The Ironman Race, Lake Placid
Jared and Lamar Hires got a very different view of the Lake Placid 2008 Ironman race, watching carefully as over 2400 participants completed the swim leg of the race. Join Jared as he reflects on his adventure as a safety diver. by Jared Hires
The day started at 5am. It was still dark outside but we had no choice but to roll out of bed and be in the water, there was a lot to be done. We had to familiarize ourselves with the starting line, as well as the swim course. This was our first time helping out with the Ironman, a grueling race which includes a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run. Better them then me! The day stated off soggy, it was raining all morning so everything was wet but that didn’t matter to us - we were part of the dive team.
About half an hour before the start of the race we were in the water getting ready. The dive team leader, Bob Janowski, a local resident and friend used his cave reel to stretch an underwater starting line about five feet under the surface, positioned directly below the starting line. Our job was to watch from below and catch any one of the participants that fell below the line.
The starting line was about 300 feet long and it took six divers to keep a close eye on it. We had a couple of underwater scooters so we could react fast to any incident and quickly get someone to help. We took our stations along the submerged line and bang – the race was on! It was pandemonium up above us and very thrilling to watch so many swimmers racing and in the water at once.
Fortunately this year we had no in water incidents which is a great result as over 2400 people participants. It was quite amazing to watch the professionals compete at such a high level and also the people just there to give it a go. Not everyone made the cut but the enthusiastic crowd cheered everyone on.
We were in the water for over two hours waiting for all the participants to complete the swim. It was certainly an interesting experience to be a part of the Ironman competition and watch the race from below.
Click on the SLIDESHOW tab above to see more images from the New York Ironman race.