Sunday, May 22, 2011

Iron Girl New Orleans Race Report

That's right.  I'm doing a race report for the Iron Girl.
Because as a spectator for the third New Orleans WTC event in a month (70.3 and 5150 preceded) I was taken back by the difference between this race and the two coed versions that I had recently been able to compete in.
The initial differences were obvious.  First there is a blinding amount of pink at this event.  Enough pink to tint the predawn sky.  Second, the whole day is filled with poppy Bally's Fitness type music blasted throughout the area - enough Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to get even the least motivated lady to the finish line.  
But beyond the obvious girl-power driven variances, there were many subtle differences that set this race apart:
There was a complimentary bike mech there to check out machines as they were brought into transition.  Derailure a bit off?  He does a quick adjustment and sends the ladies toward their rack.  That would have cost a quick 20 bucks at the 70.3.
Port-o-lets.  I know the cliche about girls going to the bathroom in pairs, but the facilities at this race were literally big enough to be used in tandem.  And although I didn't make a pit stop myself, I heard racers actually complimenting them on their condition - complete with mirrors and hand wash stations.   A couple weeks ago at the 5150 they made announcements telling us not to pee in the bushes.
The swim.  Well, they actually had one.  NOLA men's races have been 0 for 2 this year.
Post race banana and bagels?  They had it.  But they also had pancakes, breakfast burritos, melons and smoked salmon.  Come to think of it - I'm not sure if they had beer though.  Perhaps they had mimosas...
And then once you have your post race gourmet snack, they had tables and chairs to sit at.  Which we got up and took advantage of, after we instinctively plopped down indian-style to enjoy our fare on the ground, like we are used to at men's races.
Even the announcer was a more inviting version of those I have come accustomed to in the coed world.  "You have 30 seconds to get your asses out of transition!" was replaced by a coaxing "Okay ladies, if you could move over towards the water when you're ready, we'll kick off your race in just a few -mmmkay?"
In general I have to say the race was fantastic.  And I point out these differences not to whine about the organizer's tendency to polish up for the ladies, or to suggest that having a cleaner, nicer event for the "fairer sex" is a bad idea.  On the contrary, I am simply wondering if this isn't one more indication that this sport is best suited to women?  In the past I have suggested that they may be more genetically suited for endurance competitions, and now I'm thinking they may have an edge on us when it comes to event organization - they sure do know how to put on a race.
In closing I have to take a quick second to say congratulations to Heidi Austin, for her first Overall victory at the Inaugural NOLA Iron Girl.
Have a great week.  


  1. Woow Hoo! That is so awesome for Heidi!

    I love your race description. I guess I should try an Iron Girl race. I have stuck to the co-ed versions.

  2. Ha! Very good point!! We may be better suited! Or at least, we do look good in pink! You better not have that add up anywhere in that house! Embarrassing! Love the win pic!

  3. I love the differences! The bathrooms which most guys wouldn't complain much about, the pink, the music! The mechanic though I find odd. Either they assume women need a bit of help or for some reason they just didn't show up to the guy's race. Hmmm...

    I'd think a mechanic check over would be an AWESOME additive to any long distance triathlon. It sure would help limit in-race break downs and accidents!!


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