Ironman Whistler – notes of how the weekend unfolds from a coaches’ view.
5am: Departure to drive to Whistler which takes 4h. Arrival in Whistler at 9am.
9am: Arrival in Whistler. Heading straight to expo with a stop cheering at the kids runs. Meeting with a few athletes and some networking.
11am: Heading to the lake (T1) to meet all athletes one day before the race for pre race chats.
2pm: Go back to expo to meet my pro athlete for pre race chat. He sounds pretty sick with a cold and I can hear some hesitation and loss of confidence in his voice. So we go through the race and do some mental prep. All we can hope is a good night sleep and the cold to stay mild.
4pm: Check into camp site and review emails and files from other athletes not competing in Whistler.
8pm: Dinner and more computer work.
4:30am: Wake up. Receiving an text message from my pro athlete: “I’m really sick.” Not much we can do about it now. Either show up on the start line or not and the way how I know him is that he will show up and give his best for the day. I’m getting ready to spend the day on IM course.
5:45am: Setup along bike course and wait for athletes to start event. Realize when checking twitter feed that Pro race is non wetsuit which I was very unimpressed with.
7am: Pro riders start riding by my view point. I give splits and observe each athletes position and body language.
7:10am-11:30am: Cheering, tracking IM and 70.3 athletes on bike course from the same view point. Taking splits for pro athletes. I can tell that some athlete ride way to hard.
11:30am: Transition view point to run course and waiting for pro athletes running by.
11:30am-2pm: Cheering, tracking, motivating athletes on run course. Getting splits for pro athletes and keeping my pro athlete in the game. Watching some pro suffer a lot and moving backwards in the field. Dealing with a little mental meltdown from one of my AG athletes. Chat with another coach about his pro athlete and the mental prep of getting ready for this race. Watching a different coach pace his pro athlete throughout each lap along the run course on the bike which is not allowed…
2:30pm: Realize that my pro athlete can run into 6th place and scream the heck out to him. The spectators around were a little shocked about me getting so loud but it had to get done to get him moving :).
3:00pm: Rush to finish line to watch my pro athlete cross the line and finish 6th and do a quick post race chat with him, his family and friends.
4pm – 6:30pm: Awaiting more athletes to finish. Chat with another coach about training athletes and the race. Watching a DQ happening of one of his athletes due to having a family member cross the line with the athlete and seeing him deal with the immediate aftermath.
6:30pm: Welcoming one of my athletes to the finish and helping her get back to her hotel as she was pretty worn out.
7pm: Getting ready to leave Whistler with a quick stop along the run course to check on my last athlete on the course and making sure he is ok to finish. He said all good!
7:15pm: Leave Whistler on the 4h drive home which gave me a lot of time to review the day…
11pm: Arrival home, reviewing a few emails and messages and getting ready for the week as Stephanie has to work in morning.
This was a long 44 1/2h weekend! All athletes did well. We had one DNF but the hot conditions left no choice for him than to stop with heat stroke.