Thursday, October 29, 2015

2015 IMFL Race Day Tracking

Welcome to race week!    I hope to include everything you need in to track in this post.   My # is above 1332, it is very important to note that there are TWO Laura Backus in the 40-44 age group, so my # is more important this time.

I thank each and every one of you for your support over the last few years, and I want to thank my husband John for putting up with this lifestyle!  A few of us are lucky to have supportive spouses!   He is my Sherpa, house cleaner, cook, and anything else you can imagine.  You can't do this without a supportive spouse! I know I am super lucky!  If you see John, say hi (He will most likely have 2 bernese mountain dogs with him and my green team shirt).

First and really important, for my East Coast friends, please note that Panama City Beach is on Central Time!  Start time is actually 7:15AM EDT (6:15 Central).

If you are at the race, starttime is 6:15AM Central, you will want to arrive at 5 or earlier.  Watching the sun rise with all the athletes is a sight to see!

You can track my progress on  my Fatgirl page: and with the GPS trackers below!

Most of you know that tracking on "ironman athlete tracker" is prone to issues, so I have some alternatives. in addition to the standard trackers,  Please check out or as there is a feed all day.  I do expect to be in the last hour, but be warned, the video feed is something you will be glued to as so many cross that finish line!
My Athlete Tracker
During race day I will be wearing a small device which will transmit my location via cell phone signal. I have elected to wear this device in order  to make your experience more enjoyable as a spectator! 
The easiest way to track me using this device will be to download the My Athlete app which can be found in the iPhone Store or Google Play Store on your smart phone.
Just look up MyAthlete or MyAthleteLive and you should find the free application.
On race day you can see exactly where I am by plugging in my #1332 - Laura Backus 
You are all welcome to take screen shots along the way and send them to my Fatgirl page!

I will have some guest Admins on Fatgirl, so NO I will not be posting during the race ;)  Thank you Kelly, Jill, Sue, and Amy!!

The swim:
The swim is a 2 loop course, where we will all exit the water at the half way point, run on the beach then back into the water.  Best photo ops, other than a top floor room in the hotel, are best at the water exit, especially for loop one.  Once finished with loop 2, I will run under the chute and head to the wetsuit strippers and then to the transition area.

The Bike:
I will exit the hotel/ T1 / Changing area and someone will hand me my bike and I will be on my way to riding 112 miles through the towns.  I will be wearing some visible clothing, my shirt is green and yellow with the best motto "Be realistic plan for a miracle."  This is my team shirt from the Pan Mass Challenge, a big bike ride / charity fundraiser for Cancer research and care!   I chose to wear the same clothes as last IM, because I find meaning in this phrase and honor all my friends who are fighting right now!     Once you see me leave, head to the beach, it will be a while before I return.

 Once I complete the bike, I will return to the transition area.  Look for signs "Bike dismount", you will see me there.  It would be best to head toward the run out at that point.

The Run:
I will change my shirt to a sleeveless "Be realistic" shirt and I will have a sparky green shirt on.  I kind of stand out.  The run is a 2 loop run, you will be able to see me at the run turnaround. Look for signs or ask directions to the turnaround.

The Finish:
The finish line will be hopping, especially in the last hour.  It is an electric place and you will be caught up in it, whether I'm there or not.  You will want to get there early especially if you would like a good spot in the bleachers or along the chute.

I will have a hard time estimating my times this year, it has been a rough physical year for me and EDS in addition to insane work stress.   I never know what body will show up on race day, but I go in thinking I'm going to give it my all.  With that here's my guess.

  • I expect a 1:35 - 1:50 on the swim.
  • 5-7 minutes in transition
  • 7-8 hours on the bike.
  • 4-5 min in transition
  • My run is the wild card.  You will want to check the GPS to find my pace.  Use this chart as an estimate. 
The yellow is where I actually expect to be with no mechanical or physical issues..  But I really never know.,

For those that will be at the race:
  1. My family will be wearing the 'Team Laura' t-shirt, if you see them, say hi! 
  2. Every athlete loves to be called by name or number. Look at their race bibs for that info. For Example-“John you are looking great” or “Great Job #1302” or “Awesome Bike Ride #121”
  3. Don’t be scared to cheer for people you don’t know!
  4. Cheering “You are almost there” is never a good idea unless you are standing in the finishers chute! :)
If you see me, saying "GO Fatgirl" is also OK!  I'll know you found me here! (Unless you're my brother, in case he will just be so happy to speak 'fatgirl' this and not get yelled at, Norm, no yelling this at anyone else.)!

Thank you to Stefanie for writing much of this content for herself, and allowing me to copy (AGAIN).

Please like my  Fatgirl page to get live, human updates throughout the race.

Thank you!


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