I spent the better part of Sunday with some friends from the NQRFPTR group and other folks volunteering for the 2013 IRONMAN Louisville triathlon. I’d never watched an IRONMAN event in person, let alone volunteer for one. Suffice it to say it was a fun (and up-close) way to introduce myself to the sport.
I had signed up to work at an aid station organized by Spalding University, a small, liberal arts college near downtown Louisville. I introduced myself to our captain, Kevin, and began carrying water, chicken broth, gels, sodas and everything else to our tables located under an overpass of the Watterson Expressway. It was a nice treat to be shaded for the entire day, and added to the awe and inspiration from people out there completing this monster in 90-degree heat.
We were told to expect the first runner to come through our stop at around 1:15, so when eventual winner Chris McDonald came flying through (at around a 6:30 pace) at 12:45, we were caught off-guard just a bit. Fifteen minutes later, 2012 champion Patrick Evoe came through looking just as strong. He would hold his position and finish second to his friend and training partner. Not far behind were the first women, with Australian Kate Bevilaqua winning in a time of 9:29:05.
Here’s a short video I took of McDonald as he entered our station.
Watching the men and women coming through the stop left a lasting impression. These were people who had conditioned their bodies to the point of being able to complete the Herculean course – with McDonald setting a new course record with his 8:21:34 finish. My friend, Terry, warned me not to watch too close lest I get the bug and want to sign up for one myself. But I think I can safely say that I’ll stick to just marathons and leave this insanity to the professionals.
Any at rate, I snapped a bunch of pics, so I thought I would share them here. (Click to see larger images.)
Keep running (and swimming and biking), friends.