St Croix Race Report; Beauty and the beast.

Traveling to the beautiful island of St Croix, this Half Ironman triathlon has it all.  Sun, surf, wind, hills, heat, rain, and did I mention hills?  The 2008 event included a who’s who of Pro athletes and top age groupers looking to get an early jump on gaining entry to the Kona and Clearwater World Championships as well as a good test race for those coming out of the winters grip. Congratulations to all TriStar Athletes in St Croix for braving a tough day and slaying the beast!

” Sometimes you own the course, sometimes the course owns you.”

Race Detail


· 6am Swim from mainland to race start on the Cay

· 6:30am pros start

· 6:32am ask other swimmers their potential swim times to get a pair of feet to draft off of.

· 6:35am <Male 29yrs start! 

· 6:40am no fast feet in this group.. and can’t hang on with the fastest guy who leaps ahead to the pro field swimmers.

· Lots of chop out here; like the hull of a boat slamming into each wave it was hard to get into a swim rhythm.

· Stopped several times to sight the buoys.

· Finish the swim up the ramp in a slower than normal time 33min


· Get on the bike and try to settle in but HR is 172!  Continue riding with HR 168+ for first 25min. (@ >280W)

· Settle in a bit and start to feel more relaxed but legs feel empty…

· Several small thunderstorms wet us and the roads as we cruise through town making the conditions  slippery

· Chain falls off the right side of my bike x 2 and have to stop to fix it.

· Up the beast, really working here; shouldn’t be so hard but sure feels like it. (HR 176bpm)

· Mile 45 on the bike big thunderstorms and high wind make for hard conditions.  I munch on my second wet Powerbar  and stick to my game plan dialing in my watts and noting the HR.

· Sun peeks out and wind picks up on the back of the island.  Legs feel depleted and don’t think I am eating enough!

· SRM troubles; as the course heats up (effecting the calibration of my power meter) I have to switch back to HR to pace the bike. 

· More hills… and some fast fun downhill sections.  Some gusty winds blow my front wheel around making the descent hairy.

· Mile 50 legs are toast and feel more like after an Ironman than finishing a half Iron bike :O


· Enter T2 and take my time to get set and ready to run.  Load up my camel back and wet my cap to start onto the run course without a cloud in the sky!

· Hot HOT HOT! Ice, water, sponge and Gatorade at each aid station.

· Mile three some walking and jogging.  The trail through the golf course is hot and stagnant until I reach the ocean side with a nice breeze.

· Get passed by Amanda Lovato on the run.. she is looking strong but suffering . 

· I walk some of the major hills and jog as much as I can to keep moving. My only words of the day to the cheering section as I walk up the steep hill on the 9th hole of the golf course, “Sometimes you own the course, and sometimes the course owns you!”  Though I did say it with a laugh and a smile : )

· Mile 6..  Starting to feel a little better after getting in lots of strong Gatorade from my camel back.

· Some blisters on the feet but keep moving. 

· To cool my body I put cups of ice from each aid station under my cap.  (Brain Freeze!)

· All about finishing as there is only 3miles to go.  Really suffering in the heat..

· One loop through the downtown heat and can hear the crowd cheering and see the finish line. Glad to be done : )

· Finish 5:05:30  Swim:33min Bike 2:41 Run:1:48, 6th place M25-29  [AVG HR 163bpm or (97% of LT on bike, and 96% of LT on run) Weather low 71 high 89. Sun and rain showers with  thunder storms.

While this wasn’t the stellar race I had hoped for it did blow out the winter cob webs and should get me ready for my ‘A’ race, Ironman Cour D’Alene.  Based on some of my experiences from this race I plan to tweak a few things for my nutrition going forward (Eat more on the bike) and also make sure NOT to get sick the week before the race!

~Coach Cliff

Need help planning your ‘A’Race nutrition?  We can help dial in your specifics!  Contact us!

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