C4 Endurance Headlines and Updates!

Click Here For -->Race Reports and Archived News<--
Why Ironman 70.3 Lubbock should be a bucket list race for any triathlete.

My "Not really a race report, race report"


I have been involved with endurance sports for 20 years, triathlon for over 16 years, completed my first 70.3/Half Ironman in 2005, my first full Ironman in 2008 and since that time, I have completed more than 100 races, 13 Ironman races, 23 Half Ironman/70.3 races and countless others. I have raced in places like Canada, Australia, Europe, from the west coast of the US to the far east coast of the US and everything in between. All this to say is that I have seen a lot of races and locations, but you will be hard pressed to find a better race than Ironman 70.3 Lubbock.

Course Conditions and the Draw

I have had the honor to race in Lubbock seven times over the years after having my first experience in 2006. I have watched the race course make minor changes to the run and bike over the years due to road construction or things that were just out of the race director’s control. This year was entirely new, well for the most part. The swim was in a completely different lake, although the temperature was still ~70 degrees and wetsuit legal. Dare I say the water felt a bit calmer than at Buffalo Springs Lake? It was a rather mild wind day, so that may have been a nice feature for this year. The bike is largely unchanged after you get through the first 8 miles on the way out and the final 12 miles on the way back in. The rest is basically as it has been the last few years. Still has some great challenging conditions with wind and four solid climbs to keep your pacing honest. The run course is completely new and has been made better on so many accounts. It takes place on the Texas Tech University campus with a start next to the Jones AT&T Texas Tech Football stadium, navigating you throughout the heart of the campus twice, and ends with you running down the visitor football team’s tunnel, down the visiting team’s sideline, through the endzone, and back down the hashmarks to the finish line roughly about the 50 yard line in front of a “hometown crowd” with all your family and friends able to sit in the stands and see you finish. I have seen some pretty incredible finish lines over the years, but this one probably takes the cake.

Red Raider for Life!

It should also be known that I am a Texas Tech Red Raider Alumni, class of 2000, with a BBA-MIS degree. My wife graduated from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in 2001 with a Master of Physical Therapy degree. After living and walking that campus for five years, returning many times for sporting events and when just passing through town, seeing the campus grow seemingly overnight, and now being able to race my favorite sport that I have been a participant practically since I graduated has to be one of the greatest honors for me.

What makes this race so special to people that may not feel that way about the city or the campus the way I do? I hear you and questioned that several times on Sunday as I was racing 70.3 miles through the “grand” canyons of the panhandle of Texas. I kept wondering if it was just me b/c I love Lubbock and my Red Raiders so much or was this race something that I think every triathlete should experience. I came to the conclusion that I would create my top 10 reasons why every triathlete should race Ironman 70.3 Lubbock.

Top 10 Reasons to race Ironman 70.3 Lubbock

1. West Texas sunsets (and sunrises) – You will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful sunset or sunrise than looking out over the south plains or the canyons. If you don’t believe me, just go to your browser and look in google images for “south plains sunsets Texas”. I dare you.

2. People and volunteers – I also dare you to find a nicer group of people than in Lubbock, Texas. I have lived in Texas my entire life and in several towns and cities from as small as 2k people to as big as the DFW metroplex. The people in Lubbock that are out there supporting you have the biggest hearts of any race I have ever seen. They truly care about these athletes.

3. Wetsuit Swim in the middle of the summer – For Texans, this is nearly unheard of when the temps regularly reach 100 degrees across our state. These spring fed lakes make it possible.

4. Beautiful yet challenging bike course – There are races around the country (and in Texas) that are pancake flat bike courses. You go out and make about 3 turns all day long and that’s the 56 miles. Lubbock is beautiful farm and ranch land with no city pollution and blue skies as far as the eye can see. You get to challenge yourself with wind (sometimes extreme) AND really good staircase climbs that will make any good cyclist want to return on their road bike just to test their speed on the climbs. There is nothing boring about it and you also don’t have to deal with a city full of cars on the roads, however you may see a tractor or two out there, so don’t be alarmed.

5. Wildlife – You MAY get the opportunity to see prairie dogs running around, eagles flying around, a jack rabbit, whitetail deer, tarantulas, or even rattle snakes crossing the farm to market roads. This is West Texas at its best!

6. Run course through Texas Tech University – Never mind the fact that there are really no more hills on the run course to challenge us or the energy lab 2 out there by the lake. Focus on the good qualities. I guarantee you that on a really hot day, the University Avenue section will feel like energy lab 3. The heat still remains to challenge you to focus on self-preservation and will take no prisoners. Spectators have 6.55 miles of REALLY easy access to cheer on their favorite athlete/family/friend and can easily move about the course to find their perfect spot. Sometimes those spectators move from shady spot to shady spot and catch them a dozen times for the 13.1 mile two loop run course. This might be one of the most spectator friendly run courses I have seen in a very long time.

7. Finish line – To my knowledge Ironman Wisconsin is the only one that has a finish line similar to Lubbock. Finishing inside ANY college of professional sports arena is just incredible and truly made the athletes feel something special. You are an athlete finishing a 70.3 mile race inside a sports arena where some of the best athletes in the country have played during their college years (from TTU and other schools). That’s pretty special!

8. Food – Let’s be honest, I don’t know many endurance athletes that don’t focus half their time on what they are consuming. Many of them travel with families in tow and need to ensure that everyone has easy access to good food. There are ample places to even eat right along University avenue while your athletes are racing. Lubbock has endless options for all the food lovers out there, endurance sports junkies or not. It’s truly a Texas town when you may gain 5 pounds that weekend just in eating all the great food.

9. The swag – I’m sort of a minimalist when it comes to swag. I really just want a super comfy, well designed t-shirt, a good looking medal, and really don’t ask for much beyond that. I have tons of dry-fit race finishers shirt that have never seen outside my closet. The t-shirts that this race has given out over the years has been my go-to, wear every day, super comfortable, and best designed t-shirts in my closet. I’d make that drive again just for the t-shirt.

10. Last but certain not least – I had to save the best for last. The race directors. I could not write this without mentioning Mike and Marti Greer. They have been putting this race on for 30 years and I challenge anyone to find race directors that care more for their athletes, volunteers, and race experiences than these two genuine people. I have shared a beer or two at my team tent with Mike when he was watching Marti race in Austin several years ago. I have shared hugs and caring conversations with Marti at more than one finish line in Lubbock. I have watched Mike get teared up at the athlete briefing just talking about this race and the athletes that came to support them. To support THEM! This race is about more than an Ironman 70.3. This race is a part of the Greer family and for those of us that have been around long enough, we all want to be part of that legacy and that family. We want to see this race succeed year after year and will continue coming back for more punishment in the heat, wind, and hills. We had a very challenging race year in 2018 when God gave us 27 mph sustained winds, gusting to 45+ mph on the bike. God then proceeded to challenge us with 111 degree temps outside with 117 degree asphalt radiating heat on the run. I nearly melted on that day and somehow still came out with a 3rd place in my age group. Marti found me in the medical tent where they always have the best medical team attending to their athletes and proceeded to converse with me about how the athletes were looking on the course. Their love and genuine concern for these athletes is like something you won’t find at any other race. Mike and Marti Greer are truly what make this race so special. You can move it to whatever location you want, but you won’t be as successful without these people on your team.

Final Thoughts

This is not one of the biggest races in the country or even world, but I dare you to find better reasons to race somewhere else. This race is a rare find, a unicorn among horses, a true gem that we have to thank the Greer family for starting back in 1990. For this true Texan cowboy triathlete, I applaud and love Mike and Marti for continuing to put this race on. If you choose to take someone else's word for it, you can read more here on an article that Forbes magazine recently shared about the city of Lubbock.

~Coach Troy


Why Choose C4 Endurance?

No Limits Coaching!

  • Goal Definition
  • Unlimited Communication
  • Customized Training Schedule
  • Nutritional Guidance
  • HR/Power/RPE Zone Training
  • Annual Periodization
  • Race day Strategy
  • Pacing Strategy
  • Strength Training