Tuesday, April 12, 2005

16:59 Ironman?

There's a thread going on Slowtwitch.com about those who do a 16:59 Ironman. What are your thoughts about those final finisher folks? C'mon, be honest.

Now I have to admit a little prejudice in this department, as a slower-than-average runner. And an exceptionally slow swimmer. And a slow-but-getting-faster cyclist, thanks to the sprightly assistance of the intrepid Buttercup. My first two marathons ended with finish times over 7 hours. No, not mountain trail marathons, or Sahara Desert marathons - just plain old road marathons (Myrtle Beach and Maui in 2001). These days I'm still delighted to finish barely under 6 hours (Chicago and Richmond in 2004), about an hour slower than the average female marathoner in the USA (median finish time 4:52 - 4:56).

I would LOVE to do a 16:59 Ironman, myself. Anything before that horrible no-medal DNF cutoff - anything but 17:01!!! Two of my time goals for this year are to finish my first Olympic triathlon (Columbia on May 22) and my first Half Ironman (Eagleman on June 12). I want them to be happy, fun experiences, not filled with time-pressure and frantic flailing in transition, so I've set my only goals going into them as finishing by 4:00 hours and 8:00 hours, respectively. There are many more triathlons out there at which I can work on getting faster, after I get these safely under my belt. (Yes, I've also got Ironman Florida in the back of my mind for 2006, before I turn fifty).

But maybe I'm letting myself off too easy. Maybe (as one contributor said at Slowtwitch) when I do road races or triathlons I'm just taking "a vacation from being a Fat Bastard". Of course it is true that being a Fat Bastard is a fairly all-consuming full-time job. ;)

Your thoughts?


Oldman said...

I saw that post on Slowtwitch... but as someone said, it doesn't matter what time you finished. Just to finish is an great accomplishment. Whether you finish in 16 hrs or 8, your still an Ironman.

I'm a BOPer, so I'll never win an AG or be on the platform. I race for me and my own satisfaction.

Wil said...

You know what - if you finish the thing, who cares about the time!

I think it would say more for someone who stuck it out THAT long...the longer you're out there, the tougher I'd imagine things would be mentally and physically.

Shelley said...

You know what they call someone who finishes in 16:59??? An Ironman!!! It doesn't matter what some people write over there in ST, some of them are just plain mean and full of themselves. My first IM I finished in 16:15...they got faster after that first one, but you'll never forget the first no matter what your time is, it's an exciting lifetime of memories!!! You have such a great attitude Nancy, I just know you would love IMFLA, I did... :-D

soccerdad said...

there's absolutely nothing wrong with finishing an ironman in 16:59. the ironman legacy was not built on the folks with sub-10 hr finishes. it was built on "ordinary people doing extraordinary things". to me, that last finisher desperately trying to reach the finish as the clock ticks toward 17:00 is much more inspiring than watching tim deboom finish in 8:10. this is an event that the average person on the street couldn't finish in 3 days, so 17 hours is certainly commendable. i did imfl in 15:50 and had a blast. i didn't kill myself and i enjoyed the day. it was my first ironman, and i had no goals other than to finish.
btw, imfl is a good first ironman. the course isn't too challenging, and the weather is great. i'm throwing around the possibility of doing it in 06 also.

Vertical Man said...

I totally agree with Shelly that a 16:59 finisher is still an Ironman. And I agree with Confucious (sp?) who said "Don't ever stop. It doesn't matter how slowly you go, just don't ever stop." Or something to that effect.

My brother is a veteran of IM Florida and I'm thinking about it for '06 too.

nancytoby said...

You guys rock. Of course, maybe I'm preaching to the choir here - as anyone who sees my header and isn't sympathetic probably won't read further!! But I agree - the 16:59 and the 10:59 finisher pay the same entry fee and get the same medal.