Redemption! Ironman Santa Rosa was the fix I needed after a nasty fall/dehydration episode at Ironman New Zealand. Since the race was just about eight weeks out from that disaster, it was my first and quickest opportunity to get back on the horse and finish what I started.
The race was a success and I crossed the line not with my best time, but certainly respectable at 13:30. I was satisfied that this day was just what I wanted it to be: a chance to cross a finish line at another Ironman.
But enough about me. Here is the nitty gritty about the race.
First: Santa Rosa is beyond beautiful. The green rolling landscape and miles of endless vineyard and was simply breathtaking. It's a spectacular place to hold an event like Ironman. With the new routes from Southwest Airlines directly into Charles Schultz airport, the traveling was simple and easy for me. (I'm from Arizona). I used Tri-Bike Transport for my bike transportation, which knocked it out of the park this time. Super convenient, two thumbs up.
|Santa Rosa from the sky|
Second: Logistics were a little more difficult at this IM than at others I have done. There are two transition areas. T1 is 25 miles or so from Ironman Village, at Lake Sonoma. After listening to advice from Purple Patch Fitness, I paid an extra $40 to Tri Bike Transport to shuttle my bike to T1 on the eve of race day. This proved unnecessary since I drove out to the lake the day before the race to scout the course and get a swim in. I could've easily taken the bike up with me at this time.
Another issue about this race is the extremely long transition from swim to bike. Easily a quarter mile in length uphill, you need to factor in quite a long T1 time to your race day goal. This was a doozy of a hill after swimming 2.4 miles. But actually a forecast of what was to come.
|T1 includes this extremely long carpeted hill|
|Straight from my Garmin: 6,299 vertical feet|
Fifth: The finish! You've got to hand it to Ironman, they know how to make a finish line a party. With Mike Reilly there to announce the arrival of every finisher, Santa Rosa truly lived up to the hype. There is nothing better than waving to your family and friends after a grueling day of 140.6 torturous miles where you didn't quit, you kept going, and you lived to tell about it. This was Ironman number seven for me. Will I go back to Santa Rosa? I'm not sure. It would take a lot of convincing and a LOT more miles of lonely training days. But in the end, I loved this race and am so glad I got the chance to do it.
Scenes from Santa Rosa:
|Sooo many vineyards|
|Devastation from the horrific 2017 fire|
|Thanks for being my biggest supporter, Todd!|