Non-Event Recap: Minnesota Ironman By: JC


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.

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5 Responses to Non-Event Recap: Minnesota Ironman By: JC

  1. Kaia Knutson says:

    Very pleasant ride. I started off the century with full rain gear, mostly because of wheel spray. Quickly had to layer off to shorts and jersey, and stayed warm and dry the rest of the long ride. Volunteers were so friendly, route markings very much appreciated. I was just thinking that after two rides on this same loop, I’d be up for some variation of the route. I came in two hours faster than in 2011. Easier conditions, plus less time spent at rest stops, not having to thaw my toes and fingers out. And, perhaps, I’m a little bit stronger rider by now.

  2. Paul S says:

    Funny. I did the same thing at 5:20. But an hour later when I woke up and it was dry, I ate a bowl of oatmeal and hit the road to Lakeville. I rode the 68 mile route.

  3. Tim says:

    The weather was ironic for me as well. I checked the radar before 6:30, it looked OK so I headed out. A friend thought more rain and storms were coming by 10, so we ended up only doing the 30 mile route and also ended up a little bummed we didn’t do more.

    The reason I saw irony is that, like most, I’ve done the ride every year since 2007 (half 68 mile route, half 100) and this ended up being one of the nicest in that span — I’d venture saying it WAS the nicest since 2007.

    I got out later in the day to make up some of the lost miles 🙂

  4. Joe says:

    I was there but not on a bike – I was operating radios in Sag Wagon 5. We were glad the weather cleared or it would have been a very busy day for us. As it was, we assisted only a few riders with mechanical problems and transported about a dozen other riders back to Lakeville or to nearer rest areas for buses headed back to Lakeville. I am only aware of one crash that required ambulance transport, so that’s better than average as well. It all seemed to run very well although some people had longer waits for sag support than they liked. Too bad, but with a route that goes all the way to from LeSueur to Lakeville in a big loop, though, that’s pretty much bound to happen.

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