ironman Chapm tim deBoom is all smiles at check-in.
Ironman AZ, just 2 more sleeps away.Friday in tempe is almost over. Things are set to kick off at the Welcome Dinner. Registration has closed, and approx 2000 athletes are committed with no turning . The past 2 days has been a whirlwind of activity on all fronts.
Tempe Town Lake has been opened up for swimming from 8-10am in the mornings. Water temps have been hovering around 67 degrees with the expectation that it will go up a few degrees befor Sunday. The biggest topic is that the long term weather prdiction of low 80 degrees on race day has been steadily climbing with every hour. There is a 0 percentage chance of rain and the highs are now listed to be around 90 degrees - which translated to protected areas with no wind (or tailwind) on the run and bike will really hit mid 90's.........BUT it is dry heat they keep telling everyone. Will feel good. All I know is that standing around in the DRY sun for just 10 minutes and I feel like I am a fried egg - there are a lot of very red faces walking around already. It would certainly appear that the heat will now the big factor and it will most certainly be a race of attrition.
On the work front - Heather flew into town to pick up the slack for her lazy Austrlian neighbor Greg Welch. She will be hosting the ironmanlive broadcast whilst Greg is luxuriating aroung Augusta watching the Masters. Roch and Paul have been in endless meeting as all the last minute supplies and logistics have to be set in place. In addition the Ironman AZ will have a 'live' show to be aired at 7.00pm on Fox Sports the same evening (whilst the race is still in profress). This will pretty much cover the pro race and then be expanded for airing on OLN at a later date.
Today saw the pre-race press conference which included race favorite and ironman World Champ Tim DeBoom. It is certainly nice to see him back racing in the US and he seems relaxed and happy to get back to his old routine of doing an early ironman rather than waiting until mid summer. Also good to see is the return of Spencer Smith from an awful 2005 that saw him taken out of racing after a terrible bike accident (he was hit by a car). Michael Lovato is always the most cheerful and relaxed and I think is a favorite to come through on the run - especially in these extreme conditions.
On the womens side - Michellie Jones looks like the clear favorite. The increase in temperature has certainly been a reminder that no matter what great goals may lurk in the back of one's mind - the distance and conditions make survival the first and foremost concern. Heather Gollnick seems genuinely pleased with the conditions, particularly since her move from Wisconsin toFlorida has allowed her a winter of outdoor warm weather training. Bella Comerford is hoping that the similarity of this course to the one in Florida will be good for her - 4 months in New Zealand has prepared her well.
Now it is just the waiting and the nerves to deal with. 2 more sleeps to go.