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  • Ford Ironman CDA Camp.

    Tue, 1 May 2007 14:52:20 -0700

    A lucky weekend of weather to preview a brand new bike course.
    The 'cackling chicks' arrive at the pool.

    Michael L sporting a little something for the ladies.

    Roch trying to keep a tired group interested in class.

    JR knows how to keep athletes happy after a long day.

    Scott Rigsby with Michael L.

    Most of the group down at the Lake at the end of a 2 hour run.

    This past weekend saw the 5th annual Ironman CDA training camp. After some real hit and miss on the weather over the years, including one weekend with a high of 35 and snow flurries - we were thrilled to see nothing but mid 60's and no rain. In the Northwest at this time of year -it is a real bonus. The most notable change to the camp was the move closer to CDA at the Red Lion Hotel - an 8-mile ride down the Centennial Trail to CDA,andan 8-mile up the trail to the most usualble pool in the area. No lies - there is simply a major lack of swim facilities in CDA and the surrounding areas (many of the local triathletes communte the 45 minutes to Spokane to swim).

    After check-in on Friday campers split into 2 groups of 20 and headed up to the Liberty Lake Athletic Club on their bikes to use the indoor (somewhat over chlorinated pool) for their 4-5K workout. The camp as it turned out was about 50/50 split men and women. Somehow the second group was mostly women which Huddle lovingly termed the group of 'cackling chicks'.

    Certainly one of the highlights of the camp was to give the athletes a preview of the new bike course for the Ford Ironman CDA. The only part of the course that remains the same is the first 7.5 miles outand back to Higgins Point,along Lake Coeur d'Alene. Then it is all new. From my experience of the ironman bike courses around the country - I would say that the new course is a perfect hybrid of the Wisconsin course and the Lake Placid course. No very big climbs,but a course that just keeps coming. it is without doubt far more scenic and the rolling countryside around Hayden lake is spectacular (making sure to keep an eye out for deer and wild turkeys).

    All the groups of campers did at least one complete loop of the course, and then added on various bits - some doing the complete new loop (which is kinda like the shape of a lollipop) again, a shortened version or just a trip out to Higgins Point again. Everyone rode somewhere between 75 - 100 miles. Michael Lovato one of the group leaders,and favorites forthe race this year, loved the course. Loop 2 will without a doubt be the undoing of many athletes. Smart gearing is the key we all decided - the hills allow for 'punching' over in big ring but too much of that will come back to talk to the quads as theday wers on. After the ride, no-one was excused from the mandatory t/run. So it was up and down the Centennial trail which is conveniently marked by miles.....I won't begin to describe some ofthe ambitious splits out there...who said a 2.45 marathon off the bike was not possible in the 35-39 age-group.

    Sunday brought a cool morning, and some tired faces, but everyone was keen to tackle a loop of the run course. Once again with Michael leading the way, Heather, myself, Jimmy R, Huddle, Roch, Steve Katai and some wonderful local athletes it was a perfect morning. Unfortunately I don't think we can get this lucky on race day - will most likely be Sunday plus 20 degrees.

    As always our Ironman weekends, forge many new frienships, and provide a great spirit and comraderie as everyone has the opportunity to spend a few days immersed in their hobby. We all particularly look forward to Scott Rigsby's race in June as he tries to become the first double amputee to complete an Ironman. He was incredible over the weekend.

    With the event just 8-weeks away it is crunch time for training. See you all out there in June. Pace, Hydration, Nutrition - 'Find Your Place'.