General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Ironman and phone Rss Feed  
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2019-06-11 2:35 PM


Subject: Ironman and phone
I'll take part in my first ironman. My girlfriend will waite me at the finish, but i cant understand- how she will know when i finish. I think i will take phone and send to her sms before 20 min to finish- is it out of rules? How can i inform her? What is the usual way?

Edited by new_ 2019-06-11 2:36 PM

2019-06-11 2:45 PM
in reply to: new_

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Ironman and phone
Phones are normally not allowed at IM brand events for safety reasons. But (assuming it is working) she can track you via the live tracker app with her phone. It will update periodically and give her a rough idea of your estimated finishing time. I believe there is an app you can download from the Ironman site (assuming this is an IM race) to make that process more user-friendly.

My mom doesn't have a cell phone but for my only full IM, and some of my HIM, she was able to ask a friend or even random bystander to check on my progress and knew when she should be there at the finish. Unless you completely stop moving for a while on the course (i.e. to attend to a medical issue or repair a flat) the tracker is pretty good at predicting finish time based on current average pace.

The tracker doesn't always work--just a warning. Occasionally it can fail to update regularly, or send crazy data (it once claimed I ran a sub-4-minute mile pace for the last two miles of a HIM run). But this usually gets resolved fairly quickly.
2019-06-11 2:50 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Denver, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman and phone
If this is not IM brand and there is no tracker, what I did with my mom: I wrote down my estimated times for each part of the triathlon (it was an Oly). She saw me exiting the swim, so she had a rough idea when I should complete the bike, and the run. Things change, bike and run may take less or more than you expect, but you can have some sort of estimate +/- 15 minutes. It worked with my mom, and it was her first time as spectator at triathlon.
2019-06-11 2:58 PM
in reply to: new_

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Ironman and phone

I haven't raced an IM in 5 years, but at that time, phones were "officially" banned.  That didn't stop a lot of athletes from carrying and using them.  

By now, you should have a pretty good estimate of how much time each leg will take (as well as your own goal times).  Your girlfriend should know these times and find places to watch you around these times.  If you expect a 1:15 swim, she might crowd around the swim exit starting at 1:10 and watch for you until she sees you or 1:25 at which time she might assume she missed seeing you.  Same on the bike.  Take a page from the race photographers, and have her set up to see you on an uphill area (where you'll be riding 18-23 km/h) rather than a downhill (where you might be riding 30+ km/h).  

Races often have multiple timing mats and will update those results in near real time.  (E.g. if the bike route is 2 loops, they may have a timing mat at mile 20 and another near transition.  You'd cross these mats at mile 20, 56, 76, and 112 and your online results get updated within a minute or two of crossing the mat.)  Same with the run.  

You might also look at the last part of the run route.  Sometimes, they put a little ending loop in the last 2 miles so a spectator can see you with 2 miles to go and walk to the finish line as you're "running" there.  

Several years ago, there were services that offered "athlete trackers" using GPS.  You could rent them for the race ($25?) and your spectators could subscribe to the service to track you.  

2019-06-11 3:12 PM
in reply to: #5259755

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Subject: RE: Ironman and phone
Some events will allow you to carry a phone on you but state that you must remove yourself from the course to use it. I did a 70.3 event last month and that was their policy. The race director said some Ironman branded events allow this as well. I’m not completely sure about that. I know the Ironman branded event I did last year had a no cell phone policy.

Best to read the athlete guide or email the race and check their cell phone policy.

Other than that, your best bet will be to check the course map and pick out some places for your folks to be to keep an eye on your progress. They can head to finish line with a pretty good idea of when you will finish based on your progress.
2019-06-12 9:05 AM
in reply to: Parkland

Subject: RE: Ironman and phone
Last year my brother-in-law did an Ironman branded 70.3 and I found the latest version of the IM Tracker (available free from the app store) did a very good job of tracking him on my iPhone. Much better than previous versions.

2019-06-12 9:51 AM
in reply to: HaydenHunter

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman and phone

Originally posted by HaydenHunter Last year my brother-in-law did an Ironman branded 70.3 and I found the latest version of the IM Tracker (available free from the app store) did a very good job of tracking him on my iPhone. Much better than previous versions.

YES - the improved Ironman Tracker app (free) is eerily accurate, according to my family who was on-site at the last full IM I did. It estimates and predicts your location based on elapsed time between the timing mats you cross. The only issue is that it's not guaranteed to work, so let your family know that it's not "live GPS" but simply an estimation. 

2019-06-12 3:35 PM
in reply to: new_

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman and phone
IRONMAN tracker app and just be aware of the course and timing mat locations.

Maybe make a plan to check in at certain points on the course to see the athlete and come up with a timing plan to head to the finish when they get so far on the course.
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