Ironman Lake Placid 2013 – The Experience

… And more than one week after going to Lake Placid to train and volunteer for the Ironman, I finally have the final recap to share.  Hey, life happens.


First, you can’t talk about the Adirondacks without mentioning how breathtaking it is—greenery everywhere, blue skies (and Mirror Lake), plus its atmosphere seems calm, relaxed, and peaceful.  Basically, it’s the polar opposite of New York City.  Not to mention Placid is a triathlete’s Mecca thanks to plenty of places to swim, bike, and run.  By the second day there, I felt like I was home.  Is it too early to start thinking about retirement?  Ha!


Two, even though my teammates and I were there to train and race, we had so much fun hanging out together.  Sure, we see each other nearly every day at practice, but sweating for a few hours is much different than chilling for five days.  Plus, this weekend allowed me to experience the fun part of triathlon again.  Don’t get me wrong.  I absolutely love training, and my season has gone well, but there have been pressure and expectations, which I know comes with the territory.  Aside from the New York City Triathlon, I’ve been able to rise to the occasion and perform, but in Placid, the vibe was totally different.  Being around the (non-competitive) community reignited my passion for the sport and reminded me there’s more to racing than getting on the podium.


My now-Ironman teammate had a lot to do with this calm, confident approach.  In the days leading up to the biggest endurance event of his life, he appeared to be relaxed, excited, and dialed-in (which is the exact opposite of what I’m like).  He trusted his training, and during the race, he truly savored the experience.


As you can see, he was all smiles.  Anyway, I’ve done my best to emulate his approach this week, and I can honestly say this is the calmest I’ve been before a tri.

Three, watching triathletes of all shapes, sizes, and abilities swim, bike, and run their races was so inspirational.  Both the bike and run courses are spectator-friendly, and it was so cool to see the age groupers zip by on their bikes and chip away at the marathon.  I’m at the point in my triathlon career where I can’t fathom biking 112 miles and then running 26.2, let alone doing an open marathon.  These athletes have my utmost respect.


And watching my teammate and countless others cross the finish line to those priceless words—‘You are an Ironman!’—was absolutely awe-inspiring.

Finally, it should come as no surprise that even though I did not register for Ironman Lake Placid 2014, I have decided the race will be my first Ironman.

26 responses to “Ironman Lake Placid 2013 – The Experience

  1. i think that is why i love hearing about iron mans. there is not one body type or ability or type of person that does these, just inspiration in all forms

    • Amen! Literally everyone and *every* *body* is capable of doing it–you just need to devote yourself to the training.

  2. Spectating and volunteering is such an awesome experience!

  3. I like how you said it will be your *first* Ironman, fully recognizing that you’ll be doing more than one.

    • LOL! Yep, you totally caught me, friend! My outlook may change, but I don’t see how you can accomplish something so big and be like, “All right, I’m done.” Plus, I’ll need a hobby when I retire. 😉

  4. Those photos are just simply amazing. I’m glad you enjoyed your time up there and I can only imagine how much fun it was.

  5. So glad you had a great experience! I’m pretty sure that Lake Placid is just a magical place! I wish we could have run into each other while we were both there! Good luck at Nationals this weekend! 🙂

    • LP is definitely a magical place! My teammate and I plan to head back during the fall for more bike training, so I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

  6. Drew’s uncle just did this Ironman! we watched him finish online, which was really cool! he did it in his goal of just under 11 hours. 10:57 I believe. Pretty awesome! I would love to watch/volunteer some day. I can’t fathom doing the race myself at all right now haha

    • Wow, that is a killer time! Congrats to Drew’s uncle! I’ll be there again next year, so you should come. 🙂

  7. Aww, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself so much! I definitely want to go there sometime, the nerve of Mike for never bringing me there even though his hometown (near Albany) isn’t that far away!

    It is fun to be with so many triathletes and to see them accomplish the same goal, to become an Ironman!

    • I cannot wait to go back again next year–it was such a great experience! Hopefully I won’t have to wait until next year, though; we’re planning to make the trip again for some biking. You and Mike would absolutely love it!

  8. Liz Glover Wilson

    So proud of Andrew!!! You absolutely ROCK!

  9. Great write up Carrie! I am sure that just being there to witness IMLP is a priceless experience.

  10. Hi Andrew Aka Iron-MAN. I trust you are well. How about doing the “Two Oceans Marathon” here in Cape Town or better still, The “Argus Pick & Pay cycle tour” The biggest timed event in the world. Remember the Cape Point tour we did? Well it happens on the same road around the mountains, through Chapmans Peak and alongside the ocean. Come on…..You can do it. Regards,

  11. Your LP recaps have made me really want to find a tri to volunteer for. I looked some up this weekend and I plan on reaching out this week 🙂

    • Awesome! Giving back is a great experience, and it makes you appreciate racing even more because you get to see what goes on behind the scenes.

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