Today I meant to be down at the Intercoastal Waterway near the Coast Guard Station for the beginning of the awesome PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon. The participants left their hotels at 5 AM, an hour when I was still snuggled under a down coverlet. About the time they jumped into the water, I was pouring my first cup of coffee.
It is, at this moment, 45 degrees. and the waters of the channel course are about 20 degrees warmer. The participants will swim 2.4 miles to the place where they will shed their wetsuits and grab their bikes–racked and waiting– for the second phase: a 112-mile bicycle ride on the back roads of coastal Carolina.
How many people can possibly be interested in participating in something this grueling? The sponsors have to limit it to 800 athletes… who have paid several hundred dollars for the privilege!
The third transition takes place at the historic Battleship North Carolina where will leave their bicycles to run a 13.1 mile loop to complete the race.
What could possibly entice people to punish their bodies in this Ironman event? It certainly isn’t the prize money. I think the top prize is $1,000, probably not enough to recoup their expenses. Wherever the spot is that they reach inside themselves to try something like this, mine is full of Snickers bars and a list of books I want to read.
If you’re thinking only “young folks,” guess again. The oldest participant I saw on the list was a 70-year-old woman from Naples, Florida. A surprising number are in their 50’s and 60’s.
There is also a half triathlon for faint of heart. That one is only a combined total of 70 or so miles.
The event is called the PPD Beach2Battleship triathlon. This link has a short video to give you an idea and that’s the only picture you will get. Click on it just for the opening sounds–guaranteed to get your heart going.
As they will be finishing well into the night, temporary lights have been installed along the course, along with food, drink, energy tablets, and “special needs” stations. Don’t even think about what goes on there.
Again I apologize for the lack of photos. Hey! they do this every year. Feel free to come take your own next time. I was at the beach taking pictures yesterday… just one day early!