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IM Cozumel tips?
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I am racing Ironman Cozumel (140.6) in a few weeks. Has anyone done the race before? If you could share any advice that would be awesome. I know it's hot and windy. Is there anything else outside the athlete guide I should know. Thanks
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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trainerdave924 wrote:
I am racing Ironman Cozumel (140.6) in a few weeks. Has anyone done the race before? If you could share any advice that would be awesome. I know it's hot and windy. Is there anything else outside the athlete guide I should know. Thanks

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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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Do NOT rely on aid stations... EVER! Have everything you need on your bike and special needs. Same for run.

Draft.. or you're going to be VERY slow in comparison. Mostly pink because you shouldn't draft but it's true. It'll be the largest draft packs you may ever see on the east side of the island.

Stay at an all inclusive.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [BrentwoodTriGuy] [ In reply to ]
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BrentwoodTriGuy wrote:
Do NOT rely on aid stations... EVER! Have everything you need on your bike and special needs. Same for run.

Draft.. or you're going to be VERY slow in comparison. Mostly pink because you shouldn't draft but it's true. It'll be the largest draft packs you may ever see on the east side of the island.

Stay at an all inclusive.

Legal draft yeah? Should I expect strong winds coming from the North west direction? Is it as bad as Kona?
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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trainerdave924 wrote:
Legal draft yeah? Should I expect strong winds coming from the North west direction? Is it as bad as Kona?

Depends on the day but I'd say same as Kona but only a headwind on the east side of the island.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [BrentwoodTriGuy] [ In reply to ]
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BrentwoodTriGuy wrote:
Do NOT rely on aid stations... EVER! Have everything you need on your bike and special needs. Same for run.
Are you talking water too. I have all my fuel and only take water off the course.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Stelvio] [ In reply to ]
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Stelvio wrote:
BrentwoodTriGuy wrote:
Do NOT rely on aid stations... EVER! Have everything you need on your bike and special needs. Same for run.

Are you talking water too. I have all my fuel and only take water off the course.

Yes, even water. Maybe they fixed it but 4 years ago they ran out of everything during the bike leg.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [BrentwoodTriGuy] [ In reply to ]
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Huh. I did it 2016 and disagree with Brentwood's advice. As he said maybe they fixed everything. Bike and run aid stations fully stocked with cold water, on the bike in actual water bottles.... (although some of those may have been refilled, I try not to think about that part). Run - There's a fully stocked aid station every K - that's 42 total. I did carry a hand bottle just because I am used to it and like cold water on demand. The run crowd is outstanding, even out near the northern hotel zone.

Drafting - I was out of the water relatively early at 1:01 and saw very little drafting, ones and two here or there but Canada at the Pemberton Flats was much worse. I didn't find the wind that bad, but a local divemaster whose done it several times says it was about average. A good position on the back side is key, lots and lots of folks sitting up into the wind. The wind will build so the sooner you get through it the better.

Here's a good site to pore over. Wind typically from north or east. But anyway the wind shifts, you're going to end up with some headwind. https://www.windguru.cz/76381

Hotel -This is a personal thing, I've been to Coz probably 10 times over the last 7 years (mostly for diving) and would never stay at an AI. Too far from town (in general) and the restaurants in Coz are out of this world. Go to La Perlita for Coconut Lionfish and El Moro back in the hood. Best meals on the island. Oh, and Del Sur for Argentinian steak and empanadas, Casa Denis for margaritas, Le Chef for a lobster bacon sandwich, El Maple cafe for coffee and a crocodilo... and tons more. It's a great place to gain back all the race weight you lost

One good tip if you can swing it. My wife volunteered in the med tent/finish line last year (not a doctor), and that gave her access to the athletes area so she was able to come back with me after I finished. That was nice

Any specific question, just ask. I've been racing since 2004 and done a couple hundred races. IM Coz was the best organized race I've doe hands down, which is saying something given it's a point to point and it's.... well... Mexico. Which isn't exactly known for its efficiencies.

Also, I tried a little heat acclimation the last few weeks, bugger guy and in dry southern california so typically don't do well in the heat. Sauna sessions, easier trainer rides with long sleeves no fans, that kind of thing. I think it helped. Also, it was drier and cooler than I expected it to be, in fact quite comfortable most of the day other than the real high of the heat. Also, on the bike I tried to keep a cold bottle available, when I saw cloud cover I'd douse my face and neck/back. This kept me very cool until the sun came out again. Also used a vented aero helmet with a skin cooler underneath, squirted water in there as well.
Last edited by: ChrisM: Oct 27, 17 14:40
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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I've done IMCZ 4x - 2013 to 2016 - and just did IMWC in Kona:

Swim:

Nice swim....if you swam 1:01 you should be fine in Cozumel. Just watch when you jump off the end of the pier, it's not that deep and you'll easily hit your feet when you jump in. Swim is great.

Bike - East side of the island is WINDY - hard to explain to others but it's not an easy bike ride. Yes, it's flat...but the wind is pretty strong (I think stronger than Kona)......just keep your cadence up and don't try to muscle that wind. It's a hotter bike ride too. That windy stretch is around 9-11 miles, rest of the bike is relatively normal.

Run - VERY GOOD SUPPORT! The cheering is very good and I've had no problem with aid stations on the bike or the run.

Overall, a very well-organized race and I've always enjoyed doing IMCZ!
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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I did it last year and as a MOP (back of that pack though), there was only 1 aid station that was bad on the bike on the third lap. It looked like it was run by the local high school and they were just tired and hungry I think and not very organized. No problems at any of the other aid stations on bike and run.

Overall really well organized, especially bike and bag pick up.

One thing to be careful of is bike drop off and bag drop off. They are very strict about the procedure and exposing skin etc. Read the guide carefully. Pretty sure someone got a yellow card last year near me during drop off.

Have fun, had hoped to do it again this year but......
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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Drink the tequila shots offered a the run turn around
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Tri Bread] [ In reply to ]
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Tri Bread wrote:
One thing to be careful of is bike drop off and bag drop off. They are very strict about the procedure and exposing skin etc. Read the guide carefully. Pretty sure someone got a yellow card last year near me during drop off.

Sorry I'm not following, Someone got a penalty at the Saturday drop off? For not following the procedure or exposed skin?
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Stelvio] [ In reply to ]
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Stelvio wrote:
Tri Bread wrote:
One thing to be careful of is bike drop off and bag drop off. They are very strict about the procedure and exposing skin etc. Read the guide carefully. Pretty sure someone got a yellow card last year near me during drop off.


Sorry I'm not following, Someone got a penalty at the Saturday drop off? For not following the procedure or exposed skin?


It was a bit of a blur and its hard to know/remember what happened because it happened near me but not to someone I know.
There was a big commotion and someone got some sort of penalty, I think a yellow card but I will look later at the athlete guide to see if i can find the transgression. People got very upset. I can't remember if it was about putting the bike in the wrong spot or taking your shirt off in transition (on the day before the race!) or littering, but people were screaming and taking down athletes numbers. Seemed petty/crazy at the time.

ETA:
They don't seem to have an athlete guide anymore, which is weird. There is nowhere on the website which details what the rules are, looks like you HAVE to go to the MANDATORY meeting.

ETA II:
I think it was either taking the shirt off during bike drop off or maybe littering. Seem to be the only two that kinda make sense. There may have been a thread on this after the race last year. All this to say that the rules of the race might also apply during transition (chinstrap?) so be careful and ask questions during the mandatory meeting.
Last edited by: Tri Bread: Oct 31, 17 14:21
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Tri Bread] [ In reply to ]
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They just came out with the Athlete Guide in the last 24 hours so no link up yet (the 70.3 has a link on the web page). Here is the link for the full: http://www.asdeporte.com/...acozumeling_roja.pdf
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Tri Bread] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, that’s crazy. Didn’t hear anything about that. Odd also because many folks ride down and take the bus back. I’m sure a lot changed out of their jerseys, I probably did but don’t remember

Athlete guide is out, nothing is said about bike drop off and penalties. I do know technically they can ding for no helmet riding out bike to transition under usat (I think) rules

Then again it’s Mexico. Things are different there
Last edited by: ChrisM: Oct 31, 17 19:11
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Tri Bread] [ In reply to ]
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Do we really have to wear our bib numbers on the bike, there is already a number on the bike and helmet. I haven't had to do that in probably 10 years. Perhaps it is "lost in translation" the sentence immediately following says "bike number must be properly attached to your bike in a visible place" which of course will be on my seat tube.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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I did the race in 2015, and I'm a BOP guy and I have to agree with Chris on his thoughts. It really is a good race. I got there a couple of days early and had some jelly fish stings after an El Norte went through, so beware. Kind of like bad mosquito bites.

Also about those draft packs, I was in a group on the really windy side of the island and the referee came by and just waved a yellow card at about 4 of us, but the wind was so loud you couldn't figure out who he was waving it at. Went to the next penalty tent (just after the turn across the island) and they didn't have our numbers, so they marked our bib and sent us all out. I really liked that the entire course was closed to traffic.

jsm
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Stelvio] [ In reply to ]
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I was wondering the same thing. I don't see the purpose of having two frame stickers plus the stem sticker then also having to wear the bib number.

Any IMCOZ veterans have any insight?
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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From my IM 70.3 Cozumel experience Sept 2017 (couple weeks back). Not sure how all these will translate to the IM distance and to November time frame.

Swim:
-Swim start changed this year from jump off pier (about 5 ft above water) to a jump in off pier at water level. You enter one at a time and cross the mat as you jump in. Very civilized and i had no issue with congestion in the swim. (This swim started at the Dolphin Discovery park; can't remember is IM Coz does as well because I think its a point to point swim?)
-Water was absolutely gorgeous and 27 deg C (85 F?). Very good visibility. I found the swim to be fast but it was my first IM 70.3 so have no basis besides training swims.

Bike:
-Drafting: terrible amounts of drafting; literally pelotons of 20+ people clogging up the road. really hard to get away from. I actually found it to be worse on the west side of the island during 60-80km portion of the 70.3. Marshalls were out on scooters trying to break them up, and I even saw one filming the peloton trying to get all their numbers but I have no idea if any action was taken.
-aid stations: I only ever required water but every station had loads of volunteers and seemed well stocked with water and gatorade. Some bottles early on had ice in them and were cold; warmer ones at the last couple aid stations. Water was given in 500/600mL? proper cycling water bottles.
-wind: We had basically zero wind on the day, but have heard the east side can be rough. it is completely exposed coastline.
-frame sticker/bib on bike: We had one frame sticker. In previous years, athletes were required to wear a bib on the bike. My understanding from the athlete's briefing is this used to be a Triathlon Mexico requirement, but they have changed the rule. No bibs were required during the bike leg
-Road conditions: I found the pavement to be in really good shape except through town is gets a little more rough. Watch your line through town and you should be fine. They remove all the brutal speed bumps for the race, so dont let those scare you if you are out for a pre-race spin.

Run:
-Heat:the heat is real...32 degrees C, 90% humidity, virtually no shade.
-aid stattions: Again, i found them to be well stocked. For the 70.3, they were every 1.05km. They always had ice available as well as gatorade, pepsi, and water (with or without ice); i had all my own nutrition so cant speak to that. Sponges were available but a little more scarce.
-Crowd support: great support through town; as you head north there are less spectators.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [Sweet T] [ In reply to ]
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Sweet T wrote:
That windy stretch is around 9-11 miles, rest of the bike is relatively normal.

11 miles x3. That's why it will suck the life out of you. Think of it as an 11 mile climb with someone pushing you around the whole time and you have to do it three times. The bike is much harder than it looks so be ready for it. That section can get hot too but you won't feel the heat much because of the strong wind. I did that race in 2012 and 2014. In 2012, the temp reached around 93 in that section according to my Garmin. There will be an aid station right before you turn into that stretch. Load up and make sure you drink. Many forget because they are trying to handle their bike and fight the wind.

Try not to get sick. Careful what you eat there. I got sick both times I went there and the second time was worse than the first. Just try to avoid most food except maybe pasta until you finish the race.

Other than that, the island and that race is one of my favorites. Enjoy it.


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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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Coz 2014 was my first full IM. You always remember you first, amirite;)

I was unfortunately in the last swim wave that year. The wind gets progressively stronger as the day goes on so by the time i got to the third lap it sounded like jet engine thru my helmet and sucked the life out of me. So if you can train outside in the wind do so.

The swim is beautiful and point to point, but the current can also be at you for the first half before switching to downstream. Look at the buoy guidelines to get an idea what you're swimming in for currents.

Lastly, crowd support on the run is awesome, Especially running by the Hooters near the finish line 3 times.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [ChrisT] [ In reply to ]
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Done IM Coz: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014..... IMO, best race ever. Great venue, great people, great place, plus going diving after the race is bonus.

Swim is better and clearer than Kona.

Bike sucks, like Kona....but only for 8 miles on each of 3 laps on the backside of the island.

Run is awesome! Crowd support is great. Several years I did it, though, it poured rain during the run. No drainage on the streets, so slog thru the puddles. But, the finish is great and race support is awesome.

Friends or family, volunteer at the finish so you can meet your athlete, as they are very sticky about letting anyone (athletes included) back into finisher area.

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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [CyclingClyde] [ In reply to ]
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CyclingClyde wrote:
-frame sticker/bib on bike: We had one frame sticker. In previous years, athletes were required to wear a bib on the bike. My understanding from the athlete's briefing is this used to be a Triathlon Mexico requirement, but they have changed the rule. No bibs were required during the bike leg

Thanks CC. Glad to hear that. Going to all the effort to get more aero only to have a bib number flapping around doesn't make sense. Seems that most federations are adopting this change. I did try and search the internet for something about this change in writing but couldn't find anything.
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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Did Coz last year. Nice swim, although we were against the current for about half of it before it finally switched to the "normal" down current swim. Bike, I went 5:30 so I was passing a lot of people after my slow 1:25 swim. I saw a couple people drafting on the east side but more than anything it was people who were sitting up on the base bars directly into the wind. There was a portion of the bike when I started my 3rd loop where I could not see a single rider either in front of or behind me. That was pretty cool. Wind picks up throughout the day so the sooner you can get through the east side on your 3rd lap the better. To give you an idea, up the east side of the island from Punta Sur to Mezcalitos, my average speed per lap was 19.9, 19.4, and then 16.5. Run - very little to no shade until you get past the airport.

ETA - I was running 60mm front and rear and did not have any issues with wind, although I was about 185lbs at the time.
Last edited by: Harbo99: Nov 2, 17 12:38
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Re: IM Cozumel tips? [trainerdave924] [ In reply to ]
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Anyone know if you are swimming with the sun in front or behind you? Is it possible to swim and sight easily without tinted goggles?
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