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Cactus Man Triathlon by Hemanth Shival

Where: Arizona
When: May 1, 2022
Race length: Olympic Triathlon
Quick Tips:
• Deep Water Start- Find the side wall to hang on to or the buoy at the start. You will swim east into the rising sun- so be prepared. The swim course has a diagonal crossing at the turnaround, make sure you take the shortest path.
• Stop at each aid station on the run and pour some cold water on yourself.
Cactus Man Triathlon Race Report Run Tri Bike Magazine Tempe Arizona
The best thing(s) about the race:
• Location & Course of the Race: The race takes place in City of Tempe a town with a great college atmosphere and vibe. The swim is at Tempe Town lake and the temperatures are just right for those who want to swim without a wetsuit. The quality of the water may not be the best, but once you are in it there is nothing that really grosses you out (just do not go looking for it). The swim start is a deep water start. The bike course is a 2 loop ride with views of the Papago Park and the Lake. It has the right mix of hills, flats and speedy downhills. It can get bumpy at some locations but that is a part of the ride. It does have about 3 U-turns and there are people at each of these to signal you to slow down. The run is 2 loop course around Tempe Town lake with an aid station at each mile. It does have just 1 incline for less than 80m, else it is a flat course on concrete.
What was less than ideal: The deep water start can wear out the weak swimmers as you wait kicking around for the race to start. A rolling start from the ramp would have made the start a little more bearable. The run course has absolutely no shade and if you are slow you will get burnt. So cover up or smother yourself with sunscreen.
What I didn't expect: There were no aid stations on the bike course and the run course had just water and Gatorade.
Race organization: Great organization from the start to finish. Everything is easy to find. The crowds are just right. There are a wonderful set of volunteers who help you at each step and explain the rules patiently. 5 stars to the people who put this event up!
Fuel and aid stations: There were no aid stations on the bike course and the run course had just water and Gatorade. Stop at each aid station on the run and pour cold water on your head-- you will need it as the sun gets up into the cloudless sky.
Additional info: If you want to save $15 , then do not park at the Idea Garage. There is a dirt parking lot right next to the parking structure. Park there to save a little money (the car will get heated up though). Give yourself plenty of time to meet all the Tri buddies in AZ, the next time you will see them at this location will be in October for the 70.3!
Overall grade: 5 stars