By JP Severin
Issue No. 2
Last year, a slew of MSU triathletes tried to sign up for IM Lake Placid. Some didn’t realize that Ironman Placid sold out like Coldplay concerts and missed the chance. The group that missed the IM placid sign up ended up signing up for Ironman Wisconsin. Naturally, the ones who missed the deadline were a group of idiots, myself included.
Training with these individuals was trippy at times. We had incidents involving our local hospital on about five different occasions that were mostly training related, and several were somewhat serious. And OK, one or two were quite avoidable and stupid. Needless to say, getting to the starting line ended up being harder than the race itself.
Naturally, we took an unorthodox approach to race week. Boyd, Klingler, Inch, and I spent the time, not prepping, but playing rock band and Mario party. We traded carbo loading for belting out choice Metallica numbers. We traded sleep for attempting to lay siege to Bowser’s Castle. However, much like how we signed up, we eventually got it together and got to race site to register and check in. Race day was soon upon us and our wills and readiness would be tested.
The canon went off and the washing machine that is Ironman swimming was soon churning. I thought it was going to be absolutely horrible but I loved it. It was like swimming in a river the way the 2000 people generated wakes. The swim was over before I knew it and I headed up the helix into transition, where I was greeted by 15 MSU triathlon volunteers handling bikes. They lost their minds screaming. It was like a pack of baby howler monkeys. They also gave me information on how far Inch was up the road. He was two minutes up after his 11th fastest swim (including pros) and the transition! Having learned that, I tore off on the bike.
The bike was loaded with turns and rolling hills. Each sapped the legs a little bit and took the average speed down. I cruised through the first 56 a bit faster than I should have at 21 mph, as I was hearing how I was closing the gap on Inch. I rode up to him at about mile 60 and we chatted about his killer swim and how he was feeling. The next lap was a rude awakening as the wind was whipping. Struggling through the next 15 miles, I prayed for a tailwind. I saw my family in one of the towns on the course and the howler monkey chorus was again in full swing. I heard the chant of "S-E-V as in victory", which is our family’s motto. The wind finally was at my back and over the next 25 miles, I worked to recover. The MSU tri team was at the top of the major hill on the course and they ran up with me Tour de France style as I closed out the bike.
Coming into transition, I was greeted by the MSU team again. Our group all came off the bike within about 15 minutes of one another. Super fast for our first Ironman. The marathon started with some hobbling and numbness. I chipped away at each mile. Around mile fifteen, the team greeted me with shouts of “you look too good”. I smiled and whipped a soaked sponge at Joel Gaff, who had just done his first Ironman at Lake Placid (and killed it in 11:17). After 11 more miles of my quads getting massacred, the finish line showed up. The Ironman finish line was the best thing since my first college party. And much like it, I puked my brains out shortly thereafter. It was time to cheer as Inch came in around 30 minutes later, followed by Klingler and Boyd about an hour after that.
The MSU volunteers were all over the course and we all did the green and white proud. Now the MSU tri team has about 25 Ironmen! Absolutely ridiculous. I am proud to be part of this awesome group. And check out these times….
Some of the MSU crew!
Sit tight for the next update of the column, and expect highlights from our last race of the season at the Purdue Boilerman (which we will certainly win). I also will be detailing our annual spinathon (we spin for an entire football game including tailgating to raise funds for the club. It ends up being about seven hours). Finally, I will be regaling you fine individuals with tales from our inaugural MSU collegiate triathlon. We will be putting on an Olympic distance tri through the streets of East Lansing. The collegiate column will be bursting at the seams with intrigue and action, so get pumped and Sparty On!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
By JP Severin