All Aboard for Ironman Switzerland 2009

Looking for a new challenge? Something that will really test your mettle but promises to be a great deal of fun at the same time? Then join the forum Pirates in Zurich next summer...


Posted: 16 July 2008
by Candy Ollier

IM Zurich 2005: Lindi, Ratbag, Oxy, Zilla and Candy

In need of a challenge for the next 12 months?  New to running, loving it, and wanting to take things one (enormous) step further?  Want to drink lots of beer and have a great time?  Have a secret penchant for yellow lycra?  Then look no further.

The Runner’s World forum Ironman team is now recruiting for its next annual outing – Ironman Switzerland, which takes place in beautiful (but rather hilly) Zurich in July 2009.  The trip promises to be the biggest and best ever with already over 60 forumites paid up and entered, including a record number of absolute beginners.

Add to that the world-famous Pirate support crew - the envy of every non-Pirate triathlete - and a great time is guaranteed for all, racers and spectators alike. 

Still only toying with the idea of jumping aboard?  Then this handy Q+A might help make your mind up...

What is an Ironman?

A long-distance triathlon.  Swim 2.4 miles through open water, cycle 112 miles and then run a full marathon.

Who are the Pirates?

The RW forum Ironman team, named after their fetching yellow and black kit.  The basic premise of the group, when it was first thrown together in 2004, was that anybody can train from nowhere to be able to complete an Ironman in less than a year.  Since then, more than 50 forumites have gone on to prove this basic premise beyond any doubt and the Pirate army has grown beyond all recognition in the process.  But the main focus of the group, above everything else, remains team spirit (with plenty of mickey taking) and having fun. 

But I can’t even swim, haven’t ridden a bike since school, and I haven’t even run a half-marathon yet!  Surely an Ironman is beyond me?

Not at all, especially if you believe in yourself and you’re prepared to put in some consistent training over the next 12 months.  Many of the Pirates completed their first Ironman in nine months or less, from precisely the same position.

What if I’m really slow?

You’ll be in good company.  In this year’s trip - to Ironman France - the last finisher was a Pirate and he came in 15 minutes after the race officially closed.  But he’s still justifiably proud of his finisher’s medal and T-shirt.  In fact more than half the team finished slower than 14 hours this year, which constitutes being "back of the pack" in Ironman terms. Of course, if you discover you have a real talent for tri, you won't be alone either - the first Pirate finished in 10:28:57 this year.

So how long have I got to finish?

Plenty of time.  You need to finish the 2.4-mile swim in 2:30 (people can, and do, use breaststroke – although front crawl is faster and preferable) and then be off the bike course within 10 hours of the race start.  So even a very slow swim will still leave you 7:30 for the bike.  Together with the marathon, you need to be finished within a total of 16 hours. Don't get us wrong, completing an Ironman isn't easy, but it is achievable.

The Pirate support crew are the envy of every non-Pirate triathlete

OK, I might be able to do the race, but why go with the Pirates?

Doing an Ironman with such a large and friendly team multiplies the enjoyment enormously.  The group is supportive, experienced and welcoming to intrepid newbies.  It's also sometimes been said that the Pirates are best described as "drinkers with a triathlon problem" - the post-race awards ceremony (held the day after the main event) has been known to go on for longer than the race itself...

How do I join?

Just pop along to the IM 2009 thread and introduce yourself. You’ll be guaranteed a warm welcome.

What kit do I need and how much does it all cost?

You’ll need a wetsuit, a road bike, and various extras (helmet, etc).  Many retailers sell starter kits for around £500, which include all the kit you’ll need.  The race itself costs around £300 to enter and this doesn't include accommodation, but if you’re quick, you can join the Pirates heading to the Zurich youth hostel. It's cheap, surprisingly upmarket, and right next to the race start.

How long have I got to decide?

Not long – entries for the 2009 race have been open three days and already, half of the 1,800 places have been taken.

How do I get hold of some of that beautiful yellow lycra?

The team kit is custom-made to order.  The next order will be made in August/September – watch out for the kit thread appearing on the tri forum soon.  There is also a Pirate Shop so all your friends, family and random supporters can be kitted out in teeshirts, hoodies, umbrellas and thongs in distinctive yellow and black.

Any more questions?  Then just go to the tri forum, and ask.  The newbie training thread is as good place to start as any.


Previous article
RW Pocket Race Guide - August
Next article
Forum v Ironman France: The long road to Nice

tri, pirates, forum
TwitterStumbleUponFacebookDiggRedditGoogle

Discuss this article

For those of you what want to join me in the non Pirate race of IMCH.

 The online registration for the IRONMAN SWITZERLAND on July 12th 2009 will be available Monday, July 14th 2008.

I will be happy to book the Youth Hostel for those of you that want to stay there. See you all at Nice.

This years race filled up in 3 months, so you should have some time to enter, but not too much...


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 10:59

so, what WAS the result of the vote? Obviously it wasn't IMCH then.
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 11:31

It was just being discussed as we left so I'm not so sure but I'll be up for IMCH
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 11:35

yup - if I'm not retired then ch is my destiny - Shiraz declared yesterday that she was definitely not doing IM ever... then told everyone to vote CH as she didn't want to do Lanza.... women, huh?
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 11:38

According to the Polling day Thread, it is LANZA, ROTH and IMUK!!!
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 11:49

Not true SB...if you look again, you'll see that he made it up.....I don't know what the result was tho'.....
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 11:52

I have just looked at that... and this is not the first of April either...

I should just edit the first post and call it the Pirate championship and be done with it...


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 11:54

Sorry... just tapiring... I think the result became more and more CH the longer the Bala bike ride went on....


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 11:58

Oh well i have started the thread...

If it is definately CH I will get a fax of the YH asap so we have lots of rooms, I can get about the whole hostel at the moment....


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 12:00

think the idea on saturday was whoever started a thread first then that was where it would be!!

Get the title changed SB


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 12:05

I'll probably be doing both Lanza and CH, but if you ask me at mile 20 in Nice, I will give you another answer. But count me in SB.
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 13:22

pebble - remind me - didn't you retire from IM after Florida??


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 13:31

I probably will again at mile 20 in Nice
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 13:38


PSC
how many family rooms in the hostel.....?
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 14:25

I've already discussed the idea with Mrs Podro and she is keen on IMCH. She really liked Schweiz when we visited after IMA last year and wants to go back.
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 15:00

16 double rooms en suite

14 4 bed rooms with en suite

37 4 bed rooms with washbasin shared showers

9 5 bed rooms with washbasin shared showers.


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 15:23

I reckon wherever the 'championship' race goes this'll be the target for next season for me. Bobby you are a brave man taking on the booking two years running, but thank you, takes so much of the hassle out of entering a foreign event.
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 15:42

although me and P didn't stay at the Zurich YH we did visit as quite a few pirates stayed there - it's a cracking modern building unlike many of the "olde worlde" ones in the UK and much more like a hotel. internet PC's and - what more do you need - a bar!

if you want to camp there's a good campsite about a mile down from IM City - it's on the bike course and just past a turn point on the run so well placed. be warned though - arrive early to bag the best places as they will truly cram you in like sardines. good facilities all the same and on the lake so ideal for a quick pre and post race dip.......



Posted: 09/06/2008 at 15:56

seren nos wrote (see)
Its iron man switzerland

looks like it's official.........word from the camp fire!
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 16:17

woohooo switzerland it is then!

 


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 16:24

I think it was only Carl that was protesting over Lanza at the end of the night

Lots seem to favour Switzerland a few interested in the new Barcelona one in October


I shall enter IMCH if I have enough cash by July ......   or whenever it is likely to sell out !

Posted: 09/06/2008 at 17:44

Symes 2 years nice is already my second time organising the accom... i did it for Klaggers too!!! Well to a point then Lindi had to take over as i was going skiing at key points when you all had to pay...

It will less of a problem this year as you will just have place money in one of my swiss bank accounts so i can pay the YH... might look at setting up PayPal too 


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 17:45

Woo  hoo - where's the list!!
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 18:17


PSC

Oh bugger me, this has suddenly got very real! Ha ha.
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 18:20

If I do Lanza next year, then I will be out to support at this. But I may if I can stretch that far do this as well, Just don't tell MrsGOM!


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 18:23

List:


Calf


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:29

List:


Calf

Iron Swissbobby 


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:33

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:51

List:

Calf
Iron Swissbobby
Gyraffe

 .


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:52

is that a record for xposting the list??
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:52

well sort it out then gyraffe
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:55

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby
Gyraffe

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga
Meldy
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:56

this will be hot thread soon
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:56

Just pray there are places left by the end of July ....
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 20:58

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby
GyraffePodro

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga
Meldy
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 21:00


PSC

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby
Gyraffe
Pit Stop Crew

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga
Meldy


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 21:01

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby
Gyraffe

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga
MeldyFoggy, but will be going on to DOING list after an appropriate amount of dithering
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 21:03

Now I ve  ballsed list up!

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby
Gyraffe

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga
MeldyFoggy, but will be going on to DOING list after an appropriate amount of dithering
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 21:04

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby
Gyraffe
Pit Stop Crew

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga
Meldy
Foggy, but will be going on to DOING list after an appropriate amount of dithering
Posted: 09/06/2008 at 21:04

And again!

DOING
Calf
Iron Swissbobby
Gyraffe

DITHERING (till after IMF, pay day, leave pass etc)
Kanga
Meldy
Foggy, but will be going on DOING list after appropriate amount of dithering


Posted: 09/06/2008 at 21:05

See more comments...
We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.