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Some Friendly Advice For Any Race

The next race on the calendar for this athlete is IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells. Race day, December 5th, is only three weeks away so the hard training is coming to a close pretty soon.

Scratch that! All this training is hard.

I just want to share with other athletes one little thing I have learned over the years…

Have you ever noticed that athletes are responsible for knowing the courses? Athletes that get lost have no one to blame but themselves. The lost ones do complain, but the fine print in most athlete guides always puts the onus back on the athlete. I agree with that completely. The following images are excerpts from the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells athlete guide and are representative of many athlete guides. If the print is too small to read in this blog post, allow me to paraphrase:

…if you get lost, that’s your problem…


Knowing the bike course is each athlete’s responsibility


Knowing the run course is each athlete’s responsibility

Preventing the “I didn’t see the turn sign” Excuse

The following is what I do to minimize the chances of getting off course in any race. The basic assumption behind this list of actions is that the race director will publish a map of each course and/or turn by turn directions. For example, have a look at these course maps from IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells. They are crude, at best, but at least give a good idea of what is expected. If a race doesn’t publish course descriptions, then maybe they want us to get lost. In that case, I would email or call the race director for course descriptions.

  1. Drive the bike course and bike the run course. This only works if you live near the race or arrive a day or two ahead.

  2. Study the maps in the athlete guide.

  3. Search for a video that shows and describes the courses. Here’s one for the Indian Wells race. I don’t know the author, but it’s two years old and just a compilation of drone shots without narration. Some of the subtitles may be helpful. Heres one from TriRiot for the bike course of IRONMAN 70.3 North Carolina.

  4. Map the courses on Google Earth. This is the best way to know the courses if you don’t have access to drive or ride them before the race. For me, this is like a super visualization exercise. It’s not a matter of just having the paths marked out. You need to actually do the work yourself to get the benefit. Having said that, I’ll send anyone a copy of my Google Earth kmz file for the 2021 Indian Wells race so they can see what I’m talking about[1]Any KMZ file that I have created is just my understanding of the courses and not an official representation from the race management. Like I said earlier, their maps are kind of crude, so it is … Continue reading.

And now for a bit of humor…



Until next time…

References[+]

References ↑1 Any KMZ file that I have created is just my understanding of the courses and not an official representation from the race management. Like I said earlier, their maps are kind of crude, so it is possible that I misinterpreted something. It’s also possible that the race director didn’t proof the maps very well before publication, but that’s a whole different thing.

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