Adam Jensen: ‘Do-Over’ finds a silver lining through the smoke
The cancellation of the Ironman Lake Tahoe last month due to unhealthy air quality from the King Fire was a real bummer. After months of preparation everyone involved has the right to be disappointed.
Despite the obvious letdown I was glad to hear some area residents didn’t accept the cancellation of the event as something that should prevent them from swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles (or 1.2 miles, 56 miles and 13.1 miles for a simulated Ironman 70.3).
In a write-up submitted to the Sierra Sun this week, Bob Wright detailed an “Ironman Do-Over” that took place over the weekend. The full account of the informal event’s eight participants seeking to earn Ironman “bragging rights for life” is worth a read. One passage, toward the end of the article, stuck out to me as highlighting the essence of a triathlon, and the personal resolve that goes into training for one.
“Several hours later, at approximately 10:25 p.m., alone and in the dark, without any fanfare whatsoever, no high-flying corporate-sponsored banners, no loud speakers announcing the names of finishers, no music, no celebratory high-fives and thumbs-up from strangers in the cheering section, no enthusiastic support or encouragement from anyone other than himself, Tory Polich crossed his finish line of the unofficial 2014 Ironman Do-Over,” Wright wrote.
In a “video-or-it-didn’t-happen” world, it’s great to see people undertake something just because.
Completing Ironman triathlon distances is difficult no matter how you slice it. Completing Ironman distances without the energy of hundreds of fellow competitors, thousands of spectators and highly choreographed support is especially impressive. It sounds like the “Do-Over” had all of the emotion of an actual Ironman, if only with far fewer participants.
“I wasn’t there, but I can imagine it was probably one of the sweetest victories ever achieved,” Wright wrote about Polich crossing the finish line. “And I am positive that it is one major accomplishment that surely earns bragging rights for life.”
Registration for Ironman Lake Tahoe 2015 is already open, and, barring another natural disaster, hundreds of people will complete in the event next year. Even then, after the 2015 race is complete, there will be only a handful of people who have done an ‘Ironman Do-Over.’ Hats off to them.
Adam Jensen is the editor of Lake Tahoe Action. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.