Ironman Germany 2008
Friends & teammates from KC to comprise largest percentage of US participants!
posted by Scott Kinner
It was about a year ago when I started to ponder which Ironman I wanted to enter next. After a bit of quality time on the internet and random questioning of other tri geeks, I found myself consistently drawn to the Frankfurter Sparkasse Ironman European Championship (aka Ironman Germany).
Here is why:
» IMG is broadcast on German TV – 23 million viewers (meaning – it is a big deal over there)
» Spectators – 350,000 (yea that’s right 350 thousand – estimated 450k in 2008)
» Nations represented in the race – 41
» European Championship – all of the big European pros show up (Norman, Ferris, Natasha, etc…)
» Spectators line the streets at the climbs like the the Tour de France
» Spectacular finish area with a huge crowd and party atmosphere (I’m envisioning thousands of Germans drinking beer on the side of the road cheering – what could be better?)
After talking it over with one of my training buddies (I say that but in fact he does not train, just races) it took a whole 30 seconds to talk convince him…before I knew it, there were nine of us from Kansas City signed up:
» Mike Roberts
» Barry Ogden
» Gretchen Duncan
» Jason Phillips
» Kyle Busch
» Sarah Johns
» Heather Shultze
» Brian Evans
» And, of course, me
The funny thing is, if you search the 2008 competitor list for athletes from the US, there are only about 50. In other words, our little group from Kansas City makes up 20% of the entire US contingent traveling to Frankfurt! Awesome!
Registration was not so easy. Unlike the U.S. races, it did not sell out in the first 30 minutes – good thing because the IMG website crashed several times…but about three hours after opening, we were in.
The logistics for this event have been less than desirable; with the poor Euro to Dollar valuation and the high cost of jet fuel, tickets and hotels, and IMG does not offer bike transport services similar to that offered in the US for domestic races. All that aside, I think it will still be a fantastic event and well-worth the trouble and expense.
Training has been quite a bit different from the last time I did this. All of us seem to have quite different plans so we have not been able to do large group rides like in the past (besides, I can’t keep up with Ogden, Phillips, Bush or Evans on the bike anyway). The weather in KC has been pretty cold for Spring. I have yet to ride without a jacket and only have seven weeks until race day (although, to maximize QFT – quality family time, I ride very early in the morning). The next three weekends will be the tough ones with Peak Weeks coming up, then IM Kansas and taper. Oh yeah, all of us except one (“sandbagger”, cough, cough) are doing IM Kansas 70.3 three weeks before IMG..should be a fantastic event and a great test to see if training / tuning is going as planned. It is so nice to have an Ironman 70.3 series race so close to home.
Until the next update – auf Wiedersehen