Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe 2013 - good and bad so far part 2

So, we have arrived... and here's part 2

And there's the good, bad and indifferent of destination racing.

I thought I'd share the rest of my thoughts so far on our experience before the race.


  • Broken Computer 
    • Not sure what happened, but went to turn on the computer for some in-flight entertainment and got the buzzing noise of death and no start up... but magically when we got settled at the condo, it fired up with no issues.  Odd.
  • IM gear is pricy 
    •  That's not new just for this race.  IM gear has always been pricey and Lake Tahoe is no different.
  • No internet at condo
    • The first questions we asked... and got "none" as an answer.  We have been bouncing between pirated networks, Starbucks, McDonalds and the host hotel for network connections.  It's been frustrating limiting the ability to find information quickly.
  • No NFL network for Chiefs on Thursday night football - Andy Reid back to Philly, Chiefs 2-0, now 3-0. 
    • It's not every season that the Chiefs are 2-0 and go into Thursday night playing in the place where their new coach was at for like 14 years.  Went to find it on tv at the condo and no NFL network.  We hit a little restaurant near our condo, but coming from a 2 hour time change, we were too wiped out to stay up and watch the whole game.  But, Chiefs are 3-0, didn't see that one coming.
  • East side of Kings Beach closes early 
    • We were hoping to get some ice cream and shop for nick knacks around 6pm, and EVERYTHING was closed.  Lights out early at the east end of Kings Beach I guess.
  • Over estimated on condo space 
    • We planned ahead if we brought the kids an other people, and had room for like at least 8 adults.  It's an AWESOME condo and would have been great if we brought the kiddos.  But, it was cost prohibitive to fly them and being the first full IM, we were not sure what kind of stress that would include.  I really wish we had them here as Tahoe is awesome and they would have loved the condo, beaches, play areas and everything.  But, I don't think they would have put up with the constant back and forth from Kings Beach to Squaw Valley.  Lots of car time.
  • Cold weather for a swim then bike ride 
    • I wanted a cool temp Ironman and I got it.  26 at race start and high of 61 degrees.  There will be no overheating at this race.
  • 16 miles from T1 to T2 - lots of travel time through bustling tourist areas 
    • As I mentioned, there is a lot of car time.  With 15 miles between T1 and T2 and activities at both, there has been a lot of driving back and forth.  Overall it would have been less traveling staying at Squaw Valley resorts, but it will pay off on race morning when all I have to do is walk 10 minutes to the start area.
  • Horrible cell phone reception 
    • Sprint is flailing where we are at.  I get intermittent reception and it's been frustrating. The overall experience has been great, but no-go on making calls.
  • Some locals scary when you get off the beaten path 
    • As with a lot of areas, you have your undesirables.  It's no fun getting accosted when you don't want to give change to a questionable character at a 7-11


  • Bears 
    • It's a big problem here.  Signs everywhere about the bears coming around for food, so you have to be careful where you go and what you bring with you.  We have had no issues, but I don't really want to have to mess with it.
  • Condo interior from early 80's
  • High class here.
    • It's well kept, but outdated.  As far as the condo scene goes, it does the trick.  It's just kind of interesting walking around in a time machine.
  • Weather
    • The location is great, but the weather can swing wildly.  High of 70 one day, low of 40 and then snow, wind and cold the next day.  That's what you get with altitude.  It's been great for the fall weather feeling, but it adds a layer of stress trying to figure out how to deal with the variance at an all day triathlon.
Overall don't misunderstand me, I'm not complaining at all, sort of.   I have my "rathers", but generally it has been stress free and a great experience.  I can see why they double the price from a half to a full Ironman race.

Ironman bat-signal at Squaw Valley!
Swim start at Kings Beach.  Sweet.

The view riding into second transition to Squaw Valley, and coming in on loop 1 and the finish.  That should help distract from the pain!

TriBike transport did what they said!  Bike and gear bag at the check-in and in perfect condition.

The view out of the back of the condo.  Not bad.

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