Mountain Man Triathlon by Hemanth Shival
When: July 17, 2022
Race length: Olympic Triathlon
• When you know you are getting to that "heartbreak" hill, just look down and put one foot in front the other for 10 minutes. Don't look up.
• Keep an eye for the potholes/cracks marked by the race organizers. They help avoid them when you are at high speeds.
The best thing(s) about the race:
• They call this the toughest race you will ever love and boy are they right. Two and half hours north of Phoenix and over 20 degrees cooler in summer, the race in the mountains with the cool breeze and clear skies is a must do for every triathlete. The run and bike on paved roads with pine trees on either side for most part makes this one of the most beautiful green courses out there. This is hill country, so of course there are those "huge" mountains to climb for the people from the valley-- but once you are at the top, you will love those downhills and in some cases even go faster than the cars!
• The swim course was well marked with buoy's. The potholes on the shoulders of the bike path were marked with spray paint in most areas.
• The race goodies-- those coffee mugs are something you can use every morning to remind you, how strong you are.
What was less than ideal: 1. The swim is at Lake Mary and it is not the most visible lake. It is chocolate brown. It is not really dirty as in yucky. It is just the rain water that has flowed off the slopes of the surrounding mountains. 2. It may be 25 degrees cooler than Phoenix, but don't get fooled- it will get sunny towards the second half of the run. So cover up and splash yourself down. 3. There is 1 big hill that seems like Mount Everest that lasts for a little over a mile in the first half of your run.
What I didn't expect: Sometimes you will get honked at by the cars on the road since it is not closed for traffic. So if you move to the left to overtake or avoid potholes, watch the cars behind. Not all of them do it, but I heard a few riders getting honked at and was surprised by that.
Race organization: This is a great race! The MoutainMan people are Pro's at this. They have done this many times over the years and organize a few of these each year.
Fuel and aid stations: I did not use anything other than water, but it was well stocked with water, gatorade, chips and gels. Good enough to complete the race strong.
Additional info: Get this on your bucket list!
Overall grade: 5 stars