IMLP ’08 Photos

“The Perfect Race.”

Although I didn’t know it at the time, I went into Ironman Lake Placid 2008 with a perfect race plan, and when the day came, I executed it perfectly…

The perfect race plan, executed perfectly.

The result: 10:59:12!

A photo-journal:

(All photos here:


IMLP Swim Start – Nervous anticipation swims over the sea of athletes as we get ready for the sound of the canon to start the race. I’m in there somewhere!

IMLP Bike Course - Mile Unknown - Fighting a steady down pour on a slight up hill, par for the course on the day
IMLP Bike Course – Mile Unknown – Fighting a steady down pour on a slight up hill, par for the course on the day.
IMLP Bike Course – Mile 56 – Completing Loop #1 of the 2 loop bike course, I waved to my fellow Trifury supporters.
IMLP Run Course – Mile 1 – Just off the bike and fully transitioned to the run, I locked focus in to the task at hand — running a marathon.
IMLP Run Course – Mile 5 – Running within myself, I kept my breathing under control as I went by the old Olympic Ski Jumps (seen in the background).
IMLP Run Course – Mile 15 – Still running within myself, still staying focused, now on Loop 2 of the run course and, for the first time, thinking good about my chances of holding onto my run.
IMLP Run Course – Mile 26 – After a near meltdown with the wheels almost coming off on the climb back into the town of Lake Placid, I picked up my pace in attempts to break the 11-hour barrier. This is me hammering away at mile 26, just before turning into the Olympic Oval for the finish. This was also my fastest mile of the day. Take a close look at who the female competitor is behind me. That’s Desiree Ficker, a very popular Pro triathlete.
IMLP Finish – Splashing through the last puddle on my way to the Perfect Race. I was so excited that I took off my cap and, seconds before this shot, was running side to side slapping hands with all the fans. I did it. I got my sub-11. I really did it!
IMLP Finish – With a 3:34 marathon split, I held on for a 10:59:12 overall time, good for 272nd place of 2500 starters, and 57th of 421 starters in age group M35-39.
IMLP – “The Perfect Race”
IMLP – The celebration starts!
The feeling, complete in mind and body, of an Ironman finish line is life changing. Setting such a lofty goal, working toward it, and then making it happen is something very special. I hope these pictures show the hard work and the near agony of defeat, but a close look will also show the thrill of victory in the place where miracles can happen.
I created my own miracle at Ironman Lake Placid with sound training, a perfect race plan suited to my strengths and weaknesses and the course, and the perfect execution.
I witnesses as a child “The Miracle on Ice,” but with my race here in the once infamous town, I have forever more changed my own history, because now when someone mentions the miracle that happened in Lake Placid, I will first think of my own little miracle, one I made happen with smart racing, and next think of the gritty US hockey team who overcame all odds to beat their archnemisis.

6 Responses to IMLP ’08 Photos

  1. Nick says:

    Hi Thor;

    I don’t post on Kickrunners anymore, but wanted to drop you a line and congratulate you on an AWESOME IMLP race!!!! Way to stick out some tough conditions and still produce the race you had trained so hard for. Recover well!

    Sub 11hr ironman….smokin!


    PS…if you don’t remember me, my wife(Kristin) and I met you at the Doyle Road Race last year…we were training for our first IM in Lake Placid. 🙂 We posted quite a bit on the old CRMS site.

  2. Kathryn Kirleis says:

    Perfect Congratulations Tort!!!
    What a difference 48 seconds make. You did it, rain and all.
    Great photos. Together with your writng they tell a powerful story. You have lots of inspiring writing that can show others the path.

  3. jintorcio says:

    Dude – this seals it. You’re fookin’ nutz. All those nasty training mornings when you’re out there no mater the weather paid off. you were able to use adversity to your advantage and knock the socks off of this race! Totally. Fookin’. Nutz. Congratulations.

  4. Lori McGrath says:

    Two questions:
    a) why do you let me run with you?

  5. cristina winsor says:

    A big hug and congratulations!!! I guess all that hard work does pay off.
    Enjoy and celebrate.


  6. Lori McGrath says:

    Three questions:
    a) Are you making that story up about Desiree? I don’t see her in the photo.
    b) Why are there no pictures of you in the speedo?
    c) Why do you let me run with you?

    One Statement:


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