Ironman LP Ironman Triathlon

07/30/2014 » Lake Placid,NY » www.ironman.com

Ironman Lake Placid was the culmination of an amazing journey for five Migonis Multisport athletes. Joe Hatfield, Scott Milnamow, Dana Cooreman, Katie Sullivan and Tim Leonard all accomplished something that they set out to do 12 months ago and their results blew my expectations out of the water. The day was full of nerves, excitement, scary situations, tears and the overwhelming feeling of accomplishing something that most people would say was “insane.”

The day started off nice and cool. Everyone gathered at the Migonis Multisport tent prior to the race to relax, take in some last minute nutrition and find a bathroom. Everyone was in great spirits and ready to take on the 140.6 mile monster known as Ironman Lake Placid. 6:15 rolled around and every age-grouper gathered by the water’s edge. The new self-seeding method that Ironman introduced last year allows the athletes to put themselves in the water with others who are of similar swimming ability and within the same finishing time range. This makes for a much safer and less stressful race for everyone. 30 minutes into the swim the sky started to get very cloudy and the rain started coming down. It wasn’t long before it really started to pour. The athletes in the water hadn’t realized it yet, but they were going to be in for a very, very wet and cold bike ride.

Joe was the first to exit the water. He swam his predicted pace and emerged from Mirror Lake just over an hour after he entered. Shortly after Joe ran past the rain started to get heavier. If was evident that this storm was here to stay for a while. About 10 minutes after Joe came through Scott emerged at the top of the hill heading towards T1. He was all smiles until he heard the first rumble of thunder.   About 12 minute after Scott came Tim. He had a great swim and looked great for a guy who was competing in his first Ironman. When Tim went bye was when things really started to get interesting as lightning started lighting up the sky. The storm forced the directors to bring back all of the athletes who were still in the water as quickly as possible. That meant that the second swim loop would not count in the days results, even if some of the athletes had completed both loops. Dana and Katie were both part of the group that got caught in the storm and had to cut their swim short. Thankfully nobody was hurt.

Out on the bike the rain continued to come down in buckets. All of us watching were scared for our friends and all the competitors. The thought of each of them riding nine miles down the mountain to Keene was hard to imagine. We all stood at the tent or took cover in the building we were allowed to use until the rain let up.

Joe was again the first Migonis Multisport athlete to come through the first loop of the bike. He was a little slower than expected, but with the weather being what it was we weren’t sure how long it was going to take for everyone to get through that mess. It turns out that Joe had a long stop due to a flat tire. Luckily he stayed calm and got through it. Next was Scott who was just all smiles as usually. He seemed to be really enjoying his day. Then came Tim, who didn’t realize it yet, but his second loop was about to get a whole lot harder with mechanical bike issues. Tim was closely followed by Katie who was just flying on the bike and then very smart racing Dana who knew what was ahead and just road her own race.

The rains held off for most of the rest of the bike other than a few spotty showers here and there. Joe went quite a bit faster on the second loop and it was very apparent when he hit the run that this had the makings of a very special day. He looked great and with the exception of not having his watch he seemed to have no worries. Scott also looked really good as he was still smiling heading into and then out of T2. He too was on pace to have a great day and a huge improvement over his 2012 time. Katie was third into T2. She still looked great and she still acted as if she was having a great time. Tim was next having dealt with a faulty rear derailleur for 50+ miles. Going uphill was much harder than usual. Steady Dana was next in. Whew, everyone made it to the bike in one piece.

Coming out of T2 it was obvious that Katie was here to race and she was here to have fun as she stormed out of T2 blowing kisses to her family along the way. Next came Dana who looked like she was on a mission. I told her prior to the race that if she made it to the run feeling good that she was going to run down a lot of people and she would go much faster than she thought possible. Tim took his time in T2 making sure he was comfortable heading into the marathon. Once out on the road he looked great.

Throughout the run everyone looked good, happy, mad, tired then relieved. There are so many emotions. I too was all over the place. I was excited, then worried, then overjoyed, then crying and finally in a place where I didn’t know what to do other than sit by myself in a chair. I knew that everyone I worked with for the past year was going to accomplish their number one goal of finishing this race. I was really happier than any other point in my coaching career.

I made sure to watch everyone finish and be there after they crossed the line to congratulate them on a job very well done. I had written down some goals time that I didn’t share with any of them until afterwards. Here are the goals followed by the actual times (the actual times took their first swim loop and doubled it and added 5 minutes of T1 which also didn’t show up in the final results. These are not an official times):

Goal:

Joe: sub 11:00

Scott: 12:30-13:00

Dana: Sub 13:00

Katie: Sub 14:00

Tim: Finish

 

Actual:

Joe: 10:27

Scott: 12:43

Dana: 12:38

Katie: 13:19

Tim: 14:47

Well done team, well done! You all should be very proud of yourselves for all the hard work you’ve done and sacrifices you’ve made over the past year. It really did pay off.