could have enjoyed the ride a little more and finished off at least one day with a decent run. Yeah, what if.

On May 23rd of 2009 the CompuTrainer RCV crew, in conjunction with Utah's Tri-Hive Magazine First Endurance Racing Nutrients (EFS) up with local RD Jeff Gardner to do a preview ride of this soon-to-be-famous bike leg. We did 70 miles, due to road construction and our twice going briefly off-course. We left from T1 at Sand Hollow SP and rode all the way to T2 in downtown St. George. Almost 60 riders participated in the field test in three self-seeded groups. The CompuTrainer Real Course Video crew filmed the event in order to produce the first ever Ironman RCV to be released before the actual event. No more, what ifs.

Following is the course assessment from the cockpit of the RCV camera car as if followed the group on the shoot.

It's a perfect day for this ride, slight cloud cover and here at 0900 all three groups have already left the park area. Without morning winds come May 1, 2010 this will be a beautiful swim. The water today looks almost turquoise with nary a white cap. On the way to the start of the double loop, there are two significant climbs that pretty much set the tone for the course. There will be work. Please remember these names: Telegraph Rd. and Red Hills Parkway. Remember them because they will try to steal your juice, early.

The real fun begins at about mile 30, when we leave the burg of Ivins and head out and up towards Gunlock, the last town in America still resisting sprawl. And as a result without a budget for road repairs. The patched chip seal will rattle your gold teeth as it fills your legs with lactic acid. All this on our climb to the switch-backs the locals call "The Wall". And trust me folks, that noise you are hearing could be your heart and lungs just as easy as it could be Pink Floyd.

At the summit we take a right onto Highway 18. If I an the RD I am putting an aid station here. Half of our group took advantage of a small convenience store to top off their electrolytes with cherry Popsicle. I seriously doubt this will replace Gatorade on race day, but I have seen weirder things in special needs bags.

And then, heading back towards St. George, it gets fast in a hurry. Almost fifteen miles of 7% fast. We hit a max of 50.7mph in the car and were still following riders fully laid out and hanging on for dear life. It is a screaming decent, not unlike leaving Yellow Lake in Penticton, but longer. And bumpier. The torrid summer sun out here does wicked things to asphalt and tar, so as much as you would like to relax and catch your breath, please, give this section all due respect and attention. Consider yourselves warned.

Once you have completed all this from the turn at Ivins, please repeat the loop and finish downtown. And from what I have seen the run is no walk in the park, meaning...

...that this course will be a real test. It has moments of Canada, stretches of Placid, hints of Moo, and memories of CdA. Maybe the course it most resembles is Lanzarote. Or maybe even France. It is no Arizona and a polar extreme of Florida.

The people who will be successful on this course on May 1 of next year will be the ones who are most prepared. At first glance that might seem obvious, but to the savvy triathlete there is a world of difference between being prepared - and being prepared to climb. Suffer in training so your race day is manageable. The quality of your training will determine the level of gas left available in your tank come T2. This course is as honest as it is scenic. It will separate the contenders from the pretenders mucho pronto. It will NOT BE FUN, if you show up on race day with nothing other than your base fitness. It will hurt if you are MOP. If you are FOP it will hurt even more. If this will be your first IM I have some advice:

Please, please train for hills so you don't wake up on Sunday morning and ask, "What if?"

A video sample of the course will be uploaded to our site by Friday. We hope to have the RCV produced and released by September.


The racing man's Kokopelli

No comments: