Friday, March 17, 2006

The half IM that wasn't

It's forecast to be rainy with a high of 58*F in Oceanside, California tomorrow for the half Ironman. So the organizers are offering a "different" option:

"Ford Ironman California 70.3 is offering an optional 700m swim for athletes who are not comfortable swimming in colder conditions. Those athletes choosing this option will go in a wave at 8:30am and swim 700m, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. Your results will be posted in the new category so you can see how you finished compared to your fellow competitors in your race. You will receive a finisher’s shirt and medal however you will not be eligible for awards, Ford Ironman World Championship slots (Hawaii), Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championship slots or Ironman North America race slots."

What do you all think of that? That's 36% of the half IM swim leg distance. While it's a nice gesture to accommodate those folks that would have withdrawn otherwise, it seems like once you're cold and wet you might as well swim the whole leg. It will be interesting to see how many people actually complete that option.

Update: At 10AM local time on March 18 in Oceanside, weather reports say 55*F with broken clouds and average 8 mph winds. Precipitation in the last 6 hours was 0.03 inches. That's about 10 degrees colder than the average high daily temperature, but well within the normal range. According to NOAA, the average water temperature in Oceanside in March is 58*F. Everything looks well within the normal range of weather and water conditions.

Update 2: According to coverage: The water temperature was 56 degrees (2 degrees below the average). 2115 triathletes were registered to race. 14 athletes elected to do the shorter swim course.

Sounds like they don't want a lawsuit.
In Canada to swim in the 50' JUNE is the norm..geez..what a bunch of wimps!! :)
My teammate John ran the volunteers at the main intersection and carried a race radio with him. He told me they pulled a dozen people from the water for hypothermia. One was pulled out unconcious, taken to a medical tent and before they could transport he woke up delirious, escaped to T1, jumped on his bike and took off on the course. He made it to Johns intersection about 3/4 out, completely out of it and was 'captured' by police for his safety.
That's an amazing story, Comm! I'm pretty sure I'm delirious after the swim, too....
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