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2010 Ironman Louisville: Race Report Part 1 – Before the Race

Posted Sep 01 2010 7:44am
Posted by Brandon on Sep 1, 2010 |

My trip to began at about 6 o’clock AM on August 26, 2010. Since I had so much stuff to bring, including my bike, helmet(s) and all my other race gear, some of which is quite bulky, I had decided to drive down rather than fly. From , where I live, it is about a twelve hour drive. To be completely honest, the drive was rather boring and uneventful.

Upon arriving in Louisville and checking in to my hotel, I immediately headed to a nearby Wal-Mart super center to pick up some groceries. I was trying to keep my meals as on track as possible leading up to the race and, say what you want about Wal-Mart, but they had everything I needed to have the meals and snacks that Coach Jeff prescribed. After eating dinner and taking a bit to digest, I got right into bed and went to sleep.

The next morning, I didn’t have a very strict schedule of anything to do. So, after eating breakfast, showering and such I headed down to check myself in to the race and to visit the expo. Checking in was relatively painless and went by in about 15 or 20 minutes. The check-in process went like so:

  • Check in with (USAT)
  • Get weighed in and have hydration level measured (they want to see between 50 and 65%. I was at 61%)
  • Check in with the race and fill out insurance forms and waivers
  • Hand in the aforementioned waivers
  • Pick up race packet (This included numbers for bike, helmet, etc. bibs and swim cap)
  • Pick up and scan timing chip
  • Pick up schwag bag

After doing the check-in thing, it was on to the expo. A quick side-note on that; I think ( ‘s parent company) is making a huge mistake by only having themselves as the sole vendor of general multisport “stuff” at these events. There are of course, other companies at the expo selling their products, but not really any multi-sport retailers other than Ironman. For instance, I needed two extra eight ounce Fuel Belt bottles. The Ironman store in the expo only sold Nathan products (that I could find) which do not fit in my Fuel Belt . So, I had to drive across town to what was actually a really great local multisport store, VO2 Multisport to find the bottles I needed. My point is, unless Ironman/WTC can somehow manage to have fewer exclusive deals and carry a wider range of products in their “store”, I think they’re hurting themselves and the athletes by boxing out stores that might be able to provide some of the things they cannot.

In the expo, I made my way through the companies that were there to visit Pam, Ian and the crew from Newton Running (I’m sure you’re completely shocked that I spent time there!). It was really great to hang out with them for a few and to talk about everything from shoes to the challenges of running (and hiking and biking and…) with babies, toddlers and beyond. I had put out the call for a tweet-up lunch thing meeting at the Newton booth at noon, so in the time I had before then, I ran back out to my car to take care of a couple of errands and to scope out the area. On my way out of the Galt House Hotel , where the expo and such was being held, I got recognized by a racer named Alvaro (I’m pretty sure). I’m constantly shocked when this happens, but he was such a nice guy and I truly hope his race was everything he’d set out to accomplish.

I got back to the Newton booth right at noon and waited around until 12:30 for people to show. The tweet-up ended up being just me, but that’s OK, because I like me (most of the time)! I think that a lot of the time, people are a bit shy about crossing the bridge between the virtual and real worlds and don’t want to speak up. So, if you’re reading this and you DID show up, but you just weren’t sure what to do next, SAY SOMETHING TO ME!! Chances are you know what I look like, but I probably don’t know what you look like!

After I had my lunch, I went back to my hotel to rest a bit and to shower and such as I’d be heading to the athlete’s dinner and meeting that evening. The meeting itself was the usual stuff; the directors of each portion of the course, and the race director went over rules and cautions, helping to give us the safest and best race experience.

Afterward, I headed back to my hotel. My plan was to begin to get my gear together and into it’s assigned bag. Below is the video of those details

After all that, I headed to bed with my alarm clock set to wake me up and get down to the practice swim the next morning.

The practice swim was pretty uneventful. The race was NOT wetsuit legal as the temperature was about 86° F. I took the swim to feel out how I would react to the fact that we would begin the race by swimming upstream and against the current of the . I also wanted to feel the downstream current as I was expecting to feel more pull than I actually did. The swim felt good and the water was MUCH better to swim in than the !

After the swim, I took my bike to the Ironman wheel rental counter to get my race wheels put on (special thanks to @Indianabackdoc for helping facilitate this). I then had a short, easy bike ride of about 30 minutes in order to get my legs spinning. This was followed by a short, roughly 15 minute run. Both of these felt great and I was really beginning to get excited for the next day.

I went back to my hotel and got my gear together to check in. In Ironman races, you are required to check in your bike and transition bags the day before the race. Generally, you will have access to them on race day, but it pays to be ready ahead of time. I got my stuff all checked in and that pretty much ends the preparation!

After taking a short nap and lounging around my hotel room for the afternoon, I met up with Trevor and Kristine ( Twitter friends and teammates on ). We went to and had an awesome dinner with excellent conversation. It was so amazing to have met these two and to get to spend some really amazing time with them (more on this later). They really and truly made my trip without my wife and daughter that much more bearable and I cannot thank them enough for all they did for me.

I got back to my hotel at about 8:30 and set my alarm for 3 AM. I closed my eyes, and surprisingly, sleep came easily.

To be continued

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