Andrew Raynor Dover
By Mike Tarrolly for the Crushing Iron Podcast
Next week the co-hosts of the Crushing Iron Podcast, Mike and Robbie, will descend on Ironman Chattanooga . . . as spectators. We have ten C26 athletes racing, (including C26 athlete, Ross, who had an amazing story to tell on a previous podcast) and will be soaking in the entire experience.
We thought we’d organize a look at some of the Ironman Chattanooga information we’ve compiled since the event started. After you finish this post, check out this one with 18 story/video links to things we’ve covered at Ironman Chattanooga in the past.
Here’s a podcast (the Crushing Iron Podcast is released every Monday and Thursday) we did about Ironman Chattanooga if you want to check it out:
Thursday/Friday: For starters, let’s talk about the first thing you should do when you get to downtown Chattanooga: Check In!
We are big on getting this out of the way. If you get into town on Thursday and make a quick drive-through to soak it in, park, get out, and check in. It’s just so much nicer to get your gear bags, chip, etc. and have it back at your room early. Plus, lines get increasingly longer as more people get to town. Thursday is optimal, but certainly early Friday morning so you can start loading your bags and go get anything you may have forgotten. Because, other than a morning tune up, Saturday should be treated as a day of rest with minimal walking.
Saturday is bags and bike. (We always like to remind people that they will have a final chance to check their bags race morning). We also like to drop our bags and bikes later in the afternoon when the lines are down and your bike won’t have to sit in the sun as long.
Race morning can always feel a little hectic, so below we’ve screen grabbed the timing for transition, shuttles, and the race start.
Quick story about race morning: In 2015 when I was racing Chattanooga (this is Mike), we stayed at the Chattanoogan, which is a really nice place, but about a mile or so walk to transition. We left insanely early and I was groggy as usual. I feel like we got to transition about 5:15 which was in PLENTY of time, but when you start hearing bus engines take off, you get the sense that you’re falling behind. We rushed to check our gear bags, then scrambled to the bus. It’s about a 10 minute bus ride and five minutes into said ride I realized I forgot my timing chip at the hotel. This happened because I put the chip into one of the backpack pockets instead of immediately putting it on the counter with everything else. Dumb move.
Talk about a panic moment. Thankfully the woman right behind me said she did the same thing and thought she heard they had extras at the start. Well, this was true. (Note: If you DO forget your chip, make sure to turn it in after the race or you’ll have to mail it back. If you don’t they charge you for it).
The problem was, they have them at the front of the line. The bus drops you off at a place that is essentially the middle of the line. So, I walked all the way to the front of the line, then all the way back to the end of the line forming line where my friends were. About two extra miles of walking for no reason. So, I’d walked around 3 miles before the race started, which really bummed me out, but it turned out to be my fastest race to date, so who knows.
When I raced it was a first come first serve rolling start. I can’t find anything that says it’s “self-seeded” so I’m thinking it may be the same. The earlier you get in line, the earlier you get into the water. If it’s a wetsuit optional swim, the people in line with wetsuits are asked to step to the side and they will go in after all non-wetsuit swimmers enter the water.
Race Morning Schedule:
Here’s a little more info from the Ironman Chattanooga Athlete guide that’s good to be familiar with:
And finally, here’s another screen grab about timing chips, race cut off times, etc.
Here’s a video we made for 2017 Ironman Chattanooga. Watch it, then go enjoy your race!