No matter how you slice it, Ironman is a competition.  First, with yourself, then against the field.  Everyone sets their goals and hopes to surpass them, all while knowing it’s not wise to tempt fate in one of the toughest races on the planet.  Many things can go wrong, even the pros are not immune. 

The five of us have been training together since January 2nd.  For many of those days, Allison has joined us and we’ve embraced her as our “plus one.”  A couple weeks ago, our “plus two” emerged in the name of John Wasky.  An aspiring Ironman, fast eater, and great guy.  He’s also a Wisconsin boy, which gives him more points with me. 

We’ve hung out, had a few beers and trained with him on several occasions.  Sunday, he joined (and beat) us in our first sprint triathlon of the year and his observations of the day struck a chord with me. 

It may have been expected, but on a very cold morning, the Fab 5 delivered its first race performance as a group and the collective results were very . . . similar.  John took note and etched some intriguing possibilities.  Following is the 3rd straight guest post on Crushing Iron. 

Some Food for Thought – by John Wasky

The new guy… unofficial #2 you might say.  Triathlon nut, recently relocated to Nashville who found the perfect group of guys (and girl) to hang around with, put in ridiculously early morning workouts while most (including our spouses or significant others) are still fast asleep… and then do it again at night. Lastly, and mostly for sanity, partake in a little more fun than should be had on those days off at the 3 Crow or any local watering hole.

Fab 5 . . .

Even with my relatively limited time with the Fab 5 as a whole . . . I think that I can reasonably say that I have found a group of very similar highly competitive, number over-analyzers, much like myself.  Given these facts, I did a little analyzing; which then turned into theorizing today.

Some food for thought . . .

I know that last weekend’s race was only a sprint, and I know increasing distances can greatly effect overall performance in each and every discipline.  Take these unknown variables out and just have fun with it.

Could there potentially be a Fab 5 Wisconsin version of the 1989 Kona Iron War?  All running stride for stride, pushing each to their max potential through the streets of Madison3384293292_a2d1c7b6c8 in some sick, convoluted game of human-running-chess between best of friends, yet fierce competitors.   Finally, with one mustering that extra gear to separate himself on the climb up Observatory Hill with only miles to go on the run course (a la Mark Allen in the Iron War on Ali’i Drive), or push it to the max even after 140+ miles on that gradual climb around the Wisconsin State Capital on Mifflin, State and Main to the finish line.daddf5fc-4133-41e3-95c2-0d78ab1216c2

Given the time set forth by each of the Fab 5 during the ADPiathlon this past weekend, it might just happen.

The total variance between 1 and 5 in bike time extrapolated over the full 112 Ironman distance would be less than 34 minutes (and be reminded that this is very early in the training process for the time gap to shrink even more) . . . ,  or a dreaded flat on race day, back to even in a blink of an eye.

The swim variances applied to a 2.4 mile distance….. a little over three minutes (we know that can be made up if someone has to take piss in transition….. or if T0 just didn’t go as well as planned pre-race for someone like Jim and he might need to make a little extra stop.)  Hell 3 minutes…. If some recent history at Kona serves me right, in 2010, my beloved American Andy Potts excited the water at the pier a full 3 minutes ahead of the next chase group and he was reeled in within the first 20-25 miles of the bike.

Even though each competitor started at very different times, all 5 were within 5 minutes or each other, 3 finishing in nearly sequential order…. Odd I must say for these friendly competitors so closely bonded toward one goal.

1989 Iron War you ask…. This article below refers at length to the battle between two of greatest of all time during the World Championship in Kona while setting the marathon record that year.

or the book…

I pose the question to you all, who will break first?  Gents, good luck crushing it.  I look forward to seeing it all unfold.

Ironman Competition and The Fab Five



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