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Archive for Sunday, June 14, 2009

Athletes prep for today’s triathlon

The check-in line for the Ironman Kansas triathlon was long Saturday at Clinton Lake.

The check-in line for the Ironman Kansas triathlon was long Saturday at Clinton Lake.

June 14, 2009

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Race spectators and volunteers can park in a lot north of Clinton State Park near East 700 Road and North 1400 Road and ride a shuttle bus to the race course. Athletes will start the swimming portion of the race at 6:30 a.m. in Clinton Lake.

Live music and an event expo complete with food vendors at campground No. 3 at Clinton State Park will begin in the early afternoon as the race concludes.

The awards ceremony will begin at 4 p.m.

For those preparing to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles, the breakfast of champions comes in all shapes and sizes.

For 52-year-old Richard Johnson, it’s chicken noodle soup and crackers followed by four Pop-Tarts and an energy drink.

Johnson, who came from Carrollton, Texas, was among the hundreds standing in line Saturday afternoon at Clinton State Park waiting to register for the Ironman 70.3 Kansas. Beer stands, triathlete vendors, games and military recruiters dotted the expo as athletes checked in with one day left before the race.

Today’s triathlon will be host to 2,000 competitors from all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. The first wave of athletes will start at 6:30 a.m.

Along with greasing up bikes, getting race numbers marked onto arms and legs and scouting the course, triathletes were prepping for their early-morning meals.

Sure, most of them scarfed down pasta the night before, but they all have different tactics to keep fueled for today’s grueling course through Douglas County.

Joe Horne from Colorado Springs planned to down peanut butter and jelly with a bowl of rice before setting off on his first half Ironman.

“Eat what works for you,” he said.

Beside him was Tom Ruzicka, of Kansas City, Mo. He was keeping it simple with granola bars. While he has been training for months, Ruzicka said come race day, the battle is not so much about the physical challenge.

“Really it’s half mental preparation and half nutrition,” he said.

And it’s not just during the race that athletes have planned their food intake. Once they cross the finish line, the real feast begins.

“I’m hoping to have pizza,” Johnson said. “The most greasy stuff you can find.”

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