Robin & I are currently in Panama City Beach for the running on the Florida Ironman, which i completed yesterday! Ironman IS NOT ANYTHING LIKE ADVENTURE RACING. And i you know me well you might be thinking ‘why do it then?’ Ironman is a 2.4mile swim, 112 mile bike & a marathon or 26.2 mile swim to finish off. Over the many years of Adevnture Racing i often get the question ‘is that like ironman?’ and i have often answered no, not really. There are many differences, to many to get into here. But what better way give a btter response than doing field research.
So yesterday i completed my 1st and probably last ever ironman. Not because i didn’t enjoy myself i did, but realize it just not for me.
The race start at 7am on the beach with a 2 lap 2.4 swim. the ocean was a little chilly but got through it no problem.
This race is huge there were close to 3000 people competing, so imagine all those people in the water at the same time trying to swim but really thrashing about, swimming over each other. Really is was chaotic. I got kicked in the forehead and in the eye socket. felt like a combat sport.
Got out of the water and transitioned to the bike for the 112mile ride. Which was bascially an out n back ride. Ironman has a no drafting rule s you have to maintain a 4 bike length distance between you and the next bike, or else if you get caught then you get a 4min penalty to be served in a penalty box located in several places around the course. The ride was taxing, and along the way missed my mountain bike several time. The ride took about 5 1/2 hrs.
From there i transitioned again to the run. A standard 26mile marathon. I ran this is a slow 4hrs25mins, was hoping for less time but was running in the heat of the day and really became a little fatigued at several points. Never really walked for more than 2 mins at a time though.
Made it back to the finish line and the wonderful atmosphere that exists as one runs down the finishing shute, about 1/4 mile long to all the 1000’s of people gathered to cheer you and others one.
i finished in 11hrs 25mins. relatively happy with that.
With Ironman i realized how motivated i am by team, community, the group whatever you call it. Ironman is very much and indivdual event and they make that very well known. While the level of support from people that line the streets in the marathon etc is wonderful and very helpful, you are very much on your own. Conversely AR is all about the team, and helping each other. quite a stark contrast. And while i did have a good time racing yesterday and are happy with my time & always knew i would finish it is very different.
Probably leading to the meaning behind the title. one & done. I loved the physical challenge and always will however it was storngly reinforced how much of a team, group junkie i am