The team race next year is (stupid) Cozumel. There are a rogue number of us doing Arizona and there is an on-going battle on why people should do one race over another. Here’s my 13 in support of Arizona.
1. Arizona is wetsuit legal – salt water does not have near the buoyancy to make up for no wetsuit! And drinking salt water = bad.
2. Desert climate so NO humidity in Arizona – the weather should be quite pleasant! Cozumel – hot, humid, sticky!
3. Desert climate so NO bugs in Arizona! Ask Damon Taaffe for his race report and picture of his mosquito devoured back from Cozumel, then remember that he is fast and probably finished a good three + hours before “normal” people do!
4. Far less chance of getting Montezuma’s revenge in Arizona. Imagine, training for 9 months to a year, getting to Cozumel a couple days early and spending the day before (or worse, day of) on the toilet.
5. Race Support Issue One – I’ve vacationed in Mexico, 3 times (oh, and BTW, got Montezuma’s revenge each time, including the trip to Cozumel) and the Mexican people are very…I can’t think of a way to put it without sounding racist (and I swear, I am not racist!!!). I just don’t see how people in a beach resort/vacation area (whether it’s Mexico, Jamaica, Aruba, etc.) can change their sense of immediacy, their response time, their way of life for even one day to support you through the race (as volunteers or as officials).
6. Race Support Issue Two – again, I refer to Damon’s race report. They ran out of liquids, salty products (in a humid environment), – by the time HE GOT THERE! Again, he is fast! Special Needs was OFF the course, and not manned or even really marked so you could find it. The expo had no race gear – trust me, you will forget something and you will want an expo with TRIATHLON stuff – not Mexican art and trinkets.
7. Logistics – trust me, travelling with a bike is a pain in the a$$, refer to this post! As of this year, none of the bike transport companies are sponsored by IM Cozumel. Add that the mechanical support to put your bike back together will be limited in Cozumel (according to Damon’s report).
8. Special needs in Cozumel are actually called Special Food Stations – and it explicitly states “The Special Foods Station is for nutritional purposes ONLY, and ONLY food items will be allowed in the bag” So much for change of clothes, rain gear, lights, etc., all things that you just might want during the race.
9. The Tempe/Scottsdale/Phoenix area is actually quite nice for your support team and there are some incredible spas if they want a resort atmosphere. Add that they can eat/drink ANYTHING they want without fear of the toilet = WIN!
10. THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!! You’ll still be in that post-race calorie burning mode – eat up! Or, you’ll be 3 days pre-race and watching every morsel of food you are putting in your body. Hmm, I’ll take two pieces of pumpkin pie please!
11. It’s not a team race…so what. My first Ironman was not a team race and in a different country and it was still fabulous. We had maybe 9 supporters (7 that I met during the run portion) and I still felt the love! There is at a minimum 10 people racing IM-AZ that will be bringing supporters – you WILL feel the Team Z support! You will still train with the team since their race is the following week. Plus…
12. You can always go to Cozumel with your Finisher’s medal, WATCH, GLOAT, and enjoy copious amounts of margaritas as you cheer your friends on (that’s my plan!).
13. You Are An Ironman sounds so much better than Usted Es (Spanish word es, not my name) Un Ironman!
1 day ago