Photo Essay: 2013 IRONMAN Louisville

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.

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7 responses to “Photo Essay: 2013 IRONMAN Louisville

  1. That’s crazy that we were both there! My husband and I volunteered five years ago, and then again the next year…and he caught the bug. Maybe you’ll be next! And, interestingly enough, he graduated from Spalding. Too funny!

    • Hi Sherry! You were at the same stop? There were so many people helping (and at times, we were so busy), that I didn’t take the time to talk much to the volunteers around me.

      Eh…I don’t know about the bug. I loved helping out, but I’ll just stick to marathons for now!

      • Sorry, that was a bit confusing! I didn’t volunteer; I spent the day following my husband around! I just meant I was at IMLou. Such an awesome experience, no matter your level of involvement

  2. That’s great that you went out there to volunteer. I feel like such an ass for doing so many races and to date not volunteering. I should do that this fall. Anyway, great series of pictures — Ironman events are still beyond the scope of my understanding, so I don’t envision myself signing up for one any time soon.

    Also, isn’t Louisville stupidly hot and humid this time of year? That must have been brutal.

    • Thanks, Dan of Green Gables.

      Admittedly, this was my first experience volunteering for any race. I can honestly say it was almost as much fun as participating. It also reaffirmed my commitment to thank the volunteers in the races I run.

      I think the temperature was 90+ for a majority of the afternoon with humidity levels around 80-85%. A friend (and upcoming IRONMAN competitor) told me a lot of pros choose to qualify in Louisville because conditions are similar to what they’ll see at Kona. Insane.

    • It was fun, wasn’t it? I had such a great time that I’m going to volunteer for one of the local half marathons this fall!

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