|Blue bike, carrying my blue drink|
How hot was it? I was stopping my bike to pick up other peoples' discarded water bottles to pour it over myself. It's race day in Chattanooga. About 2200 people jumped into the water in the morning. Of that, 26% would not make it to the finish within the time limit. I would manage with just 15 minutes to go before my time ran out.
Swim 1:28:06. Bike 7:30. Run 6:15:21. Total 15:58:10.
|Dean and me, on Lookout Mountain high above Chattanooga|
We got to Chattanooga on Thursday and hit the usual tourist locations. We visited Lookout Mountain and Rock City. For my afternoon run on Thursday, I went out around 5 PM. It was ferociously hot in the sun at that time of day. Not a good sign, since I should be freshly off my bike on Sunday at that hour.
Let me put this into perspective. In 2007, the Chicago marathon shut down during the race when temperatures hit the high 80’s. Some of the aid stations were out of water, and medical support was overloaded, so they radioed across the course to get everyone to stop running. In 2012, with projected highs in the high 80’s, the Boston marathon offered participants to forgo running, and come back the next year instead. The Kona Hawaii triathlon, known for its heat, on average is 84 degrees . There, everyone gets 17 hours. Chattanooga on Sunday topped out at 97 degrees, with 80% humidity.
This was more than unusually hot, it was past what other races considered safe. This is Ironman. We were good to go. The forecast was in the nineties. Water temperature was measured at 83, making it just one degrees below the safety limit where wetsuits are forbidden. I’ve trained in warm water with my wetsuit, and ended up overheated and tired. It’s a poor way to start the day. I thought it would make an interesting change to race in just my swimsuit, so I was looking forward to leaving the wetsuit at home.
|Behind me is the second / fourth bridge of the race|
Dean was there, handing out water. He was smiling and happy. I could tell he was having a good time with the other volunteers. Volunteering is more fun than racing, with the camaraderie you get from working together.
|Done it! Dean in the red shirt.|