Before the Race
There were 3 different packet pick ups in Clearwater throughout the week. Since that’s a half hour drive for me, I opted to pick it up the morning of the race. Big mistake. I stood in line forever, and finally when there were only 15 minutes till my race started, I stepped over to the “no timing chip” side because there was no one in that line. (They had one chic working the time chip and two working the line no one was in.) They helped me out since I still had to set up my bike before the run.
The “transition” station for the dual challenge runners had street barricades acting as bike racks. There was no attendant, so when I left for my bike ride, I just left my bag on the sidewalk and hoped for best.
The opening ceremonies were led by a brain cancer survivor. After she spoke, there wasn’t going to be a National Anthem because the singer cancelled, but a runner volunteered to do it and was absolutely amazing. I had chills from it.
After that, the 25k, 50k, and 100k riders left, and the runners (5k and 10k) and dual challenge (5k and 25k bike) people headed to the start line.
The 5K Run- 29:55
This race started at Coachman Park just like the Iron Girl race did. It also was the same route. As such, the majority of the first mile is going up the Clearwater Memorial Causeway then turning around and doing it again.
Despite the inclines and my stuffed nose, I still managed a pretty decent pace.
The 25K Bike Ride- 1:18:13
During the bike ride, I went back up the Causeway, down around Clearwater Beach, up the Sand Key Bridge then back up all the bridges.
My legs were dead to the world. It was hot as hell. I was on a fat tire bike, but I did the damn thing. The water station 7 miles in was my savior with Gatorade, grapes, and bananas.
I followed the map exactly, but many other riders just cut back to the park instead of picking up the three miles up and around downtown. It still wasn’t a 15 mile ride, but as tired as I was, I wasn’t complaining.
The views over the bridges,unlike my heavy breathing and out-of-control sweating, were absolutely beautiful.
The ride wasn’t marked well enough, so people mostly did what they wanted. And it wasn’t timed, so I wouldn’t call that half of the challenge a race. It was more of an endurance test.
After the Race
After the run and before the ride, we got dog tag medals which can be seen here:
The free post race food was hamburgers and hot dogs. There was soda, Starbucks coffee, and beer. I only had a hot dog and a Coke.
I am interested in doing it next year, but I will definitely have to train for running/riding up bridges because that absolutely slayed me!