I’m no triathlete, heck I can barely do one sport. However, I’ve never been one to let that stop me from doing something nonsensical. So I’m planning to do what I am calling the Hillbilly Ironman this summer.
No, you won’t find this race in any sanctioned category charging hundreds of dollars for the privilege to torture yourself for 10-15 hours. This is of my own creation. The Hillbilly Ironman is simply a swim, bike, run of Ironman distance without any support or formal event. We call them Gentleman’s races in cycling. For some reason the term “Hillbilly” appealed more to me based on the completely low budget version of this event.
Since the logistics of an Ironman event can get complicated, I’m going to try and keep it simple. I’m planning on doing the swim in a pool. There won’t be any need for fancy wet suits here. Then I’ll be doing the ride on a route I’ll map on www.ridewithgps.com or something. Instead of feed stations, I’ll just stop at gas stations along the way and fuel up with whatever supplies they have. And then I’ll do the run around a local park that has a loop around a lake so that I can park my car there with water and food.
So how am I training for this event. I’m not. I do swim a couple of times a week for 30 minutes to an hour. I try to train to race my bike, however I have had the worse spring in my racing career. Injuries and illness have kept me off my bike quite a bit. Bummer big time. The run? Well, I don’t run too much, maybe once or twice a month. I am sure that I won’t be able to run the whole thing and I won’t even try. I’ll likely do a run/walk or more accurately a walk/run/walk strategy to get through it.
Goals, well the goal is to finish. I’m thinking it will be around a 12 hour event, breaking down like this:
1:10 swim. Based on my current swim pace.
5 minute transition. I’ll drying off completely and then hopping on the bike.
5:30 bike. Riding at 20 mph as an average shouldn’t be the hardest thing ever.
5 minute transition. Changing into shorts.
5+ hours run. I am thinking that I can run ½ of the marathon at an 8-9 minute pace, that leaves 13 miles of walking at a 4 mph pace.
I plan to start at 5 AM or so and finish for dinner. Just another day at the office.
I predict that I will underestimate all the above times based on the cumulative affect and the fact that I don’t know what I am doing.
Precedent? Well I did what I like to call the Hillbilly Half last summer in about 5:30. I did it on a whim one morning and got up at 6 AM and got after it. I ate a handful of nuts and drank one water bottle and felt fine. Surprisingly the part that bothered me the most was the sore neck and shoulders on the TT bike after swimming. I am a bit more used to swimming now, so it shouldn’t be as big of a deal.
Once I get a schedule down with other life stuff, I’ll publish a date. I am inviting other folks to come along, but so far no one has shown any interest. Responses usually are around the concept of “painful” or “crazy.” But I’ll see if I can keep working on getting some other folks to come along, however I not sure how much it matters since everyone will be off on their own timing.
Updates to follow as I map routes and figure out a time.