Five things they don't tell you about Ironman

"Anything is Possible." You can do it. And you can. But here are a few things people don't tell you about competing in a full-distance race.

| August 10, 2017 | TRAINING

Joe Skipper at the finish of Challenge Roth.

Joe Skipper at the finish of Challenge Roth.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

It’s hard to race. I am of the belief that most people are capable of getting to the finish line. Having seen hundreds of races, it is surprising for me to see what type of body types hit the line. However, it is hard, super hard, to get done. Those who take it lightly pay the price and end up with a DNF. You can’t underestimate the distances.

It’s dirty. Yep when you are out on course for so long, chances are there are going to be traveling pit stops. So, by the end of an full-distance race, there is going to be a degree of hygeine issues. Add to all that the the sweat, spit, nutrition and other bodily functions and it’s a filthy-assed day. Be careful who you hug at the finish line.

It’s dangerous. Without getting overly dramatic, racing a full-dstance event is inherently dangerous. And there are a few things to know. Fatigue plays a huge part. And when you are hurtling down a hill after 150 km, that fatigue delays your actions and response time. Injury and health issues are also exposed when racing a full-distance race. If you are ever going to get a heart jolt, it is when you go from 0 to full RPM in the swim.

It’s supposed to be fun. It’s like your wedding day. You get to dress up, everyone is supporting you, they take your photo. it’s awesome. And even if you blow to pieces and have a garbage can of a day, the finish is still brilliant. But, it is supposed to be fun. What other sport allows you to beat the crap out of yourself and pay them for the trouble?

The finish line lives. If you could bottle the finish line-feeling, the global drug trade would be gone tomorrow. But, after any length of time, the finish line is a pulsing place of energy and it can’t be underestimated how the feeling of the last 200 m of the course is. Whether it’s the voice of Ironman (Mike Reilly) calling you across or another mic jock, the experience is one of the best to be either watch or complete.