Ironman Chattanooga is closing quickly and is starting to take up major brain space. It’s nowhere near the anxiety I felt on my first Ironman, but the clanking is getting louder.
I rode one loop of the course a couple of weeks ago and . . . it is beautiful. In the beginning, I was one of those guys who thought they should have made it harder with the mountains, but it is a really nice Ironman bike course. It’s not overly difficult, but still . . . it’s 116 miles and that’s enough.
The course has a lot of fast sections, but I think that may be its tempting curse. For the Pros, and really in shape Age Groupers, this will mean fast times overall, but if you’re not in pristine shape, cooking this bike will fry you on the run.
After the ride, we decided to drive the last four miles of the run loop, and they are no joke. It always looks worse in a car, but I laughed a little at the length and frequency of climbing in the last section of Ironman Chattanooga’s run. Let me just say that final bridge into a descending finish line must be a HUGE relief.
Let us not forget the swim. I was there watching last year as several people I knew scorched the downstream course in under an hour. It seemed like a joke, but I have not been taking the swim lightly. The last thing you’d want to do is expect a heavy current then be forced to actually swim 2.4 miles. Either way, I plan to be in the best swim shape of my life. It will either feel “easy,” or I will not burn as much energy as the rest of the field.
The setting for this race is second to none. I can’t wait to walk around town a couple days before and mingle with the friendly hipsters. Ducking out of Applebees and into Lupi’s Pizza Pies to waft in the wonderful balance of mainstream and Indie.
I’m definitely showing up to race, but more than ever I am over-the-top excited to spend time and soak in the entire event with close friends and family. Polish up your helmets, it’s almost on.