Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Race Preview: Iron Mountain Stage Tri/Du Event - Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Dates: April 24 & 25
Location: Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Driving Distance: 926.97 miles (one way!)

The Iron Mountain Multisport Stage Race is unique new concept in Racing. On Saturday (4/24) evening there will be a Sprint Triathlon event. A little over 12-hours later on Sunday (4/25) will be a duathlon. Together they become the Iron Mountain stage race.

A person can race one or both, your choice. Both the Tri and Du offer full age group awards. The Stage Race awards are based on the cumulative time of the both events, with awards for all age groups.

Iron Mountain Sprint Triathlon consists of a 400 Yard Swim/13.5 mile Bike/2.5 mile Run. The Iron Mountain Sprint Duathlon consists of a 2.5 mile Run/13.5 mile Bike/2.5 mile Run.

The Swim: DeGray Lake is rated as one of the top cleanest fresh water lakes in America. You can drink it. Hopefully I won't be testing the lakes drinkability because I'm swallowing water during the event! I hope to have enough time either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning to try out the new wet suit (De Soto T1 Water Rover). I have been tempted to try in the indoor pool but I don't want chlorine eating at the suit either.

It will be a deep water start. Historically the water temp in late April is in the low to mid 70's. If water temp is above 78F wet suits will not be allowed.

The swim map -

The Bike: Newly repaved (fall of 2009) roads for the most of the course. The same bike course will be used for both the Tri and Du. Note the elevation and grades in the map below.

The bike map -

The Run: The course is an out and back. It appears to be one tough run. 1.25 miles up the side of Iron Mountain and then turn around and come back down. The run for the tri and the 1st and 2nd run for the du will be the same.

The run map -

As you can see from the ain't flat. The bike will have a climb elevation total of 841.5 ft over 6.7 miles. The average grade is 2 so not killer stuff....but when you are climbing for 6+ miles it can start to be a grinder.

The run will be basically straight up for for 1.25 miles with an average grade of 3 (uffda!) and then turn around and come back down. When I was twenty....that would have been cool. But with two bad knees and a bad hip..probably will enjoy the run up more than the descent.

Usually I will set some goals prior to the an event. In this case, with unknown terrain I am not going to set any goals so as not to be, um, pissed off if I'm not coasting along on the bike at 23 MPH while climbing for 6 miles. I'm simply going to compete at as high a level as I can.

What's that? You still want me to come up with a educated guess? Twist my arm why don't you! And please keep in mind that I've not seen the course. And I hate climbing. So these times could be WAY off in terms of meeting these projections. Truly, I'm just going to compete as well as I can. Celebrating another year of life by taking it to the red zone for a little over an hour on each day.

Triathlon Projected Time

Duathlon Projected Time

The Monday after the event (4/26) will be my 49th birthday. So I'm here to enjoy. And enjoy I will as my ol' Texas training partner from the late 1980's will be competing as well. You have read about Tim 'Buckwheat' Carroll before.

Actually, I'm changing Tim's moniker to Chuck Norris for the weekend. I had let Tim know the number of registered athletes was climbing and his response was, "Just more butts to kick!"

I'll be leaving the secret training grounds of sacred Minnesota on Thursday morning after getting the Boy on the school bus. I hope to get in a solid eight to nine hours on the road and then finish up the last bit of driving to arrive in Arkadelphia Friday afternoon. From there, I'll meet up with Tim and we'll probably check out the water, the bike course, and the run course. Then find a beer or two.

I'll be posting to Twitter during my travels and the weekend. So if you are not following me via Twitter is your chance to sign up. A more formal race report will make it onto blogger as time permits.

Happy training to all!


MHarks said...

Just a heads up, those times will prolly be fast. It is hillier than what you'd think down there

Brian said...

@ Matt. I don't doubt it Matt. I fully expect to be beaten by the mountain. I hate to climb. So that bike AVG could certainly end up being 17MPH! I just hope for good weather and a good time. The rest will be gravy.