Ironman Hawaii Pre-Race Update

This week is a big week. On Saturday, beginning at 7:00 A.M. Hawaii time (1:00 P.M. EST/5:00 P.M. GMT) is the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.

I’ve been preparing for this all year. I have two full Ironman events under my belt. I did Lake Placid in 2009 and I did Brazil in May, where I qualified through the Ironman XC program. In addition to the full Ironman’s, I’ve done several half Ironman’s as well, including Timberman 70.3 back in August.

Ironman XC is a great group of athletes who juggle jobs with significant leadership responsibilities and high level triathlon training. In addition to that, I juggle family responsibilities, non-profit community service, and a host of other things. Somehow, I squeeze it all in. In Hawaii, I am battling 25 other CEO’s, business owners, and business leaders along with the rest of the folks in the 35-39 age group. The work/life balance issue is core to who I am.

On race day, live Internet coverage will be available at www.ironman.com. They have done some cool things with the home page for race week and there is a lot to keep you occupied should you like to read up on the race and the sport. You can track athletes by name or bib number, which is 1958. There are more than 1800 total registrants including 120+ professional triathletes.

If you are really curious or just detail oriented (like me), you can read the Athlete’s Guide.

I recently read 17 Hours to Glory about the history of Ironman Hawaii. I had a hard time putting it down. There are other good books about triathlon, but this one is focused on Ironman Hawaii.

A lot of preparation has gone into this race. My training really started on Christmas Day 2009 as I began the buildup to Brazil.  Debbie and the kids have been super supportive, as have my colleagues at Horst Engineering.

Last year, I blogged about the toughest races that I have done: https://scottlivingston.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/the-toughest-ten/

I will update it at the end of this year, likely with two new entries (Brazil and Hawaii). Since I don’t want to knock an event off the list, I’ll probably change it to the Difficult Dozen, at least until 2011.

Many people ask me why I do this endurance sports stuff. At this point in my life, I don’t know anything different. Fortunately, I found the sports that I love to do. It is even better that Debbie enjoys them even more. I’ve been a bit of a reluctant triathlete. I come from a running and cycling background, and just discovered swimming in 2009. I needed to try something different and triathlon seemed like a fresh challenge. I had done sprint adventure races, kayak triathlons, and a couple of difficult duathlons. The swimming presented a new challenge. The bonus is that few types of exercise are as good for you as swimming.

The reluctance isn’t all related to the swimming. Years ago, I became disenchanted with the road cycling scene. The amount of training required to avoid “getting dropped” was too much. I needed to go at my own pace and not be frustrated with the sport. Factor the attitudes that are prevalent in road cycling, the occasional crash, and the awful professional scene (a sham), and I had several reasons to migrate towards more grassroots sports. Triathlon, at this level, isn’t grassroots.

Trail running is the best representation of what I’m referring to. The events are as low-key as you get, especially in New England. Of course, when you seek events, you are asking for trouble. Eventually, any sport that grows (e.g. cyclocross) becomes less grassroots oriented than it was. Sometimes, that moniker is no longer applicable.  In my long sporting career, which includes more than 750 events, there is no bigger race (so far) than Ironman Hawaii. It is quite  spectacle. Ultimately, I’m doing this race for the  physical and mental challenge. It is what I do, but only part of what I do.

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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