Friday, January 22, 2010

Why St. George?

There are lots of Ironman races, and I could have chosen to do any of them. This year I'm doing St. George and Wisconsin. WI I wanted to do because it has a difficult bike course, my strength. Plus, since I dropped out of the race in 2009 I really want to finish that race in '10.
St. George is a different story though. Originally I had planned to do IM Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands. Why? Because nobody has ever heard of it, yet it's possibly the toughest IM course on the planet. It's insanely hilly with 8000 feet of climbing on the bike course (more than Lake Placid) and since it's on an island off the coast of Morocco the heat and humidity are excruciating. I wanted to punish myself. If I was going to do Ironman, I was going to do the most difficult one I could find. I have completed IMAZ, but that's a starter race - for those who want the easiest possible way to their M-Dot tattoo. Unfortunately, Lanzarote fell through. Due to a couple of factors, it didn't make sense to fly half way around the globe to visit the Canary Islands this year. I'll put it on my bucket list.
Then the gods at WTC announced a new race in Utah. It was the same time of year as Lanzarote, and the course looked brutal. In fact, the run course looks ridiculously hard. The weather will probably be difficult as well - not humid, but windy. Plus, Utah is only a days drive from home - no need to pack up Jiminy for a trans-Atlantic flight! So, short story long, that's why I'm headed to St. George in May. I feel like in the realm of IM courses the easy ones (Florida, Arizona especially) should have an asterisk by them - they're just too easy compared to the others. Not that any Ironman is easy - 140.6 miles is a hell of a thing to do no matter what the course. But I'm out to see what I can do on the toughest courses I can find. Maybe I'll find my way to the waters off Morocco one day...
For now, I think St. George is a fantastic challenge. A tough bike followed by a brutal run. All I have to do now is spend every waking moment preparing to have the snot beat out of me on May 1.

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