Saturday, August 29, 2009


I'm bib number 2363, out of some 2,500 triathletes that have arrived at the shores of the Ohio river here in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to the racers there are almost 3,000 people volunteering to help out with the race, and an untold number of family members, well-wishers, merchants, and the just plan curious. In total Ironman is a huge spectacle that begins days before the starting gun goes off.

An athlete gives his bike a nervous final check-out.

24-hours before the race begins the city streets and hotels are filled with lycra-clad athletes doing their final tune-ups. Some of the best aero-dynamic carbon fiber that money can buy is zipping up and down the roads, propelled by lean, tan athletes that have poured their heart, soul and wallet into the last several months of training. I joked with one of the locals that, "Yup, Ironman has come to town, and you won't find a single hairy leg for five miles around".

I'm nervous, but then again I've always been that way before any athletic event. I used to be just as anxious before I took my "every six month" Army physical fitness test back when I was serving. I know that once I get into the water and find my stroke that it will become just another long training day for me, albeit with 2,500 of my closest friends.

More to follow.

Practice swim in the Ohio river. I opted not to do this as the conditions of the river are "questionable". It's not complicated... just follow the big orange buoys.


Jeff Barry said...

Thats crazy. I could never do that.

Eric said...


Sure you could. It's a matter of training and volume. I've seen 82-year old men complete the race. You may not win the race, but after-all winning is just a relative thing isn't it? The only opponent that you're racing against is that little voice inside of you that is telling you, "I can never do this".