Ironman Cozumel in Cozumel, Mexico, TX
Race Type: Triathlon
Distance: 140.6 (Ironman)
Entry Fee: $700
It’s my first full Ironman, so I am biased. The temperature as 80 degrees. The water was clearer than an indoor pool. The bike and run course were virtually flat. Roads were near-perfectly paved. Very enthusiastic crowds.
I had booked my travel a year in advance and was scheduled to land Friday at 3. I didn’t know registration cutoff was at 6pm till a month before the race, when the athlete guide was distributed. When my plane taxied out to the runway, then went back to the gate when something broke, I could see a year’s worth of training go bye-bye and I died a little inside. Luckily, I made it with an hour to spare.
Lesson learned: Always get there a day early if you’re flying.
Swim – Point-to-point with a small left turn at the last 100 yards. Do you like 100% visibility? Do you like hardly sighting because you can see all of your draft and athletes 30 yards away? Then you’ll love this swim.
Bike – 3 loops on a virtually flat course with near perfect roads. 1/3 though the city, 1/3 though beautiful countryside and 1/3 though scenic coastlines with an ocean view. The ocean view does have a price: Progressively worsening winds. For this race it was 11mph on the first loop and were at 18 on the last.
Run – 3 loops on a virtually flat course with more aid stations every mile. 4 miles take place in the heavily trafficked part of the city with retail shops and restaurants. The rest cover less populated areas, but there are numerous hotels so there is a nice crowds support. Back half of the loop needed more light.
Temperatures were 75 at race start and peaked at 82. There was 88% humidity and sparse cloud cover, so sunscreen was a must.
Was the weather normal? Yes
MISC HELPFUL INFO
Link to Garmin/Polar/Etc. Course File: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/976325121
The pier that all athletes were using to get into the water COLLAPSED after the first 50 age groupers. No one was severely injured, but this radically changed the swim start as they were only letting 10 in at a time. Instead of having all age group athletes in within 6 minutes, it took close to an hour. Now I’m glad they put safety first and made sure everyone got in safe, but I would have loved to be told the 2 foot drop from the pier was into 3 feet of water instead of 10. No one was severely injured, but there were many bruised hands, bums and knees from people misjudging the water depth.
Before starting the run, you complete your 3rd bike loop. The last part of the bike loop was 15 miles into an 18 mile headwind. I was not prepared for how much this would shock my run.
The aid station volunteers were fantastic. I never had to hunt for someone to give me anything on the bike or run. They were very well organized and each station was a mirror image of the others.
ABOUT THE SWAG
SWAG Rating: 2
About the SWAG:
Backpack, finisher medal that could anchor a boat and a 100% normal cotton long sleeve finishers shirt.
For the price of admission, I was expecting some nicer swag. The backpack is very functional and the medal is super nice. The finisher shirt is extremely disappointing. Every local marathon and triathlon I’ve been the past 2 years has given a tech, polyester or that really nice SOFT cotton shirt.
Spectator Friendliness Rating: 4
With three loops for the bike and run there were good opportunities to see me. For the bike, crowds were gathered at numerous places hanging around barricades in the dense part of the city. For the less dense parts, I was very happy with the support from towns people who had chairs under trees cheering everyone. The first part of the run course loop went though the same dense part of the city with the same crowds. The second part went along a string of hotels which also provided nice crowd support.
I was fortunate to do this race with 2 friends who brought family. We all stayed at a hotel near parts of the bike/run course so they were able to lounge by the hotel pool and pop out periodically to see us.
Submitted by: James Hardi