I watched the Lake Tahoe Live Stream for a while last night and that’s when it really hit me how brutal this race must have been.  The time was around 13 hours and the flow of competitors (not to mention spectators) was sparse.  It was dark, and frankly, felt lonely.  But this is exactly why the finishers of this race will have a bond like no other.  I would love to hear from anyone who did this race.  Please contact me if and when you do a race report and I will gladly link to or post it here.

I found this excellent breakdown of IMLT and it confirms everything we thought.  A couple of stats from the article.

– Nearly 25% of racers who started didn’t finish  (average IM DNF rate is about 5%).

– Only one M 40-44 age grouper broke the 10 hour mark.

– 385 people on the bib list did not even show up to race.

I really do commend those who jumped in that frigid water.  I did the Rev3 Olympic in May of this year and the conditions were similar, but I can’t imagine doing a race four times as long with mountain climbs and weather so cold the downhills hurt as much as the climbs.  It’s likely no consolation at this point, but I really feel like my Rev3 experience made me a much better and tougher racer.  Congrats on being a part of the race that will go down in history as one of the toughest Ironman’s of all time.

Edit:  I just found this great video and would like to adapt my early observation of the IM Lake Tahoe finish line.  On the stream, the spectator support looked very thin, but this clearly shows that a lot of people were out there toward the end cheering for these athletes as they completed their epic journeys:

Ironman Lake Tahoe Pt. 2



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6 thoughts on “Ironman Lake Tahoe Pt. 2

  • September 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    The water temperature wasn’t that cold, it was in the low 60’s and a lot warmer than the air.

    If you dressed properly (I was checking the weather frequently), then the cold wasn’t too distracting on the descents.

    The climbs were tough, no other way to put it. I rode most of the course before the race and I made cutoff by about 30 minutes, and I was passing literally dozens of people along the way (I was slow out of the water).

    Some slow bikers (like me) didn’t have long sleeved running clothes, and they were all cold by the end. I kept my cycling jersey on and it turned out okay.

    It was my first IM, and probably my last because of chronic knee issues, but I loved it. I don’t think the course was unfair, but they will need to apply some lessons learned for the next events to make it more manageable.

    • September 26, 2013 at 3:15 am

      Hey Dennis…. thanks for filling us in on your race. It truly seemed remarkable from afar. Sorry to hear about your knee… Hopefully a well deserved rest will bring unforeseen healing to your world. Thanks again and congrats on an accomplishment that should make you very proud. Mike

  • September 26, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Just wanted to say this was my FIRST Ironman and I had a wonderful day! I didn’t do a race report but wanted to share that I had an incredible experience. I just took my time and was very patient with the course- I managed it the way my coach instructed me to.

    • September 26, 2013 at 3:12 am

      Hey Tina… thanks for dropping by and congrats on finishing IM Lake Tahoe. I’m glad you had a great time. I kept thinking it would have been amazing to be a part of and that probably seems crazy to people who haven’t trained for or done Ironman. Hope to see you on the circuit next year.

  • September 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Agree with Denis, water temperature was quite nice. In fact it was one of hte nicest swims I’ve ever experienced in a triathlon anywhere in the world (including the Honu 70.3 race in Hawaii).

    We were well prepared in advance for cold conditions. I wore three layers on the bike and two pairs of gloves. While it remained cold throughout the day, the cold wasn’t really an issue (or shouldn’t have been) for those finishing the run by 7pm. The bigger issue and a greater factor in the slower times were (a) the climbs on the bike course and (b) the altitude. I do know of a few folks who dropped out on the run due to the frigid conditions (hypothermia in some cases, not having fun anymore due to the cold in one or two other cases).

    The headwind on the section between Kings Beach and Truckee also slowed bike times down considerably. It wasn’t so much of an issue on the first loop but required a lot more effort on loops 2 and 3 to maintain the same pace.

    The cold weather did add considerably to T1 times – in the majority of cases T1 times were close to 10 minutes (competitors had to dry off, change into dry clothes and put two extra layers on).

    For me, I reckon my time is at least one hour slower than it would be on most courses (based on effort, fitness and past IM races). I struggled with my breathing on the run as the effects of the altitude kicked in. I managed to snag some Ibuprofen and things improved considerably on the 2nd half, but I still wasn’t able to run at anything like full tilt for an IM marathon.

    In summary:

    T1: 5+ mins slower
    Bike: 30+ mins slower (mostly on account of climbing at altitude).
    Run: 20 mins slower than normal (altitude and related respiratory issues)

    • September 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      That is Awesome! Thanks for giving me some insight. I am definitely inspired by reading about your experience. You’ve finished one of the toughest Ironman races and that is something most will never be able to say. Congrats on getting it done.

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