If you want to read a lot about our Louisville excursion go over to the GEEKGRL's blog, she types way faster than I and way more often. Here are my Cliff notes version.
1) Gatorade swim 7:30 am. Huge current, fast current. The practice swim was 1 mile in length. It took me 33 minutes to get upstream to the halfway point. That included swimming the half-mile to the first turn buoy, going around that buoy and sighting on the next buoy, which formed the far end of the rectangle, being swept about a 1.4 mile back down stream in those few seconds and then swimming back upstream to that second buoy and then getting swept under the buoy and wrapped up on the buoy rope while trying to round the buoy. Getting back down stream the way I had come in 6 minutes, not 33 and then getting swept past the exit stairs and spending the next 5 minutes trying to swim back up stream to get to the exit. So much for my "easy" swim.
2) Drove the bike course with the intention of getting out of the car at some point and riding a bit. There are no shoulders in the Louisville area, at least nothing I recognized as shoulders. Indeed the entire width of their roads out here are about the width of our shoulders back home. The traffic was also very heavy. There were a couple brave souls out riding the course but there was no way I was getting out there, not this close to the big day. The course is indeed fantastic! The majority of the roads seem to be smoother than most anything I have ridden and one long stretch is freshly paved. The road itself is going to be fast but then there are the hills. This course rolls and rolls and rolls. In addition to the constant rolling there are also some pretty substantial and sustained climbs. I know the GEEKGRL did a post where she made the course to scale because the one on the website was distorted and scary looking. Well, the truth is somewhere between her course and the one on the website but if I were trying to determine how difficult the course is likely to be I'd go with the website.
3) Went to the welcome dinner and met up with Duane, Mary Sunshine and Dying Water Buffalo and we all got to yell loudly at each other until the actual welcoming began, there was a VERY loud band playing. After wiping the blood from our ears we got to chat a little and made some plans for tomorrow.
4) Walked down 4th Street Live, very cool. The president of IM said he thought it was the best finish line in the sport and I must say that I agree. It's not that I know about ALL the finish lines but this is one that you just can't go and set up, it's part of the City's infrastructure.
5) Met up with Ma-Baboo and step-dad and talked for a while and made plans for the rest of the weekend.
6) Now in room packing stuff for race day and watching the GEEKGRL create some cool post while I knock out the b-rate version.
Swimming in the Ohio here at Louisville is not bad, water quality I mean...the current is a different story.
Louisville seems like a cool city.
The bike course is, again, fantastic but will be tough.
As much as we triathletes bitch about the cost of an Ironman, except Spokane Al who has a frustratingly rational and well informed understanding of market economies, the Ironman organization is indeed amazing and they do indeed deal in peoples dreams not just in event production. The logistics of this event are truly staggering. I will say one thing and that should suffice if you just sit with it for a moment and let it sink in. For two hours on Friday, for two hours on Saturday and for four hours on Sunday the Ironman corporation has arranged to have the Ohio River, a major shipping channel, CLOSED in the Louisville area. Yes, 2 hours and 2 hours for the practice swims and 4 hours for the race. How amazing is that?!
Oh, also got an e-mail from the folks at Triathlon One O One and all events are canceled and it looks like they are canceled for 08...to me that looks like death. Now I'm gonna lose at least $200 on that deal because of the fees associated with transferring my plane tickets to some other flight to some other place and I may lose more depending on how a few other things pan out but I am more saddened than angry.
It is my understanding that the folks who were doing the One O One were first rate event organizers and so this must be a tremendous blow professionally not to mention the time and effort down the tubes. I'm pretty sure some folks will suffer some much greater financial loss that the few hundred I am likely to loose but I think the biggest reason it saddens me is the same reason that I was so enthusiastic about embracing them in the first place...they were very friendly to Clydes and Athenas. That is not something you see very often, not at the big races. Heck, IMKY right here and right now does not even recognize Clydes and Athenas, there are no categories for us only age groupers. So, for that reason I bid the One O One a sad farewell, I bear you no malice, sometimes life is just hard and you move on...good luck to you.