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2014-08-29 6:57 PM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
I expected there would be some hiccups in the process of an inaugural race. It is frustrating though that my finish time cushion is eroding with every new announcement. I'm not worried about not making cut-offs as I've done the math and, controlling what I can control and nothing catastrophic happening, I still have plenty of cushion left. With that said, it's added pressure to know that my bike leg now has an added 15 min and the further back I get into the swim start line, the less spare time I have for mishaps. I've stayed off the FB page intentionally for the last few days and will give it a few more to calm down before I go back. I feel bad for the people who were barely making midnight to begin with and I understand why they are so upset. But I can't get sucked into that negativity. Positive energy is all I'm interested in. Keeping my head down and staying focused!


2014-08-29 10:44 PM
in reply to: runswithcrazydog


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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
A lot going on recently! The office should send out an email in the coming days but I thought I might offer some insight and dispel a few rumors.

So lets talk about the swim course for a second!

We have a few interesting/challenging factors to deal with regarding the swim that have caused a lot questions to come our way. I will try and shed a little light on what’s going to happen on race day.

We have published a 7:30am start time for the pros, and a 7:40am age group start. The later start time is due to the later sunrise. Last year I drove to Chattanooga the day after 70.3 Augusta and stood at the swim start location to see what it actually looked like from 6:30am to 8:30am. I determined we couldn’t safely start the race until 7:30am because of lack of daylight. I am optimistic that we can start the race earlier than that but we wont know until race week when we stand on the shore and decide as a group what is safe for everyone involved. We will let you know at the athlete briefings the exact start time.

Now onto the actual start! We will start the age groupers in a rolling start. Athletes will line up first-come, first-serve. As soon as the pros are in the water, we will bring bringing athletes down the gangway to the large floating dock. There will be two starting areas, one on the left, one on the right. 60 feet will separate these areas. The goal with the two different areas is to have swimmers with a projected swim time greater than 1:20 start from the left side, and those with a projected swim time less than 1:20 start from the right side. This should allow athletes a chance to get in the water with swimmers of similar ability and get on their way down the river with a little less chaos. When you walk onto the swim start platform volunteers will help direct you to the start area of your choice. A timing wire will be placed right before the edge of the dock so your time wont start until just before you jump in the water (feet first, no diving). Once in the water, swimmers will have a wide area to swim in, a couple hundred feet. This should help everyone have as smooth of a swim as possible.

The swim course will close 2 hours and 20 minutes after the last age group athlete starts the swim. Each athlete will get the full 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete the 2.4 mile swim regardless of what time they enter the water. Athletes who take longer than 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete the swim will receive a DNF. IRONMAN official’s reserve the right to pull athletes off the course who exceed any established course time cut-offs. I am optimistic that we can get everyone in the water in 25 minutes, but being a first year event I wont make any promises!

We are looking forward to a great race in a few weeks.

Brian
2014-08-29 10:58 PM
in reply to: bhmyrick


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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
And as far as the bike course goes, yes, it is long. By my calculations 116.08 miles. Its pretty simple actually.... I had signed permits a year ago, and they were revoked for reasons outside of our control. In order to ensure long term success in the market, we had to roll with it and figure it out. We are working on that. I had 24 hours to come up with something, and that something is the course you see online today. I have a 112 mile route in the works but am not sure if I can get approvals from the state level in a few weeks. It will be a fairly large change which obviously creates issues of its own. Athletes have trained on the course for months, and we throw a new course at them now... I get it! We will keep everyone posted.
2014-08-30 5:51 AM
in reply to: bhmyrick

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread

Thanks for dropping in and explaining the situation!

2014-08-30 9:12 AM
in reply to: bhmyrick

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Thank you Brian for the updates. I appreciate your efforts and understand the quirks of dealing with multiple jurisdictions. Even with a couple of extra miles, the bike course is fair and fun. I will take the extra miles over the 3 witches of IMWI any day. Now, do you have any pull with the weather gods?
2014-08-30 10:48 AM
in reply to: bhmyrick

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Thank you Brian for stopping in and speaking up. I will say that Raleigh 70.3 was the best organized triathlon I've ever participated in. So I have my faith in you. Don't let me down :-)

I'm from Miami where the inaugural Ironman 70.3 logistical nightmare is the stuff of legends. You were not that race director. But my personal anxiety comes from the knowledge that first-time races can go horribly, horribly, wrong.

Thanks again for sharing what you know. See you in less than a month.


2014-08-30 11:17 AM
in reply to: Jseminary

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Thanks for the additional information, Brian. The two docks for the swim make sense. The bike course is beautiful and I hope it doesn't have to change drastically, but I wouldn't miss those extra miles if you could make them magically disappear. I think most people have the attitude that the course is what it is and we're showing up on race day prepared as best we can be, regardless.
2014-08-30 11:34 AM
in reply to: runswithcrazydog

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Brian, will potholes be filled? There have been a few accidents. Apparently one today was very bad. I hope any road hazards will at least be marked in some way for safety.
2014-08-30 11:35 AM
in reply to: runswithcrazydog

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Originally posted by runswithcrazydog

Thanks for the additional information, Brian. The two docks for the swim make sense. The bike course is beautiful and I hope it doesn't have to change drastically, but I wouldn't miss those extra miles if you could make them magically disappear. I think most people have the attitude that the course is what it is and we're showing up on race day prepared as best we can be, regardless.

I did IMNY/NJ in a similar set up - it worked and I think most people are going to be surprised in their swim time - My swim is usually on the 90 minute range - down the Hudson with no "visible" current - 58 minutes. I did nothing different just got in and swam - in less than an hour people were grabbing my arms and pulling me up to the dock (I thought I was being DQ'ed or had lost my way, or somthing under an hour???) if I had known I would have put some effort into it. So thats my lesson learned from swimming down hill (BTW it does not work at IM Louisville)
2014-08-30 7:50 PM
in reply to: aintaround

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
It was great to hear directly from the RD on this site, now I see why the bike is longer. Tough call, make it 112 with a new course or keep it long. I rode the current route 12 times and it is a good course. Where are the potholes people are crashing on, I never saw anything bad when I was out there. I rode 116 miles Thur and other than a sore butt, it was not too bad! Goon info on the swim start, I'm still guessing folks worried about finishing before 12 will be racing to the swim start to get in line. I'm a MOP racer so I'm more than happy to let others get up at 330-4 am for that! Be safe, we are really close now. And I agree with Aintaround, IMKY was my slowest swim of the 7 IM races I have done.
2014-08-31 8:09 AM
in reply to: godekjames

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Thanks for the clarity Brian…..planning a vacation after this ?


2014-08-31 1:11 PM
in reply to: aintaround

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Originally posted by runswithcrazydog

I did IMNY/NJ in a similar set up - it worked and I think most people are going to be surprised in their swim time - My swim is usually on the 90 minute range - down the Hudson with no "visible" current - 58 minutes. I did nothing different just got in and swam - in less than an hour people were grabbing my arms and pulling me up to the dock (I thought I was being DQ'ed or had lost my way, or somthing under an hour???) if I had known I would have put some effort into it. So thats my lesson learned from swimming down hill (BTW it does not work at IM Louisville)


I'd say your spot on here, most will have a much easier and faster IM swim split. I'll take this ANY day compared to what IMFL was last year.

Bryan, thanks for the insight here. It's nice to know that your hands were tied on the Bike course, sucks that the permits were revoked.

Now, email the TVA and tell them to open up the dam on 9/28, and we'll call it even on the extra bike miles.
2014-09-01 9:05 PM
in reply to: Chris.1333

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
I will second what Lisa said about the potholes and bad road conditions in certain locations. I rode the course Saturday and there were two major accidents related to bad roads. Both patients needed EMS transport to the local hospital. One was in serious condition, the other discharged today. I know where these spots are just because Ive ridden the course so much. I would be happy to make a day trip out there with Brian/others and several cans of glow orange spray paint if it would save some more carnage.
My Garmin said 116 after the full circuit btw.
2014-09-02 8:03 AM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread

Originally posted by jmkizer

144.68

Well right or wrong, I will tell everyone until I'm blue in the face that my first Ironman was actually an ultra-Ironman... assuming I finish of course.

2014-09-02 3:57 PM
in reply to: Sous


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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
We will spend race week marking and filling holes, sweeping corners and and making the course the best it can be. We do this with the approval and support from the local governments. You would be surprised what goes into getting a municipality to allow you to fill pot holes! i think we have the best course guys and gals in the business and I am confident they will give you the best course markings and conditions they can.

Brian
2014-09-02 4:31 PM
in reply to: bhmyrick


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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
That being said, its still your responsibility to ride smart and know the course/road conditions!


2014-09-02 5:45 PM
in reply to: bhmyrick

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Thanks! I've ridden the course twice and saw only a few potholes. Not sure why some are commenting (FB) that the roads are horrible and dangerous. I thought the roads were great. Apparently it's a matter of perspective. Compared to what I'm used to riding on, the IM Chatt course is plush. My local roads are full of expansion joints, chip seal, potholes, potholes that have been re-filled multiple times, freeze heaves, cracks and plenty of gravel. Not to mention many loose dogs, drivers that don't believe in the 3' law and lots of blind curves and hills. I'm used to being alert to cycling hazards, but I know there will be plenty of distraction on race day so I'm glad to hear they will be marked to draw our attention.
2014-09-02 5:51 PM
in reply to: runswithcrazydog

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
So why not just move the deadline to 1am instead of midnight?
2014-09-03 10:35 AM
in reply to: runswithcrazydog

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Originally posted by runswithcrazydog

Thanks! I've ridden the course twice and saw only a few potholes. Not sure why some are commenting (FB) that the roads are horrible and dangerous. I thought the roads were great. Apparently it's a matter of perspective. Compared to what I'm used to riding on, the IM Chatt course is plush. My local roads are full of expansion joints, chip seal, potholes, potholes that have been re-filled multiple times, freeze heaves, cracks and plenty of gravel. Not to mention many loose dogs, drivers that don't believe in the 3' law and lots of blind curves and hills. I'm used to being alert to cycling hazards, but I know there will be plenty of distraction on race day so I'm glad to hear they will be marked to draw our attention.


Because the FB group has lost their minds! It's nuts over there.
2014-09-03 10:37 AM
in reply to: Afletcher

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread

Originally posted by Afletcher
Originally posted by runswithcrazydog Thanks! I've ridden the course twice and saw only a few potholes. Not sure why some are commenting (FB) that the roads are horrible and dangerous. I thought the roads were great. Apparently it's a matter of perspective. Compared to what I'm used to riding on, the IM Chatt course is plush. My local roads are full of expansion joints, chip seal, potholes, potholes that have been re-filled multiple times, freeze heaves, cracks and plenty of gravel. Not to mention many loose dogs, drivers that don't believe in the 3' law and lots of blind curves and hills. I'm used to being alert to cycling hazards, but I know there will be plenty of distraction on race day so I'm glad to hear they will be marked to draw our attention.
Because the FB group has lost their minds! It's nuts over there.

I know, it's crazy over there!

2014-09-03 11:43 AM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
The FB group HAS lost their minds. I stare at comments in disbelief. For pete's sake not everything needs a freak out level response. It's like there's just no common sense. Even when level-headed responses are provided, it's ignored and the frenzy continues. I don't get it. I signed up to try my hand at becoming an Ironman. I didn't expect a bunch of panic-stricken craziness from what I thought was a pretty tough group of people. I'm glad to see many people saying they have never seen IM FB groups going off the deep end like this. Just isn't the tone I had expected. Glad I can come here for a more rational discussion.


2014-09-03 12:16 PM
in reply to: runswithcrazydog

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
The Facebook page is out of control - I agree. I was thinking I would stop going there because it would stress me out but it's frankly so over the top I'm just finding it entertaining.

But I do want to share something that I hope might be helpful for one or two people out there. Inaugural races can have "issues." Even with good race directors which I think we have. I have mentioned before that the best organized triathlon I've ever done was Raleigh 70.3 and that's our same race director. So this isn't an anti race director post at all. This is a racer be ready for anything message.

In my opinion it pays to be prepared for the unexpected on race day and especially with inaugural events. I'm in Miami. Five years ago we had the inaugural Ironman Miami 70.3 event. It has to have been one of the worst organized races ever. It was so bad that apparently all participants were given vouchers for another Ironman 70.3 event. I was not a participant that year but some issues I heard about included that they didn't know how the swimmers would get into or out of the water as late as the day before the race. The ramp they built to get the swimmers out was poorly constructed and began to fall apart during the swim out and swimmers were injured exiting the swim. The Bike course was a single loop through the suburbs of Miami. Several of the suburbs of Miami have their own little police departments. It actually went by my house and I was spectating the nightmare where one village police officer was responsible for 5 separate intersections. It was impossible for him to do that of course and so it was hugely dangerous for the cyclists as motorists tried to dash across between riders. Oh, and also they ran out of water both on the bike and the run. Fun times, eh? For the record these issues have been resolved - the bike course now stays totally in one city area and I've heard it's a well run race now. Same race director too I think actually.

So that's probably a worst-case scenario and I don't think we'll see anything like that in Chattanooga. So while I don't want to be a part of the whole freak out crowd I do think it pays to be mentally prepared for anything on race day.

One thing I myself am preparing for is that some of the volunteers may not know what they are doing. This is a first-time event so there is no pool of prior experience on this course for them to pull from. This includes the police guarding the bike course. There may be a particular cop who thinks it's totally reasonable to stop race traffic for some reason as happened in the inaugural IM Texas race a couple of times. There are trains tracks that we go over - if they are active it's possible trains could be crossing during the race. I volunteered at a race down here where the volunteers decided it was okay to reuse the sponges they were passing out to participants on the run - so they would pick them up off the ground and put them back in the ice water and pass them out to the next runners (yes ... gross ... ewwww). I ran in an inaugural 10k once that had an unmanned water stop. The supplies were all there but not set up and no volunteers. Oops. In an half iron down here (not Ironman) I had a friend told by a volunteer that she was disqualified during the run. Luckily she decided she wanted to finish anyway and she did the next loop because the volunteer had bad information she hadn't been disqualified.

So let's all just be ready for what comes our way. Roll with the day and be nice to the volunteers even if they are clueless.

And that's my $.02 on inaugural races.
2014-09-04 6:40 PM
in reply to: #4870970

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
What's everyone's training weekend looking like? 100 miles on Saturday and 17 mile run on Sunday with an OWS late Sunday. I think this the longest workout weekend till race day for me.
2014-09-05 12:43 PM
in reply to: atlTri4Food

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
Amy, I hear what you're saying. I think most people know that inaugural races will have some hiccups. Even if everything looks good on paper, there may be a snafu or two by race day. Is it bad that I stay in the FB group for the entertainment value? I feel a little bad about that. Kind of like a train wreck.

Yes, this week has been a biggie. I will not be one of those people that says "I hate taper!" I am ready for it. An 18 mi run today. Easy ride tomorrow then 6:00/1:00 brick on Sunday and that will do it for the peak period.
2014-09-05 2:34 PM
in reply to: runswithcrazydog

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Subject: RE: Ironman Chattanooga : Official Thread
I just saw where you are from Vicksburg. I am also from Vicksburg, MS originally.
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