Ironman Mt. Everest
I'm intrigued with the newly-announced Ironman Lake Tahoe. It has a lot going for it: For starters, Tahoe is beautiful. The water temperature is expected to be a not-unpleasant 65-70 degrees. Tahoe is at that awkward distance which is too far to drive and too close to fly, but it's a fairly easy trip from Los Angeles. Sounds like a great place for a race, except for one tiny detail: it has no oxygen.
Ironman Lake Tahoe has over 5,000 feet of climbing, which is a lot for an Ironman race. But the kicker is that the starting elevation is 6,248 feet. That's higher than Denver, the Mile-High City. I ski a fair amount, and I know how winded I get just climbing a flight of stairs in Park City, Utah (elevation 7,000 feet.) It got me wondering, are there any other Ironman races at altitude? Here's what I found:
Ironman Lake Tahoe starts over twice as high as any other race I could find. If you can find a higher race, please let me know. I think there are going to be a lot of surprised (and tired) people come race day.
Most of the accomodations for the race are in "Olympic Valley", site of the 1960 Olympic games. That would be a pretty cool place to stay. Except for the fact that Olympic Valley is 19 miles from the Ironman swim start. I'm not sure what kind of shuttle system they will have in place, but don't plan on rolling out of bed into the lake. Of course, if you prefer you can stay in one of the flea-ridden motels in Kings Beach, right at the start. (I do not know for certain that the motels are flea-ridden.)
All in all, this sounds like an absolutely wonderful race... to spectate. See you there.