How Cold Is Too Cold?
How cold is too cold for a race? I don’t know the answer to that yet, because as soon as I start believing that I’ve reached my limit, something happens that pushes me farther.
I did get hypothermia once at the Savageman 70 race back in 2013. It was bad. I had to be pulled off the bike course. On a good note, the staff at Garrett County Hospital were very nice.
The coldest water I’ve swum in was 52 degrees (and choppy). That was White Lake Half in ???: I forget the year, but it was after the Savageman DNF.
There was a race here in Wilmington, NC a couple of years ago in mid March. The transition area had a patch of ice. (anecdotal, second hand info, but reasonable).
The most recent blog posts on this site were counting down the days to the Havasu Triathlon. In one particular post, I made “predictions” of the weather conditions for race day. I wasn’t there, so I didn’t experience the conditions myself. However, the race director sent me an email. The entire body of the message went something like this:
Swim was cancelled. Water temp was 54, air temp in the 40s with a 15 mph north wind.
First of all, I want to thank Mr. Grinder for sending that information, because being a race director on the day or two after a race must be a hectic time.
Second of all… HOLY CRAP! Those conditions are pretty rough. From a race director’s point of view, I can understand why the swim was canceled. Even though I’ve swum colder water, that combination of air temperature and wind temperature would have turned everyone blue. It also explains why the swim times were so strange in the results (see yesterday’s post).
Is It Worth It?
As an athlete, would you race in those conditions?
See you at the hospital