Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ironman training and racing on the cheap...

When I started doing triathlons back in 1986. I was 21 years old. I remember my first race ever. The Morden Tin Man. A half Ironman Distance Race. They only had two distances back then in Triathlon. Ironman and half Ironman.

It was grassroots back then. I love looking back at the old photos and seeing how your friends and family could help you get ready in the transition zones. Much different than today.

I think about 60 people were in the race and those early races hurt a lot. They hurt much more than today's half Ironmans. We had no idea how to train for them and they scared the crap out of us just to try and finish. I was bonked out after every one I did.

Yes. I had a mullet back then. With Ozzie Yodel a Runner.

David Markham behind me.

Rich Sohor and Sharon behind me. Still hear the yelling. haha

First ever Triathlon - Broke 6 hours for a half. Nice.

Race bib holder was the elastic band from cutting top off underwear
My youngest brother Barrett

Ozzy Congratulating me at the end

I also remember organizing my own half Ironman. We called it the Steel Man. About 10 people just showed up and did it. The only fee was for the shirts I made up. They are collector items, I still have mine. That one was BRUTAL race. It was 33 C plus and there was no aid stations. You had to figure it out on your own. My youngest brother Barret followed in a car and would run me my water bottle on the run. The finish line was a piece of rope from the trunk of someones car. I think a girl won the race, Deanne Murray.

Here's Some of the photos....
I'm in the red. If you noticed I split the seat of borrowed wetsuit

Me and My brother Barret my my support guy

Gary Pallet Finishing

Dave Nitsche Finishing

The STEEL MAN collectors shirts.

Triathlons back were "inexpensive". All you needed was swim goggles, a bike & helmet and running shoes, a lake and a road. That's it.

Today triathlon is said to have become a RICH MAN's sport. The average age of an Ironman is 40 years old and the average income is $180,000 per year.

My most expensive year of training and racing was $38,000 of after tax money. In Canada with over a 50% tax bracket I had to make $80,000 to race.

That's madness.

Why does triathlons have to be so expensive. Is it possible to train for an Ironman and do an Ironman without breaking the bank? I'm up for the challenge to find out.

This year I'm going to prove it could be done. I'm going to do triathlon on the cheap and I'm going to do at least one Ironman this year.

It will be interesting to see what happens. I want to know what the bare minimum costs would be. I have a head start. I have all the gear. But I do need to pay for new pedals, nutrition, race fees and travel.

Maybe I need to get creative. Buy my pedals online or used on eBay. Start taking Bananas and baked potatoes and the McDonalds $1 hamburgers on my long rides. Drive to the races and find the cheapest hotels (although I do that now) or maybe camp? Refrain from purchasing any piece of Ironman clothing and merchandise I can get my hands on. Start riding on my clinchers so if I get flats I only have to replace tubes for less than $10 rather than tubulars for close to $90 each.

Is triathlon really a rich man's sport? Or is it just a sport that is expensive if you buy into all the innovative technology hype and think that an expensive bike, a power meter, coaching, carbon fiber wheels and all sorts of gadgets are necessary to do triathlons. Maybe I don't sign up for "officially branded" Ironman races and do Ironman distance races that are much less expensive but don't have the M-Dot logo?

We shall see. This challenge I'm sure will be music to Alice's ears. She pays the bills. I just charge the cards.

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