Ironman Wisconsin is getting closer and closer. For all the Gophers out there I thought it would be good to brief you on our Badger enemies so you know who to boo for on race day. Badger fans need read no further. By naming names you may think I’m making it easier for my competitors to get fired up. False. Being Wisconsinites, statistics show they’re more than likely illiterate. And if they can read they will probably be so excited to see their own names online they won’t notice they’re being blasted.
First is Blake “Dreamboat” Becker. The guy is a looker and has chosen to brand himself on that basis. I believe this leaves him vulnerable at Ironman Wisconsin in 3 ways. 1) His preparation will be compromised by his huge emphasis on getting a perfect tan. 2) Given his focus on looking good, his transitions will be quite slow as he makes sure his hair, makeup and nails are perfect. 3) With thousands of spectators he will constantly be receiving compliments on his dreamy appearance and will likely take the time to soak those compliments in so he’ll be starting and stopping frequently. Game over.
Next we have Thomas “Ironmore” Gerlach. He is a scrappy fellow who would do an Ironman every weekend if there was one in driving distance. Last fall he went on a streak racing IM Louisville, IM Wisconsin, Leadman 250, IM Florida and IM Arizona. Frankly, he probably needs a nap. He is racing IM Louisville 2 weeks before IM Wisconsin and IM Hawaii a few weeks after – and he’ll probably be thinking about jumping into IM Lake Tahoe during IM Wisconsin. His greatest vulnerability will be if his body spontaneously decides it does need a nap and he falls asleep on the course.
There are actually a few more Pros from Wisconsin: Paul Eicher, Will Smith and Chris Weichert. Unfortunately I don’t know if they are racing in Madison. Also, I don’t know them so it would be rude to write silly things about them. But keep those names in mind in case you see them on the course. If the Badger Boys are up for it we will have press conference on Friday before the race.
One thing I am curious about is the loyalty of my fellow Minnesotans who attended that infamous institution, the University of Wisconsin Madison. Will they root for me, their beloved and gracious Gopher hero or those belligerent Badger Boys? Off the top of my head we have Chris Hawes, Erick Roen, Nick Essma and Sue “Badger Sue” Rubens. Sue is a good friend but her nickname is literally Badger Sue – whose side will she take? I just hope she makes the right choice. Ski U Mah! I am confident I have the full support of my neighbor in St Paul, Gwen Jorgensen. After all she abandoned the Badger State to live here in Minnesota.
Yesterday was a good day for triathlon spectating. We had multiple races here in Minnesota and several Ironmans. I helped out on the bike course at the YWCA Women’s Triathlon in Minneapolis. As the 2012 race of the year I was expecting great organization and that is exactly what I saw. On the course there was a mix of athletes ranging from very fast to very, very new. The race director Nicole has nailed all the details that matter for athletes. My mom got third in her age group, a result I thought was pretty good but she thought it was no good at all. Different perceptions.
We all know nutrition is important on race day so I powered up with a healthy supply of glucose from Mello Glaze:
On the Ironman front my Norwegian friend Jorgen had a great race at Ironman Sweden and set a massive PR. The race was won by fellow QR rider Pedro Gomes. My Texas Twitter pal Brandon Marsh went nuts at the North American Ironman Championships in Mont Tremblant and powered his way to second place! Hopefully his string of solid 70.3 results paired with this podium finish will give him enough points to qualify for Kona.
Also of note is the Austrian woman who won Ironman Copenhagen. She is relatively unknown and has a pretty short resume of results and went 8:37, the 7th fastest women’s time ever. I am getting cynical because my first thoughts were not “Wow! Amazing!” instead I thought “Wow let’s get her a blood test!” With two Austrian triathletes quite notoriously tainted with doping (Michi Weiss and Lisa Huetthaler) maybe I am just ‘profiling’ her. If it seems too good to be true, maybe it is. Hopefully she crushed that time completely clean but that level of performance does draw attention. Doping is obviously in the news with Jamaican sprinters testing positive just before the Track and Field World Championships, the USA’s own Tyson Gay getting busted, lots of Turkish athletes in trouble, and even a few baseball stars getting some heat. It is good to see cheaters get busted but also discouraging to see how many different people in different sports make the choice to dope.
Have a great week and Ski U Mah!