Give me a moment to let that sink into my own brain as well.
Most people have heard of the Ironman World Championships that take place in Kona, Hawaii. However, the Ironman Series also includes 8 other Ironman races scattered throughout the United States. In 2012, Ironman is adding a 9th race in the US - this one in and around the NYC area.
Given that there are only a few of these races, and that the sport of Triathlon is growing by huge leaps and bounds in the US - these races tend to be very hard to get into. And, unless you happen to be fortunate enough to live nearby one of the races - usually some sort of travel and overnight stays are required.
For me, my plan initially was to make the trek 6 hours North, and compete in the Ironman Lake Placid (upstate New York). That race is so hard to get into, the only way to make it in is to volunteer for a 5 hour stint in the previous years event. I was all set to do my volunteer work, until at the last minute they announced this new race - right in my back yard of NYC.
Given that 2012 will be the inaugural year for the NYC Ironman - no volunteering was needed to sign up; just a quick trigger finger on your mouse to get signed up quickly. 3,000 slots, at $950 each, sold out in 12 minutes. Yours truly is one of them.
For the uninitiated, let's review what an Ironman Triathlon involves:
- 2.4 Mile Swim
- 112 Mile Bike
- 26.2 Mile Run (Marathon)
The Bike Leg will actually be on the New Jersey side, and shoot up the Palisades Parkway:
As fast as I am on my bike, I'm not nearly as fast as your Ford Taurus. I expect to be on the bike about 6 hours.
The Marathon Finishes in Manhattan:
I expect it will be a watershed moment when I finally cross over the George Washington Bridge, and enter the boro of Manhattan. I've completed 4 marathons, but never one after having done all the stuff you just read through... I expect the marathon should take me around 5 to 6 hours.
So, for those of you math majors doing a running total in your head - I'm looking at something around 14 hours to complete the Ironman, burning maybe 8,000 calories.
If you're looking for me in the next year, there's a good chance I'll be training. And if you see me eating McDonalds, you have my permission to slap the chicken nuggets right out of my mouth.
The wildcard? The weather. Mid-August anywhere can be a crap shoot. Today in NYC the high is expected to be 84 - which would be brilliant. But 95 degree days are clearly a possibility in the dog days of summer.
I expect to be really well prepared for this event. You don't take on an Ironman lightly, and truthfully I've been building toward this for 4 years.
365 days. Count 'em Down.