The day before, the area saw high wind gusts, 2 to 3 foot waves at the swim beach, rain, high’s in the 50’s and snow at the end of the day. The outlook for a full 140.6 mile race or having the race at all was not confidence inspiring. Athletes scrambled to buy cold weather gear at local shops and the Ironman store on site at Squaw Valley to prepare for freezing temperatures at the swim start and highs only reaching 60 degrees.
As dawn approached and athletes started flowing to the swim start and first transition area, they scraped ice off of their bikes, layered up and prepared for the full 140.6 mile race.
Organizers were satisfied with the conditions, and the full race was a go.
At midnight, the finish line was closed down as over 500 registered athletes didn’t even start the race, and of the starters, more than 20 percent did not finish the race. Epic doesn’t begin to describe the race course and conditions for this first Ironman in California since 2001.
From our experience racing the event, below is our review of the event and organization.