Some thoughts after watching Ironman Louisville last Sunday
1) People spend SO MUCH MONEY on this sport it's literally staggering. I'm not excluding myself at all but wow, triathletes are a bunch of gear geeks! Speedsuits, 6k+ tri bikes, race wheels, rental race wheels, all for people that are going to be going slow AND fast. It's really kind of impressive; just goes to show that triathlon attracts a lot of type A personalities and that most of those types of people are good at what they do in the workplace!
2) Louisville is a very pretty city. Sure, it's in Kentucky (loses points, just kidding...but not really) but it's got a cool mix of both old and new architecture that feels very...neat. It's very unlike Charlotte. Everyone in the Queen City is trying so hard to give it a personality and it really just doesn't work. I've lived in two cities in my life other than Charlotte and both have more character than Charlotte can ever hope to have. New Orleans really needs no explanation (although, unfortunately for myself I'm probably the WORST New Orleanian in the world as I don't try new foods and I didn't party at all growing up...) and Williamsburg (VA) is one of oldest and coolest (if you like dorky, historic stuff...ME) town/cities I've been. Louisville feels kind of like that; a big city with character.
|Swim finish; photo credits to Ashley|
3) It's easy to undervalue what people are going through - or have gone through - to show up and race an Ironman. A lot of us (definitely including myself here) take it for granted that you can complete a race like this. I remember I posted briefly about my race last year - http://w00tj.blogspot.com/2010/08/im-louisville-report.html - and talked about how much I took for granted what this race meant to me and other people. When you've talked yourself into the fact that you are going to do well, that you'll be near the front, and you'll finish before 6pm it's SO easy to just write-off everyone else that will be finishing by midnight (hopefully). It's just a different experience for those people. It was fun to spectate and watch friends that were going sub 10 hours and see others that would be going >16 hours. They are getting WAY more bang for their buck as well!!
4) It is really fun to cheer. Traditionally, I've been a really, really crappy cheer(er). I'm not good at yelling the same stuff over and over to people I convince myself won't (or don't) appreciate it. On Sunday, however, we all had a great time cheering and saying ridiculous things to people that generally produced laughs or blank stares. It was obvious which racers were having a good day...
5) Homeade Ice Cream and Pie is a delicious, heart-warming way to end a day. Away from most of the IM scene which is great.
6) I don't really want to race an Ironman anytime soon. I'm glad I did B2B in 2009, but I think - looking at it long term anyway - it wasn't really a great decision. I was unprepared for the distance and I would have been better served doing short stuff. I'm not really sure what next year is going to look like but I wouldn't mind doing 100% olympics. I don't think they're my strength, but the faster you get at the sprint/olympic distance the faster you will (eventually) be at 70.3/140.6. Athletes that have "1 speed" are not properly developed as endurance athletes.
All that being said, I definitely had some race envy. It was really fun to watch everyone go out and have a very good race; if everyone had sucked I don't think I would have felt the same! No IM's for at least 2-3 years for me though, although Brian teased the possibility of doing B2B 2012 as a longgg training day. I kind of dig that. No pressure!