My grandmother always used to tell me; “I don’t trust weather forecasters, I just bring an umbrella that way it won’t rain.” While I don’t know that granny was able to control the weather with her accessories, she was right about one thing, don’t trust weather forecasters.
All week the outlook for Sunday was grim, torrential rain and possibly severe thunderstorms, right during the part of the day that a mass of people would take to their bikes for the Minnesota Ironman, same as they have since 1967 when the ride first started. I am a year-round commuter and have ridden in all types of weather, in fact last year the same Ironman ride, snowflakes and sleet started our day. Having said that, one thing that I am not particularly anxious to try is getting hit by lighting, so when people say thunderstorms I generally listen.
As the day of the ride got closer and closer, the outlook turned more dire, 70% chance of thunderstorms all morning, not just rain, but lightning and the whole nine yards. I consulted with my ride-mates on Saturday night, and we decided to make a game-time decision. 5:30 am, we would take another look at the weather and make the decision to stay or go.
Even before my phone rang at 5:20 Sunday morning I could hear the thunder rolling and see the lightning flash in my bedroom, and knew what the verdict was going to be; “not this year”. We checked the weather one more time and every source read the same, 70% chance of thunderstorms. The decision was made and our reasoning was sound, 70% means that the storm is going to happen, and I don’t want to be out in a farm field in Lakeville dodging lightning bolts. So after having the necessary conversations I went back to bed.
I woke up about an hour later, right about the time we were originally scheduled to be leaving Lakeville South High School, but to my surprise, the rain had stopped. I convinced myself that is was probably just a break in-between storms and went downstairs to enjoy breakfast with my family. As the morning continued the skies stayed cloudy, but the ground stayed dry. After watching Taylor Phinney defend the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia I took a quick peak at the radar….. nothing. By 11:00 I decided to head out on a short ride. After checking out some new paths, I again looked up at the sky… not a menacing cloud to be seen and at one point the sun even came out.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I should have gone to the Ironman this year. I’m a little superstitious and similar to my grandmother clutching her umbrella on a sunny day, I’m convinced that if I had gone, it would have meant storms of epic proportions.
So to everyone out there who ignored the forecast, went anyway and stayed completely dry, you are welcome.
Did you actually ride the Ironman this year? How was it? Let us know in the comments.