November 17, 2009 at 1:03 am #11225
I don’t get it…. All the other IMs are already sold out, or do sell out within 24hrs. Is IM Louisville Ky really that bad? terrible destination? just not sexy enough? What gives?November 17, 2009 at 2:33 am #145703
A guy who did it a couple of years ago told me that the swim has a really heavy river current. Not being a strong swimmer myself, the prospect of taking that kind of beating before a day on the bike and running would keep me out (if I were into IM).November 17, 2009 at 3:42 am #145712
This past August I raced Louisville–my first Ironman–and it was an awesome experience. When I signed up weeks after registration opened, I remember asking myself the very same question.
I’m still not sure why the race fills up so slowly. Some potential reasons:
1) Perhaps folks don’t want to swim in the Ohio (I did get sick from the water 2 days before the race during the practice swim, no carbo loading the day before, but I still survived) or are turned off by the time trial start (which is actually awesome). I can’t imagine it has anything to do with the current though. It’s not very strong and you only swim upstream for about 1/3 of the distance. If you look at the swim times of IMKY, they are actually quite fast. The water is seriously pretty nasty though.
2) The course can be hot. Coming from Chicago, this terrified me; however, last year I was blessed with an afternoon high in the upper 70s (and morning/evening lows in the 60s!). That said, I heard that in years past the heat index has been near 100 degrees. Better lock down that hydration plan and stock up on Salt-Sticks early.
3) The bike course is relentlessly hilly. No major climbs, no terrifying descents, but certainly not a rhythm course. The course is quite beautiful though (especially the hilliest sections deep in horse country), and a large reason I choose to race Louisville. The marathon is flat as a pancake but with little shade. Crowd support seemed okay, but I don’t have much to compare it to.
The bottom line: Every IM course is going to have it’s challenges. As a mentor said, the key to success is knowing what those challenges are and preparing for them. Good luck.
JNovember 17, 2009 at 3:43 am #145713
I did IMKY in 2008. The swim is actually set up so that you head east for a little less than a mile against a current, which is minimized because you are in a narrow passage between the shore and an island. The rest of the way is with the current. I personally didn’t find the current going either way to be a big problem, and I’m a weak swimmer myself (1:42 swim time that year, 1:33 this year at IMFL). The lack of a mass start, which makes things easier, does make for a less exciting start to your day. So, I don’t take the swim to be much of a deal-breaker for the race. The bike, for me at least, was hot, tough, and hilly. But it was also pretty scenic. Had I been in a little better shape, I would have enjoyed it more. No deal-breaker here. The run, however, is somewhat of a different story. The course, save for the turn-around and finish at Firth Street Live, left much to be desired. There was nothing to see, and it went through some seemingly shady parts of town. The sites that are advertised as pat of the run course (the University and Churchill Downs) are not to be seen. Still, I’m not sure if it’s quite a deal-breaker — or at least enough of one for it to still be open after 2.5 months. And as for the overall functioning of the event, I was more than pleased. It was just as well-run as any other M-dot event I’ve done. It may just bethat it’s still a young race, it hasn’t built up a great reputation (possibly for good reasons), and doesn’t have a base of long-time customers like some of the other races do. I’m still surprised, but pleased, as I plan on signing up when I get my next pay check. So, if anyone out there is considering this race, please wait untl after Friday to seal the deal.November 17, 2009 at 4:25 am #145715
i would think that the potential kentucky heat and humidity in august scares a lot of people away. it’s 2 hours south of me, i wouldn’t consider doing it because 100 degrees and humid would make for a miserable day.November 17, 2009 at 4:34 am #145716
Who wants to go to Kentucky for vacation? (not trying to offend anyone if you live there) Not much to do there but race the course. The time trial swim start also takes away from the whole IM experience in my opinion. Also last year was an exception in temp. It is usually hot and humid that time of year.
All that being said if it still has slots open in Jan I might sign up.November 17, 2009 at 5:03 am #145718
Based on an ill-informed opinion of a city I’ve never been to, with apologies to Louisville because I’m sure it’s a great town with wonderful residents, but for an Ironman? Meh, total snooze. Pair that with dog days of summer training and racing and I’ll sit that one out. FWIW, Coeur d’Alene 2010 took awhile to fill (about a month?).November 17, 2009 at 5:42 am #145722
chekmarksParticipantTriSooner wrote:Based on an ill-informed opinion of a city I’ve never been to, with apologies to Louisville because I’m sure it’s a great town with wonderful residents, but for an Ironman?
some fun facts about Louisville: first cheesburger, biggest baseball bat, the worlds largest floating fountain…. ugggghhhh…ok thats all i could find.November 17, 2009 at 12:44 pm #145727
all valid points and make me wish i didn’t miss IMLP registration. I’ve been looking for something close to home (MA) but it looks like a full iron distance might not work for 2010. Lot’s of 70.3s within a two hour drive though…November 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm #145736
just the thought of peak training (in Texas) In July and August keep me outa that one. However! I may change my tune if I don’t get into AZ next week…November 17, 2009 at 3:10 pm #145739
I’m betting the prospect of 2.4 miles without a wetsuit keeps some people away.
Also, I have a friend who tells the story of doing the swim the first year and hitting a submerged shopping cart in the river. Fun!November 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm #145740
TriSoonerParticipantjtrimom wrote:just the thought of peak training (in Texas) In July and August keep me outa that one. However! I may change my tune if I don’t get into AZ next week…
That’s my Number 1. If it were in say, Spring or late Fall, I’d do it. After I trained through July and August for IM Wisconsin (Sept) I swore off any and all long distance training in 100* heat. An Ironman in August in the “South” sounds terribly hot.November 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm #145742
Thanks for all the feedback. I think I’ll be saving my money and not doing this one. I really wanted to find an Iron distance race for 2010, but there just doesn’t seem to be anything too eye-catching thats open and relatively easy to get to from N.E.
Guess I’ll focus on 70.3 and marathon(s) instead.November 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm #145746
I’m registered for this race which will be my first IM distance and excited as hell. I’m not planning a vacation around it, the purpose of the trip is to meet a goal and experience a M-dot race. Living in NC means the heat, humidity and the hills are part of my regular training. Swimming in the Ohio is the only thing that gives me a bit of the willies, but I’ve swam in other questionable venues. It’ll be a HTFU moment. From those I spoke with prior to choosing this race, including my coach, all said it was worth the investment. Looking forward to the challenge.November 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm #145750
On the topic of the Ohio River, as I think I’ve mentioned in a race report, I bought a brand new white jersey the day before the race, and it was brown when I came out of the water. After it baked in for the next 13 hours, I never could get rid of the brownish color.
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