After talking to my coach on Monday, I figured I would go ahead and take the plunge before the race sold out and secure my spot in the mass of people competing in Lawrence, Kansas, on June 12, 2011. Mark your calendars and make plans to come watch if you need something to start off your summer!
This will be my first Half-Ironman distance triathlon, and a stepping stone race to my ultimate goal of the Full Ironman distance triathlon next fall. For those of you not familiar, here is what I will be tackling next year at this race:
- 1.2 mile swim
- 56 mile bike
- 13.1 mile run
I am excited to run this race due to the amount of pros who make the trek to Kansas to compete in this race. I hope we get lucky enough to have Chrissie Wellington as part of the field. She is an absolute beast and arguably the most gifted female triathlete ever. I am a huge fan and hope to some day meet her at one of these Ironman events. I also chose this race because of the proximity to Oklahoma which should cut down on travel costs and allow my family and friends to attend. I hope to be able to have a cheering crew along the course so it will keep me motivated and moving in the right direction.
A few other criteria came into play for this choice as well:
- I don't want to swim in the ocean
- I don't want to fly with my bike yet
- I wanted one of my big triathlons next year to be an Ironman-branded event
- I wanted one within a bordering state
- I needed it to be in June or July to fit in my training schedule
After looking over the calendar my choices were narrowed down to Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 in Lubbock, Texas, and the Ironman Kansas 70.3 in Lawrence. My coach actually raced the Kansas event a few years ago and said it would be a great event for me. I don't know anyone personally who has done the Lubbock race, but the trip would have been more difficult and I have heard it is a very difficult course. After looking at the two races, Ironman Kansas 70.3 took home the prize. I think the pictures of racers finishing with characters from Wizard of Oz sealed the deal. I loved that movie when I was a kid.
Well, that's the big news of the week! I am now looking at narrowing down my choices for the full Ironman distance race and hope to have updates on it soon. I am not necessarily concerned about it being an Ironman-branded event due to the extremely expensive entry fee. For those of you who don't know, the cost to enter a full Ironman event is $575 and they sell out almost a year in advance. You have to be ready and willing to commit to a event the minute registration opens. There is a local race here in OKC every September that I am closely monitoring as my final choice. I will be making a visit to the event this year to see how it looks and decide if it's the "one". I know when I choose my full Ironman race, it will have to be fairly close to home. I will need a face, a smile, a word of encouragement, a shout out from my dad, the look only a proud mother and father can give, and someone else to believe I can finish when I am at the end of my rope. Plus, I want it to be special and share it with those who will have to listen to me whine, rearrange schedules, make excuses for me when I can't show up to a family function, and truly make sacrafices for my selfish pursuit of being an Ironman. It's not something I can do alone and I want everyone who was a part of the process to be able to share the journey and the end of a unbelievable ride.