This weekend I watched Ironman Canada in Penticton, B.C. It was (my partner) Tim's 10th Ironman start and he was supremely well prepared. He raced IMC for the first time last year, which was a hot edition of this race, one of the oldest among the Ironman series. Temperatures rose to 37 degrees C.
The forecast for this year's IMC was for a much cooler day, with highs in the low 20s. With morning temperatures between 10 and 15 in the days before Sunday race day, Tim had decided to wear armwarmers, a windvest and gloves for the first part of the ride over top of his race gear. Rain, however, wasn't in the forecast but there were two downpours in the third quarter of the 180km bike leg.
The second one hit Tim as he started the final 30km downhill ride back into town. Despite his clothing, Tim got so cold he became hypothermic and decided it wasn't safe to keep riding. He simply no longer had control over his bike. So he stopped and rode the ambulance back to the start/finish area.
Of course he is extremely disappointed, after all the hard training he had done this year. He had high hopes of besting his 10:09 PB for the distance and qualifying for the Ironman World Championships (which he raced once before in 2007). It was not to be this Sunday.
He'll look for another race to take advantage of his fitness, whether it's a triathlon, Ironman, or marathon - the jury is still out on that one.
As he considers what to do next, I've been doing so for the past three weeks since completing my first STORMY 50-mile race. Having talked to several ultrarunners in the last few months, watching Ironman and reading Ray Zahab's book the past weekend made me reconsider my decision to aim to get faster (at the marathon distance) before going longer. I'll try to do both, or at least mix things up.
I've done little running in the past three weeks, and no speedwork whatsoever in the past month. Before STORMY I had considered doing the Bellingham Marathon on September 26. But today I changed my mind and locked in the decision by registering for the 100km Haney to Harrison on November 6 with Tim's blessing and generous promise to crew for me.
"Until one is committed,
there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back,
"Concerning all acts of initiative
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which
kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
That the moment one
definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
"All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never have otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues
from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner
of unforseen incidents
and meetings and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamed
would have come his way.
"I have learned a deep respect
for one of Goethe's couplets:
'Whatever you can do,
or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it'."
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition