This past weekend I got to get my first taste of the entire Ironman Triathlon experience in Louisville, Kentucky.
However, as the guest of the Kentucky Beef Council, I got to spend three wonderful days at the expo meeting and greeting 3,000 triathletes and here their stories and how they go to this point. Many had chosen Louisville as it has a reputation for putting on a great race and also has a little more give in its registration process allowing athletes a tad more time to get signed up. Ironman and full 140.6 mile triathlons are becoming very popular which is a fantastic sign for this massively obese country we live in.
At the KY Beef Council booth, I was helping to get people signed up for Team Beef- a collection of athletes from all over the country who are proud to include Beef in their diet. In fact, the response from people who wished to sign up for the team was so immense, we had filled the entire roster for Team Beef by 10 AM on Friday! We had to turn tons of people away including pro triathlete Jocelyn Wong, who was crestfallen when she heard she was too late to join the team. Fortunately for Jocelyn, she does tons of triathlons and chances are good she will be sporting the Team Beef singlet soon!
Also "hungry" to join Team Beef was Max Longree who took third place - OVERALL! In this atmosphere for the first time I wasn’t sure what reaction these elite athletes would have to the message that beef is a good source of protein to fuel their bodies. However, athlete after athlete came up and talked about how they fueled their training on all the different varieties of beef. And those who had questions, were obviously intelligent people who had done their research (for those looking for more in-depth knowledge about Lean Beef the Ironman site itself, please go to this article by Shelley Johnson HERE.) I was more than happy to have KY's Director of Marketing, Alison Smith, with me, (who herself is a cattle producer) to really nail down some of the more obscure facts and send more than a few people away with a "Hmm." expression on their face.
More than anything, my craving to enter this world of three sports blossomed as I stood around people who were either chasing a lifelong dream or were attempting to get on the podium. While I can definitely state I am not really looking forward to all the aspects that come with using equipment in a race (e.g., everything that has to do with the bike) that is the biggest drawback I see. Everything else is a plus. A new group of people to meet. New stories to hear. A separate world of athletics to try and conquer. I am ready to begin that journey and am glad to see so many other athletes, both seasoned and novice, follow a similar diet of lean beef!