Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...?
Quote | Reply
So, I’m registered for IM St. George but I need to transfer out, for a bunch of not very good reasons I’m not going to be able to race it. I’m looking for a later-season race, preferably driving distance from Las Vegas.

Given Ironman’s dismal customer service, and despite my transfer request weeks ago (ok, IMAZ 2020 wasn’t even open yet, but 15 days just to get a response was pretty bad) I doubt I’m going to get to transfer in. Tier 3 is already sold out somehow.

But if I do get the chance to pick, which is a “better” race venue? Apples and oranges for the course I think. Flat would suit me much better but logistically there seems to be a number of people that didn’t like the water, the long T1 run, etc. in Tempe.

Anyone have thoughts on which one they like better? If Boulder were an option I’d probably look at that but it’s out. Coeur d’Alene, or is that 2021?
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Yeah I asked about transferring into IM Arizona (knowing that it'll sell out quick), and they said they will only do transfers after general registration has been open for 10 days. So I'm pretty sure Arizona will be full by then based on previous years.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [kerikstri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Ten days?? 🤦‍♂️ Nowhere is this published.

Thx for the heads up.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
IMSR is unequivocally a better course than IMAZ, there is nothing special about the IMAZ course. HOWEVER the support and energy at IMAZ is awesome. Honestly, I would probably pick IMAZ over IMSR because of the atmosphere and the fact that it sells out every single year. You'll never have a hard time signing up for IMSR

-------------------------------------------------------------
Tough Times Don't Last, Tough People Do.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [TriSpencer] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thx. Good feedback. I feel like lots of courses out there are not great, including AZ, although flat matters because I’m not likely to be very strong, looking just to punch the ticket. If SR is a “better” course I’ll take a harder look, I do want to enjoy the race of course but going out of my way for a challenging course isn’t a great plan either!
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
jeremyebrock wrote:
Thx. Good feedback. I feel like lots of courses out there are not great, including AZ, although flat matters because I’m not likely to be very strong, looking just to punch the ticket. If SR is a “better” course I’ll take a harder look, I do want to enjoy the race of course but going out of my way for a challenging course isn’t a great plan either!

SR is a significantly more scenic course, and with the exception of Chalk Hill (short and easy) there really are no "climbs", it's more of a rolley course. Truthfully, the run in SR might even be flatter than IMAZ. IMAZ gets the reputation that it is flat, and though there really is not much elevation gain there, you do get a slow, gradual incline heading out on the Beeline, which always has wind, which can make it slightly more challenging.

It's a full ironman, none of them are "easy".

-------------------------------------------------------------
Tough Times Don't Last, Tough People Do.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Done IMAZ 3x and IMSR 1x, SR 70.3 1x, Vineman 70.3 and full a few times... my takes.


IMAZ

Pros - easy logistics, 1 transition, cheap hotels, no shuttle to take to get to the start. Easy bike and run course, 100% blocked off. Extremely well run and supported. Your family/crew/supporters can probably see you 6x on the bike and probably 4x during the run.
Cons - Phoenix's fall has gotten crappier over the last 6-7 years. The lake's water is fairly bad, and it can get cold. The bike course is pretty boring and can get congested since it is 3x loops. Sells out quick.

IMSR

Pros - wine country, easy run course, a pretty manageable bike course with a fantastic scenery along it.The finish line in Santa Rosa is awesome. The lake is beautiful and clean. No goatthorns to worry about on the bike. Never sells out.

Cons - the roads are in bad shape, and they never get fixed. In 2017 some spots were downright dangerous. Some years of the Vineman were on road surfaces that would not be out of place in El Salvador. The weather can be challenging in July - ie hot/windy. The locals don't seem to enjoy being blocked by the riders. Sharing road with wineries traffic on many parts of the bike course. 2x loops on the swim. A boring run course with lots of weird turns and detours. The logistics are more challenging because of it being point to point, but not bad. Expensive lodging unless you're willing to stay further than 20 miles out.

That's how I see it. I'd go IMAZ to be honest.

Next races on the schedule: LA Marathon 2020, Oceanside 2020, Santa Rosa 70.3 2020
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [alex_korr] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thx I appreciate that. AZ is certainly easier. StG is of course the easiest but I just don’t think I’ll make it in shape in time.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Just did IMAZ, never done IMSR, so take it for what it's worth.

Swim: cold (63 F), but after the initial shock to the face, it was fine. I wore booties and a neoprene cap. The run from the swim exit to the bags was .66 miles according to my garmin. Annoying, but not as bad as people complained about. My swim was slow, and I heard a lot of people say the same thing, maybe because of the six turns?

Bike: not all that flat. Three windy AF trips up the Beeline (~800 ft gain), followed by three fun trips down. Bike roads are terrible, especially in Tempe; people were flatting all over the place, including me. Tech support was very limited. After the race, someone recommended kevlar tubes which apparently are common in AZ to prevent thorns.

Run: super flat and awesome fan support

Other: parking near the venue is super easy and free in the structure two blocks from transition. Volunteers were AMAZING. Fan support everywhere was incredible.

Good luck!
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Never done IMAZ, but here is my take on IMSR:
-Great Swim
- Interesting bike course with decent views but downright unsafe pavement
- Peaceful, flat, 3x run course
- Not spectator friendly
- Not a lot for kids to do

Oui, mais pas de femme toute de suite (yes, but I am not ready for a woman straight away) -Stephen Roche's reply when asked whether he was okay after collapsing at the finish in the La Plagne stage of the 1987 Tour
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [Vincible] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thx. I don’t have kids or spectators so that’s good for me but bad pavement not so much!
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I've done both races. Honestly, I couldn't say one is better than the other. If I had to choose one in your place, I would ask myself: for which will I be better trained? To which can I get more easily? Which one is logistically easier for me overall? Which one excites me more?

But here are some additional thoughts comparing the two races.

The swim. The water in Lake Sonoma is relatively warm and clear. But it's two laps, which can become hectic. Arizona is one easy lap. Both swims risk being cancelled. There was fog in Santa Rosa in July 2017 that actually cancelled the swim in the half. And there was talk of Tempe Town Lake being contaminated this year. Unpleasant to hear such noise before the race.

T1. Long in both races. Arizona is a long run regardless of where the exit is. And Santa Rosa has a slightly shorter run, but it's up a pretty steep boat ramp.

The bike. I'd say both are scenic! Santa Rosa has the vineyards and forests. Arizona has mountains and cacti along the Beeline. Pavement is garbage in parts of Santa Rosa. The Rio Solado in Arizona was also pretty bad this year, though that section is shorter and still smoother than the really bad parts of Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa has some climbing but little wind. Arizona has little climbing but can have lots of wind. Santa Rosa is more technical in that it has more than just the few 90-degree turns of Arizona.

T2. Nothing stands out, except for the stands! Or rather, racks. They had racks for our T2 bags in Santa Rosa. In Arizona, we just leave our bags on the ground. Both methods work; I'm just noting a difference.

The marathon. Santa Rosa feels flatter, because Arizona has a few sharp jumps and a hill. Some shade along the creek in Santa Rosa, and half of it is on compact dirt. But it is mostly in solitude. Arizona has more opportunities to see people cheering for you!
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
If you want flat late season alternatives you might want to consider Cozumel as well. It’s accessible through Cancun and I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than IMAZ.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [Dugansposse] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Yeah I have thought about Cozumel, I’m really familiar with the area and I do like flat! But I’m trying to minimize air travel and cost. Thx for the heads up!
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I've heard the IM Arizona bike track as a lot of switch backs and turns so it's hard to keep your speed up and consistant.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [Hornbill] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hornbill wrote:
I've heard the IM Arizona bike track as a lot of switch backs and turns so it's hard to keep your speed up and consistant.

that's the 70.3. the Full is pretty much out and back with a few turns into town.

I've done IMAZ 3x and SR 1x. both were pretty good courses. IMAZ definitely had much more energy and crowd support. yes, the lake is gross but it's never had a cancelled swim per my memory. the logistics at AZ are much easier. the split transition at SR means getting your bike out there on Sat and then an hour shuttle ride in the morning. so factor that in. the bike is more varied in SR but as others have noted the course is open to traffic and there are some rough patches. AZ is pretty boring for the most part but I don't mind that much. you do get to bike past the town dump, which makes for nice aromas. the run in AZ is one of my more favorites, just due to a decent amount of support and it does have a few rollers and one short hill. SR is mostly shady, which is nice and pretty flat. more affordable places to stay in AZ. i have done air BNB for less than $100 per night and nice places. SR cost me way more.

I would vote for AZ. not sure what their transfer policy is but what about IMCDA in 2021?
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [jeremyebrock] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
jeremyebrock wrote:
Yeah I have thought about Cozumel, I’m really familiar with the area and I do like flat! But I’m trying to minimize air travel and cost. Thx for the heads up!

I highly recommend Cozumel, but I don't think you can transfer into it (which is a moot point if you don't want to fly.)

Once a year I think about doing AZ again, but quickly decide not to because of the swim.

Good luck choosing something.
Quote Reply
Re: IM Arizona v. IM Santa Rosa v. ...? [Vincible] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Vincible wrote:
Never done IMAZ, but here is my take on IMSR:
-Great Swim
- Interesting bike course with decent views but downright unsafe pavement
- Peaceful, flat, 3x run course
- Not spectator friendly
- Not a lot for kids to do

Best, most concise summary of IM SR I've ever seen. Spot on. I've only done the 70.3 (last year) thinking I'd do it to scout out whether I'd want do to the full next year since it's only an hour away from me, but decided not to (will be at Mont Tremblant in 2020 instead).
Quote Reply