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Course Talk: Ironman 70.3 World Championship

  • By Kim McDonald
  • Published Sep 3, 2013
  • Updated Sep 5, 2013 at 9:52 PM UTC
Photo: Nils Nilsen

Bike

The 56-mile bike starts with a steep climb to the main highway that leads into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where you’ll encounter a seemingly endless series of rolling hills that will gradually sap the energy from your legs as the heat and wind pick up. Pro Kelly Williamson, last year’s runner-up, prepared herself mentally and physically by doing solo rides on the course in early June, when the temps started at 80 degrees at 5:30 a.m. and exceeded 100 degrees by midday. “It wasn’t pleasant, but it sure as hell made me tough for that combination of heat and hills,” she says. After a 40-mile out-and-back on Lake Mead’s North Shore Road, the course returns to the main highway and winds its way through the suburbs and casinos of Henderson, climbing sharply up over the last five miles to the Henderson Pavilion, which serves as T2.

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