The time had come to tackle Ironman 70.3 Silverman and I truly believed I was ready to take on the challenge that this course had to offer. My family and I drove up to Las Vegas to my brother in-laws house for the weekend. He lives about 20 minutes from the race finish line so staying with him was perfect. We got to enjoy some quality family time the days leading up to the race. My sister in-law even baked home-made banana bread so I can carb up with on race morning, it was perfect.
At 4am I woke up to eat my banana bread and my wife and baby Riley headed out to the start line, Syndel was too lazy to wake up so she hung back with my sister in-law. When I arrived to set up my transition I learned that an email was sent out the night before informing us that the race was no longer wetsuit legal. This made me a bit nervous as I knew that my swim split was going to be slower without it. It’s a good thing that the day before after the bike drop off I swam a few hundred meters in the lake as a confidence builder just incase this happened. A bit nervous obviously but I was ready.
The pros were off and each wave made its way closer to the water. There are a lot of rocks walking towards the swim start so if you have someone at the start wear your sandals and then hand them off. I didn’t see people warming up in the water but the swim starts in the water so you can at least dip your body before the cannon goes off. At 7:24 am my canon went off and all hell broke loose.
There was a lot of wind that morning, the swim start banners were blowing very hard and the water was getting choppy. The swim is an out and back and for the out you are swimming against the current. With the chop a lot of water was swallowed so I had to breathe only to one side opposite of the waves. I took my time and made sure I found a nice clam rhythm, this wasn’t going to be an easy swim and it really made me appreciate my wetsuit. The water visibility it fairly good I could see the swimmers around be clearly even with my smoked goggles. I was worried about the water having a foul taste but that wasn’t the case either. I think it’s a great place to swim in but it is very choppy.
When I came to the turnaround I expected to have a fast second half but it felt like the water current had picked up and I had to fight to swim straight. No mater what direction you’re swimming in it’s a tough swim. The best thing I could do was draft behind a swimmer and just follow the bubbles of their kicks. When I was a couple hundred meters from the swim exit I really started to sprint. Make sure you swim as much as you can because running out of that rocky floor is going to hurt. I couldn’t have been happier to be done with that swim, my time was a bit slower than I was hoping for but that’s ok this was a tough swim.
Nutrition for the Swim:
1 Clif Energy Gel 10 minutes before wave start.
1 20oz water bottle before wave start