Friday, April 27, 2007

It Better Not Rain

The folks coordinating Ironman Louisville seem to have finished celebrating New Year. This is obvious from the release of the IM The Ville course maps which were promised early in the new year. Perhaps they meant the Chinese New Year!

There ARE a few issues with the course. Most notably, the swim. Late in 2006, e-mails from the race director suggested a point-to-point swim with the current. My impression of that, given a "right to left" flow of current would be:

Finish <--------------------------------------------------------------Start

If you check out the swim map, you'll note it looks a lot more like this:

Start >------------------->------------------->--------------------------->

Finish<------------------<--------------------<--------------------------<

Even though my degree is in finance, it seems pretty apparent to me that approximately 1.2 miles of this course will be upriver. Luckily, it is the first half. The IM The Ville site indicates it will be against a "slight current."

Well, I did some digging and came up with generally ambiguous information. If I'm reading everything correctly, we will be swimming ABOVE the McAlpine Locks (in the upper pool). This is good, as current there rarely exceeds 2 mph.

If, however, there is a good rain prior to race day, we could be in trouble. Then, it is quite possible for current to exceed 2 mph. Given that is about the pace I swim any given day, it could make for a LONG swim. Regardless, swimming upriver for 1.2 miles will significantly impact the estimate I will be using for swim time.

If anyone happens to be familiar with swimming this section of the river, any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

13 comments:

nancytoby said...

Maybe you can tow an inner tube upriver and ride it back.

Looks like a good run course past Churchill Downs!!

tarheeltri said...

According to the map it looks to be an in-water start. That's got to be wrong, I hope. How would you not drift downstream? Hang on to the Belle of Louisville, maybe.

Iron Pol said...

Rumor has that it will be a barge start. Of course, rumor also had that it would be a point-to-point swim, with the current.

Nytro said...

if it makes you feel better... even when i'm in a pool, i feel like i'm swimming upriver....

better?

Gus said...

i only doggy-paddle.... so i can't help you with that.

perhaps, though, i could dig a nice hole for you to store you gear in at transition. would that help?

... you asked for it, btw.

Iron Pol said...

Good Gus! You're a big sweetie! Let's play fetch. You know, fetch Nytro's shoes. Fetch the fence posts. Fetch the doghouse.

Good boy!

Mary Sunshine said...

Yup, my biggest fear has become a reality so I'd better get my butt into the water and work on the swim. Please, God, let them allow wetsuits!

Mary K. Sunshine--IronmanID 99333

Iron Benny said...

About your swim time estimate, don't forget that you will be swimming downstream for the other half. So, won't your fast half and slow half equal out to your aproximate time. The same can be said about your effort, maybe. Just a thought. And if you see Gus, keep him, please. Later
Benny

Cliff Tam said...

haha..Nytro is so funny.

Is there a river with current u can train with? I am sure that will help in building your confidence in swimming upstream.

Dave said...

I once swam in a triathlon into a "slight" current. It was very similar to being in an endless pool. Anyway I'm sure everything will turn out fine. I'd be looking for a nice big draft on the way upstream.

Keep up the good work.

Pete said...

Vineman 70.3 goes up the Russian River, but at a point it is in mid-summer and the river is low and slow, AND the swim starts just before a temporary dam put in place each summer to create the beach at Guerneville. End result is that the current is slight. But generally people swim the second half (coming back with the current, after the turnaround) a minute or so faster than the first half.

triathlonmom said...

We swim in the James River against the current and then back here in Richmond, VA....it isn't as bad as you think it would be (with the wetsuit, that is)....and you FLY back down river in no time flat!

SkiRough said...

Nancy's idea is $$ :)

Having been in Nashville in April, I am now obsessing over how HOT it is going to be in Louisville when I am down there. It was SMOKING in Nashville... and it's just April!