bbcgrrrl wrote: I originally signed up to try and qualify for Almere
. However, this was before the length of the Almere course had been announced. I know how much time it takes to train for an full Iron and wasn't interested in doing it again for quite a while. And I've been to the Netherlands
. When 2021 in Australia was announced, I thought, "Great! I'll use this trip to scope the course and get a baseline for training for the 2020 race. I've never been to Australia!" I did qualify for Almere (still not going). And, I've decided for the reasons below, that I won't be returning in 2020 to try and qualify for Australia.
I came specifically to qualify for Almere. I raced ITU LD Triathlon WC there in 2008. Since I can no longer run, the full distance aquabike was precisely what tipped my decision to go back. However, like you, I've decided to pass on Australia; partly because I'm tired of the Miami Man venue.
For me, it was one of the worst races I've ever done. The swim was one of my worst. How was there a current in a spring-fed lake? Still can't figure that one out.
I've done MiamiMan four times and it is always one of my worst swims. The fact that it is long is only a small part of why I was so much slower than similar venues. I don't know what it is about that particular mini-lake, but it is slow. But it's the same for everyone so I don't let that get to me.
I'm 56 so I was in one of the last waves and that meant being one of the last to get out on the bike course. As a result, the winds kicked up something fierce. 15-16 mph steady cross winds with terrifying 30 mph gusts. It was all I could do to keep control of my bike. Those last 15 miles with the wind and the angry traffic were the scariest miles I've ever spent on a bicycle. I'm so glad I didn't crash or have a flat because I NEVER saw any race vehicles despite their promise of several on the course. I only saw a course marshall once.
I'm 62 so was behind you at the start. It's definitely a raw deal to start later and have to deal with much higher winds, but that's pretty much how it is at so many races. The pros get water that is like glass, and then by the time the late AGs go off it is choppy, hotter and much windier. I thought the wind was challenging on the second loop, but far from terrifying. I've had the good fortune (or misfortune) to have experienced much worse so that part is strictly relative. I did think during the last 15 miles or so that there was more traffic on the roads than I remember from past races there. I did see course marshalls several times in the middle of the race and figured they were spending more time on the pointy end of the field.
.Re-entering the park presented it's own challenge - racers who had already finished strolling along in the middle of the road! And there was the run.... it felt like running around a disused military base, complete with overgrown roads with uneven crumbling pavement, rutty grass (hello rolled ankles!), dodging families in the .5 mile portion in the zoo (twice), and dodging cars in the camper-van park area (twice). Thank goodness for the volunteers on the run, because it sure as heck could not have been more spectator UN-friendly..
That is the big marketing bait and switch of Miami Man. They only show you pictures of the very brief section running through the zoo displays and not the majority of the run which is XC, admin roads, campground, old trail, XC. It is far from a scenic run course. But hey, you finished and qualified. Congrats even if you aren't taking the spot.