The Great Floridian

The Great Floridian

Post by Matt Mahon » Thu, 24 Oct 1991 22:13:47

Hi!  Anyone going to do the Great Floridian?  This is an Ironman distance
race in Clermont, Florida this Saturday.

I did the Florida Challenge 3 weeks ago as a tune-up.  That 1.5 mile swim,
60 mile bike, and 13 mile run covered about half of the Great Floridian
course.  Both races are put on by CFT/Sommer Sports in Clermont.

The swim is straight out and back in Lake Minneola, which I think is one
of the cleanest lakes in Florida.  They used a mass start (210 starters)
on a wide beach with a sandy bottom.  The water was calm and about 78
degrees.  Wetsuits were allowed.  Two years ago (this is my 4th year at
this race), I had to swim into a 15-20 MPH wind and one-foot chop in 70
degree water.

The bike is very hilly for Florida, but probably not bad compared to
other parts of the country.  I had my fastest average speed, 17.7 MPH,
although I normally average 22-23 MPH in my group training rides in the
flat part of the state where I live.  My speed varied from 5 to 40 MPH.

The weather was 90 degrees and 60% humidity, sunny with light wind.
There were 3 bottle exchages with water and Gatorade in quart sized
bottles, and bananas.  Although I drank 5 1/2 quarts, I was somewhat
dehydrated at the end of the bike.

The run was grueling, with almost no shade.  There was water,
Gatorade, and sponges at every mile.  I drank 2 cups (one of each) at
most aid stations, which totaled perhaps a gallon.  Even so, I had
symptoms of dehydration: occasional leg cramps and dark yellow urine.
(I had to pee only once, at 4 1/2 hours in the race).  

The run was mostly flat, but I had to walk up the few small hills.  My
half-marathon split was 2:06, about 20 minutes slower than last year
(when it was unusually cool, 70 degrees and cloudy).  Even so, I passed
20-30 runners and was passed only once.  My total time was 6:17.  It
turns out that of the 210 competitors, only 140 finished the race.

If this week's weather is any indication, the Great Floridian should
have similar weather but slightly cooler, perhaps 85 degrees.  If we're
lucky, we may get a thunderstorm during the marathon to cool us off.

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