Your First Open Water Swim, St. Louis Style

Of the three disciplines, for those of us in our region it tends to be the swim, and especially the open water swim (OWS), that seems the most foreign to us. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. One is simply that around here there seem to be more people with running backgrounds than cycling backgrounds, and more with cycling backgrounds than swimming backgrounds. And, let’s face it, there are not a lot of open water swimming opportunities around here, i.e., not a lot of lakes with public swimming facilities. We have rivers, but not generally the kind that one would swim in (the Mississippi and the Missouri in particular cannot be safely navigated by humans). For many of us, the last time we may have swam in the open water was church or youth camp – and we probably weren’t getting ready for a race. Continue reading

Review: 2015 Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga

Overview

(Note: Includes updates to run course for 2016.)

This was the inaugural Chattanooga IM 70.3, following the inaugural Chattanooga IM 70.3 the previous fall. The people of Chattanooga provided wonderful support, on a physically lovely course. It is easy to see why WTC has made Chattanooga one of the few towns hosting two races. Early season, but late enough that those from St Louis region will have gotten in a couple of open water swims and some outdoor rides beforehand. Mostly downstream swim, variable bike, and some decent hills on the run. The course crosses the Tennessee River six times – four crossings over two bridges on the run, crossing the river from one bank to the other on the swim, and the bus ride taking you from transition to the swim start! Continue reading