It's for sure the busiest time of the year if you plan to be a "Free Agent" in 2020. That's right, come 1 January I plan to jump out of my staple green kit and jump into something that I've helped to build and design for 2020 and beyond. For the last few weeks my friends and I have been working to build, build, BUILD!! Soon, we'll be ready to announce! I'll be producing a whole post on this later but...what's coming is going to be big for me AND our future team. (build suspense...now)
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70.3 Los Cabos
Honestly, where the heck do I start with this one? I'm smiling even right now, trying to get my actual thoughts about what this race REALLY was.
It was awesome and also a shit show....
Yea, that's kinda what sums it up. Let's talk about why it was a shit show FIRST since that's actually super important as our sport evolves. While it might seem like less of a big deal for an amateur, for a professional it's a big deal. When it comes to any race I've ever been to before, the event staff and official referee's are on point...or at least they are on course with authority. There are usually a few Moto's designated for pro men and pro women however in Los Cabos for the IRONMAN 70.3 event, we had a dude in a red shirt on a moped. Surely, he must be the real deal with he shirt stating "OFFICIAL" on the back but don't be fooled, he's just there to burn up some fuel on that moped. I'll keep details pretty vague but let's just say if you were in the pro men bike group there were times where you literally sat up, threw up your hands and went "WTF" to the "OFFICIAL" and his response was shaking his finger at you. He did NOTHING to clean up our race, warn anyone or come anywhere near citing anyone who broke the rules. Now, as a newbie racing in Mexico I'm probably being laughed at by any other pro athlete since it seems, that's just how it is but...it's a bit shit when we are trying to position ourselves for money!!! Racing in Argentina blew me away when we had a blatant false start that was never called back or cited post-race. South America and Mexico need some actual referee's who know the rules and enforce them. Rounding out the issue in Mexico, I heard that the "OFFICIAL" I am mentinioning was confronted and basically said, I don't really understand the rules so we are just there for safety. End of story. That's a big reason why it was a shit show....but let's talk about why it was awesome!
Notoriously a party town, where pastie folks get away for copious amounts of booze, beaches and un-solicited/un-welcomed sales tactics designed to annoy you until you just fucking buy something, Los Cabos is a get-away. For the IRONMAN 70.3 event there are two main places you can stay, with a long strip of road (also the bike course) connecting the two towns. The race takes place in San Jose Del Cabo which is for sure a more resort-feel with a more family friendly atmosphere. Cabo San Lucas on the other hand, is a pseudo-port where cruise ships come in to regurgitate more consumers and beach goers on the beautiful beaches so they can spend some time and money "living it up". Personally, not my thing and after 30 minutes eating breakfast at The Office after the race, I was like wow this is amazing but let's get back to our private beach. All of that being said, let me say that everyone we met and came in contact with was incredibly professional and friendly so, if you visit you will be well taken care of. Oh, and if you have money, you can buy anything you want.
The race venue itself split between a host-hotel and then T2 which is at yet another hotel. Plan to visit 3 locations when you register. You'll have to register at the host hotel, drop your T2 bag at the next hotel and then finally drop your bike at swim start, which is at the bottom of a very steep and long hill. The day before the race requires some logistical planning but everything is within a 15 min drive with swim-start being the most "remote". The host hotel had a mechanic on staff and tons of volunteers who had no idea on what they were actually doing but, in Mexico shit gets done when you get enough people together who are clueless.
My Personal Experience
My buddy Steven and I arrived Friday and the race is Sunday...we arrived just the right amount of time to find a local coffee place and grocery store before we were too wrecked to even build bikes. The Airport battle and ensuing rental car BS took up a lot of time before we drove the 30 min outside of town to our AirBnB located in Cabo Bella (a few miles from Cabo San Lucas). We found the equivalent Whole Foods, picked up groceries and made it home, where we found out they kinda Catfished us. The pictures were like, amazing but in reality....run down and full of mosquitos. Also, the A/C took about 2 days to finally cool the place down...but the show must go on! We had a wonderful private beach, Netflix and I played a lot of GTA5 on XBOX!
We boiled all of our water, used bottled water and over-cooked all of the meat and veggies for good measure while consuming plenty of white rice. It was pretty basic but still fun as we negotiated race logistics. If you don't have a rental car you can still survive perfectly find, but make sure and stay close to San Jose since shuttles run from there to swim start.
My day started pretty stellar as I slept well enough, woke up feeling positive and didn't have any major issues to work around. The bike was checked and all Steven and I needed to do was drive to Swim start and try to park somewhere. The issue there was, race instructions said there would be parking at the shops in La Pamilla but...those were for sure blocked off race morning so we parked on a random road with everyone else. Let's just say the rest was basic but holy hell after having zero visibility during my last 3 races while swimming, this was amazing. The crystal clear water made for some great views and wow, I could see my competitors underwater for once. I led in the main pack of guys, nearly 2 min off the 3 leaders and quickly heard Lionel Sanders name called. I really wanted a bit more of a bike warm-up before he blew by us all but oh well. Of course it's every pro-males dream to think "maybe I can go with Lionel" but then he blows by us like we're sitting down for a lunch break. You already know the basics of the bike course but let me tell you it's a tough course with wind a lot of climbing. My goal was to actually rip my legs off and then....see what happens. It was a really strong push up AND down hill at all times with a some big surges and an aggressive pace. Of course the last 4 guys in the group had to fight but I wanted to keep the price for sitting back a bit steeper. If nothing else 70.3 Shanghai showed me I can work harder on the bike and live to tell about it. The big downside to being back in salt water was that I managed to take in more than I wanted during the swim and was now burping up my INFINIT drink mix...lame, what a waste! Hopefully I was getting in enough regardless.
Onto the run and straight away, my hips don't lie! Tight hips but overall, moving decent enough. I see after 4 miles that 5th place is coming back a little and 6th place is a few minutes back so...I just keep asking "how bad do you want it"? I mean, the answer is always "really freaking bad" but I had to dig dee to keep the dismal pace alive! Into 5th place I just had to hold on and wait...is that 4th place? No, it wasn't...back to the fight to keep 5th and prevent further slowing. So....yea, I finished in 5th place and while that is awesome I'm really hungry for another top 3 BUT I still have work to do on my run. I'm realistic...my run has never been my weapon but it has always been my goal to sharpen that up so I can actually WIN one day. The back half of this season, if nothing else, proves that my new program, living location and attitude are paying off. If you check my "results" tab above you'll see my progression over the last 4 years and...man, I spent a lot of time getting my ass kicked. I've never stopped fighting and since I decided to make this my career EVERYTHING I do is for sport. Now I just have to always look for new sponsors to represent well and build the RaceChase Empire :) Here is the basic nutritional outline for my race.
- Pre-Race Din Din (Day before) = Chicken, Rice, BBQ Sauce.....
- Breakfast = Applesauce, INFINIT Cold Brew protein, banana, INFINIT drink mix for sipping
- Bike = 2.5 bottles of my "Hot Race, Sweaty Face" CUSTOM drink mix from INFINIT
- Run = Race Course nutrition all the way and SHIT ton of Ice and the last 3 miles = COLA!!