On May 6th we headed down to Panama City for the Gulf Coast 1/2 Ironman Triathlon. http://www.gulfcoasttriathlon.com/ It's definitely one of my favorite races every year even though I am rarely 100% ready for it. I always say I'm gonna be trained and ready, but I am usually lacking in swim and bike fitness no matter what.
We arrived to the beach that Thursday so we had time to play and enjoy ourselves before the race on Saturday. Shell Island is most always on the "to do" list. The rest of the time we hung out on the beach and pool. It was very nice indeed.
Race day came and and I took off with my swim wave for a very rough swim. It was like being in a washing machine and there were breakers as far as the eye could see. Later I found out that many folks were drug off course and some even threw up once they reached shore.
The bike went very well for me... which was nice. I didn't have much bike time on the legs so I was more than happy with my split here. Many complained about winds, but it really didn't seem to bother me all that much.
The run was overcast for the first half. This made things a bit more tolerable compared to the sun beating down and ungodly heat. Somehow I turned in a decent run split, but I could have gone a bit harder and left too much in the tank afterwards. Later I would learn that I was 10th in my age group. Had I known I was going to be on the podium... I would have tried to earn a better spot... LOL!!!
Many others from Chattanooga were there and all of them placed nicely in the race. Kevin Boucher took 7th overall and 2nd in his age group. John O'Brien and John Wiygul both took home 1st in age group and Lance Steele walked away with a nice age group award as well.
Good times with great friends for sure. It's just a shame that the oil spill may ruin any future trips to the Gulf Coast. Those are some of the most beautiful beached in the United States.