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2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3
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Not a surprise. Glad I did it.

2017 marks the final year of our iconic IRONMAN 70.3 St. Croix event.

After nearly 30 years of hosting IRONMAN 70.3 St. Croix, 2017 will be the final time you will be able to challenge The Beast. The race has remained a classic for decades and if it's on your bucket list—as it should be—it's time to plan your way to the start line on May 7th and experience the incredible U.S. Virgin Islands.
"I race triathlons literally all over the globe and I've never raced a more scenic backdrop than St Croix. Beautiful, warm, Caribbean water, white sandy beaches, palm trees, and friendly locals all make the race memorable." says, IRONMAN TriClub athlete Scott Fricks. "For a destination race, IRONMAN 70.3 St Croix beats them all, hands down!" he adds.
After a short swim to the start line, on the small island of Protestant Cay, the event begins with a 1.2-mile leg that is annually chosen as one of the most popular swims in the sport. As you make your way around the bay you'll share the warm Caribbean water with majestic creatures like turtles and stingrays.
The 56-mile bike ride includes stunning views all around the island, but most importantly, includes The Beast, a 550-foot rise in 0.7 mile. If you consider yourself a real triathlete, you need to bag The Beast. "St Croix is certainly a challenging event," shares, Fricks. "I often hear from people who are afraid to race St Croix because of the dreaded Beast. Those who have accepted my challenge to race here often tell me it's intimidating but worth every heart-pounding second!"

"I love this race because it's an honest race in testing ones' ability—the wind, the heat, and the challenging bike course requires athletes to be at the top of their game. You cannot finesse this course—you have to be ready for the challenge." Wayne Nichols (20x St. Croix finisher)
The 13.1-mile run features views to die for. Kay Reddy, a two-time St. Croix finisher agrees, "The two loop run around the Buccaneer Resort winds you back through the historic architecture of Christiansted and it's absolutely stunning." The rolling course protects athletes from the wind, which is an added bonus in the last leg of the race. If that's not enough, the volunteers and cheering crowds on the course help to make for an unforgettable finish.

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/...e.aspx#ixzz4XeVfNqlk
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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Total turds. That was on my list for 2018 or 2019.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [exxxviii] [ In reply to ]
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Without Kona slots, the race was no longer a draw for the faster crowd. And with the advent of the Puerto Rico 70.3, there wasn't a lot of reason to make the 30 minute flight further south.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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It was a matter of time, for sure. This will be my 8th (and now final) time in STX, and I'll miss it. It's a bit tricky to get to (those who booked Cape Air and left their bikes in Puerto Rico), certainly more expensive to fly to than Puerto Rico, and the hotel choices are somewhat dated and limited. But hey, I raced Kansas 70.3 all 7 times and it wasn't nearly as pretty!
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [Kscycler] [ In reply to ]
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Sad that WTC isn't doing more to keep it around.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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Damn it! I always wanted to do this race. Saw this, rushed to sign up for 2017... then remembered I'll be in UK and France in May. :/
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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Have seen a lot of good reviews for this race. Was on my B list for destination spots once the kids were out of the house and school didn't factor in. Too bad.

AJ

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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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This is such a shame. We've done it twice in the last 10 years and wanted to return again. I agree the reallocation of Kona slots killed it. It would be nice if WTC could do more to keep it around given its iconic nature. We would definitely look to go back in 2018 if they did.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [scobig] [ In reply to ]
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I'm curious if St. Croix will continue to run it as an independent race after Ironman bails. It was around before the Ironman tag after all.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [scobig] [ In reply to ]
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What more do you want them to do? Seems to me the market has spoken with only 235 athletes last year and 290 the year before. Apparently without Kona slots the race can't stand on its own two feet.

Yet, another 70.3 that has historically had slots (Buffalo Springs) seems to be holding it own. Sure it's not quite at 1,000+ entries like it used to be but 870ish athletes the last couple of years is pretty darn good for a race in the middle of nowhere in the hot Texas summer.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [logella] [ In reply to ]
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logella wrote:
What more do you want them to do?
Put some Kona slots back. They've already made an exception to put them on 70.3 in China, why not one of the historic venues in this sport?
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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I could have used some of that wind on the last leg of the course when I did it and my head was nearly exploding due to the heat!

They constantly try to escape from the darkness outside and within
Dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good T.S. Eliot

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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think Kona slots would save the race. At best, it might bring 100 entrants. Puerto Rico 70.3 was too much competition. Why fly to San Juan and on to St Croix when you can stop and race in San Juan? And whereas St Croix once held a monopoly in the Carribean, it is now ringed by the Miami 70.3, Cozumel 70.3, Cartegena 70.3, Campeche 70.3, Costa Rica 70.3 and of course, Puerto Rico 70.3. And you can now race independents in Cuba, Aruba and the Dominican Republic. St Croix is a fantastic race, but the supply of races has gone up tenfold over the years while the demand had probably only doubled.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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The real issue is that it's a hard course and the majority of WTC's audience doesn't like hard courses anymore. St. Croix was never going to draw a big crowd unless WTC finds a new carrot to interest people who aren't frontrunners. If their age group rankings system was worth anything, they could weight more points for hard courses.

Travel-wise for someone in the southeast U.S., I don't see St. Croix being much worse than Cozumel or those others you mentioned.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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Having done Puerto Rico and St Croix I would say it was just as easy to get to both from Toronto. You are not going to get a time you can brag about in St.Croix I suffered alot but had a smile on my face until the later stages of the run in St.Croix

They constantly try to escape from the darkness outside and within
Dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good T.S. Eliot

Last edited by: len: Feb 4, 17 10:35
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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spudone wrote:
logella wrote:
What more do you want them to do?

Put some Kona slots back. They've already made an exception to put them on 70.3 in China, why not one of the historic venues in this sport?

China is an emerging market. North America, the Caribbean, and South America are not.

Favorite Gear: Dimond | TriRig | Desoto Sport | Hoka One One
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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spudone wrote:
The real issue is that it's a hard course and the majority of WTC's audience doesn't like hard courses anymore. St. Croix was never going to draw a big crowd unless WTC finds a new carrot to interest people who aren't frontrunners. If their age group rankings system was worth anything, they could weight more points for hard courses.

Travel-wise for someone in the southeast U.S., I don't see St. Croix being much worse than Cozumel or those others you mentioned.

I've done IM Cozumel 2x, PR 70.3 2x, and St Croix 1x. From Tampa, Cozumel via Cancun was the most logistically challenging travel and PR70.3 the easiest. When I went to St Croix via Jet Blue, we landed in San Juan, then waited for over 2 hours for our connection. You needed to make sure you were flying the final leg on a jet so your bike would make the trip. Same thing in reverse. There are many direct flights to Puerto Rico; few to St Croix; not to mention that the additional flight leg to St Croix increased the cost of getting there compared to PR70.3. It was one thing when they were the only game in town, but now there are many options that are a single direct flight away. Just basic supply and demand.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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HuffNPuff wrote:
spudone wrote:
The real issue is that it's a hard course and the majority of WTC's audience doesn't like hard courses anymore. St. Croix was never going to draw a big crowd unless WTC finds a new carrot to interest people who aren't frontrunners. If their age group rankings system was worth anything, they could weight more points for hard courses.

Travel-wise for someone in the southeast U.S., I don't see St. Croix being much worse than Cozumel or those others you mentioned.


I've done IM Cozumel 2x, PR 70.3 2x, and St Croix 1x. From Tampa, Cozumel via Cancun was the most logistically challenging travel and PR70.3 the easiest. When I went to St Croix via Jet Blue, we landed in San Juan, then waited for over 2 hours for our connection. You needed to make sure you were flying the final leg on a jet so your bike would make the trip. Same thing in reverse. There are many direct flights to Puerto Rico; few to St Croix; not to mention that the additional flight leg to St Croix increased the cost of getting there compared to PR70.3. It was one thing when they were the only game in town, but now there are many options that are a single direct flight away. Just basic supply and demand.
If I go, my best option is a direct flight to Miami, then another flight direct to Christiansted, so the bike isn't an issue. But there are not many of those flights available.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [spudone] [ In reply to ]
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spudone wrote:
HuffNPuff wrote:
spudone wrote:
The real issue is that it's a hard course and the majority of WTC's audience doesn't like hard courses anymore. St. Croix was never going to draw a big crowd unless WTC finds a new carrot to interest people who aren't frontrunners. If their age group rankings system was worth anything, they could weight more points for hard courses.

Travel-wise for someone in the southeast U.S., I don't see St. Croix being much worse than Cozumel or those others you mentioned.


I've done IM Cozumel 2x, PR 70.3 2x, and St Croix 1x. From Tampa, Cozumel via Cancun was the most logistically challenging travel and PR70.3 the easiest. When I went to St Croix via Jet Blue, we landed in San Juan, then waited for over 2 hours for our connection. You needed to make sure you were flying the final leg on a jet so your bike would make the trip. Same thing in reverse. There are many direct flights to Puerto Rico; few to St Croix; not to mention that the additional flight leg to St Croix increased the cost of getting there compared to PR70.3. It was one thing when they were the only game in town, but now there are many options that are a single direct flight away. Just basic supply and demand.

If I go, my best option is a direct flight to Miami, then another flight direct to Christiansted, so the bike isn't an issue. But there are not many of those flights available.

I've done St. Croix 5x and 4x I took the flight directly out of Miami. The connections for me (coming from Ottawa Canada) are a bit slower through Miami, but at least I know the bike will make it. I am really saddened to see the race coming it an end. I love that race on par with Wildflower as my two favourite half IM's in North America (I've done Wildflower 4x). Events like these two are what our sport emerged from. I wish my physical condition was "ready to race" so that I could do the last round at St. Croix, but I am not there yet I actually just looked at flights for this year and looks like I can get them for around $750 CDN right now through Miami, or around $550 USD. Maybe I should just book a short vacation to head over, swim in the harbor and hang out.


















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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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wow I am very happy I am registered and going it was always on my bucket list!
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [Exige] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats. There aren't many races where you have to swim to the starting line! The race is memorable in so many ways; perhaps more so this year since it will be the last.
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [Exige] [ In reply to ]
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I am very happy that they didn't cancel before this year - i have had this on my bucket list for my 50th Birthday treat. We are going this year, and going to take an extra week to sail the BVI's.

If this is now the "official" St. Croix "call out" thread, I have a question.

My non-fish wifee is freaking out about the swim. Wind/waves/current. This is her first half. Most her swimming is in pool -- calm lakes/ocean/river... We just came back from Baja (can you say "training camp"?)... our rough water swims (10-15 mph winds) didn't go so well. Obviously this is weather dependent on the day, but for a race that starts in the morning...

Q: What have conditions been like (typically) on the St. Croix swim?

I appreciate any previous experience feedback. TIA.

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Proud member of FISHTWITCH: beating you to T1 for over a decade, and working on beating you to T2...
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Re: 2017 is last year for St Croix 70.3 [TriSliceRS] [ In reply to ]
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This year will be my 8th time in the past 9 years at STX, so I have some sense of the swim. The harbor is usually pretty protected, which accounts for the first 1/3 and last 1/3 of the swim.

The middle 1/3 is more open and therefore can have some swells, depending on the tide and wind direction. However, the water is only about 15-25 feet deep, so you're in sight of the bottom virtually the whole swim. And there are scuba divers at the bottom of each buoy anchor rope, so you get a sense of comfort knowing there's someone out there along with the kayaks.

Here's a typical swim. From the pier, the RD will announce that swimmers should head over to Hotel on the Cay. Everyone jumps in the 10-foot deep water and swims the 350 yards over to Protestant Cay Island (on which Hotel on the Cay sits) and up onto the beach.

Once on the beach, there is a table with sports drink and water and sun screen. Get hydrated and sunscreened (if needed) and start waiting around for the race to start. Snag a chair from the restaurant and sit down if possible.

When your wave is called, stand on the beach and wait for the horn. At horn's sounding, swim 50 yards to the end of the little white buoys and turn left, heading between two orange buoys. That's the "starting gate" and you sight almost straight east and follow the orange buoys about 5/8 mile to the yellow corner buoy. About half way along this leg of the triangle course, you'll leave the protection of Protestant Cay and get some swells depending on the wind direction. They are typically not bad, so find a rhythm and get to the yellow turn buoy.

At the yellow buoy, turn right about 120 degrees and head back toward land. Typically, the wind and swells are behind or quartering with you, so swimming is easy and mostly "downwind and downswell". Again, find a rhythm to the waves and take advantage of the push. On this leg, usually I'm sighting on a sailboat near shore or a house on the hillside. This leg goes almost to shore and into a cove around from the finish. Again, at the yellow buoy, turn right about 120 degrees.

The final leg of the triangle is a curved line where you swim along the shore out of the cove and then along the boardwalk. This leg is very protected and the calmest leg of the swim. The water can be quite shallow along the boardwalk, so I typically stay a bit away in deeper (6-8 feet) of water. People will be all along the boardwalk, so it's pretty exciting. At the end of the boardwalk is a buoy marking the exit ramp, so when you get there, look left, and reach for the guys helping you out of the water.

There can be a band of sea grass clippings in the water along the boardwalk, depending on the wind direction. Sometimes it's heavy, sometimes nonexistent. Look for a line or band of it out from the boardwalk, and try to avoid swimming through it as much as possible. You may only have to swim out another 5 feet to get out of the band, just be aware. During the swim you won't notice anything about the sea grass clippings other than annoyance. Once you start sweating on the bike and run you'll realize the sea grass made hundreds of little cuts on your skin which will be painful once you start sweating.

There's usually a practice swim on the Thursday and Friday before the race, but not Saturday. That can change, so check the schedule. The practice swim is a good time to get a feel for the swells, get some sight lines, and get comfortable.

Last year (and the only time in 7 swims), I got stung by a box jellyfish. I will be taking vinegar and Adolf's Meat Tenderizer with me to transition this year. Some swimmers wear a long sleeve (tight) shirt.
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