The Iron Man World Championships took place this past weekend in Kona, Hawaii. The participants in this event truly represent the greatest athletes the endurance sports world has to offer. I was awe-struck reading the event recap – specifically by how men’s winner Chris McCormack completed the initial stages of the marathon at a blistering sub-six minute pace! This is, mind you, after completing the 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike portions of the event. To put that into perspective, the slowest sub-six minute pace (5:59/mile) would result in a 2:36 marathon finish. The world record marathon finish is 2:03:59 set by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia in the 2008 Berlin Marathon. We’re talking about a paltry margin of 32 minutes over the course of 26.2 miles – and I can promise you Mr. Gebrselassie never even remotely considered donning a wetsuit or mounting a bike before his marathon. By contrast, my PR for the 26.2 mile distance is 4:20:17, which equates to a 9:55/mile pace – meaning that the elite marathoners could run their marathon, drink a beer, have lunch, enjoy a 60 minute massage, and be considerably well on their way home before I stumble, bug-eyed and gasping across the finish line – on my best day! Endurance sports are nothing if not humbling.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the incredibly awesome win by my GAMECOCKS over then #1 and winner of 29 consecutive games, Alabama Crimson Tide this past Saturday. The Cocks vaulted into the top ten as a result of the biggest win in program history and the rest of the schedule seems encouraging with the next three games vs. traditional SEC doormats Kentucky and Vanderbilt, followed by a struggling Tennessee squad. However, SEC doormats are not like other doormats and Carolina will have to be at their best to keep on track for their first-ever visit to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.
This weekend, Melissa & I, Dad & Joan and Celeste & Dwayne will make the trip up to Lexington for the game. I’ve even coaxed Melissa – a Wisconsin native and Southern College Football novice – into donning the Garnet & Black for the game. Updates to follow.