It’s hard to believe that the 2011 Ironman CDA has come and gone. The 2600+ participants were treated to absolutely ideal racing conditions. Leading up to the race all the talk was about the water temperature and would they shorten, or even cancel the swim. In 2008 the water temps went from 53 to 58 degrees in three days so we were all hoping for the same. NO LUCK. The water temperatures actually climbed to 58 degrees by Thursday, then dipped to 54-55 degrees race morning making this the coldest Ironman CDA swim to date. Athletes racing in this year’s event were treated to some surprising news race week; two time world champion Craig Crowie Alexander would be making the start in order to validate his Kona spot.
As athletes entered the water they were greeted to “NO SWIM WARM UP”. Having done Canada three times I must say the swim start to CDA was a breeze in comparison. Lake was pretty calm, water freezing, race on. Athletes make their way through lap one, exit to the beach, then back in they go. Many of the athletes reported getting pretty cold during lap two, transition times would reflect that. The bike course in CDA is two loops with roughly 25-30 miles of rolling hills in each loop. Athletes have the opportunity to “size” up their competition during the opening out and back alongside the lake. After leaving CDA around mile 16 is where the participants start to focus on the task at hand. I had the privilege of racing IM CDA 2011 and it was a joy to see all the TN Multisports athletes during the course of the day. Multiple loops on each discipline make this possible and being able to see your friends and family many of times during the ironman is amazing. Loop two provided some unwanted pain for all the athletes, but isn’t the ironman supposed to be uncomfortable?!?!?
The run in CDA proved to be the most “fun” for everyone (and “fun” is a relative term for most 😉 ). Again, a multiple loop course made perfect for high-fiving team mates, bottom slapping and even spotting a gorilla in a tree? The race support and crowd support was absolutely incredible out there and much appreciated by all the athletes. CDA decided to tweak the run course a touch this year and boy was it a bear. Athletes now had to make a 0.4 mile climb up a hill, run down the back side, just to hit the turnaround point. No problem for lap one, but CARNIAGE come lap two. As you make your way back through town it is literally like Greek Row at WSU, kids partying, music roaring and athletes wanting to be done. Once you hit the town library you have 0.7 miles to finish, take a left on Sherman and it is the light at the end of the tunnel.
As Craig Alexander would say after his victory “this is one of the best settings I have ever seen for a race, and I have raced all over the world”… “IM CDA is a very honest test and that was a very hard ride out there today”…
Ironman is not about competing against your teammates; Ironman is about creating a journey within yourself that not one single soul can ever take away from you. I am honored to have raced with the TN Multisports athletes in CDA this year and hope that your journey was as special as mine. A special thanks to the 50+ TN Multisports athletes and family members that took the time out of your weekend to help us get to the finish line. – Mark Webb
Travis Shaw: 1 x Ironman finisher
Jeff Cunningham: 1 x Ironman Canada, CDA finisher
Ann Sloan: 1 x Ironman Canada, CDA finisher
Erin Mccormack: 1 x Ironman CDA finisher
Genevieve Priebe: 1 x Ironman CDA finisher
Sarah Holberg: 1 x Ironman CDA finisher
Hank Lomasney: 1 x Grand Floridian, CDA finisher
Christina Lomasney: 1 x Ironman CDA finisher
Kate Whettman: 1 x Ironman CDA finisher
Mark Webb: 3 x Ironman Canada finisher, IM CDA finisher
We are proud of each and everyone one of you and your amazing efforts throughout the past year of training and especially on race day where you all dug deep and came up an IRONMAN!!!