Day 1 – Friday
After a few days of acclimating to the Mexican weather in Playa del Carmen, and finishing up my taper for Ironman Cozumel, it’s finally time to head over to Cozumel for race check-in.
The last few days have been very relaxing. I’ve been following my taper schedule with the exception of swimming everyday. Nothing hard, but getting used to the ocean is important, even if you’re just splashing around and getting salt water in your mouth, it’s useful. On Thursday (Thanksgiving) I made sure my bike was functioning well, and that the handlebar position was correct after re-assembling the bike from the bike box.
On day 1 of the Ironman Cozumel event (Friday), we went to Cozumel to check-in for the Ironman race and do a quick swim on the swim course. It was very cool to see all of the Ironman competitors walking their bikes and bike boxes onto the ferry. There were also strange looks on the faces of the people who didn’t know anything about the upcoming Ironman on Cozumel occurring over the weekend. Unlike the previous trip to preview the Ironman Cozumel course, the ferry ride was very smooth and uneventful. After docking at Cozumel we battled the crowds lining up to go through the security bag check (this wasn’t there last time), and made our way to the taxi line to catch a taxi to the Convention Center for the Ironman Cozumel check-in.
The check-in and vendor booths were less than impressive, BUT we did get some pretty sweet riding jackets for participating! After checking-in and wandering around for a while we grabbed a cab to the race start to go for a quick swim on the course. The race start was a the Chankanaabwhich was a little like a hands-on SeaWorld kind of place. They had swimming with dolphins, snorkeling on the reef, fountains, food, and beaches.
We found a good place to enter the water and waded in; it was bathtub temperature with almost 100% visibility. I’m telling you, we could see forever in that water. There were people snorkeling all around us as we swam out to where the buoys marked the swim course. From there we swam about 100 yards to the swim start and took in the feeling of what the start would be like. It was late in the day, so the water was getting darker as the sun lowered in the sky. I couldn’t help but remind myself that we were in an ocean filled with large creatures (aka sharks) that could be lurking beneath me. As I swam back toward the shore a large fish swam underneath me. My stomach dropped. Luckily it was only a tuna (or some other semi-large fish)…about 5 feet long. Even though it freaked me out, the shot of adrenaline that I got was worth it; I actually hoped that I could have that rush again on race day.
The 2.4 mile swim course was a big loop with the start and finish only a few hundred yards apart, so we were able to swim from the start to the finish quickly and experience both places. After getting out of the salty water we found a fresh water pool to jump into to wash off the salt.
Having the check-in and swim complete, we were ready to head back to the mainland (Playa del Carmen). We took the 45 minute ferry back and chilled out for the rest of the night.
Stay tuned for day 2… Day 2 of the blog is ready! Click here to jump right to Ironman Cozumel Race Review – Day 2
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