Any die-hard racer will confirm that it is absolute torture to watch a race without having the chance to participate. As such, I have been torturing myself a lot in the last couple weeks.
Exactly one week, down to the minute, from the moment I am writing this, I will be taking my first few strokes in the biggest race of my life thus far, the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. As such, I have decided, rather reluctantly, to abstain from cyclocross racing this season until after next weekend. There is simply too high a probability of getting hurt and ruining the big day. So I’ve been doing a lot of this:
Last Wednesday, we got to watch a really great race in the A field at Wednesday Night Cyclocross, where Owen Gue managed to throw in a sweet surge with a lap and a half to go and hold on for victory over Landen Beckner and Toby Meierbachtol. It was great spectating, but I’d rather be in the action any day.
I also got the opportunity to volunteer at the Montana Hell Ride, a brand new race/ride put on by The Cycling House. I helped staff one of the aid stations, and watched some 50-odd hardcore folks suffer through 126 miles of mixed dirt and pavement with 8,200 feet of climbing. 37 people finished. Next year, I definitely plan on joining in on the…um…fun?
But despite all this watching and helping out from the sidelines, my preparations for Kona have taken precedence. If you’re watching the live feed on race day, keep an eye out for this Orca RS1 Dream Kona race kit:
We had a send-off party on Thursday, and I dressed my bike up for the occasion:
We had a great turnout at the party, and a I had all these hopes of taking lots of pictures and documenting how awesome the Missoula community is about supporting this journey, but then I just spend two and a half hours talking to people and this was the only photo I took, before anyone showed up. Better luck next time!
In case I don’t get a chance to post any more before the race, be sure to follow along on the athlete tracker on Ironman.com. Race day is October 11th, and I start the swim at 10:50am MDT.