One of the better triathlon companies in Arizona is Red Rock Company. They used to only have a few races each year, and have recently expanded to have a whole slew of triathlons, as well as some running only and biking only events. You can check out their whole race line up here.
This company puts on some really nice races. My favorite race that they put on is their Soma Triathlon. This year will be the 8th installment of this race. It's a perfect race for anyone planning on competing in Ironman Arizona, as they try to make the Soma course as similar to the Ironman course as possible. Another reason why this company scores top marks in my book is their refund policy. Their policy actually changed within the last year. Red Rock Co. does not actually have "refunds", but what they offer is just as good. Essentially, if you decide you are not able to race, you can cancel your registration (as long as it's at least 7 days prior to the race). At this point, your entry fee, minus $20 for processing fees, will be placed in your personal Red Rock account and can be used for any future Red Rock event, up to 1 year later. If that's not good enough for you, then you can also decide to transfer your registration to anyone else, for no charge. Pretty awesome if you ask me!
Another race that this company has each year is the Barn Burner 104. This is a 104-mile mountain bike race, and can be done in any combination of riders from solo to a group of 4. Here's the promo video:
Looks pretty awesome, right? Well, what if you don't own a mountain bike, and have never really ridden a mountain bike? Why not! So yes, I've joined a group of riders (who are all going to blow me out of the water!) who were in need of a fourth rider. Each of us will be completing the 26-mile loop one time, and our goal is to finish under 10 hours. By doing so, we will earn one of these bad boys:
Of course, if we finish under 10 hours, we'll earn the smaller version. We would have to finish under 8 hours to earn the large version, which may be possible if the team didn't have a tall, skinny anchor on their team (me!).
Now, according to the website, this mountain bike course is more of a "roadie" mountain bike course, meaning that it is not very technical, and even a road-biker like myself should be able to get through it. I'll let you know how I feel about that claim once the race is over. Here's the map of the ride:
|Elevation profile and climb categorization|
It may be tough to see, but there are two Category 3 climbs, and one of them is about 600 ft! In hill categorization, there is Cat 5 (easiest) up to HC (Hors Categorie - French for above category), so Category 3 is right in the middle. And the best part is that he hardest climb comes near the end of the loop. Should be pretty interesting!
This all brings me to the main order of business that I need to take care of...does anyone have a decent mountain bike that I can borrow for this race? I promise to clean it up afterword and return it to you in squeaky clean condition!