Putting the NO in IMNOLA 70.3

I typically would describe myself as a pretty positive person.  I'll find the glass half full and will make lemonade out of lemons (and will most likely make it look fancy, too) but the upcoming Ironman New Orleans 70.3 this weekend is turning into a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

#1:  Be Afraid

Directly from the Race Director's Athlete e-mail:

"We do not recommend you leaving your bike on your car bike rack or in your vehicle for any reason while you are in New Orleans for the race."

 Ok.  I know this is common sense, but I highly doubt this bit of information is included at races in St. George, or Boulder or Branson...

#2:  Weather Nightmare

I was kind of banking on the "lightning doesn't strike the same place twice"- in terms of cancelling the swim a second year in a row. But, with high winds and potential storm coming in, it's not looking promising. And, there's a possibility of the bike course being altered, too.  What bothers me is that the Race Director is talking to the local paper, but not communicating any of this to his athletes. 

"Strong winds and heavy rains have affected the Lakefront course for Sunday’s Ochsner Ironman New Orleans 70.3, and with additional foul weather expected to move through the area this weekend, race organizers are working to develop a modified course.

The course for this year's race could be altered because of the weather.
“There’s a strong possibility of an altered course,” race director Bill Burke said Wednesday. “A front is coming through at the right time to interfere with setting up the course — getting the buoys set. It’s just bad luck.”
The Ironman 70.3 consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. The swim in Lake Pontchartrain is in jeopardy. Burke said it would be unsafe to swim with winds exceeding 15 mph Sunday, and he is investigating the feasibility of relocating to an area where conditions will not endanger the swimmers.
“The safety of the competitors is first and foremost,” he said. “We are looking at every possible option to do some sort of abbreviated swim-bike-run, but I don’t know if that is possible. If not, I would probably do a run-bike-run.”
Recent heavy rains have caused flooding on segments of the bike course on Lakeshore Drive, and with the probability of more rain Saturday, it is likely that the bike course also will be altered, according to Burke.
Burke said he is working with city officials and intends to notify competitors of any changes as soon as possible"

#3: Floating Bodies

New Orleans police say a body was found Monday morning in Lake Pontchartrain near where Bilder Lopez, 17, went missing Saturday afternoon.  Yep, Lake Pontchartrain is where we are supposed to do the swim...  and while my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the teenager who was lost - it doesn't leave a positive mental image to think that there was a dead body floating around where you're swimming- or wondering if there are others.



Sooooo.... that's how my weekend is shaping up.  It's my first race of the season, so I'm going to just suck it up and carry on.  We'll do our best to stay safe, will bring rain jackets and maybe put some anti-bacterial wipes in my Bento Box in case we do swim. 

I love this sport, I really do.   (Might have to repeat that to myself a few times)


Jon said...

Please be careful out there! But! Have a great race!

Karen said...

Wow that is a lot of weirdness going into the race... I had considered NOLA but was worried about the swim and weather events of last year coming back again. Hopefully it will all blow over early and it will be an awesome race!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

"I love this sport, I really do" Just keep repeating it.

I hope the weather is wrong, maybe Mother Nature takes a break for a day and lets you race.

I wont get on my WTC soapbox today

Be safe and Have Fun

And enjoy your reward for all your hard work


Have a good race
I wouldn't leave my bike unattended in any City, to tell you the truth...
Any NO would definitely be at the top of the list...

Julie said...

I just read about the weather issues! But the body ick!

Good luck and be careful!

Christi said...

I am sending you the best of luck Shannon. I hope the race gods cooperate and make all the dire predictions for race day mute points!

Unknown said...

That last pick is the poster for "Jaws" but the shark has been replaced with a zombie. They should make that the race poster for next year - it would make me want to race it!

Why the hell did you choose NO over Galveston again?

RockStarTri said...

I hate when the weather forecast wreaks havoc with races and the stress leading up to it. Hope it all works out.

Tri4Success said...

You know, it's just this kind of craziness that etches an event in your mind for years to come. Now, go out there and rock it!

CarolynB said...

Be smart and safe. And yes keep repeating your mantra that you really love this sport.

Jason said...

I'm late to the comment party and know what happened out there but way to stay positive and get the race in and done. Onto bigger and better this year.

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