The 2010 Ironman® Wisconsin was a watershed event for Endurance Nation, with so much special stuff happening that it will likely take us several days to process all of it and share it with you. But let me (Rich) set the stage for you:
2009 — Never Bet Against the EN Chickas
Last year, Saturday night before the race, Patrick and I were having a few beers at the Great Dane with some of our members in town to spectate, volunteer and register for 2010. Beth Schwindt mentioned that about 6 women of EN were thinking of signing up and I, like a dumbass, said “If you can get 10 women to do the race next year I’ll be at Mile 18 in a pink speedo!!” Out comes the cellphone, Beth starts to dial and by the next day we have about 12 women registered. Then, over the course of the year, a total of about 20 women were added to our roster of “EN Chickas” now racing IMWI’10. Yeehaw!
A simple race registration became a movement of huge proportions. The short list:
- Back in the early days of EN, Patrick and I created a Women’s Forum for the ladies. We rarely peek our heads in there, probably for the better, but the traffic and mojo in there is off. the. charts. The women of EN have indeed carved out for themselves a special place in the tri world. With so many women training, learning, and supporting each other virtually for nearly a year…it was just stoopid cool, as the founders and coaches of the community, to sit back and watch it all happen.
- Ironman® Wisconsin Tri-Rally — the Chickas began to organize their own training camp and were kind enough to let Patrick and I piggyback on our Tri-Rally onto their event. We had 70+ athletes in attendance, with many EN members traveling to Madison to train on the course and, more importantly, meet and train with each other.
- The Chickas mailed a couple Ironman® Wisconsin posters to each other to be displayed in their Pain Caves as they trained together, virtually, for the race. The poster was signed by the receiving Chicka and sent on to the next Chicka. Finally, the posters were presented to Patrick and I at the team dinner on Thursday, a total, and very appreciated, surprise gift.
- Chicka Gear: pink visors, “I’m with Her” t-shirts for their family members and much more.
- Custom speedos: lastly…the speedos. Words can’t describe, see the pictures below, but somehow all of _this_ vibe above was enough to convince over 10 EN Doodes to don the pink and bare it all…mostly, thank goodness!
By race week our official roster included 39 EN athletes racing on Sunday. Patrick and I flew into town on Thursday to host the TeamEN dinner at Gray’s Tied House in Verona, with nearly 70 people on the dinner list. Always one of the highlights of these weekends, for Patrick and I, this dinner was extra special as we watched many EN members, who had known each other virtually for years, finally meet in person. Again…just friggin’ cool!
Four Keys of Race ExecutionPre-Race Talk
On Friday, Patrick and I hosted our team and the Ironman® community for our Four Keys talk, our 7th 4k presentation of this season alone, for a total of over 700 athletes. About 25 EN athletes met me near the Ford display and we were soon joined by the 50+(!) who had met Patrick at the KSwiss booth and followed him upstairs. Within minutes of starting the talk our total attendance was probably north of 130 athletes, likely our biggest turnout ever. Patrick and I got everyone’s minds right about racing Ironman® Wisconsin and gave them all a free 4k DVD.
Saturday — Train with the Coaches on the Course
With rain in the forecast, Patrick and I were joined by a couple members in town to spectate on Saturday. We were joined by Matt Ancona, M25-29 Wisconsin winner last year, scheduled for one of his last long rides before Kona, and new member Brian Comiskey. Somehow, I was able to resist the siren call of my traditional Walgreens parking lot brat in Verona.
Next: Race Recap Part II, Race Day
Below is just a preview of what we have in store for you in Part II. Enjoy!
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