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CLICK & GO! (On this page.) About the Ironman. Rugged Bike Leg Highlights Course. One triathlete knows the course well. Fitzsimmons finishes 14th. Fuhr Claims Women's Crown. Historically Speaking. Tibetan spiritual leader addresses 40,000 in Central Park. Photo Captions for this page. Source information, Page Credits. Newspapers August 1999 More pages in An Adirondack Miscellany: Newspaper reports, Magazine articles and Book notices.
The Ironman competition, with a field of 1500 athletes, begins at 7AM today with a 2.4 mile swim in Mirror Lake [[Lake Placid Village]]. That is followed by a two-loop, 112 mile bike ride from Lake Placid to Keene, Upper Jay, Jay, Wilmington and back to Lake Placid. Then, competitors run a 26.2-mile marathon on a two-loop route that goes from the speedskating oval [[Lake Placid]] to Route 73 past the ski jumps, then out and back Riverside Drive. Then runners come back into the village, go out and back Mirror Lake Drive to Northwood Road and end their race at the finish line on the speedskating oval in front of the High School. (Press Republican, August 15, 1999.)
Rugged Bike Leg Highlights Course
About the map. (CLICK map for larger size.) Map shows bike course and regional traffic alterations for Ironman biking event. This allows for one clear lane of bike traffic and only one lane (one way only) for car traffic. Route 9N at Stonehouse Road is open one way only from Jay to Keene from 7AM to 5PM. Fourpeaks guests must use Springfield Road (or Hardy Road if marked). Map from newspaper for Sunday, August 15, 1999, patterns on Ironman Day unchanged since then.)
Racers and race officials agree that the 112-mile bike through the rugged Northern Adirondack mountains will be the toughest portion of the three-leg event. The bike seems to be the leg that most competitors are fearing, as the mountains of the Adirondacks will offer a grueling challenge to the triathletes.
"The bike course is a sneaky course," said Ironman USA President Graham Fraser. "You have the fast downhills, and I expect to see decent times, but it'll take a lot out of them."
The course itself will begin at the Olympic Oval and head down Route 73 toward Keene heading east. The athletes will enjoy the quick downhill down Route 73, which hugs the Cascade Lakes at its steepest part. At the intersection of Route 73 and Route 9N in Keene the real test begins as the athletes begin to head back northeast toward Jay up Route 9N. [[This statement is misleading and incorrect. See comments below.]]
[[The course from Keene to Jay on 9N is a level route through open country with the AuSable River in view at all times. Photos show the stretch of level touring trail that follows the river passing right by Fourpeak's Stonehouse Road. The climb begins at the intersection with Route 86 when the course leaves the river and heads uphill over the notch to Wilmington.]] Once in Jay the racers will head west on Route 86 heading toward Whiteface Mountain. Between Jay and Wilmington will be a series of continual climbs (with a jaunt down Haselton Road for good measure) until racers come to the four-way intersection where Route 86 heads southwest.
The final part of the bike course will feature the "Wilmington Notch," the portion of Route 86 which meanders through the mountains (uphill almost the whole way) from Wilmington to Lake Placid.
[[Nick Fitzsimmons]] One triathlete who knows the course well is AuSable Forks [[6 miles downriver from Fourpeaks Stone House Farm.]] native Nick Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons, a pro triathlete who excelled in cross country and track for AuSable Valley High School [[Your Hosts's kids attended '96 to '99]], grew up a mere stone's throw away from the bike course away from the bike course itself. Fitzsimmons, who raced in the National Championships in Hawaii last season, is familiar with all aspects of the course after growing up in the region and training here the past few years.
"It'll be deceivingly tough," said Fitzsimmons of the bike course. "There are definitely some recovery times, but that second time coming through the (Wilmington) notch will be tough. I think the race will be a little tougher than people think." (Shane Facteau, Lake Placid News, August 13, 1999.)
Fitzsimmons finishes 14th
As he approached the finish, Nick Fitzsimmons slapped hands with fans lining the course.
He pumped his fists in the air and crossed under the archway that his Dad helped construct.
After completing the arduous 140.6 mile test, the AuSable Forks native was picked up and swung around by his Dad, who then placed a medal around his neck.
Fitzsimmons, like many North Country triathletes, rode a hometown wave of enthusiasm to a triumphant finish at the Ironman USA Lake Placid Triathlon Sunday.
"I exceeded my expectations," said Fitzsimmons, who placed 14th out of a field of 1500-plus with a time of 9 hours, 39 minutes, 49 seconds. "I couldn't be happier."
The 26-year-old pro used a sterling performance on the bicycle en route to shattering his previous best in the Ironman.
Fitzsimmons ended up with the ninth best cycling time (5:10:59), averaging 21.6 miles per hour.
Fitzsimmons, running in his second Ironman, closed the event with a 3:23:45 marathon, placing him 11th among the overall pros.
He was greeted by many wellwishers throughout the competition, causing a fellow triathlete to remark, "It must be nice to be the local boy."
"It helps to have people out there," Fitzsimmons admitted. "One aid station was staffed by Ward Lumber, which sponsors me. They were all cheering for me."
"I knew a lot of people in Black Brook, too, and I had family and friends on the course." (Doug Sherwin, Press Republican, Monday, August 16, 1999.)
Fuhr Claims Women's Crown
Fuhr notched a sizzling time of 3:11:36 in the marathon, moving into the lead for good with 11 miles left.
The 1997 World Champion ran down six runners over the final 26.2 miles, including runner-up Mary Uhl, to post a 12-minute victory.
"I planned to work a lot harder on the bike . . . it just didn't work out that way today," Furr said. "So I had to resort to my old strategy of playing catch-up on the run." Once she saught Uhl, however, it took Fuhr several minutes to shake the leader. "I was a little concerned, but I could hear she was working a little harder than I was," Fuhr said.
Large crowds lined Main Street in Lake Placid as the competitors looped through town several times during the event. The triathletes were excited by the local response. I knew if I could get into town, the crowds would carry me," Fuhr said. (Doug Sherwin, Plattsburgh Republican, Monday, August 16, 1999.)
The history of triathlon and a great part of its fame depends on what Hawaii-Ironman heroes were capable of doing, mile after mile on the Kona lava fields in Hawaii. Since the first restless event in 1978 many things have changed; now there are various distances and championships. World and European cups have been organized and competitors are all waiting for the Triathlon Olympic debut in Sydney 2000.
Navy Cmdr. John Collins is credited with inventing the Ironman Triathlon, a triple endurance event he framed around three existing long-distance races: The Waikiki Rough Water Swim (2.4 miles), the Around Oahu Bike Race (112 miles, originally a two day event) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles).
Fifteen men participated in the first Ironman competition, held on Frbruary 18, 1978. 12 managed to complete the race.
The event was hed again on January 14, 1979, with 12 of 15 starters completing the course. San Diego's Tom Warren, 35, won in 11 hours, 15 minutes and 56 seconds.
The first female competitor, Boston's Lynn Lemaire, placed fifth overall by finisjing in 12:55:38. Sports Illustrated covered the event and referred to the participants as "lunatic."
In 1980, for the first time, ABC's "Wide World of Sports" covered the Ironman, bringing it worldwide recognition. The January event drew 106 men and two women.
In 1983 a qualification system went into effect, restricting entry. That year, Dave Scott, a 26-year-old masters swim coach from Davis CA, won his third race in a record 9:05:57. Scott went on to win Ironman 1984 in 8:54:20, becoming the first athlete to break the nine hour barrier.
Starting in 1985, prize money was offered, drawing athletes from 48 states and 36 countries. [[The rest, as they say, is history.]]
1999 will mark the latest significant development in Ironman history as the competition comes to mainland US for the first time in Lake Placid. [[Contracts have been arranged for the event to be staged again at Lake Placid for the next four years. Come see it in 2000!]] (Corey Kingsbury, Lake Placid News, Monday, August 15, 1999.)
[[Meanwhile, elsewhere in the news . . .]]
Tibetan spiritual leader addresses 40,000 in Central Park
But for smatterings of applause at such suggestions that war is obsolete and some New Yorkers are greedy, more than 40,000 people listened in rapt silence on Sunday as the Dalai Lama brought his message of peace and tolerance to Central Park.
Seldom has a more solemn audience gathered in the leafy venue where rock concerts and other commercial events draw huge, often raucous crowds.
Seated on a stage flanked with greenery and yellow flowers, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader delivered a spiritual lecture on compassion, tolerance and non-violence. (Richard Pyle, AP, Press Republican, Monday, August 16, 1999.)
Photos (see captions) and Text on This Page (except for text enclosed in [[double brackets]] ] are Reproduced With the Kind Permission of the
Lake Placid News, P.O. Box 111, Lake Placid, NY 12946.
Press Republican P.O. Box 459, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, 800/288-7313.
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