SaddleBrooke storms Galveston Half-Ironman Triathlon

SaddleBrooke competitors bring home Triathlon trophies.

SaddleBrooke competitors bring home Triathlon trophies.

Karin Bivens

On Sunday, April 6, six SaddleBrooke residents (Teresa and Charlie Woodhouse, Diane Tri Di Wagner and Len Kershaw, Dave Lowe and Rodger Bivens) joined more than 2100 athletes to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles during the annual Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Triathlon on Galveston Island, Texas. All of the SaddleBrookians had driven from Tucson to the race—an 1100 mile journey. Since a shipping collision that occurred in the channel some days before the scheduled race had resulted in an oil spill, there were some questions as to whether the swim part of the race would be able to take place. As it turned out, the spill was confined and did not affect the inlet area where the swim would be.

However, the weather in the days immediately leading up to race day had been unseasonably cold, rainy and with heavy winds. Again the swim might have to be cancelled if there was lightning or heavy winds on race day. Fortunately on race morning the predicted thunderstorms did not arrive although it was overcast with some slight rain in the morning. The winds, while up and creating some choppy water, were manageable. Water temperature was in the mid 60’s so wetsuit legal. Air temperatures were cold at 7:00 a.m. in the morning as participants waited for their swim wave (there were some 20 waves starting five minutes apart) to go off.

Transitioning from the swim to the bike it was still chilly with some rain early on but participants soon warmed up and by the run the air temperature was in the mid 70’s and humid. The bike ride was a fairly flat out and back course on the island with a quartering headwind on the way back that added to the 56 mile challenge. The road surface was good although a number of competitors did have tire flats on the course.

Then it was transitioning to the run which consisted of three loops, almost all on hard concrete which the racers found very hard on the feet and legs. All six SaddleBrooke participants were highly successful and all made the podium: Dave Lowe (2nd – M65-69), Charlie Woodhouse (4th-M65-69), Teresa Woodhouse (3rd-F60-64), Tri Di Wagner (2nd-W65-69), Len Kershaw (2nd-M70-74) and Rodger Bivens (1st-M70-74). In addition to Finisher’s Medals they were awarded metal bookend sculptures for their podium finishes. This race was also a qualifier for the World Ironman 70.3 Championship to be held in September this year in Mt. Tremblant, Canada. Both Dave Lowe and Tri Di Wagner accepted the slots to compete in World’s at Mt. Tremblant.