I will dig into my race at Ironman Wisconsin much deeper, but thought I’d drop a few quick thoughts on an unbelievable weekend in Madison.
The main reason I worry about the weather before a race is because of how it will impact spectator support. I really enjoy crowds and I just cannot believe any Ironman has better support than Wisconsin.
I’ll get way into specifics of this, but it goes so much deeper than the actual fans of the race. It’s the people around town who “don’t really care” and their genuine intrigue and open arms for the event. I never once felt an “Oh, great is f*cking Ironman weekend” vibe from anyone. Everyone seemed awed and inspired by our accomplishments, and frankly, I wish more people in life where like that.
The weather was truly perfect from a temperature standpoint. It was 51 degrees outside when we jumped into 74 degree water. It was sunny all day and the high was about 75. That said, my friend told me his bike read 84 degrees at one point out on the road.
What I didn’t expect was the wind. The forecast said 5 mph, but that must have been in the city because it was gusting out on the bike course. It was seemingly in our faces on every flat section of the course and a strong crosswind on the downhills made a few of the 45-50 mph descents white knucklers.
The sun was out for the entire run, but there really is a lot of shade on the course. The trail along the lake for sure and several other side streets made for a nice break from the typical Ironman-run-heat. At least for me.
The New Hill
The bike course added a new hill this year and it is named Barlow Road. There must have been a thousand posts about it on Facebook, so I eventually decided it was over-hyped. We drove the course on Friday and frankly, Barlow Road didn’t seem like it was that bad.
But, once we got out there on a bike, and got past the first two short climbs on Barlow, I was in for a rude awakening. I’m not sure what the grade is, but that last section is legit, especially on an Ironman course. I’d halfway planned to ride it in isolation, but was very happy to see a bunch of people out there cheering us on.
As much as I loved climbing Barlow, hopefully they go back to the old course next year so riders get a couple extra hills. God knows that course doesn’t have enough of them!
Ironman 70.3 Wisconsin?
While we were there Ironman announced a 70.3 in Madison for next June. I’m assuming that’s the end of Racine.
I read a quick overview of the course and it looks to be quite different other than the swim, which is nice because the Ironman Wisconsin course is truly a treasure and I’d hate to see it watered down.
If you did Wisconsin and are writing a race report, please send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to post an excerpt and link to your page. Mine is coming soon.
Follow Crushing Iron on Facebook for updates on Ironman Louisville and Chattanooga, plus the Wisconsin tribute video . . . all coming soon.