When I got out of the water at the Sharkfest Sprint Triathlon, I was verbally saying I would never do that again. Well by the end of the run that morning, my attitude had changed to – well if I can get better at swimming I might consider doing another one. Well.. a few weeks have passed and as of this past Tuesday… I am officially committed to another Sprint Tri.
I signed up for the Mountain Man Sprint Triathlon here in Branson on August 18th. If I had known about this one prior to signing up for Sharkfest, I may have just bypassed Sharkfest altogether. But when I searched on TriFind back in February it was not listed and the closest one in the July timeframe was Sharkfest. I really had no idea the differences between the two so I was just looking for the closest one that seemed reasonable in cost and in terms of the distances.
Since Sharkfest, I have continued to train on the bike and been getting in a few rides of 60 miles or longer and of course trying to keep up a pretty good running schedule. Swimming continued as a result of the almost unbearable heat and humidity and a way to cool off in the lake after the run. About a week ago I found out there was going to be a Triathlon Swimming Camp with a local coach to help get everyone ready for the Mountain Man. I signed up and although it has been extremely tough – I can tell a huge difference!(I plan on recap after the camp ends next week).
So Mountain Man seems to be in the cards in another 3 weeks. At first glance the distances don’t seem too big of a deal. The swim is a 400 yard pool swim, the bike is 15 miles, and the run is 3.1 miles. Pretty much the same distances as Sharkfest. However – there is a HUGE difference in the course! The swim should be easier in the pool – however I am a little nervous about how the snake style swim will go in the lanes. The bike course…. BRUTAL! It is on the High Road, which is part of the same course the Branson Ironman 70.3 follows.(If you haven’t hear or read – it was ranked the hardest bike course of any of the Ironman 70.3 races). Hills… very LONG Hills. Adam, Dwight and I rode the route this past Thursday morning and it was tough. Coming out of the transition area from the swim you have an immediate climb of about 250 feel in about half a mile. I am OK at hill climbing overall – but by the time we got back from the 15 miles of continous climbing, my legs were shot. The last climb to get off of the off-ramp of the High Road seemed to go at least 3 miles. Needless to say – this is going to be a huge challenge!
The run course – well … more of the same… hills.. VERY STEEP HILLS. I have yet to run the course but after swimming last night we practiced a transition out of the pool and just road the bike on the run course plus. This is going to be a very tough run! I run some pretty good hills out by my house but none of them are as long and as steep as these. In the back of my mind I keep remembering the ever so slight incline at the end of the run at Sharkfest and thinking how steep it was. After the swim, and then biking the very hilly course, I can only imagine how dead my legs are going to feel running 1.5 miles back up the hill to the finish line.
I am looking forward to it though! Swimming is feeling much better, and there are quite a few friends that are also going to be taking this one on as well. Adam, Dwight, Devra, Vickey, and David are all going to join in the fun. It will be a fun and challenging race!