• RivCoParks

How will you meet the new year?

Updated: Jan 4

How will you spend your time outside this year with beautiful sunny days awaiting us in 2022? Time in nature is simply inspirational. It means something different to each person.

Take the California desert, a unique space and inspiration to many. Winter in the desert is where we'll share the story about Gord, a human having a real experience in nature.

In his own words:

To family and friends interested in my athletic pursuits, here is the race report for the Indian Wells La Quinta Ironman 70.3 (half Ironman) I did on Sunday, December 5, 2021.

It was a beautiful sunny day. About 18 degrees at the start of the swim in Lake Cahuilla (where I volunteer) where the water temp was about 15 degrees. Full wet suit, cap and booties for this old, thin blooded triathlete!

The athletes lined up along the shore, waiting for their turn to start the swim. They send two swimmers in every five seconds. Had a great swim, but had to maneuver around, between, over and through a lot of slower swimmers that had started too optimistically. But all in all a good swim, finishing about a minute quicker than 2019 (33 minutes vs 34 minutes ) for the 1900 meter swim. I was second fasted swimmer in my age group (men 65-69 years).

Out of the lake and into transition one. Trying to get the wet suit off without first removing my booties was a slow, major ordeal. To say I was straining was an understatement. Eventually got out of my wetsuit and into bike gear and headed out on the 56 mile ride.

I used my new triathlon bike. Yes, the one that bucked me off in May of 2020 where I messed up my shoulder. But we seem to have reached an understanding and the ride was great. With light tailwinds for the first 25 miles I made great time, maintaining 35 to 38 km/hr. Then reality came home to roost. The remainder of the ride had headwinds. This dropped my speed back into the 30 to 33 range.

Being from Alberta, where every training ride entails a headwind, my training paid dividends. I passed numerous other riders and my steed and I continued to have a great ride, setting the fastest bike time for my age group. Like my first half Ironman in 2019, the highlight was doing a lap of the private car race course at the 3/4 distance. Smooth pavement and corners of various radii made it seem like racing. I loved it!

Transition two, drop off bike and go run 13.1 miles. This was a struggle, to say the least. The temperature by now was 29 degrees (and hotter on the portions of the run that were on local streets with the balance being on golf cart paths through a private golf course). It was very sapping of what little I had left in the tank.

But, like everyone else competing, we just had to gut it out and keep putting one foot in front of the other. The best part (if there was one) was that the organizers had the golf course turn on the big water sprinklers on a few of the holes. This meant if your timing was good you caught the stream of water as it sprayed over the cart path. I found if I missed it on the first lap, I got it on the second lap. It really helped.

I can’t say enough about the organizers. The aid stations on both the ride and run were almost “ over staffed “ with enthusiastic volunteers that were more than willing to do whatever to help out the athletes. The stations had a great variety of hydration and fuel replenishments (food).Simply top notch.

Oh yes, back to the run. I finally got through it. I was fourth fastest in my age group, but about nine minutes slower than my first time in 2019.

So, all in all a hell of a workout in the heat and sun of Southern California. Oh yes, almost forgot to mention…. I finished first in my age group!

And here I didn’t think l had a hope of placing higher than third. This earned me a spot at the World Final in St George, Utah next October. But I turned down the opportunity because we just don’t know what the next year holds in store for any of us, plus you have to pay up front, as in yesterday. But it feels good to be able to say “We qualified for the World half Ironman championship.”

Special thanks to Connie for putting up with my crankiness when training wasn’t going well, or letting me get equipment that I “had to have” and to put up with my schedule.

I hope you enjoy this report. If you don’t, I am sorry there is no unsubscribe button.



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