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IM Louisville Race Report

Last week myself and two running free Orangeville team mates travelled to Kentucky for IM Louisville.  I arrived on the Wednesday before race day to get settled.  Thursday morning my family and I went to the Ironman village to check in and get timing chip, transition bags etc.  Friday I went for an early 5km run to get the blood pumping as the temperature started to fall (5C) in the morning.  Saturday we had a practice swim in the Ohio river, I swam between two buoys and it took around 10 minutes, turned around to swim back by the two buoys and it took around 2 minutes, crazy fast current!!!  We then had to have our bikes in transition and my kids participated in the iron kids 1mile run, great time had by all.  Saturday afternoon was spent at the Louisville slugger museum and trying to decide what to wear race day as the forecast was mid 40’sF and rain in the morning and high 50’sF in the afternoon.  A bit of a rough night sleep with a loud hotel hallway but got up about 4:30am, had breakfast and went to the lobby to meet my team mates and head over to transition to pump the tires and head out to the swim start.  Sure enough it was pouring rain and cold.  Once we were ready to head to the swim start we got body marking and headed to the dock.  Louisville has a self seeding line so I went in the 1-1:10 line up hoping to beat my previous best of 1:03, from there we waited……and waited…..and waited.  Swim was supposed to start around 7:30 but we didn’t get word til about 8:10 that the swim was going to be reduced to 0.9 miles due to the very strong current in the Ohio river.  When we finally got in the water it was a relief as the water was around 69F and the swim warmed me up.  To say the current was fast is an understatement….I covered the 0.9 miles(1500m approx) in 00:14:16 0:59/100m. Felt like an Olympian!!! Great volunteers helped out a set of stairs, wetsuit strippers got me out of my suit then off to transition.  Changed into cycling shorts, long sleeve base layer and a cycling vest and headed out onto the 112 mile bike course.  T-1 07:18.  The bike course was cold and wet (luckily not much wind) but as you cycled you created your own wind chill especially downhill.  I was starting to get chilled about 20 miles in when I pulled into an aid station to use the porta-potty, this was my saving grace as a volunteer had giant garbage bags that I threw over my head and used it as an insulation layer.  Without this intervention I’m not sure if I could of finished the bike.  Finished the first lap of the bike watching a lot of people pulling out of the race due to hypothermia, got my special needs bag with some food and carried on my second loop.  Coming back into transition was a huge relief finishing the bike in 6:54:01.  T-2 was a quick change into my tri shorts, grab my hat and shoes and head out onto the run.  T-2 8:40.  The run was through the downtown core of Louisville past Churchill downs into a residential area and back……twice.  I set out at a comfortable pace and kept it up for about 15 miles.  Only walking the aid stations.  After the 15 miles my aid station walk expanded a bit more.  Finally in the home stretch carried us through downtown to the finish line at 4th Street live, a large enclosed bar district with hundreds of people cheering on the athletes.  Great feeling of pride and relief crossing the line especially hearing my wife and kids screaming about 100m from the end.  Finished the run in 4:52:13 and the race in a total time of 12:16:28 a personal best by almost 2 hours.  Post race I got some food from the tent, some dry clothes from my wife and then stayed to watch all the athletes and fellow team mates finish their first Ironman!!!

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