With 4 sprints & 1 Olympic under my belt, I've decided to do a Half Ironman in 2014. I was already favoring Ironman Augusta, but I thought there may be other races out there that I should consider, so I took my quandary to the World Wide Web & got a lot of great feedback. I took everyone's suggestions & made a spreadsheet with race dates, prices & locations.
It looks like Ironman Augusta is the winner. Well, pending the announcement of the 2014 race date. The race is usually the last Sunday in September, which next year, is the same day as Ironman Chattanooga. I have no idea if they'll change the date, but hopefully it will be announced soon.
So you know there are 4 triathlon distances: sprint, Olympic, half iron, full iron. The half iron distance is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile ride, 13.1 mile run. It's basically double the distance of the Tri Fall Creek Falls Olympic I did this summer.
Ironman Augusta is recommended as a great first half iron for a lot of reasons:
- It's an Ironman branded race, so lots of fanfare & red carpet
- The swim is notoriously easy
- The "hilly" bike course is flat compared to Nashville
- The majority of the run is through the city with a ton of spectators & crowd support.
Also, I can drive to Augusta, Georgia. And, pending the date, I can stay at Chateau McLyman. AND... I potentially have 12 months to train as opposed to some of the other races that take place in May & June.
Speaking of training, I need to decide how I'm going to train. I could do what I did for Tri Fall Creek Falls & follow a training plan on the internet, but it seems dumb to spend all that money on an Ironman branded race & then half-ass train for it. I feel like this level of racing merits legit training.
I'm exploring two options: 1) hiring a coach; & 2) joining a team. I don't want to just finish this race, I want to finish it with a time that reflects the amount of work I put into my training. It's time to get faster & I don't think I can do that on my own.
Lastly, because I keep getting asked this, doing this race will not make me an Ironman. You're an Ironman when you complete a FULL iron. I'm just doing a half. For now...