On Friday morning, I’ll be heading to the lovely Muncie Indiana, home of Ball State University, to compete in, what I think is my fifth Muncie Endurathon, a half-ironman distance triathlon.
In case you’re not familiar with the booming metropolis that is Muncie, I’ve added a map, above. My Muncie tenure began in college when the triathlon team traveled to the Endurathon in 2003. Besides the July Indiana heat, I’ve enjoyed the race year after year. I’ve found that it falls at a good point during my training season to test my endurance and fitness, and it’s also been nice in recent years to stay with Karen’s very close friend who lives in Muncie. Thus, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the local flavor of Muncie. Favorites include Greek’s pizzeria and Mancino’s Pizza and Grinder.
I’m happy to see a few changes for this year’s Endurathon—most notably a change in the swim course and new technical tees for participants. In year’s past, it’s been extremely challenging to actually see during the swim portion, due to the blinding sun, which conveniently begins to rise just before race time. Hopefully the new swim course will make it easier for competitors to spot the big, orange buoys. Although I do enjoy swimming in circles.
I’m also happy that race coordinators have chosen a new t-shirt design. Each year I’ve competed in the race, I’ve come home with a white, long sleeve t-shirt featuring the same logo, in different colors each year. So I seriously have four of the same shirts with logos in red and blue, orange and blue, purple and green, etc. And while I’d like to say that race t-shirts are not important to me, they are.
In terms of race goals, I’m not a big believer in time goals for these sorts of races, since so much can change from year to year—wet suit regulations, wind speed, weather, and of course, my own personal fitness—so my goal is always to feel and finish strong. Whatever happens on Saturday, it will be a good test for me to see where I’m at on Ironman preparations. And I can also be thankful that I'll be finished in somewhere around five hours and not on the Hardrock 100 course like my brother.