Andrew Raynor Dover
By Mike Tarrolly for Crushing Iron
I’ve been to every Ironman Chattanooga and made a Tribute Video each year, even in 2015 when I raced. It’s an awesome venue for triathlon and the community is super supportive. We’ve talked about it a lot on the Crushing Iron Podcast and I’m really happy to have a video archive of all the events.
2014 Ironman Chattanooga – I probably would have raced this one, but sign-up opened before I did my first Ironman in Wisconsin and there was no way I was signing up without having one under my belt. The weather for the inaugural Ironman Chattanooga was perfect. Cool in the morning, cloudy, then a slight mist during the run. I sat waiting at the swim exit and my mind was soon blown by the incredible swim times. I’d just swam a 1:20 at Wisconsin and people I knew I was faster than were getting out of the water in under an hour. Even though it was four miles longer, the bike course proved to be fast too. But I spent a lot of time on the pedestrian bridge during the run and it proved to be a rough one for a lot of athletes. Here’s the video cut to “The Man” by Aloe Blacc, which has totally become one of my run training go-to songs.
After tackling Ironman Louisville in 2014, I finally got my shot at Ironman Chattanooga. My mom and brother came to town and this would be my showdown with good buddy, CC. I’ll be honest, after seeing the swim times the year before I didn’t put much effort into swim training for this race. And it bit me. I’m not sure if they cut the current or it was a rain flow thing, but times were much slower the 2nd year. I think I was around 1:12 or something and genuinely struggling at the end. I really went after the bike and covered the 116 miles at 20 mph, which put me in a solid position to flirt with low 11’s. But the run course ate me up. I was in trouble early and by the time I got to the hills I was holding on for dear life. In all, I ran pretty good, but this run course after 112 mile bike was much different than the one I experienced on a practice run in the summer. Thanks to my brother, Chris, for the great video that allowed for a 2015 Ironman Chattanooga Tribute video.
2016 Ironman Chattanooga – This year, Coach Robbie and I went back to Wisconsin to tangle with the hills and the last ever Mass Swim Start, but I was back in Chattanooga for the third year in a row making videos. This one proved to be a completely different animal as the temperatures climbed into an unseasonable 90+ degree range. There was carnage all over the run course. I’d been to a ton of Ironman races and maybe seen a few people taken off the course on carts, but it was going on all day in 2016. It was definitely hot, but I covered a lot of ground and got some new angles of the run course on video. It was a very LONG DAY for a lot of athletes. This was also about the same time we started the Crushing Iron Podcast.
2017 Ironman Chattanooga – This year I got to do a lot more walking before taking my talents back to Ironman Louisville for the second time. The 2017 version of Ironman Chattanooga was also very hot and I think it had people wondering what the hell was going on. Two cool years followed by extreme heat. Let’s hope 2018 is somewhere in the middle. This was the first year we officially had C26 athletes racing and Chattanooga and it was awesome to track them on the course. They rocked it hard as did everyone else who tackled this tough day. Here’s the video from 2017 and we’re heading down tomorrow to start work on the 2018 version. Hope you enjoy the videos!
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