On the morning of Oct. 20th the sun started peaking over the hills surrounding Lake Mead as athletes scurried about getting transition areas organized, squeezing gels, sipping water, putting on swim caps, and waiting for the start horn. The 70.3 group started first and the water temp was warmer than the air. I was wearing my full wetsuit and found halfway into the swim that this was very excessive. Next time I will check the water temp and use a sleeveless or speed suit.
Lake Mead sits about 25 miles outside of Las Vegas below Boulder City. The Pumpkinman is a split transition. T1 is set in a single line all the way up the boat ramp to head out on the course. T2 is in a park up a steep hill in Boulder city. The Bike Course is a great section of rolling hills with plenty of up and down heading north next to the lake. The scenery is great. The wind was calm and conditions were awesome. The out and back course comes back past T1 and heads up a average 6% grade to T2 nestled in a park in Boulder City. This hill was the steepest hill climb I have ever had on a TRI bike course. This section is on a narrow path and at one point there was a S curve that a fellow athlete cautioned me to slow down on. As he said this I remembered doing this same path during some bike demos the last few years at Interbike. This gave me some confidence but there were some athletes skidding that were not ready for the tight turn.
T2 was layed out with plenty of space to park my bike and I headed out on a run that cruised through a couple neghborhoods and then off into the desert. This was a seemingly flat run until I was headed back and realized it was a slight uphill back to the finish. There were a few people in costumes that put a smile on my face as I was finishing my run. I was grateful for their dedication to my entertainment. In the last mile my leg tightened up in a different way than I had ever experienced and this reminded me of the climbing on the bike and that my legs were saying you did not train very well for this. I was doing the olympic distance and really glad that it was not super hot.
The volunteers were great. Where there was any question on the course a volunteer pointed me in the right direction. I really enjoyed my first Pumpkinman and hope to do the 70.3 next year. BBSC events are very well organized from registration to packet pick up, and all the way to the after event meal that is included for all athletes with registration. Also included in the registration cost is free unlimited downloads of pictures from zasoosh.com . The quality if the pics is great and a fun way to remember such a great event. Thanks BBSC for putting together another great event!
For more information about BBSC events,
go to: www.bbsctri.com