For those on the inside, there is not much left to say about the 2013 Ironman Lake Tahoe. Triathletes had 15 months to train, prepare, and obsess about the race. Unlike most Ironman races, this one had many unique qualities like high altitude, touch climbing on the bike, cold temperatures, unstable weather, unknown course sections, split transitions, and, oh, did I mention smoke from two forest fires resulting in limited training opportunities in the area? Yes, this race had it all and delivered quite a challenge to participants. Yes, all Ironman races are a challenge, but Ironman Lake Tahoe quickly established itself as *the* Ironman race for folks who especially enjoy being pushed to their limits. To save your attention span, I’ll summarize each leg of the race with a few sentences and key words.
Beautiful. The water was much warmer than the outside temperature and, along with the new rolling start program, the entire experience was much easier than other Ironmans I’ve raced. It was freezing outside, of course, and folks had to really take precautions.
Ugh. The most disappointing aspect of the race. Crowded tents, limited seating, and cold body parts. This equaled very long transition times. We were facing at least an hour of near freezing temperatures, so a full outfit change was warranted. Read the rest of this entry »