Welcome to Ford Ironman Louisville. A T-shirt with this design is on sale in the merchandise area. It has the name of every single athlete racing in tomorrow's race on it! Last night this poster, which was signed by all the pros competing in tomorrow's race, was auctioned off for the Louisville Police Department's Benevolent Fund for $3,000.
Greg Welch hosts Friday's press conference.
Marc Essig A triathlete for over five years, Marc Essig was reaching over to move a few boxes on St. Patrick’s Day this year and managed to herniate three discs in his lower back. Paralyzed from the waist down, Essig had emergency surgery four days later. He went from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane in just a few months – tomorrow, just five months after losing the use of his legs, he’ll compete here at Ford Ironman Louisville.
The 33-year-old pro will compete in her 50th Ironman race tomorrow. “I love this race because it’s hot and typically a very tough race – my favorite,” she said at yesterday’s press conference. In 2008 Biscay finished third here in Louisville and then, just two weeks later, won Ford Ironman Wisconsin.
The 34-year-old has finished in the top-five here on two occasions and would dearly love to move up a bit higher on the podium tomorrow. Evoe has been living in Boulder, Colorado for the last few months – as has many of his main competitors this weekend including Chris McDonald, Justin Daerr and defending champion Paul Amey.
The popular Australian won inaugural event here in Louisville. “Because of that, Louisville will always hold a special place in my heart,” he told us yesterday. His wife, Marilyn, will be doing her first Ironman since 2007 tomorrow. She’s a former Ironman champion (Malaysia, 2004) who has been focusing on bike racing for the last few years.
Last year’s champion will be competing in just his third Ironman here tomorrow. Ambrose loves to race – since his sixth place finish at the challenging Ironman St. George in May the 27-year-old has done six 70.3 events, finishing all in the top four and winning Ironman 70.3 Racine. Ambrose, who is from Australia but has raced for Great Britain at times because he has dual citizenship, intends to compete at the Marine Corps Ironman World Championship 70.3 in a couple of weeks, too.
Greg Welch will be hosting tomorrow's live video here in Louisville with another former Ironman world champion, Michellie Jones.
Mike Reilly welcomes the athletes to the Carbo Dinner on Friday night. Earlier this year Reilly announced his 100th Ironman at Ironman New Zealand.
Ironman CEO Andrew Messick speaks to the athletes. He's an avid cyclist and former Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier.
David Deschenes, the director of the Ironman Foundation, presents a check to the Louisville Sports Commission for $10,000.
The Ironman Foundation also provided a check for $10,000 to Oldham County Fiscal Court
Georgia's Jillian O'Malley was "tired of watching life pass me by," so she started to train for an Ironman. Along the way she lost 140 lbs.
New York's Andrew Miceli lost 160 lbs during his training for Ford Ironman Louisville.
Kurt Kahl, 74, is the oldest competitor in tomorrow's race. The Madison, Indiana native is competing in his 40th Ironman - he has raced 17 times at the Ford Ironman World Championship (and qualified for all of them, he proudly states). To his right is tomorrow's youngest competitor, 18-year-old Nick Yates, who is from Newburgh, Indiana.
Hitting the water on Saturday morning. The athletes have one chance to check out the warm water in the Ohio River before race start. With an expected temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, wetsuits won't be allowed.
The race starts about a mile up the river from the transition area - athletes enjoy a favorable current for a good portion of the swim.
There were lots of volunteers on hand this morning to help at the Ironman Perform Practice swim.