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Buffalo Springs Lake hosts its 23rd annual Ironman 70.3

Published August 9th, 2012

Minutes before sunrise on Sunday morning, nearly 1,200 triathletes from around the world, including many members of the Texas Tech triathlon team, dove into a cold 75.9-degree-Fahrenheit lake to begin their journey to complete the 23rd annual Buffalo Springs Lake Ironman 70.3.



By the end of the race, many participants were running in 98 degree heat.



Mike Greer, the owner and founder of the Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3, said the event is a half triathlon where competitors swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles.



“This is considered, what used to be called a half-Ironman, and now it’s just an Ironman 70.3, which is the distance of a half,” Greer said. “The distance of a full Ironman is 140.6.”



Mike Greer teamed up with his wife, Marti Greer, and works to plan the event all year long.



“(Marti) and I are the main staff,” Mike Greer said. “We spend 12 months planning it, then the week of — we pick up the pieces.”



Throughout the 23 years the event has taken place, Mike Greer said growth has been pretty consistent, except for last year where the temperature and a new event, called Ironman Texas — hosted in The Woodlands — took away some competitors.



“Last year, we had an off year because of the intense heat and also because of Ironman Texas,” Mike Greer said. “Being a new event, it took entries away from us.”



During last year’s event, the temperature at Ransom Canyon neared the 110-degree mark.



Other than the drop in competitors last year, Mike Greer said the weather has never really been a big part of the event.



“The athletes are conditioned for any type of weather, “ Mike Greer said, “so a lot of them said: ‘Bring it on.’”



However, Christopher Shulman, a junior marketing management and business major from Austin and the treasurer of the Tech Triathlon Team, seemed to think differently after he finished the race.



“The run was like running in a damn oven,” Shulman said about the 13.1-mile run, which capped off the triathlon.



The event on Sunday was Shulman’s first Ironman 70.3 event. Overall, he said, he was happy to finish.



“I had a great swim,” Shulman said. “There were a lot of bikes in transition still and a lot of people behind me in the water, so that made me happy. I’m not a super strong cyclist, but I was happy with my average.”



“Then, the run was terrible,” he said. “I know it took me way too long.”



Shulman said about 14 or 15 members of the Tech triathlon team competed in the Ironman 70.3, and about three members participated in other events that weekend.



“In this race, because we are sponsored by Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon, all of our members who are competing are competing for free,” Shulman said. “Usually when we go on races, we’ll take 20 people or so. We only have so many people coming out because it is summertime and it is a longer distance race.”



Jessica Mier, a junior undeclared major from Dallas and member of the Tech triathlon team, competed in the Tri-Raider Sprint on Saturday.



According to the Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon website, the Tri-Raider Sprint consisted of a 500 meter swim, a 17.6 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run.



Going into the Tri-Raider Sprint, Mier said she had some things she wanted to improve on.



“I just wanted to improve my swim time because I had done the exact same race a month ago,” she said. “And the bike. The hills are killer so the goal was just to get up them a little bit faster than last time.”



Mier said the Greers have always done well when they put on these events.



“Marti and her husband always do a really great job,” she said. “Since they’ve been doing it so long, you know, they have it down to the ‘T.’ There’s always a lot of staff and volunteers to help, and the transition area is always usually set up pretty well.”



This story was written and initially published in The Daily Toreador on June 26, 2012. (c) Scott MacWatters/The Daily Toreador





The Flood of Participants

A flood of participants rush to begin the Ironman 70.3 with a 1.2 mile swim in the Buffalo Springs Lake on the morning of June 24, 2012, just before sunrise.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

The 75.9 Degree Lake

Contestants in the Ironman 70.3 begin their 1.2 mile swim in Buffalo Springs Lake on Sunday, June 24, 2012. The water temperature in the lake was 75.9 degrees.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

Swimming the 1.2

A frontrunner swims toward the exit point for the swimming portion of the Ironman 70.3 at Buffalo Springs Lake on June 24, 2012. As part of the Ironman 70.3, participants had to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

Up for Air

A contestant in the Ironman 70.3 lifts his arm over his head as he breaths and moves toward the end of a 1.2 mile swim in Buffalo Springs Lake on June 24, 2012.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

Making Good Time

Christopher Shulman, a junior marketing management and business double major from Austin and treasurer of the Tech Triathlon Team, removes his swim cap as he runs out of the water after the 1.2 mile swim in Buffalo Springs Lake during the Ironman 70.3 on June 24, 2012. Shulman finished the swim in 34 minutes and 22 seconds. After the swimming portion, contestants biked 56 miles and ran 13.1 miles.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

  • June 24th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 24mm / f/3.2 / 1/80 sec

Riding into the Sunrise

Isaac Chang, a member of the Tech Triathlon Team, looks ahead at a steep hill during the beginning of the 56 mile bike race as part of the Ironman 70.3 at Buffalo Springs Lake on Sunday, June 24, 2012. Chang is still wet from the 1.2 mile swim in the Buffalo Springs Lake.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

The 56 Miles

Jeff Dupre, a member of the Tech Triathlon Team, peddles ahead during the 56 mile bike race as part of the Ironman 70.3 at Buffalo Springs Lake on June 24, 2012.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

Arms Up

John Paul Barranday and Lauren Myers, members of the Tech Triathlon Team, lift their hands together as they make the final rush to the finish line during the Ironman 70.3 at Buffalo Springs Lake on June 24, 2012. The event consisted of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

Guns Up

Christopher Shulman, a junior marketing management and business double major from Austin and treasurer of the Tech Triathlon Team, throws his Guns Up for the photographers at the finish line of the Ironman 70.3 at Buffalo Springs Lake on June 24, 2012. Shulman finished with a time of 7 hours and 26 minutes.

(c) Scott MacWatters / The Daily Toreador

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