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IMRI 70.3-- Swells and One Big Hill
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Race Reports - Triathlon Race Reports

I travelled up to Providence this weekend to do the IMRI 70.3, a point to point Half Ironman race in its second year.  The race started at Roger Wheeler State park for the 1.2 mile swim and transition to your bike.  We then rode to Providence, racked the bike and ran the 13.1 through Providence. 


Active ImageOn race morning, at about 4:00 a.m., a squall line passed through Roger Wheeler Beach leaving the waters very choppy and a nice wind blowing.  I got in the water around 5:30 a.m. to warm up and found myself riding up and down some nice swells.  Indeed, the race was delayed for a half hour due to the buoys breaking loose.  My wave finally went off around 7:45. The first half of the swim was formitable as spotting the marks was difficult due to the swells.  You had to wait until you got to the top of the swell to look for the buoys.  Also, as the tide was coming in and the wind was blowing so you had to fight your way out to the half way mark.  However, once there, you got a nice push back to shore.  I did the swim in 34 minutes, which was about 3 or 4 minutes slower than usual.  The protocol in the transition was interesting-- no items allowed to touch the ground until after you were on the bike.  So your bike was racked in the transition area with only the rear wheel on the ground and a bag containing all your bike gear attached to your bike.  You ran into transition, took off the wet suit, put the wet suit, your goggles and swim cap in the same bag and got on the bike and on your way.  Race people picked up your bag and transported same to the finish area.


The bike leg featured mostly flat and rolling terrain.  There were only a few sizable hills.  Personally, I felt the course was fair if not challenging.  We road from Roger Wheeler State Park to Providence.  I had one minor mechanical but other than that I rode OK.  Finished in 2:45.  Racked the bike and grabbed my preplaced run bag and geared up for the 13.1.  Put all my bike gear in the bag and placed it next to the bike.


Started out the run and felt a bit woobly.  Just when I started to feel a bit better I came to a ridiculous hill at Brown University's campus.  This thing was straight up.  This hill is so steep it was actually used in a street luge race held in Providence.  Anyway, I chugged up very slow and was hurtin when I got to the top.  It took me another mile till I got my running legs back.  This was a two loop course so it was up that damn hill twice.  The course was mildly hilly after that but nothing that bad.  I actually started to feel pretty good at the end of the first loop so I tried to push but that hill just killed my time.  Didi the run in 1:49, I was hoping for 1:40.


I really enjoyed this race and will do it again next year.  Logistics were a bit of a pain.  I made the mistake of staying with a friend in Stonington, CT., so I drove to the swim venue in the morning.  They did offer a shuttle from Providence to Roger Wheeler, which left at 4:00 a.m.  I just did not see myself getting up a 3:00 a.m. to get the shutlle, so I gave myself an extra hour to sleep.  The problem was that after the race I had to get my poor wife to drive my back down to Roger Wheeler, no easy feat on a Sunday in Rhode Island--TRAFFIC everywhere.  It took us about two hours to get back down there.  Then, when we finally got out to 95S, there was ridiculous traffic all the way to Stamford.  It took us 6 hour to get home.  Next year I will stay at the Westin in Providence, take the shuttle and after take the ferry to New London.  I highly recommend this to all looking for a 70.3 in the area.  Very well run.