Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ironman Miami 70.3 Race Review


Ironman Miami 70.3 Race Review
Mr Half-TRI-ing acting cool.

Miami is a very large city. According to Wikipedia, “Miami is the principal, central, and most populous city of the Miami metropolitan area, and the most populous metropolis in the Southern United States after Washington, D.C. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami's metro area is the eighth most populous and fourth-largest urban area in the United States, with a population of around 5.5 million.  It is also the world’s largest cruise port.”
Miami is also known for its wide ethnic diversity.  It has a very large Hispanic and Cuban population.  It has a great nightlife and even better food.  I LOVE Cuban food and Miami is THE place to get it.

The bridge you have to run over twice.

Ironman Miami 70.3 is very unique and different from most other races.  Most races take place in a small town in the middle of the country.  Ironman Miami 70.3 is completely the opposite.   It feels strange doing a 70.3 race in the downtown of a huge city.  The swim takes place in Biscayne Bay which lies in the shadows of the large, downtown skyscrapers. You swim alongside large docked cruise liners and multi-million dollar yachts. The cycling and run portion of the race takes place under the skyscrapers, the middle of downtown and the warehouse district. 

The race location at night.
Very Pretty!!

The race also feels like it takes place in city in Latin America (which Miami pretty much is).  Most of the business signs are in Spanish.  Most of the stores cater mostly to the Hispanic culture.  Everyone speaks Spanish (and sometimes no English).  There are Cuban and other Hispanic bakeries and restaurants on every corner (super yummy). 

This race draws competitors from every culture.  Virtual every Latin American culture is represented in the race.  I also saw many other country represented (Russia, Poland, English, Norway, Sweden, Rwanda, etc).  I think the vast majority of the racers did not speak English.  Most of the day I heard the participants saying “sorry I don’t speak English” in multiple foreign accepts.  I felt like a stranger in a foreign country.

The Swim

The swim exit

 Biscayne Bay (salt water) is not known for being the cleanest place to swim.  This is the largest cruise port in North America.  That being said, “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger?!?”  If I happen to grow a third eye then look at the bright side, open water sighting will be MUCH easier.
Biscayne Bay
My swim was really strong.  Other than some minor issues with goggle flooding and swimming through a ton of weeds, all want great.  This was probably my best swim ever.  I shaved off 5-10 minutes of my swim time.  I guess swimming 1.5 hours, 3 days a week at a Masters swim pays off.

Swim Time: 35.42
Pace 1:50/100m
Gender Overall: 520/2447 (Top 21%)
Category Overall: 106/524 (Top 20%)

The Bike
The first and last part of the bike course took you through downtown Miami.  This part of the race had many turns and it was hard to speed through it.  It also did not have the best of road conditions.  

What I wish I was riding during the race.
I rode along side of many Ferrari and Lamborghini!!

The vast majority of the ride was on the main roads through the warehouse areas.  It was not a very scenic or interesting bike course.  It was flat and windy.  We only had about ten minutes of wind at our backs for the whole race (maybe 15-20 mph winds).

There was a TON of cheating on the course.  More than any other 70.3 I have completed.  I saw at least 5-6 groups of 5-10 cyclists drafting in packs. 

I also saw someone clip a road cone in front of me and go flying into the oncoming traffic lane.  Luckily he got up quickly and got back on the bike.  I saw him later and he looked fine but visibly slower.

It was not my best cycling time but it was fairly strong considering how windy and curvy the course it was.
Bike Time: 2:58:05
Pace 18:87 mph
Gender Overall: 1055/2447 (Top 43%)
Category Overall: 226/524 (Top 43%)

There were a TON of bikes in transition

The Run
The run was your average city, warehouse district scenery.  Nothing to write home about but not bad either.  It was flat except for the bridge over the bay which was steep and you had to run up/down it TWICE.  That part of the run was painful.  The heat was much better than it could have been but it was still pretty hot (high 80s).

The bride you run over TWICE!!


Overall my time on the run was not bad (taking into account I had to run up/down the bridge twice). 

Run Time: 2:06:41
Pace 9:40/mile
Gender Overall: 951/2447 (Top 39%)
Category Overall: 213/524 (Top 41%)

Transition Times (my vacation time)
T1: 4:33
T2: 3:23

Overall: 5:48:24
I was happy with my overall performance.  I broke my previous PR of 5:55:41 by about 7 minutes.  My swim time was the best I have ever posted in a race.  I really showed to me that all those morning master swims REALLY paid off.  I shaved off 5-10 minutes off my swim time which was AWESOME.

Race Grade: B
I would recommend doing this race to others.  It was a good overall race.  Well staffed and supported.  I just prefer races in smaller towns.  I hate driving in big cities. 
Interesting Note:  My bib number was 2447 and there were 2447 males in the race. That means I was the last male bib.

Only a portion of my post-race Cuban meal.
I had Cuban toast, ceviche, bacalao (cod) croquetas, Cuban stew,
rice pudding and two Cuban coffees.

A seven pounds pre-race Cuban sandwich with tostones

Bonnie acting cool.
It looks like the people in the background are kissing.

Cute couple
It's not a bad picture considering I took it my self
with my phone.

The Bling


  1. LOL at the post race cuban food, I am from Venezuela and did the race too, I had an Awesome Burger in Burger and beer as my post race food. I guess for me miami it is usa but with latín flavor jejeje. It was my first 70.3 and really enjoyed too. Spotify on review. I had a blast. 53 swim time (cramps) 2:58 bike time also and 2:43 run, the cramps cama back with a venganza, jeje.

    1. It's my first 70.3 this year. Was there a significant headwind during the first half of the bike portion? I've seen previous complaints of this in prior years. I'm getting so nervous.