Ok, so I figure my audience is incredibly small at this point and most likely will be for quite some time, so why not start off with a bit of the basics and bring all of us three up to speed. haha
First obvious question if you're not into a wide variety of sports or at least triathlons specifically is "what is an ironman?" No, it's not a movie, though I would take the Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts as a side any day. Aaaanyways, what is an ironman.
An Ironman is the largest form of a triathlon, furthest distance and longest time. Being a triathlon, it's broken up (in order) into swimming, biking, and running
Swim: 2.4 miles (3.9 km)
Bike: 112.0 miles (180.3 km)
Run: 26.2 miles (42.2 km); a full marathon
Total distance: 140.6 miles (226.4 km)
Most races have a time limit of 17 hours and yes, the first reaction from most people is absolute shock at the idea of racing for at least half a day. Obviously given the time involved, the race starts early (around 7am). The pros will finish in around 8 hours (at about 3pm) while everyone else straggles in sometime between 3pm and midnight, but from what I've heard and seen from videos/media time is that the transition area and finish line are PACKED from the time the first racer comes through until the last person arrives. The people in this sport are incredibly supportive!
But for most participants, it's not a race. There may be a few up to 100 pros that get to start first before everyone else and they surely are going for a top time, trying to make the cut for Kona or just achieve a desired rank. However, for the vast majority, this race is a symbol of what they are able to do. Once you cross that finish line, no one can take that away from you; you did it, you're an ironman. I'm only two days into this blog and while I've gotten a lot of "wow, good luck" responses from my friends, most are still saying "um, are you nuts?!" Even my best friend since grade school who knows me better than anyone else will tell you he thinks I'm nuts. I'm sure it applies to a lot of sports, but in my own perspective, it doesn't matter to an endurance racer. You're not out there running marathons or ironmans, training all but one day a week, getting up early for that pre-work workout, or going to bed early to maintain your sleep schedule because you want to be with the "in" crowd. We're out there because we want to know one thing, how far can we go?
As unfortunate as it is, I must end here and go try to finish a project before I go into work tomorrow (I'm definitely messing up my sleep schedule a bit tonight). I'll probably show you guys a few videos tomorrow about the ironmans - general trailer videos, some inspirational videos, and then a few insight videos about specific athletes that I even remember seeing on tv back when I was a kid watching the Kona, Hawaii Ironman every summer.