Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ironman Wisconsin Report

First - Congrats!

Team Polar member Laura Perez - 1st Ironman, mom of THREE...podium!
1:13:21 - swim
6:22:57 - bike
4:11:29 - run (looks like using an RS 400 is the way to go!)
12:03:44 Total time, 5th W45-49

Laura is a super cool person - we've both been on TEAM POLAR both years of the team's existence - and at the end of her Ironman she put up with me urging her to go faster when she was clearly in pain. Way to go Laura, you rock!

John Kane - also...first Ironman...used a Polar 720i to train and race with
1:11:35 - swim (best swim performance ever by John from a swim pace perspective, John is normally 35-37 for a 1/2 IM - looks like I know a thing or two about swimming!)
5:55:26 - bike
3:57:26 - run
11:20:57 Total time, 47th M40-44

John is another super cool person (despite the fact that he is a coach/teacher at my high school's arch rival - Conant - hey, nobody is perfect.) John is a solid racer who will only get better with time. His swim has started to come around. John can ride and run with anyone around. If I were a M40-44, I'd be worried...very worried.

Ted Raad used a POLAR RS 800 to train and race with (hey...a trend Polar HRMs)
1:13:53 - swim
5:59:55 - bike
4:12:24 - run
11:43:16 TOTAL time, 108th M35-39

Hey Ted...still wondering if heart rate, power and PowerCranks work? Ted did IM USA only SIX WEEKS AGO. Where he had another solid race performance. Ted's fitness is at the point where an 11:43 Ironman is repeatable (!) and to where his next step is going back to Kona.

The rest of this blog entry is dedicated to volunteering at the race. This is the second Ironman I have volunteered at (Ironman Kona 2005) and the fourth race I've worked this year - all while racing 14 races myself. Volunteering at an Ironman is the way to fly - good free food, drinks, VIP access...for a bit of work which puts you in a front row seat. If you have never volunteered to work at a triathlon, I strongly suggest you do. Regardless of if you are an athlete or an "athletic supporter" you should give it a go. All races need help and I think you'll find the reward is worth it. Many racers will say thank you or smile and wave...or grimace and wave. He's not just a big lovable purple guy. Grimace seems to have his "I'm at mile 25" look down.

I was a bike course and run course marshal Sunday. Here is a bit of what I saw. (reader's note: I was trying to be an official that I would want to see on the course - adhere to the rules but fair)
Bike Course
...simple...ride on the back of a motorcycle (moto) at times doing 50 mph with no handles or luggage rack to hang onto...my fingers, forearms, triceps, back...all still cooked after 170 miles of moto riding. What a blast! My moto driver (Jim from Milwaukee) and I handed out 10 penalties in all. (nine for drafting - all of these were into the wind or when folks were trying to recover from a hill and riding into the wind - could have been 25 - 30 once I gave warnings people spread out quickly, one for littering - the guy did it right in front of us; could have been centerline, littering, unauthorized outside assistance and an instant DQ). I also gave a stern warning to two males (not racing or wearing helmets) for pacing and allowing a female racer to draft them. The gal they were pacing or helping to bridge a gap to other gals, and one of the guys were wearing Athletes by Design team kits (cycling team from Winfield, IL). I told the guys, "Drop off here or she gets DQ'd right now" and then told her..."When we come back these two guys better not be anywhere near you or I'll DQ you on the spot, understand?" She said, "Ok, I'm sorry" and we never saw those guys again. One racer, a realtor from Madison in the M50-54 AG had several racers complaining about him to us but we didn't see what he did live. He is a very good AG elite racer and I won't print the hearsay about him but if we saw any/all the things he allegedly did he would have been DQ'd on the spot - mostly unsportsmanlike behavior toward other racers. What we heard was reprehensible, especially for a guy like this. He should know better. One gal from Colorado Springs was drafting a lot but she would just move out of the draft zone when I'd get up there and really observe the draft zone. I couldn't hit her with a penalty, so twice into the wind on a longish flat stretch I instructed my moto driver to "camp" next to her and we watched. Oh...no drafting. What a coincidence. A lot of the Team Mexico folks were working together on the course; drafting or really bending the most rules; the biggest being drafting. It was the talk of the race. We also saw a lot of racers take unnecessary chances while passing and with a marshal right there (me)...dumb. Even if I wasn't there it would be a hell of a way to throw out all your effort for this race on a stupid bike crack up.

Run Course
My duty was just to ride on my mountain bike and check on aid stations, look for medical alerts and stop people pacing (a DQable offense which seems to happen a lot in Madison - one gal I coach is racing Kona this fall because of said offense by a chick last year - the offender was banned from Kona last year and this year as well as received a one year ban from all Ironman events)...back to the story...and using iPods and mobile phones. One guy had a pacer for some time, I warned them once (saw him three times) the next time I told the pacer to stop and said, "We've had several complaints about you pacing your buddy. (which we did) Your options are to stop right here and now or if you want to run with him...I'll take his chip and bib and he is done for the day. It's your choice." He walked in the opposite direction of his buddy and thanked me for not DQing him right there. (He knew what he was doing was wrong.) I saw one medical. A guy about mile 8 of the marathon holding a sign up. I asked him how he was doing. He said, "Just need to rest before I finish this." He then started shaking all over. Call the EMT. He was done - very dehydrated. Still thanked me when they were loading him into the ambulance. I saw two on mobiles and no iPods. One was an American lady mid-30s if I had to guess. Asked her to turn off the phone three times and put it away and she finally did. (To be honest...she was really pissing me off.) Second, was a racer from Team Mexico (300 folks from Team Mexico), this lady said, "No hablo ingles" and I responded in Spanish with directions to turn off the cell phone and put it away or she will be DQ'd. Once she did...she said, "Thank you" in English...no hablo ingles...right.

In all, I hope my efforts helped to make a safer, better, fairer race. I think I did. I may fly to work Kona next.

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