It’s Ironman Louisville Week!

Although I am not racing this year, it’s still an exciting time for the sport I love in the city I love. This will be the 8th year for the annual triathlon and the end (kind of) to the tradition. Starting next year, the race will be moved from the end of August to the middle of October. The reason for the change is the weather. It’s HOT and HUMID here in August. In the history of the race, there was only one year where the race day temperature was not in the 90’s, and the thought is that this is why the race is not all that popular with athletes not from this immediate area. Ironman hopes that moving the race to October, where temperatures are typically lower, will increase participation. This will also be the last year where Ironman will offer a prize purse for the pro athletes. Ironman made the decision earlier this month to no longer pay winners in nine different races, one of which will be Louisville. So starting next year, you will likely not see as many pros coming to Louisville to race.


I have lots of friends racing this year and as usual when I’m not racing, I will be volunteering. I will be at the swim start helping athlete’s get in the water to start their 140.6 mile journey. I also plan on trying to get out on the bike course at some point and would love to spend a little time down at the finish line late in the evening as people finish their amazing day.

As in year’s past, I’ll use this race-week blog post to take a quick look at the professionals that will be racing on Sunday. Like I mentioned earlier, with no money up for grabs, this field will more than likely be very slim in the future. I don’t think this will have a huge impact on the race itself going forward, but I do think that it’s disappointing the way Ironman is treating it’s athletes these days, both pro and age-groupers. I’m also not sure why they are only cutting the money from the North American races?!?

Everyone around here will be rooting for Mike Hermanson, our hometown Professional. He always works hard to have a good race here and finished 6th last year. I’m predicting a top 5 finish for Mike. Last year’s winner (his third victory here) Chris McDonald has come back again this year and he has a little more on the line than just defending the title as Ironman Louisville Champion. In order to get enough points to qualify and race at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii this year, he must finish 3rd or better. I’m not sure if he even wants to race in Kona, but it would always be nice to get invited! 2013 runner up and 2012 winner Patrick Evoe is also back in town and will be competing for a podium spot. Some other male pros to keep an eye on are Thomas Gerlach (3rd in 2013), Clay Emge (will have the fastest run split of the day) and Jason Shortis (44 year old retiring after this race).

There is a similar situation on the women’s side, where Jackie Arendit needs a 3rd place or better finish in order to move up in the standings and qualify for the World Championship in October. She is likely the favorite, but will have some competition from Kate Bevilaqua (2013 winner), Nina Kraft (2011 winner) and Molly Roohi. Nina will probably lead off of the bike and still holds the course record with a 9:20:21, but Jackie has a lot riding (pun intended) on this race and should pass the 40-something year old Kraft on Southern Parkway.

Good luck to everyone!

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