Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ironman Airs Earlier Than Usual

I tracked athletes online all day. I watched portions of the live stream at Ironman.com. But watching the NBC broadcast of the Ironman World Championship? That's usually reserved for December. After I haven't thought about triathlon in a crazed stupor for at least a month, and I could use something to fire up the competitive juices. The professional race, the age groupers, the inspirational athletes, they get me every time.

Is it really time to watch the Ironman World Championship? Yep. The coverage airs on NBC, Saturday, October 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. Eastern time (check your local listings for the other time zones), six weeks before its typical airing. The broadcast returns to a two-hour feature whereas  lately it's been limited to 90 minutes, less time than some triathletes take to finish the swim. We can thank Lance for sparking that one--he would have been a likely competitor until he was banned from participating--and NBC for not pulling the plug. Talk about a good alternative to watching college football!

Outside of the pro race, which saw winning performances by Pete Jacobs and Leanda Cave, who's going to appear in the footage? I have a few guesses...

  • Will we see Lew Hollander and Madonna Buder, two of the oldest entrants in the race? Lew eventually went on to finish, his 24th I believe, but Sister Madonna didn't make the bike cut-off.
  • Maybe Harriet Anderson who was the last triathlete to cross the finish line before the 17-hour cut-off?
  • How about Bonner Paddock who became the first person with cerebral palsy to finish the Ironman World Championship when he crossed the line in 16:38?
  • Or Adrienne Hengels who got engaged at the finish line (doesn't a marriage proposal make for good TV?)?
  • Or the tough-as-nails competitors who crashed somewhere out on the course yet managed to pick themselves up and still finish? I watched a guy in the live stream finish the race in 10 something hours with his arm in a sling. 

The funny thing is I almost forgot that the Ironman would be on TV this weekend. I thought I'd be excited to watch it so early--but more so than I actually am. Maybe it's because I did watch a large portion of the race online and already heard some of the Kona Inspired stories. Maybe it's because I did randomly wake up at 3 a.m. to watch the final hour of the race and see Lew Hollander and Harriet Anderson cross the finish line. But the likely culprit--it's simply a busy weekend. The Warren Miller movie, a birthday party, a football game, friends in town, the World Series, a 5K. Yeah, I'll be setting the timer to record this year's coverage.

Who do you want to see during Saturday's coverage? 

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