Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 - BY DAVID GUT­NICK

WHEN DID I de­cide that this 70.3 was a wee bit more of an ex­otic ad­ven­ture than I was used to? Was it when the tiny jel­ly­fish ten­ta­cle gen­tly stung my cheek in the Pa­cific Ocean swim? Or when the bright yel­low but­ter­fly as big as a gel pack smacked into my sun­glasses dur­ing the bike? Or dur­ing the beach run when I al­most slipped on the tail of a hot dog-sized iguana? No, I think it was the evening be­fore, when we wheeled our bikes to­wards the tran­si­tion zone, down the main drag of Playas del Coco cheek-by-jowl with pop-up stands sell­ing rice and beans, steam­ing tor­tillas and mango-kale smooth­ies.

Who needs an alarm clock to get up at 3:45 a.m. when howler mon­keys are scream­ing up a storm as they swing through the palm trees just me­tres from your bed­room win­dow in the predawn hours?

This was the in­au­gu­ral Iron­man 70.3 triathlon in Costa Rica, and thou­sands of Ti­cos and Ti­cas had brought their fam­i­lies to this va­ca­tion town for the week­end-long party while 1,963 ath­letes, marimba bands, chirp­ing crick­ets and those howler mon­keys all com­peted for their at­ten­tion.

When it was first an­nounced that there was go­ing to be a 70. 3 in Playa del Coco dur­ing

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