Nautica Malibu Classic Distance 2013 recap

Got up at 3:30am, had a PB&J sandwich with some banana and a little bit of coffee. Had half a bottle of Gatorade on the way to the race, and 1/2 of Clif Bar. For the warmup, swam in the ocean while Bret Michaels was desecrating his old hit song. Got used to the water and then got out and ran for 90 seconds. Chatted with some fellow racers, and had a GU packet about 15 mins before going in.

Noticed that the current seems to be sweeping people south, so I lined up on the right, and swam northeast. Hit the buoy almost head on and rounded it smoothly. There was no congestion at all, and I seemed to be falling into a good rhythm. The breathing and puling felt just right. Before I knew it, it was time to swim back. Caught a few waves and made it to the shore very quickly. Swim time 13:54.

Had a decent T1, somewhat delayed by one of my fellow racers almost dropping my bike. Bike leg was a bit of a mixed bag. I had a really hard time navigating my way around slower age groupers from the previous waves. There was literally no room to move in the parking lot exit, and most downhills had people descending in packs of 2-3 wide. The congestion got a little lighter once I got out of Leo Carillo's parking lot. Still a slowish ride by my standards. I could have taken chances on the downhills and the parking lot. But I have decided not too... the risk of crashing and jeopardizing my IM training was not something that I liked too much. Bike time was 51:53.

Clipped out of the cycling shoes right near the dismount point in T2. Ran in dodging some late swimmers (wtf?). The helmet somehow had a buckle stuck... lost another 10-15 seconds.

Had a good run. Again, the course was narrow and crowded, so it was hard to navigate. Ran an extra 0.1 miles just trying to find space to pass people on.Had a GU at around mile 1, and then just maintained my 5K pace. Tried the H3O drink that Herbalife provided, and it was as expected - gross and chemical tasting. Enjoyed the awesome ocean side running. A beautiful day all in all. Run time in 26:05. I might have been able to speed up a bit, but who knows. No need to second guess myself. Overall time was 1:36:24.

Met the family, walked around, had some junk food.

I have to say that the bike course needs to be somehow re-thought. A few things make it very unpleasant and somewhat dangerous in my opinion.

1. Let's face it, this event draws a lot of people who are not comfortable on the bike. They tend to compensate by riding in groups and blocking the narrow space available to pass them. I saw 1 official who might have assessed some penalties to the blockers right in front of me, but none were announced.

2. Letting the mountain bike division start the swim with some of the 40-44 males pretty much insures that some of us will have a tough time navigating the bumps in the parking lot with some rather unwieldy and slow bikes around. Couple this with a decent number of bad riders from other waves and you have a dangerous situation on some rough pavement. I easily lost about a minute today trying to make my way through the narrow spaces between the bumps and the curb.

3. The Trancas intersection on the way back - pedestrians were allowed to cross practically in the midst of cyclists descending at 35mph+. It is was a close call this year and the same thing happened to me 3 years ago.

4. Cars on the PCH were flipping u-turns right through the cones numerous times. I cannot tell you how dangerous this was. The cops either did not see it or chose to do nothing about this.

My immediate suggestion would be to move the start of the ride to the south end of the beach and avoid the unpleasantness of the parking lot racing. I also think that this would allow for much wider space for runners as they can go up Wetsward beach road which runs about 2 miles out. I also really wish that the organizers could simply close the PCH for a stretch of 9 miles to somehow alleviate the congestion in the bike lanes.

No comments:

Post a Comment