I'm looking for an end of the year half ironman to do and kinda wanted to go the Dot-M route for the full hoopla treatment.
I was looking at Miami and Austin, but all reports were that the bike course at Austin had pretty crappy roads, and I'm sort of a pavement snob.
Has anyone done Miami? I did some Googling, but didn't find too much info and there was lots of conflicting info on whether it is traditionally a wetsuit legal race.
I'm pretty biased towards the Austin 70.3 since:
(a) I grew up there and think that Austin is the most fabulous city in the world and;
(b) I raced the 70.3 two months ago and qualified for Vegas ... yeehaw!
That said, there are a couple of places where the roads could use a little bit of work. I wouldn't say that it was bad - because I've ridden on much worse in the Bay Area. Since moving here, I've gotten pretty spoiled with the nice pavement at HP and in MD. The course is a pretty flat loop through farmland just east of Austin. I remember a few places towards the front third of the bike course there had some filled-in ruts, but really wasn't bad and the race organizers had done a good job of filling in the cracks prior to race day.
Hope that helps sway you in the Texas-direction!
I did this race this year. It's a very well run race, but even though there is minimal elevation change, be prepared for strong headwinds on the bike and it's going to be HOT. This year was a little rainy, but that will not stop them. I would highly recommend running this race as it's a ton of fun to eat and recover in South Beach. If you have any specific questions about the race, let me know. Per the other post on this thread, it is definitely not as grand as some of the other 70.3 races. I had a blast though. :)
Also, it is usually made wetsuit legal, even though the water is always going to be in the upper 70s... that's pretty toasty in a full suit.
I know four people that did Miami and three that did Austin. The three that did Austin all qualified for Las Vegas. None of the people who did Miami did.
The considerations they had were as follows- Miami is easier/cheaper to get to (non stop flights), Austin has much more predictable weather (hello, Hurricane Sandy), Miami had a better crowd, Austin had cheaper hotels, Miami was had better roads, Austin had better scenery.
Three of the four people are planning to re-register for Miami. None of the people are re-registering for Austin (mostly because they were stuck there for five days and got their "fill" thanks to Sandy).