In gradeschool my lil' bro was much larger than me. He had asthma, I probably had borderline ADD. He threw shot put, I ran the mile. He liked baseball, I liked mountain bikes. You get the picture.
Somewhere along the line he wisened up and started to embrace the endurance lifestyle and promptly broke his neck (literally) while mountain biking! He came to cheer me on for my first Ironman while still in a neck brace (see pic below). During that day, he decided that when his neck healed he wanted to do an Ironman (copycat!) as well. As of last fall, he now has 4 Ironman finishes to his name. I guess he wanted to stop copying because this weekend he'll be taking on a race I haven't even considered!
The Heart of the South is a 500 mile ultramarathon bike race that covers some wicked terrain in northern Georgia and Alabama. Read that carefully. This is not a stage race that covers 500 miles, this is 500 miles all in one shot. I've done some training and rock climbing in that area and let me tell you the terrain is beautiful, but ruthless. Yeah, their are bigger mountains out west, but the Southerners are thrifty and don't like to waste road by adding in those silly switchbacks. All in all this race will cover more vertical gain than Mt. Everest!
All of us back home will be following Andy's progress on his brand-spankin-new blog: Boy and His Bike. Check out his blog and leave him a comment! I don't think "good luck" is necessarily it, because luck alone won't get you much beyond the first coupla hundred miles!
They say that one of the tricks to Ironman training is to do so much -at least a few times- that Ironman seems easy. This race just might fit that bill!
May the headwinds be kind, the hills a worthy adversary and the next 24-hour Taco Bell just around the bend!