Pucon, IronMan 70.3, Chile Jan, 24th 2010.
Six month ago, we planned this trip, the goal was trekking through Patagonia.
Bringing my own bike was not possible.
Objective of the race, have fun, keep up the motivation for indoor training, targeting IronMan St George in May.
I contacted local bike shop and checked out Chilian blog’s.
No way to rent a race bike down there, but I was very lucky to contact Cesar, a Triathlete from Santiago who has created the most complete blog in Chile .
He immediatly proposed to lend me his training bike !! That was my first contact with Chilean, and I must say that they are very nice poeple !
Wake up @ 5am, to climb the Villarica Volcano as a « warm up » before the race 😉
Not too difficult, but still 5 hours climbing.
The way down is much faster: sliding !
Picking up the bike
I prepare the bike, and make it fit my measurment as much as possible.
1 hour bike ride to test the machine. Off course I’m not as comfortable as on my own bike and saddle, but that’s correct.
3pm: Bag pick-up
In the bag: a nice tech. shirt, a bottle , a « bumbag » (still used in south america ), and « lipstick » labelled « IronMan », but no solar cream 😉
Bike check-in, very well done, ITU style.
Very warm day, my wave starts only at 8:20, so I will run between 11am and 1pm. That will be a good training for the real goal of the year.
2009 champion Heather Gollnick preparing her Kestrel (2nd in 2010)
Last sun cream layer, and let’s go !
8:20, The water is warm and calm, wave start makes it easy compare to the “washing machine” experiences in IM races.
We have to exit the water and re-enter, that’s really cool for the show.
Swim time: 32:43, that’s good for this time of the year, and with my old sleeveless wetsuit.
It took me 02:59, wich seems a lot, but transition zone is very long (400m), only one line: with system the public has a very close access, and can watch and support its favorite athletes, pretty cool !
Plus I took time to put sun cream again.
The first kilometers remind me my debut in Triathlon: no aero wheels or helmet, no computer, etc…
Quickly I find my pace, and catchup a lots of competitors. The referee are very present, and are doing a great job. There are a few groups playing with them, but that’s much better compare to most of North America race I’ve done. Congratulation to the organisation, US and Canadian Race can learn from them.
At the end of the first lap, we come back in town,the crowd is loud, the street is narrow, I have to stand up on the brakes: competitors are using all the road, no way to pass, and dogs can cross a any moment ! (I just avoid one in the first lap)
First lap in 1h12, but as they warn me, the second lap will be much harder, with the head wind catching up. Also I begin to feel incomfort in this unknown bike, and the low mileage does not help: in general I have twice more miles the month before an half IronMan (but with exclusivly HomeTrainer and XC Ski, it has to be different).
I finish the bike in 2h26, that’s better than what I expected, my indoor training plan is paying off.
Once again, I took time to put sun cream.
Arf, my legs are very heavy, of course, it is not the same feeling than running after biking on my own bike, but I knew it, and I signed for it.
I was waiting a mostly flat race, with a few hills, but it was the opposite !
As soon as you exit T2, you attack a steep hill, then 5k up and down.
Le race consist of 3 loops: great idea, each lap completed, they gave a “necklace” that you must wear. So you knwo who is in your lap.
Coming from Montreal, and with my size, the main challenge was to handle the heat.
I monitor my heartrate, making sure I get as much as water to cool down, and hydrate well. The hilly race makes it more complicated.
Finally I keep a constant pace in the three laps (32′09, 33′30, 32′40).
The finish is amazing, with the crowd, the flags, the magic of the place !
1:38:59 for the half marathon, far from my best time, but regarding the profil and the conditions, I take it !
Final time: 4h43, 68/686 Overall.
I reached my goal: have fun, support the heat, and validate my indoor bike training.
The massage are just to well located:
Lost of competitors suffering from deshydratation:
So I don’t take any risk !
The rest of the trip was even more amazing. (first pics available here)
I can only recommand to try the adventure. Triathlete Magazine this month selected Pucon, the « Most Scenic Triathlon in the world », and I must say that they are right !
The organization is perfect too, and the field is really strong: gathering the best athlete from all the continent (Chili, Argentine, Brasil), and it also became one of the prefered race for the Professional.
Note that the two first Women were riding Krestrel AirFoil Pro: I can’t wait to receive my own Kestrel !!
Special thanks to Cesar Augusto Nuñez Hernández, without you, I would not have done this race. I hope I will have the chance to give you back a favor one day ! You gave me the chance to discouver your wonderful country and to meet with very nice poeple.
Thanks to my Club, les Chickens for your support and your words on our Forum, that was really cool to read your post before and after the race !