It was a beautiful day for a triathlon. I completed the 2011 Nautica South Beach classic distance triathlon in about 2 hours 15 minutes. I placed 73 out of 100+ in the M45-49 age group.
The swim started off okay. The water temp was about 78 I think. There were some people wearing wetsuits, though they certainly were not needed. The water was calm and most participants ran 2/3 of the way out to the first buoy. It wasn’t until after the first turn that I took an elbow to the left eye/goggle and nearly had my goggles come off. A quick adjustment and I was back in business.
The bike portion went over two causeways from Miami Beach to downtown Miami and back. It was a struggle to get up the bridges, but first gear makes it easy! The downhill side was always best and at an average of 35 mph, I made up lots of time. Overall, I averaged just over 18 mph.
On to the run. Four miles total – 2 out and back, finishing on the beach. It was HOT! I managed to run a mile, then walk about 1/10 of a mile for each of the four miles. Going over the sand dune to get to the finisher chute was problematic when a local decided to take his beach cruiser on the same path, which by the way, is barely wide enough for two people, let alone two people AND a bicycle.
Another great finisher’s medal, cold towel, and cold water ended a near perfect day.
I highly recommend this triathlon to anyone doing their first tri or even to veteran triathletes. This year sold out the olympic and classic distances, and had a total of 3000 participants. In my estimation, that’s way too many people. There were lots of drafters, mountain bikers riding two, three, even four abreast! I’d like to see it pared back to about 1500 participants total. Either way, it’s definitely going to be a favorite of mine.