Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tracking athletes at Ironman Florida on race day

Ironman Florida race day is this Saturday, November 4th. The race begins with the mass swim start at 7AM local (central) time which is 8AM east coast time.

Online coverage should begin about a half hour before the swim start. You may be able to find a link to live streaming video coverage from either http://www.ironmanlive.com/ or http://www.ironmanflorida.com/

If you want the latest split data for an athlete, go to http://www.ironmanlive.com/ and click on the athlete tracker, then do a search for them. To track an athlete using the system, you need to know either their race bib number or their surname. If your athlete has a blog, you may also find the race bib number posted on their blog recently.

Be aware that the system is often flaky and may fail to update for an hour or more at times of heavy usage. Don't jump to conclusions that something awful has happened to your athlete!

Finding athletes: You can generate a list of all participants and their race numbers here. If you don't know a semi-anonymous blogger's real surname but you know their first name and where they're from, you may be able to figure it out from this list.

A listing of our friends and volunteers who will be at Ironman Florida is here. I've added some of the bib numbers that I can find to the list.

Usually the Ironman races are boiled down to one official hour-long telecast, which will probably be broadcast in a couple of months on the Versus cable channel, but don't count on seeing anyone you know unless they finished in the top five.

The secret signal

Don't forget the secret "IM" hand signal!! Only those "in the know" will know about it!!

Here's some special encouragement from Calgary, Alberta from some fellow athletes, who have provided some wonderful song lyrics to howl at the moon when we're all running out there in the dark on Saturday night.

Our IMFL'06 friends - updated!

We're delighted that some fellow bloggers and IMFL email list members will be with us on the Ironman Florida course! The official IMFL 2006 entrant list is here.

We will begin with these (if your blog, home page, or race number isn't linked below and you wish it to be, please tell us in the comments!):

And some FOB (Friends of Bolder) folks:

And from TRI-DRS:

And we can't forget our Iron Volunteers! Even if you couldn't enter, there's always room for more volunteers - and hey, it's a beach town!! Come on down!!!

Who else out there in blogland will be with us? Would any of you planning to attend or volunteer or spectate in 2006 like to join this IMFL blog for 2007 as a co-author? We would love to have you with us, just let us know!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006


OK, I put some photos in my album on our Yahoo homepage. Yahoo is letting me upload photos. Blogspot isn't. Blogspot hates me. Anyway, go there (it only works for group members though) and scroll down a row or two till you see beach pictures. Those are THE BEACH and THE GULF OF MEXICO, and the other pictures are all the other stuff that's being gotten ready for us.

Sure wish I could post them to Blogspot. Dang. Nope.... just tried again. I get "Your images are being uploaded to Blogger" like forever and then "Page cannot be found." Blogger hates me.

Florida rocks; Blogspot sucks....

I'm trying to post pictures -- of the beach, as in THE BEACH, where we'll start; the transition area, which is blocked off now and being swept and cleaned up; of the parking deck which is also closed off while tents are set up for the Expo; of people doing practice swims; cool IM-related camping rigs housing our neigbors at the campground..... I CAN'T UPLOAD ANY PICTURES !!!! >:-< Blogspot drives me crazy.

Well, we'll have to try the thousand-words technique. The beach is white and sandy and the aqua water is calm and cool. The air is neither hot nor cold, just right. More and more IM stuff is popping up... trucks, crew guys in IM t-shirts. A big U-Haul unloading bottled water and other stuff into a tent. Other tents in various stages of being put up.

Single bikers and group riders boogeying up and down the streets. Runners. People in wetsuits in the water.


I've been wearing my red bandana everywhere, even though as far as I know only Rich has been here all weekend, and Shelley is supposed to get in tonight. This is getting more and more fun. Can't wait to see everyone!

Local hookups

I found a restaurant/bar not far from the race site in Panama City that has a live webcam at the bar.

I can't comment on the food and drink, not having been there, but I believe they have free wireless connections, so I may go by it some time just to send/receive some email and update my blogs. And rehydrate, of course.

I think I may also stop in there after the race to wave in the live web camera to the folks back home!

The moon will shine on Ironman Florida

I was thinking about getting a headlamp for the run leg of Ironman Florida - but when I saw this information, I figured, who needs it? I'll have an enormous moon shining directly overhead at 11PM!

Sun and Moon Data for Ironman Florida 2006

The following information is provided for Panama City, Bay County, Florida (longitude W85.7, latitude N30.2):

4 November 2006 Central Standard Time

Begin civil twilight 5:34 a.m.
Sunrise 5:59 a.m.
Sun transit 11:26 a.m.
Sunset 4:53 p.m.
End civil twilight 5:18 p.m.

Moonrise 3:35 p.m. on preceding day
Moonset 4:53 a.m.
Moonrise 4:11 p.m.
Moon transit 11:03 p.m.
Moonset 6:05 a.m. on following day

Phase of the Moon on 4 November: waxing gibbous with 99% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.

Full Moon on 5 November 2006 at 6:58 a.m. Central Standard Time.

Ready to meet up?

Those of us bloggers that want to be recognized and say hello to each other during the race are going to wear RED BANDANAS somewhere on our body - neck or arm or wrist where they can be seen coming and going would work best! After all, red is fast!

How about we all try to meet by the athlete's dinner on Thursday about an hour in advance of the start - about 4:30 PM - to introduce ourselves and show the colors?? If not then, at the dinner Shelley said she would try to make sign that will say something like "Tri-Bloggers and TRI-DRS" and have it at our table so everyone can gather and say hello and sit together, if they wish.

It just keeps getting better

The photo above is Panama City Beach on the morning of Monday, October 30th.

Accuweather says now:

Saturday Nov. 4
Sunny to partly cloudy and pleasant. Winds from the NE at 10 mph.
Realfeel®: 71 °F
High: 70 °F

Saturday Night, Nov 4
Mostly Clear
A moonlit sky. Winds from the ENE at 8 mph.
Realfeel®: 49 °F
Low: 52 °F

Northeast winds will be fine - a little extra push on the second half of the ride back towards the coast!!

Even the surf outlook is excellent for us weak swimmers and non-surfers:


High pressure sits over the deep South and the Gulf coast states. No surf is expected for the next several days as moderate East flow will prevail. Maybe an East windswell trace on East facing beach to the far west panhandle on Monday/Tuesday.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Still checking the forecasts

all seem to be in general agreement about Saturday November 4th, 6.5 days from now:

High 72°F to 75°F
Low 50°F
Mainly sunny. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 50s.
Winds ~12 mph from the north.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Accuweather forecast for race day is IN!

Panama City Beach, Florida
Saturday, Nov 4


Low: 51 °F
High: 73 °F

Monday, October 23, 2006

Packed for Ironman Florida!

Yes I am!! Well, about 80% packed for race day. Are you?

All my essential race gear (besides my bike) is in this duffle bag. Yes, I've got all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. Tribiketransport better do their job and get it to me in Panama City Beach along with my bike, or there will be no race for me! But I figured if they didn't get my bike there as promised, there would be no race anyway. I'm dropping it all off at the local bike shop tomorrow night.

This is the most important bag of all. Notice the luggage tag to ID it, along with ID packed inside the bag and name embroidered on the front, and computer tie ready to seal it closed at the last minute - all insurance that the contents actually reach me in Florida.

I'll check it against my Ironman packing list before I actually head down to Florida myself in another ten days, but I wrote down everything as I packed it so that I could keep track of what I had already shipped. I fit an unbelievable amount of stuff in this one essential bag weighing only about 20 pounds!

My bike pedals still have to go into the bag for shipment, but I couldn't get them off myself so I'll have to ask the bike shop to do it.

Bag contents:

Swim stuff:
2 wetsuit tops (with and without sleeves)
wetsuit bottom
new goggles
bright swim cap for practice swims
mesh bag for swim practices
cheap flipflops

Bike stuff:
bike helmet
bike shoes with new cleats
Extra cleats
Extra skewer
pedal wrench
Extra tubes
Extra cartridges
2 pairs sunglasses (dark and amber)
water bottle
extra salt capsules
bike jersey
bike shorts
bike jacket
arm warmers
bike gloves
chamois lubricant
number belt
lip balm
spray sunblock

Run stuff:
run shorts
extra socks
run singlet
thin long-sleeved shirt
heavy long-sleeved shirt
run belt with bandana, sunglasses, extra contact lens
glow necklaces and bracelets

2 gel packs for pre-race
2 bottles Ensure
3 gel flasks full of homemade gel
2 extra canisters salt capsules

I still get a second chance if I forgot anything in the suitcase I'll bring with me on my flight down. But that's most of it, all packed in small grocery bags and ready to go right into my transition bags!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Did they lie?

They PROMISED us bib numbers today!!

But I've been looking and looking and looking and they're STILL NOT UP!!

I'm not quite sure why it's important to me, BUT IT IS. WHERE ARE THEY??

I'm hoping for 1559. Or 1659. Or 666. Or 911. Or something else meaningful. How about you?

Update: Still waiting on Saturday afternoon . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . .

I guess they just said "We will be assigning race numbers to the 2006 Ford Ironman Florida on Friday, October 20." but I assumed that meant they would also let US know then, too.

But we're chopped liver?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The really important IMFL prep

I've nearly finished buying all my race supplies for Ironman Florida!! This is what I scored yesterday at the local dollar store:

First, reflective tape, which is required front and back on the shirts of runners that are out there on the marathon course after dark (as I will be).

Second, blinking necklaces!! In RED! Which means FAST! Yes, they hand out glow necklaces on the course, but those don't blink, and they're probably in dumb colors that won't go with my race gear, and they don't blink. So these will be IMPORTANT to my race performance!!

And finally, glow bracelets. Lots of them. It's important for a girl to be properly accessorized.

It's also important not to take this Ironman thing WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, like SOME folks I know. Who will not be linked to from this post, but they know who they are. Well, on second thought, they probably don't know who they are, sadly.

Let's have some FUN out there, people!!! It's way too long a day to do otherwise!!

A little Wager??

We are going to have a little IMFLA wager. All you have to do is submit what you think your finishing time will be at IMFLA. We all put $5.00 in a pot. Who ever comes closest to their predicted finishing time wins the whole pot.

Just e-mail me at tri_gear@yahoo.com or go and post it on my blog. http://www.ironm4n.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's becoming real

I just received this email:

Dear Ford Ironman Florida Participants,

We will be assigning race numbers to the 2006 Ford Ironman Florida on Friday, October 20. If you are not racing and do NOT wish to have a race number assigned, please let us know by return email on or before Thursday, October 19. Be sure to include your name in the body of the email.

If you have any other inquiry, please do not respond to this email and instead email us at admin@ironmannorthamerica.com and be sure to include the subject of your inquiry in the subject field as it will help us route your inquiry and expedite the response.

Melody Givens
Ironman North America

I suppose that means if I'm going to back out, I'd better do it now!

Nahhhh... I'M IN!! BRING IT ON!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


There's a great new triblog coming to us from Kona via active.com: IronBlog. Follow along with us and your fellow triathletes as we get psyched!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More IMFL bike course

Here's another great review of the IMFL bike course.

Also, below are a few screen shots that I took off of Google Earth. First the beach and transition area in the center:

This bridge is the highest point of the course, that we will cross twice at about Mile 12 and Mile 101.

This is a much smaller bridge we will cross at about Mile 65 while we're on County Road 2301.

Monday, October 09, 2006


That ride I didn't want to do. Did it. Loved it. I didn't make 75 miles (did 67), not because I couldn't but because that's how many miles were in the route I took.

I went east on U.S. 55 to Wardensville, WV. Now, as soon as I crossed the state line into WV, the nice gently-rolling Virginia byway I was on became West-by-Gawd-Virginia, 6,000 miles up in the air. Apparently I was going uphill even when I thought I was going down, because at one point I got off the bike and checked to see if my brakes were stuck against my tires or something. Nope. Everything was fine with the bike. It's just West-by-Gawd-Virginia, of which Garrett County, MD (where I normally live) is part, even though it's in Maryland.

Anyway. Finally I was on a grade that could be perceived as nothing other than pure uphill. Up and up and up I ground, in my granny gear, for the longest time. And up. And up. And up. FINALLY got to the top, where one of those down-bound-truck-warning signs informed me: "9% grade next 4 miles." I wailed, "Oh, no, I'm going to have to go up it on the way home!" That must have been what I just came up. I went down it with my brakes on most of the time. I don't do downhills hell-bent-for-leather unless (a) I know the hill like the back of my hand or (b) I'm wearing leather. (Not that I have any.)

Stopped in Wardensville at a 7-11 to refill my fluids and food. The sign on the bathroom said, "HALT!! Not a public restroom. Management must OK use." So I asked the cashier. Told her, "I've ridden from Winchester [32 miles], and I drank more water than I probably should have, and I really need to go." She said, "Gosh, I'd like to say yes, but I can't let anyone use it right now, they're counting money in there."


Found a laundromat nearby with a very nice bathroom. And then a very nice police officer who told me a MUCH better way to go home. Rolling, a few hills, beautiful scenery, thru 2 WV counties and out onto US Rte. 50, which is the very same road I'm using for my virtual cross-country bike ride [scroll down in the sidebar], which I haven't updated for quite a while. It was neat to be on Rte. 50 here in VA, which would be so close to the end of my virtual trip, when in fact I'm so close to my training-for-IMFL journey.

Anyway.... I did it, and I'm glad! I'm actually kind of looking forward to the challenge of tomorrow's 20/11 brick. Or 20/13, if I feel really good. Thing is, I tend to set these expectations of myself; if 13 is one of the choices, I'll have to be next-to-dragging to decide on the 11.

Or I could do 12.

IMFL'06 participant information guide

It's now posted online here. Be sure to share the link with family and friends that may want to know all the details about your participation and when/where to find you!

Also make sure that online friends know your actual real-life surname (or race number) for tracking you online at http://www.ironmanlive.com/ on race day.

I also found it helpful to review the IMFL 2005 photo gallery to get some ideas of what the transition area looks like.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mapping the IMFL bike course

The official map of the Ironman Florida bike course is too vague for me. I need to know mile markers. I need to know what's coming to plan my race strategy. I take that rule about the participant being responsible for knowing the course quite seriously!!!

Here's a gmaps version of the Ironman Florida bike course that I mapped out. One turnaround is not exact, so it comes out to about 113.3 miles total, but it should be otherwise as correct as most bike computers. These mileages are all approximate.

Major turns (mostly right turns in a clockwise loop) are just after:
Mile 6 onto N. Arnold Rd/Hwy 79
Over the West Bay Bridge
Mile 12 onto Hwy 79
Mile 22 onto Hwy 20
(I've heard unofficially that the special needs stop may be just before the turn, which would put it quite early, about mile 48-49?? Watch carefully for it!)
Mile 49 onto Hwy 231
Mile 58 onto Camp Flowers Road to County Rd 2301
Over the bridge over Clearwater Lake
Mile 69 onto County Hwy 388
Mile 73-74? turnaround
Mile 89 stays on County Hwy 388 (via 77)
Mile 101 left back onto N. Arnold Rd/Hwy 79
Back over the West Bay Bridge
Mile 106 left onto Front Beach Road (to S. Thomas Drive and T2)

Also, just for reference, here is the Yahoo map location of the host hotel, the Boardwalk Beach Resort in Panama City Beach.

Don't forget to bookmark these for reference before the race!

Ironman broadcast schedule

Want to get PSYCHED?? Just catch one of the Ironman broadcasts on (the former OLN-TV, now retitled) Versus. Here's the rundown of broadcasts - Ironman Arizona is playing this week. I even caught a glimpse of the aid station our own Commodore and Mistress were working at!

Here's the link to find the Versus channel number in your area.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

29 days

Less than a month to go. Before we know it, we'll be standing in the sand on Panama City Beach, looking out into the deep blue unknown.

It gives me shivers, it does.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

IM Florida Theme Song

This little ditty is by Comm.

(You know the tune. )

East bound and down, Florida we are comin’,
We're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
We’re east bound, just watch us triathletes run.

Keep your foot hard on the pedal. Son, never mind them brakes.
Let it all hang out 'cause we got a bike cut off to make.
Tri-geeks dreamer came from north of Atlanta and west of Texarkana
And we’ll cross that line no matter what it takes.

East bound and down, Florida we are comin’,
We're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
We’re east bound, just was us triathletes run.

Ol’ refs have got his eyes out and he’s looking at your line.
He ain’t gonna rest til you are two lengths behind.
So you got to dodge im’ and you got to duck im’.
You got keep that tri bike truckin’
Just put that hammer down and give it hell.

East bound and down, Florida we are comin’,
We're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
We’re east bound, just watch us triathletes run.

Ironman Louisville

Next August 26th. Who's in?

It could really be a scorcher - here are the stats for that day in Louisville:

The Average High Temperature is 87 F with a historical range of 75 F to 96 F
The Average Low Temperature is 68 F with a historical range of 56 F to 75 F
There is a 39% chance of a Hot Day (temperature over 90°F).
(11 days out of 28 in historical record)

Daily Precipitation
The Average Daily Precipitation is 0.11 with a historical range of 0.00 to 1.12
There is a 29% chance of a Precipitation Day.
(8 days out of 28 in historical record)

Cloud Cover
Average Cloud Cover is partly cloudy

The Average Wind is 5 mph with a historical range of 0 mph to 10 mph

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