Ironman Stories

Are you thinking about attempting an Ironman distance triathlon?  A lot can be learned from the experience of others.

This is a compilation of stories of both successes and DNF’s (Did Not Finish).

Many thanks to those that volunteered to let me share their stories on my blog.

Ironman Louisville – 2010 – Harold Liles

I need to set this up so everyone understands what it took to get here, this was my goal and working torwards it, so many issues came up…so here goes…. On June 18th, 2008 I was at Myrtle Beach, SC and my wife took a picture of me and my daughter Morgan on the beach that day. I saw it later that night and and went to the bathroom and cried. It struck me for the for the first time I was fat, not heavy, but 5’9″, 242 pounds fat. So many years of being in great shape, and now, 3 young kids and this is their example of life, a fat dad. My dad and grandfather had heart attacks young, my mom diabiates, so as I looked at that picture and back at the mirror I said “IT STOPS HERE”!

Read the rest of Harold’s story

 

 

Ironman Florida – 2009 – Steve

I was much calmer than expected standing on the beach. I had done a practice swim with some BTers on Wednesday but the water was much more still that day. Today the waves were crashing… The cannon fired and I was off on my first ironman! The start was actually better than I had expected. There were people everywhere, but I wasn’t getting too much contact with other swimmers. I had started toward the outside and was gradually making my way closer to the buoy line as I watched the ocean floor get further and further away. The race was going well and my sighting was great…until the first turn buoy. It was chaos. At the turn buoy all of the swimmers were packed into one tight little corner. I was on somebody’s back, someone was on mine, people to my left and right. My goggles were knocked off, if they weren’t strapped underneath my swim cap I likely would have lost them. I just kept swimming. Often times my stroke would just hit another person instead of water. Once, the only way I could get a breath was to push down on the person I was on top of to get my head out of the water. I felt bad but had no other choice as I thought I might drown. Really. I shot a bit outside once the pack started to slightly thin out again. I tredded water for a moment to fix my goggles and started toward the next turn buoy which was only about 150 yards away. Sighting was difficult as this small section was looking directly into the rising sun. I made the turn buoy, and it was chaos once more. I was “experienced” now and had an idea of what to expect. It was still really crowded but I made it through a bit easier and goggles in tact.

 Read the rest of Steve’s story

Ironman Wisconsin – 2009 – Rich Ratay.  

It’s been 36 hours since I crossed the finish line at Ironman Wisconsin. My back hurts. My feet hurt. I have blisters the size of quarters on my feet. Even my ego is bruised.

I took kicks to the head. I was broasted by the sun. I don’t think I ever want to taste a sports drink again. My bike and I are not on speaking terms.

But I also feel something that I have never felt before. Despite my blisters, I feel like I’m walking on air. I feel like I’m three Newcastle Nut Brown Ales into a good buzz. And you can’t wipe the smile off my face with a squeegee.

Today, I’m something I wasn’t just a few short hours ago.

I am an Ironman.

Prelude to a Sufferfest

Earning the title would not be easy. As the days passed leading up to Sunday, the temperature forecast climbed relentlessly higher into the high 80’s, with little to no cloud cover. Reports circulated about a heavy blue-green algae bloom and high bacterial count in Lake Monona. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there was a body missing somewhere on the swim course.

On Thursday afternoon, two boaters who had been drinking decided to inspect the course up close. They stripped down and dove off the boat. One came up, the other didn’t. As of race day, divers still hadn’t located him.

I hoped that wasn’t an omen.

Read the rest of Rich’s story

Ironman Coeur d’Alene – 2009 – Mike McDaniel

My Pre race routine really starts with us leaving central Illinois on Friday, June 12 to drive 1/2 way across the country with our youngest two boys. Part of the reason for picking this race was to see Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone. Other than eating out (a lot), nothing too different in the days leading up to the race. (We did have a long day hiking in Glacier on Tuesday). Weather for the week has been cool, rainy, and windy—not at all what we expected. Oh well, make the best of it. Got into CdA Thursday afternoon, found our hotel (a historic hotel a few blocks from the race venue), and checked in for the race. Sign this,sign this, buy this (No, thanks), buy that (Really?). Walked downtown to find some dinner, put my bike together and test rode out to Higgins Point and back. Felt good to be on the bike for the first time in a week. Enjoyed the fading light of day in CdA.

Read the rest of Mike’s Story

Ironman Texas – 2011 – Marcy

Sit down and get comfortable kids, this may be a long read!

I guess my pre-race routine started in June when the race was announced. At the time Steve and I signed up, I had my right leg in a boot after breaking my tibia falling off my bike at a local rally. There had been rumors for quite some time about a Texas Ironman, and we both decided that if it really happened, we had to sign up. So registration opens and we drop our $1200 on entry fees.

Having some idea that the race would be announced, we made our hotel reservations the day before the official announcement. One of the smartest things we did as within a day of registration opening, most of the local hotels were either sold out or had jacked their prices up so high that a Motel 6 was priced like the Four Seasons.

Read the rest of Marcy’s Story

Did Not Finish Stories

I can not imagine the feeling of training for months and months and not finishing your first attempt.  I would like to thank the author’s of the next couple of stories for sharing their experiences. 

Chad Musgrove – former couch potato

Ironman Melbourne – 2012 - Arsiyanti Ardie

THANK YOU to thousands of people (and quite a few animals) who contacted me with good wishes about this race before and after. Big THANK YOU to those who have supported me for years. Biggest THANK YOU to my sister Tina for making sure I’ve scraped through the last 35 years alive, and to Nigel on BT who took this particular IM journey with me and has seen to my every need here in Melbourne. {{{MELON PRESS}}} to all!

4 Ironmans I’ve signed up for, done majority of training for, and finally I got to actually race in one! Woohoo! In the two years leading up to this race, I had 14 bouts of serious illness or injury, including dengue fever, chikungunya (makes dengue seem pleasant, and have lasting osteoarthritis), typhoid fever, pneumonia, bruised ribs, and concussion. I was last in an emergency room on Jan. 15th. So the training was a little less than optimal. I seem to be missing that entire base and build period. I was well-trained for a sprint, decently for Olympic, okay to finish HIM, and big-question-mark for an IM.

So I’m overjoyed to have started and gotten as far as I did. All of it, even the last two years, has been a tremendous experience and I wouldn’t change a thing. The best bit is the incredible people and love I’ve gotten to be part of throughout.

Read the rest of Arsiyanti’s story.

Ironman Arizona – 2008 – Chris

“Barely Started, Did Not Finish”

I won’t get into the usual arriving in tempe, riding the course, meeting bters, experiencing IronMan for the first time, as it doesn’t feel appropriate. But the days leading up to IMAZ were exactly what I wanted, and I was just trying to experience every moment.

If you’ve read my blog you’ve read this “report” more or less, nothing new, really.

I do want to express how much this site, and its members, mean to me. It’s easy to take you all for granted, but when the shit hits the fan, and you people — who generally have experienced everything there is to experience in tris and know what it’s like when a race goes south — come through with support, love, acceptance, kicks in the ass, and perspective… well, that’s when this site really shines. I know that myself and several other IMAZers who needed the right words at the right time got them here. From friends and total strangers. What a great family we have here.

Read the rest of Chris’s Story


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