Okay, here it finally is, the highly anticipated race report from IM Louisville.
As most of you know we left on Sunday, Aug. 23rd to drive across more than half of the country, caught a Cubs game at Wrigley Field on Thursday and screamed into Louisville on Friday. We are now resting in Loveland, CO and plan to hit 3 national parks in the next 2 days on our way home. Gotta love a country like this that you can freely go wherever, whenever you want.
On to the race report. Ironman Louisville is the only 140.6 with a time trial start which meant very early to rise to get to the transition and pump bike tires and put water bottles on the bike, crap forgot the water bottles, so I had to borrow one to from a volunteer to get me to the first aide station on the bike… Then it was about a 3/4 mile walk up to the start of the swim, then a 3/4 of a mile walk to the end of the line. During the walk I was “adopted” by some guys from Pittsburg, they’d done IM Louisville in the past and where really interested in Montana. Anyway, we sat in line for about 45 minutes, as soon as the pros started the line started to move up and we quickly walked up to the start, zigzagged down to the dock and across the mat, then shortly after crossing the timing mat (to start your time) I jumped into the Ohio River and start swimming upstream. I really didnt feel the current, but it was there along with the stench of diesel fuel… I could not see my hand out in front of me on my stroke, it was gross. The swim course took me upstream past TowHead Island then around buoys and back downstream, past the start to the transistion area. I was out of the water in about and hour and half which was about 10 to 15 minutes longer than I wanted. Later many people thought their swim times where long.
I felt okay coming out of the water, not dizzy or anything, just wishing for a shower… I ran from the swim exit to the change tent which seemed really long. on the way out the change tent I got sunscreened and off to my bike. ran with the bike to the exit and on the road, finally… I felt okay on the bike but didn’t feel like eating, like I usually do out of the water. Oh yeah remember the suncreen and the borrowed water bottle, you guessed it. Dropped about 1 mile in. I was able to get a water and a gatoraide at the first aid station, which was only about 6 miles in. I was feeling pretty good on the bike, wishing I’d ridden or drove more of the course. I was fairly timid on the first loop, people kept talking about hills and climbs and I didnt want to go around a corner in high gear and be stuck in the middle of a hill… I finally got a salted nut roll down and was able to start feeling better on the second loop. the aid stations and volunteer where great! there did seem to be a lot of riders with flats, but I did not see any tacks or kids throwing things as there are rumors. Also, there where people cheering throughout the course. I passed quite a few other triathletes on the second lap and had a chance to see Fernada and other pros (fly past me).
When I got back to the transition area I was feeling pretty good about my sub 6 hour bike. I started the run and was able to cruise pretty well for the first couple of miles. there was an aid station every mile, I ran past the first 2, just grabbing a cup of water on the way by. As the run course got back into the city before heading out toward Churchill Downs, it started to get really hot and humid. I had to slow down as I was getting a headache. I ate and drank and ended up walking way too much on the way out to the turn around and back into town. I was able to pick it back up a little as i left for the second loop, the crowd around the finish (which you pass within 1 block of on your way out for your 2nd lap) was rowdy and it helped. after the second loop turn around i forced myself to only walk the aid stations. Then at mile 23 I told myself only 5K to go and tried to pick it up.
I finished in 12:15 which is my slowest IM, but I feel pretty good about it. It was a hard race and a long way to travel, we are looking forward to being home. thanks to everyone that sent and email, called or just was thinking of me. I could not do an IM without the tremendous support of my family and friends. You are all great!