Ironman Louisville- A Coach/Manager’s Perspective

Ironman Louisville was as hectic and busy as they come. I say this from the perspective of a coacn and manager. We always want BZ athletes to be 100% ready for the race and try to do our best to leave no stone unturned and make their lives as easy as possible in the days leading up to the race. At IML we had six age groupers racing and two Pro athletes we manage. My time there was spent shuttling the Pro’s around to and from race site and hotel and also readying their bikes along with the age groupers. I really enjoy this kind of thing though and it hardly seems like work working with such great friends and good people. I like taping the spare tubulars on the frames, stretching the athletes, shooting pictures and training alongside them. Beofre an IM the athletes, whether Pro or AG, are very pumped and even the nervous energy can be exciting. our Pro’s there AJ and Lisbeth are great friends as well and this was Lisbeths second race back since giving birth eight months ago. AJ had a string of bad luck at races and he was looking at doing somehting special. I spent much time with them pre race getting the bikes cleaned (yes I cleaned them in the hallway of the Hilton with a washcloth and an ice bucket of soapy water). We also had to do some food shopping for AJ’s sweet tooth and baby Astrids food. This was made possible as i had found a Krogers that carries Organic baby food before I even left Miami. I always have the following items ready for the atheltes: black tape, allen screwdriver set, crack pipe air adaptor.
the day started with pumping up the tires, stretching the athletes, picutre taking and listening in on the TV guys interviewing the AJ and Lisbeth. I carry all the bags for them, watch the swim start and then trek back 2 miles to the swim exit. more picutres of the Pro’s and Zenners at the swim exit. A few words of encouragement and a couple of time splits are given then off to drive the course. Once out there more of the same- time splits and pictures. Then off to the T2.This is where the race really starts and gotta go back to hotel, get bike to ride on the run course to pre determined areas. More time splits and a lot of “looking good out there”. Then off to the finish line to wait.
For the Pro’s after the race I always make sure to have a clean hand towel to wipe off their faces after they cross the finish line and a cold bottle of water. I also will have various sponsor apparel for them to wear if they need it. This race was different as part of my job was to make sure Lisbeth got Astrid after she crossed the line. Lisbeth ended up placing third after leading most of the race and AJ had to pull out due to back probelms. It was a bitter sweet day for them. AND watch out for Lisbeth in the future as she will get back into her IM winning shape in the next few months. Our AGers did great with the BZ crew crossing the line with smiles and grea memories. In the end the day had started at 4:45 and I crawled into bed at midnight. It was hectic, emotional but worth it. Love the job even through the grease on my hands!!

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