“Race Report”: Ironman Lake Placid

Welcome to IMLP!

I didn’t actually race Lake Placid this year. I volunteered, spectated, and cheered all my tri camp friends on so I could sign up for 2013! This was my first time going to an Ironman and let me tell you, it was a very overwhelming and inspiring weekend! I just love the culture of Ironman! Lake Placid truly transforms and embraces the Ironman during race weekend. Very cool!

I arrived early Saturday afternoon and immediately met up with Linda for a swim in Mirror Lake. I was surprised how many athletes racing the next day were swimming! It was around 3pm at this point and those people really should have been resting! The buoys were out so we swam the 1.2 mile loop sans wetsuit since the water was so nice. The race was actually wetsuit legal this year, which was a good thing for the athletes.

Mirror Lake

After the swim I went to Starbucks with Linda to meet up with her coach, Carrie. Carrie told me about the masters swim group that does open water swims Saturday mornings at Kettle Cove. I’m going to start trying to go to some of the swims because I need to start swimming with faster people if I ever want to get faster. The town was quite busy and shining with excitement. I walked around for a bit before heading to my dorm room at the local community college where I was staying the weekend. It was cheap and only required a 3 night minimum. It was a dorm room, nothing special. I definitely do not plan on staying there next year that’s for sure!

Sunday morning was an early morning. It was race morning! We drove into town and parked in the volunteer lot by the horse show grounds, near where our aid station was located. It was a 2 mile walk into town. We headed into town, got a quick breakfast, and located some people to watch the swim start. The swim start is crazy! Mirror Lake is a tiny lake and with about 3000 athletes things are crazy! The gun went off and the athletes began their days. We watched the swim for awhile then we each headed off to do our respective run workouts. I was lucky that I only had an easy 30 minutes run. Linda had a 2 hour long run! I thought I was being brilliant by running around the lake. It was a good 2.5 mile loop. I got to the other side and realized I was stuck! All the age group athletes were funneling from the lake down to the oval to T1 and then heading out on the bike course! I couldn’t get back to the other side to meet up with the ladies to get ready to head to our aid station to volunteer! I started to panic and then took off to run back around the lake! I didn’t have my Garmin on for the second loop back around the lake, but I was definitely booking it back around at my 5k pace!

Athletes getting ready for the swim

Finally we all met up, grabbed food, and began our 2 mile walk to run aid station #2 for our 5 hour shift. It was actually the perfect job. We were there from 10:30-3:30. For the first couple of hours we got things set up and then watched all the athletes pass us on their bikes for a second loop. Andy Potts was killing. His first bike loop was 2:01! That’s just insane because the LP bike course is one of the hardest and slowest courses on the Ironman circuit. At least in the US. There was another long break from the cyclists and then the Pro’s began trickling in on the run. Potts was leading by a a good 10 minutes or so at this point and then the others began coming. I got to hand Potts a cup of ice on his second loop of the run course! 🙂 So cool! The women pro’s began coming in about a good 30-40 minutes after the first pro men. Slowly the age groups were beginning to show up in masses and it was go time. I handed out ice cups, which were very popular since it was quite hot when the sun was out! Our aid station was at mile 2 of the run so at this point in the day many athletes were still relatively fresh. Towards the end of our shift we began seeing some athletes begin their second loop and not looking so happy or good. I got to see a ton of TriMoxie and PBM athletes! We were actually volunteering with a couple of TriMoxie athlete’s children, which was pretty cool. I asked them at one point who they thought would finish first. Both thought Dad would.

Waiting and watching the cyclists start their second loop

After our shift ended we headed back into town to get more food, find a bathroom, and then locate our friends who set up camp to cheer people on! They were all located by Lisa G’s, which is at the bottom of the big climb back into town. The run course is a tough course with several out and backs with a couple good climbs that you do twice.

I was impressed with all the TriMoxie and PBM athletes. Everyone finished extremely strong and for the most part, in good health and spirits. It goes to show you that having a good coach will get you across that finish line! 🙂

Marc in the white tri suit killing his marathon run

Marc finished his first Ironman in 10:37 and 94th overall! He didn’t quite get the Kona spot he wanted but the 40s are a pretty cut throat age group to be in. But to finish in the top 3% is pretty damn awesome if you ask me!

Amy, a PBM coach, finished 5th in her AG

Amy, a PBM coach, finished 5th in her AG and earned a much earned podium spot!

Mel C kicking the marathon’s butt

Mel C finished her first Ironman in 12:29! She ran her way up to 14th in her AG. And I must say, she runs so effortlessly. I always look like I’m in severe pain no matter how slow I’m running!

Mel B starting her second loop of the run

I was most impressed with Mel B. She rocked at camp so I assumed that she was a seasoned triathlete, but I found out this past weekend that she signed up for IMLP last year having never done a triathlon before! She also works 60 hours a week! Her first triathlon was Mooseman 70.3 and if you know that race, it’s one hell of a hard race to pick as your triathlon. She totally rocked IMLP! Hats off to you!

My awesome coach, Mary

My coach, Mary, didn’t quite have the race she wanted but still finished in a super fast time! As she went by our aid station I kept telling people that she’s my coach! Not only is she a great athlete, but a great coach!

I apologize to those I didn’t get a picture of, but you all rocked and inspired me to sign up for 2013! By the way, I’m so glad none of you puked in front of me because I might have changed my mind 🙂 A huge congrats to Marisa, Mike, Tammy, Kelly, Pam, Patti, and Angela. You all looked super strong out there!

We didn’t stay till midnight to watch the last athletes cross the finish line to become Ironman. We were all exhausted and wanted sleep. I had to get up early to get in line to register for 2013. Volunteers get to register first, followed by general public, and then finally what ever spots are left go on sale online. I was in line at 6:30am and it was already quite long. I guess some people actually slept there the night before! Registration wasn’t suppose to open till 9am, but they opened early at 7:30. Thank God! I still waited over 2.5 hours till I got to pay my $687.50 for 2013! But I’m in! I’m going to be an Ironman in 364 days! Holy cow, it’s getting real!

However, I guess one of the more interesting stories that has popped up about this year’s race was some 53 year old man from CT who tried to cheat! We only swam one lap in 38 minutes and claimed that he really swam both laps. Hey, buddy, if you really did swim 2.4 miles in 38 minutes then you really should be in London right now! It’s quite the interesting thread on slow twitch now. Why the heck would you try and cheat at an Ironman race. Seriously, do you really want a Kona spot that bad that you would cheat to make your self better?!

Congratulations to all of the new Ironmen!

~ Happy Training!
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4 thoughts on ““Race Report”: Ironman Lake Placid

  1. So glad you got in some speed work around lake! lol.. You are all signed up. I'm a little envious. Thanks for sharing some great pics and being such a great volunteer.

  2. Pingback: 2012: A Year in Review Part I | The Rhyme and Reason

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