Ironman Kansas 70.3
“It’s Father’s Day – where are my waffles?”
by Chad Babcock
Better planning would have likely found me at home in bed being served Belgium waffles and good coffee last Sunday instead of sweat-drenched and fully depleted whilst looking for the nearest safe haven to ride out the impending storm – it was Father’s Day!
The 1.2mile swim in ~45mins
“It’s been told that swimming is a wimp sport, but I don’t see it. We don’t get timeouts, in the middle of a race we can’t stop and catch our breath, we can’t roll on our stomachs and lie there, and we can’t ask for a substitution.~Author Unknown
The swim portion of any open-water triathlon is definitely not a wimp sport. Try telling yourself that it is after get hammer-fisted in the back of the head by a fellow competitor or right after they grab your leg on a down-stroke. I swim because it’s a required part of triathlon and the first step to getting to the bike. And, I might be good at it if the swim course was set up like a track with staggers. That way, swimming 150yds off of the buoys at all times wouldn’t add so much time to my swim. I can say this about Sunday’s swim though; one, I finished it; two, I felt like I was swimming fast; and three, feeling like I’m swimming fast doesn’t mean that I actually am Enough about the 1.2mile swim.
The 56mile bike in ~2:49mins
“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.” ~John Howard
I love this quote, as I’ve always said that it isn’t the fancy frame and groupo that makes the bike go fast, but instead the person riding it. Aside from three thrown chains and a gruesome site on the first out-and-back, my bike ride was pretty uneventful. Considering the later, for a brief moment I thought I had ridden through a KU film student’s senior project; “Horrors of the Downhill.” Any racer reading this likely knows what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t know, there was a major wreck on the first out-and-back. Through a friend of a friend we have learned that the rider is doing well and surprisingly that things could have been worse. We all wish you a full and speedy recovery. On another note, 56miles gives you a lot of time to think; mainly about the impending 13.1mile (1/2 Marathon) run ahead of you. It also gives your senses a chance to hone in on your surroundings. For instance, the sound an Orca’s freewheel makes on a downhill. Now one might think that Dragons and Orcas would get a long, but the mental anguish I put myself through during Sunday’s ride would say otherwise. As I see it, going fast downhill is a good thing as long as you can bring it on the uphill; otherwise, you really aren’t providing much benefit. Instead, you just end up confronting those around you who are proceeding at a more steady-state, with the need to pass you, time-and-again, on the uphill sections. Something I had to do many, many, times on Sunday. But like I said, the ride was pretty uneventful. I cheered at friends I saw along the way and they cheered at me. And as usual, the spectators were great! It was nice hearing people walk around the transition area saying things like, “What the (enter explicative). I came to race Kansas because Kansas is supposed to be flat!”
The 13.1 mile run in ~1:52mins
“Runners just do it – they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first.” ~Author Unknown
There have only been a few times in my life where somebody hasn’t reached the finish line first. And, I can guarantee that somebody will always make it the finish line before I do in triathlon. However, I, like my friends, and the vast majority of triathletes, know this and still “just do it.” It’s not about winning; at least it shouldn’t be. But instead, it’s about enjoying what you’re doing first and foremost. In my lifetime, I’ve d