|Kona was my 2nd DNQuit.|
|Longest 140.6 miles ever|
|Straining to carry that bike fuel with tri-arms|
|Click for final build|
|lots of buses rolling to swim start for athletes and spectators|
|this is what swimming looks like in a current|
Regardless, I focused on my goal for the swim: execute to my potential. I kept the mantra of "swim better, not harder." I chased toes and sighted often. When I started to fatigue, I sucked it up instead of chilling out. When I cramped a bit, I kept swimming instead of feeling sorry for myself. When I hit the steps to climb out, my legs cramped like mad. I waddled on like a champ. Simple goals and forward progress were my motivation.
|the various starting times meant that transition was a zoo.|
|Spending "sofa king" much time get bags!|
Seriously nice kit, dude!
|race day payload, locked and loaded|
|I usually dally the first bit of the bike settling in, but I found myself dancing on the pedals immediately.|
There are lots of arguments to be made about what all the Dimond does different/better/faster/greater/blacker, but one undeniable attribute is making me feel like an absolute beast of a cyclist. I began moving up quickly, finding strong swim/bikers that I hadn't expected to see most of the day. The first 2-2.5hrs, I stayed on my 240w goal, but as I began riding into "P-stamped-calves," I began second guessing my wattage plan.
|bogies at 6 o'clock. These guys kept me company a long time.|
|Herbert Krabel singled the Dimond out the day before IMChoo for a Slowtwitch.com pictorial!|
|Traffic in Chickamauga was rolling at parade speed and made forward progress a challenge. |
Challenges present opportunities for excellence, though. Right?
Finishing up the 2nd lap, I backed way down and wrapped up those final 45 minutes at ~200w. I knew I was getting really close to the front of the race, and knowing the monstrous run course that lay ahead, I decided to protect my legs a bit and throttle down. Rolling back into town, I managed to make a few more passes including catching Bruce Gennari tangling with a FPro. Knowing Bruce's reputation as being a missile to T2, I was confident I was way out of my element.
|How cool is it when the pro's take pictures of you?|
James Haycraft has taught me many lessons,
but he's been my mentor in humility.
|Official time -- 4:48:44 puts the Dimond a few minutes into being the fastest amateur bike.|
I couldn't love this bike any harder, but I am committed to giving it a solid go in 2015.
|This is as good as you are going to feel for the next few hours, chief.|
|another visit to swim exit before heading out|
|I didn't realize I put on my number like a Greek statue|
The first 10k of the run was a challenge to run easy. I self imposed a 7:30 floor the first 5k and planned to reassess from there. I settled in and started dreaming of a 3:10 run split as the mile markers started coming in too soon. Heading back, the course spilled onto an exposed freeway with a slight upward grade. For the only time all day, the sun popped out and things started getting toasty. Unfortunately, its pretty lonely at the pointy end of the race, so all I had to think about was how hot it was getting and how relentless the grade was becoming.
|Still ignorant enough to believe this was a big hill.|
When I finally aimed toward the north side of the river, I saw Emily again and got the update that I was leading the M35-39 age group but losing time to the next two guys. I knew things were about to get unpleasant; the north side of the course is packed with full on demoralizing climbs followed with quad-busting descents. It's a pretty dang tough marathon course to chase after a 120 swim/bike race.
|The MPro in front jockeyed with me a lot |
as he went from blistering pace to port-a-loo.
I was fortunate to have the energy to feel sorry for him.
Unfortunately, the race started getting loud inside my head as I crossed back over to the north loop. Hitting the final 10k, I got more updates.
|<--Heath Dotson of HD Coaching warned me it was time to start grunting|
just before E drops the bomb on me.
well for maybe a minute.
I shoved all that racket back out of my head and did all I could in each moment. My "thing I do well" is not slow down as much as most. I can go "not that fast" a very long time without slowing down much. I had a 10k remaining, and all I needed was to reach my potential. Its just so very simple.
|Thanks for the pic Mr. Krabel!|
For the first time, I finally heard Mike Reilly call my name: Our first age grouper, Christopher Borden of Haleyville, Alabama, you are an IRONMAN.
|9:07:09 Officially -- First Amateur|
The Race Course :2014 IRONMAN Chattanooga -- 144.68 miles of opportunityBeing an inaugural event, of course there were some bugs to workout. The interesting thing was just how publicly it played out online. It made for some pretty entertaining commentary, but by race day, whoever is calling the shots at IMChoo had done a solid job of it.
So what you need to know about the course:
|Lots of buses wagging spectators between |
swim start, transition, and Chickamauga
Swim -- The TT start means racing is against the clock. This really detracts from being able to race the competition on the day. Its very valuable to know the guy blasting by on the bike is pushing you farther down the leaderboard if you let him go, or the runner prancing away may be taking your dreams with him. If its hard to be intrinsically motivated on race day, this should be a big draw back to IMChoo. Another big negative, the first competitor in the water had a much different race than the last one in. Had I've been early to the queue, I would've been racing solo virtually all day instead of juking and jiving along the bike course. Also, here particularly, the tacks tossed onto the course effected late racers tremendously. If you were early in, you were early off the course and less likely to be sabotaged.
|this is just a random picture she snapped along the run course|
Pretty snazzy scenery to run through
|Glen Rudolph on his way to the first off the bike M25-29|
The story is they are scrapping the North Georgia route in favor of a more Tennessee'ly bike course. Regardless, this course rocked. There were some less than awesome administrative miles getting in and out of transition. Once out onto the course, it was buttery smooth asphalt, rolling hills with a few decent ups, and handful of technical turns. It really is a great bike course for a strong, savvy cyclist. Choose one and it'll most likely punish you more than you expect.
|Rudolph feeling uncharacteristically|
good on the marathon
|Todd Allan about to PR @IM#9|
|Don't go into the light, Ray!|
6th M60-64 despite not being able to run
Overall, the race is very well supported along the entire course. Chickamauga was a little too supported for me as I got some helmet love when a volunteer decided to reach for me with a bottle as I was squeezing through, and a sitting spectator elected to stretch his legs into the roadway just as I zipped by. Big crowds, lots of energy, but keep your head on a swivel. The run course looked like a huge party on the second lap. At times, it was a little annoying getting around all the action, but overall it was really nice to have the distractions.
|Tim Ferguson providing a tremendous amount of support for the fellas.|
Believe or not, this Rainbow Unitard disguises himself as smokin' fast triathlete on occasion.
The Venue : Chattanooga, TnVery fun city, for sure. I had a blast, the support crew were always occupied, and the grub is amazing. I was a little butt hurt when Asheville was passed over by WTC, but Chattanooga hit all the marks for us. Lots of images below followed by a short list of the best food we found from Emily.
|not posing for a pic between the Village and Blue Plate.|
|Soaking up the Ironman Village "energy"|
|This ran all weekend scrolling through AWA names. |
The image is jacked, but it looked normal.
They also had one at awards.
|Pro-talk and athlete briefing|
|I don't know the deal with this thing, but it was imperative that we stop a stranger to make a picture of us.|
|Great use of parking garage.|
|Lots of relaxing at the IMAX.|
The Majestic 12 theater had recliners, grub,
drinks, and a waitress.
It was a great place to chill out before race day.
This is my crazy happy fun face.
|Mellow Mushroom Carb loading|
I hope everyone approves of the
more conservative short length
|Rickard Family rocked the IronKids|
|It's been a very long journey to tick this box.|
|Glen Rickard, You are an IRONMAN|
|Another Accelerate3 guy, Bobby Craig, just |
missed out on a KQ after ageing into the 30s
|Thumbs out or thumbs in?|
2nd Amateur Andrew Lipscomb seemed to
move around pretty well Monday morning
despite stalking me all afternoon Sunday.
|The Ghost tours are a great way to noodle around Chattanooga and walk off some of the previous day's 146 miles. Word is these bright sparkles are spirit orbs...|
|Warning to late night finishers. |
Walnut St Bridge is full of apparitions.
|More spirit orbs can be seen the night of the race|
|The Terminal had a small selection of good brew.|
|Alleia-worth the visit|
|I love cold treats. Its a vice. Milk & Honey gelato was on the best list, and it was phenominal. My personal favorite was GiGi's fro-yo. I'd never had frozen yogurt that was so creamy.|
|deliciousness at the Bluegrass grill|
|Yummies at the Blue Plate next to transition|
|Lots of stuff for the fam' to do including the Frisbee Dog World Championship|
|Free shuttle all over Chattanooga makes urban travel easy and disgusting.|
|The Good Dog was a hit. Word is all their sausages are homemade.|
Easton wants to be a hustler when he grows up.
like Snoop Dogg
|Sometimes Mom photobombs the finish photo. |
Dad is rocking the AWA trucker hat.
|If you made it this far...|
Cheers to accountability, y'all! Next Goal: sub-9 @ Kona 2015
Looks like I am going to need a few more muscles.
Emily's must eats in the Choo!
As a foodie, one of the best things about traveling is trying local restaurants, and Chattanooga did not disappoint! Most of the restaurants serve lots of farm to table goodness, and I created my very own food tour to give several of them a try! I have listed my favorites and what I tried at each of them.
Aretha Frankenstein: Small restaurant, huge portions, crazy looking cook. The food is great, but consider sharing.
The Farmers Daughter: Cool little farm to table joint seeded in an renovated gas station. Its got a small breakfast menu, but it was good eats and amazing coffee served in individual mini faux-French presses. Make sure to try the Iced Coffee Soda.
Blue Plate Café: Right beside IM Village, super convenient, good eating too
Bluegrass grill: There is a line wrapping around the corner. It is worth the wait. Family owned and operated little dinner.
Taco Mamacitas: Think funky, trendy tacos and fresh homemade, fresh squeezed margaritas.
The Good Dog: homemade gourmet hot dog
Lupi's: We should've had this instead of Mellow Mushroom, but we did make finally get to eat here. Lots of unique pizza ingredients.
Beast and barrel: this was our first stop. Great fries, cool atmosphere, and Chris loved his chickpea burger
Urban stack: great burgers, great brew. The burgers are seriously unique. Chris rewards himself with a burger after a big race, so we always find a cool burger spot. This one didn't disappoint.
Alleia: This place is absolutely phenomenal. Very unique menu of farm to table grub. We chose to order a variety of apps and small plates: grilled romaine salad, bacon wrapped dates, eggplant frites, and homemade pasta. We did not want to quit eating!
Dessert: We love some fro-yo!
Gigi's: Chris's pick for creaminess.
Top it off: Right beside a trolley stop, lots of flavors, seriously good stuff.
Milk and honey: Gelato that packs a much richer punch than frozen yogurt.