Thursday, December 16, 2010

Watch Ironman from Your Couch

You know that Ironman races typically last at least eight hours (a pinch less if you're a pro on a fast course) when some of the professionals start to roll in, all the way up to 17 hours when the day's clock strikes midnight. That's a long time to be watching a race as my family can attest--or racing if you're a triathlete who draws the line at the shorter distances--even if you're in paradise to watch or compete in the Ironman World Championship. So if you can watch a collection of the 140.6-mile race's best parts in two hours, wouldn't you do it? Of course! But you'll have to tune into NBC on Saturday afternoon beginning at 4 p.m. EST to catch all the highlights, stories and finish-line glories from this year's race, which was held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, back on October 9. It might be two months after the fact, but if you couldn't make it to the Big Island to watch the showdown in what's been touted as one of the most exciting finishes in Ironman history, it only means the excitement has been building since race-day wrapped. I should know...I was sitting at dinner scrolling through my phone's feed until the winner was announced.

Instead, let the lava fields' action come to you. Expect to see plenty of footage of the eventual 2010 champions, Chris McCormack and Mirinda Carfrae, as well as Julie Dibens, who led a majority of the women's field until Carfrae passed her on the marathon leg, and Craig Alexander, who was looking for a three-peat. My guess is we'll also catch some of Chris Lieto's pedal power--he went into the race as a favorite thanks to his cycling speed and his steadily improving run. But the jury's out on whether Chrissie Wellington will make a showing--remember, she withdrew from the competition after feeling ill and missed out on her chance of trying for a grand slam World Championship win (No. 4). I can't say for sure as I've skipped the youtube video has been previewing the last few days, keeping my anticipation growing for Saturday.

But the coverage is never all about the professionals. The NBC airing always promises to unveil a few other stories on a human interest level. Remember Jon Blais and his fight against ALS, followed up the next year by Brian Breen, the Chicagoan who won a lottery spot and dedicated his race to the War on ALS and the Blazeman Foundation? Or what about Bob McKeague, who is still the oldest man to finish the Ironman--if Lew Hollander keeps racing though, he'll have McKeague beat by next year? Or Sister Madonna Buder, Brian Boyle, Rudy Garcia-Tolson, and Biggest Loser season 2 winner Matt Hoover who's quest for Ironman fell a bit short on the 2009 course when he couldn't finish the marathon before the 17-hour cutoff? There are plenty of stories of trials and triumphs, some I've already heard from people who conquered the course and more than I'll learn in a few days. And then there's Al Trautwig, whose voice is a narration fixture and all-too-fit for the story-telling.

What are you waiting for? It's freezing outside (if you live by me, anyway) so you know you can avoid leaving the house. The bike is collecting dust in the corner now that it's the off-season, and your workouts these days are mere jokes in comparison to the miles you put in during the heavy build periods (or is that just me?). Plus, there's no Ironman to follow online until the 2011 season calendar kicks off in early March. Three months without a race to keep tabs on? Yikes, better catch the big Kahuna on Saturday!


  1. A joyous holiday season to all your blog readers!

  2. Thanks Christopher and same to you! Thanks for reading!


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