Monday, May 9, 2011

Ironman Plans.

I'd like to do another far-away Ironman race in 2012 and there are a bunch of interesting options on the table. My top two choices are both good ones, so as long as I get into one of the two (or decide to tackle a third option instead), I don't think I'll be disappointed.

First on my list is Ironman France. Nestled on the Mediterranean, Nice is an absolutely gorgeous little city, and a trip there for the race in late June could be coupled with an extended tour of Europe. Alex and I have explored much of France and Italy, but that doesn't mean I don't want to go back! Serious training for this race would kick off with the new year in January.

Ironman Switzerland is probably gorgeous and slots in at the beginning of July. There's a Google office in Zurich that I could work from, so if I didn't want to take a whole lot of time off for the trip, I wouldn't have to. I know quite a few people who've done this race so it looses originality points. Deciding between Nice and Zurich would be a tough call..!

There are a few others out there, too. The location doesn't sound terribly glamorous, but Ironman Wales actually looks like it would be a good time. Part of me likes the idea of tackling "obscure" Ironman races; this one and Western Australia both qualify. This race isn't until early September, so official training wouldn't have to kick off until the beginning of April.

I've also heard great things about Ironman Brasil at the end of May. Florianopolis looks like another beautiful city. Having never been to South America, I may have to give this one serious consideration.

I've already passed on Ironman New Zealand for a few reasons. I'd absolutely kill to do this race some day, but with race day in early March, I'd have to begin training in October, with some of the most important weeks falling right on top of the November/December holiday season. That's no fun. And neither is training in the dark; October to March are the five darkest months of the year. Yuck.

Ironman Australia takes place in New South Wales, about five hours north of Sydney. Kristine and I had a really fantastic time in Australia, but there's so much more out there to explore! The race is in early May, which would mean I'd start training shortly after Thanksgiving. Still a bit tricky where the holidays are concerned, but manageable. Unfortunately, registration for this one's already full, so I'll just have to table my Australian return until 2013!

My parents aren't going to be happy with the above list; there are so many North American races, but none of them really excite me. Ironman St. George (Utah, in May) definitely seems like the best option, with Ironman Canada (in August) following closely behind. But Lake Placid? Arizona? Louisville? Maybe someday, but not someday next year.

Thoughts? If you were going to travel somewhere to do the hardest single-day physical event of your entire life, where would you go?