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  1. #1
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    Anybody else going to IM Canada?

    Hi All-
    H2OChick and I are both leaving to go Ironman Canada in the next day or two. I'm going to ride the course, volunteer at the race, and sign up for next year (which may involve spending Sunday night in line). She's going up to be the soigneur (I think that's French for `personal slave' ) for an old friend of hers that is doing the race this year. We are going to try and hook up on Saturday and / or Sunday. Anybody else going up?
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    AKA: Tri-Dummy Jaybird's Avatar
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    Chris,
    I'd heard the lines to sign up the next day weren't that bad. I'll be signing up for IM Wisconsin on Sept 11th online.

    Have a good trip and let us know what SWAG you get.
    Jay

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    Most years that has been the case, from what I have heard as well. Next year is the 25th Anniversary of the race, and the marketing for it has already started:

    - if you have done 10 IM Canada races, you can sign up now for next year
    - if you live in a town on the course, there is a limited number of slots so you can sign up now

    - if you are willing to spend $2500 (for which you get a `Platinum Package' collection of goodies), you can sign up now.

    For everybody else, it's Monday morning, in-person only, only for yourself, and credit card only.
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    1 trick pony dogpound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybird
    Chris,
    I'd heard the lines to sign up the next day weren't that bad. I'll be signing up for IM Wisconsin on Sept 11th online.

    Have a good trip and let us know what SWAG you get.
    Jay
    Have you done that one?
    It was my hardest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogpound
    Have you done that one?
    It was my hardest.
    You're not alone in thinking that: http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/edi.../0000094.shtml

    A column that Tom Demerly (a regular on slowtwitch) just wrote about IM Wisconsin.
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    1 trick pony dogpound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisesposito
    You're not alone in thinking that: http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/edi.../0000094.shtml

    A column that Tom Demerly (a regular on slowtwitch) just wrote about IM Wisconsin.
    I did it the first year!
    Before anyone KNEW any better!!!!!
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  7. #7
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    A good friend of mine, Mark Moses, is doing it. It will be his first full IM. He dedicated his race to Children's Hospital of Orange County and raised over $100,000!

    He is #998, cheer him on for me if you see him.

    I would love to sign up for next year but there's no way I'm flying up there to enter.
    Last edited by cjbruin; 08-24-06 at 06:59 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjbruin
    A good friend of mine, Mark Moses, is doing it. It will be his first full IM. He dedicated his race to Children's Hospital of Orange County and raised over $100,000!

    He is #998, cheer him on for me if you see him.

    I would love to sign up for next year but there's no way I'm flying up there to enter.
    CJ,
    I saw him on the bike course and again at the finish - 12:55 and a few seconds. I don't know what his goal was, but that was in the top half of the finishers, which strikes me as a really good time given the hot and windy weather.

    Going to watch,volunteer, and bike / run the course pre-race was a highly educational experience. H2OChick and I did meet up on Saturday afternoon but arranging it was unexpectedly difficult - due to some peculiar quirk with cell phone networks, we both could make and receive calls to others but I could never successfully call her cell phone (even from a land line), while she could call mine. We went shopping in the expo area and made our contributions to the local economy.

    My friends (Kathy and Cheryl) and I rode the bike course on Friday and it's a tough one - I had about 5200 feet of total climbing on my bike computer at the end, but strict limits on power output on the many uphills saved my legs. Even so, the long descent from Yellow Lake was a welcome event.

    The music they played at the swim start was loud enough to rouse the dead. The pros started 15 minutes before the age groupers and the first emerged from the water in under 50 minutes. We left to look and cheer for friends on the bike course, and parked at the top of the 2nd roller after Richter Pass. It was clearly not about the bike here for the bulk of the participants, as we saw both regular road bikes and P3 Carbons w/disc wheels (for example) all the way to the last riders. We stayed and cheered until 1 PM when we thought that all the riders had gone by, but on our way down Richter Pass we saw a few riders still on their way up. By this point it was hot and the first half of the run course was into a headwind; many athletes I talked with after the race said how difficult the run course was as a result.

    We volunteered to be `catchers' at the finish line from 7 to midnight, which meant we supported the athletes (often physically) as they made their way through the finish area, getting them water, blankets, finisher t-shirts, having their timing chips removed, and leading some over to the food, massage, and medical tents. It was both intimidating and inspiring. Many had huge grins on their faces as they crossed the finish line (some with their kids, spouses, etc.), a few collapsed and were taken to medical by the paramedics at the finish line, and a few were in the middle and clearly pushed themselves to where their bodies were in open revolt but not yet collapse. We all wore gloves, and I had reason to change mine several times. While most competitors were quite slim, there were also plenty of folks that weren't, so an unbreakable will to finish mattered more than body type. The finish line was crowded until midnight and the last few competitors got as much cheering from the crowd as the 10 hour finishers.

    We helped a friend of Kathy's who had done the race to collect her stuff, get her back to her hotel and get settled and then finally got to bed around 2 AM. We got up around 6 Monday morning and stood in a very long line to sign up for the 25th anniversary race in 2007. It looks like it will be a bigger race (probably 3000+ instead of the 2500 person limit), as were told that everybody in line would get in the race. All we have to do now is pay the $490 to active.com, punch in our registration number, and train like hell for the next year.
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  9. #9
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    Yep, that was Mark. I don't know what his actual goal was but I was very impressed with his time. He was super happy with his swim and bike but he said the run was really hard. I think sub-13 is awesome!

    Glad you guys had a good time. I was thinking about entering for '07 but there was no way I was going to travel up there just to enter.
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    AKA: Tri-Dummy Jaybird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogpound
    Have you done that one?
    It was my hardest.
    That will be my first IM. Reading the story from Tom Demerly is a little scary! I sent it to a friend (the one who talked me into IM WI) as he has done it twice. I'll post what he says.

    Thanks,
    Jay

  11. #11
    One day at a time H2OChick's Avatar
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    Jaybird - if what I saw last weekend is indicative of other Ironman events, just about anybody can finish one. Like Chris said, there were all types of folks, of all ages and body types. Some clearly had trained a lot, others... not so much.

    If I recall, you're still in college? (Or am I confusing you w/somebody else?) Chris and I agreed that the folks we saw having the most trouble were the young men. Feeling too good on the bike and not saving enough/eating enough for the run. I'm sure some of the IM veterans here can give you specific advice, but I think it's critical to have a good nutrition plan and also know how to pull back the reins, even when you feel great. (Just an observation and NOT based on experience.)

    Don't worry. Train right, have realistic expectations, and you'll be fine!

  12. #12
    AKA: Tri-Dummy Jaybird's Avatar
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    H2OChick,
    Thanks for the response. I was once in college, but that was many moons ago! I'm 33, so I still consider myself a young man .

    I couldn't agree with you more regarding using your bike leg to prepare for the run. I have several friends in my tri club who've completed IM WI, all mentioned the bike was tough but not that bad. I recognize the definate need to hold back my reins and have a great nutrition plan...I will be doing it for my HIM in 3 weeks.

    I thought the article went on and on about the bike leg. I also thought his comment about "looking like an ass should he have a bad day" was a little weird. Anything can happen in 140 miles at any of the IM events. If anything, he likely scared away potential IM competitors from Wisconsin. A positive thing was the info about the cogset...I talked to some people who said he was right on in that regard.

    For next year, the only requirement for myself is to finish with a smile on my face.

    Comments about the story from a friend who did IM WI in 2003 and 2005 IM LP 2004:

    Yes, the swim is crowded at the start. But it does thin out. At least, it did both times I raced there. Every Ironman swim is crowded. IM Lake Placid is worse. So too, is IM Canada. With 2000+ people in the race, it's bound to be crowded at the start. Stay in the back or stay on the outside if the crowd bothers you. The swim may take a little longer, but it will be less stressful.

    Yes, the bike is technically more difficult than you will find around here. There are a lot of turns and there are a lot of short climbs with short descents. That effects everyone equally. The "80 turns" he speaks of are not all sharp, 90 degree turns. There are few of those. But there are a lot of curves in the road so you have to keep your eyes open.

    The biggest problem with the bike course is food intake. With the curves and climbs, you'll need to eat food quickly so you can get your hands back on the handlebars. I have done IM Wisconsin twice and I managed okay. I do agree with the 12-25 cog set as a minimum. 12-27 may be better yet, but I had no problem with 12-25. I would not recommend short cranks (39/42 chainrings versus the standard 39/53).

    Yes, the run is urban. I like that because I do draw energy from the crowd. So, it's good for me. It is also rather flat except for Observatory hill and the State St. hill. Neither are any big deal. Especially State St, which is at the finish and has thousands of people cheering you on.

    The thing about the people is they do cheer you on. Most of them realize what you are doing is very hard and try to buoy your spirits. I have never, ever heard a disparaging word from a spectator. I have heard only encouragement. Sometimes, that's all you need to make it to the finish line. Being alone with your pain on the course can lead to dispair and that will kill your race. And walk some if you have to. Lots of other people will be walking, too.

    Yes, the last three years have been hot. And yes, the heat has caused high drop-out rates in the past. I ran both 2003 and 2005 and they were hot. However, the weather in Wisconsin is changeable at this time of year. It could be fantastic for 2006. And, let's not forget that other races have high temps as well (at IM Canada 2000, it was 95 degrees, at IM Lake Placid 2001 it was 50 degrees with blinding, heavy rain). The author doesn't seem to grasp that there is hardly ever a perfect day for Ironman.

    Here's what you need to remember: Do not allow yourself to get dehydrated on the bike. Drink early and keep hydrated. Take new bottles at every aid station. Eat according to plan on the bike, even if you have to force yourself. Take the bike easy and spin up the hills. You want to save your legs for the run, as you say, you're there to finish. If you are acustomed to it, run with a small (24 oz) water bottle so you can drink when you need it. Fill the bottle at the aid stations when you have to.

    It does not matter which IM race you do. Plan for all weather and plan for problems. Even then, all your planning can come to naught. Your goal is simply to finish. As long as you keep moving forward, you'll get to the finish line. Ironman is not easy. When you cross the finish line you will have accomplished something very few other people can do.

    I hope this was useful info to everybody.
    Thanks,
    Jay

  13. #13
    One day at a time H2OChick's Avatar
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    Apparently there have been some problems with hyponatremia (over-hydration) some of which were highly publicized (e.g. the woman's death at the Boston Marathon) - so it's worth reading up on that, too. Anytime hydration is an issue, so are electrolytes.

    As far as the crowd thing on the run... that was true with this race. We had cowbells and party horns... each participant has his name on his bib, either first or last, so we could actually cheer people by name, "go Roger! keep it up, Bruce! looking good Tracey!" (you get the picture.) The crowd where we were was very, very supportive - and my friend said they were that way when she went through the other little towns, too.

  14. #14
    1 trick pony dogpound's Avatar
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    yea, the run in WI isn't bad at all.
    It is a matter of holding back on the bike so you don't blow up on the run.
    I didn't think the swim start was too bad, as mentioned not as bad as LP and certianly no where near as bad as frankfurt. I really got beat up in that swim.
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