If you want to get into shape, experts say to begin slowly with a reasonable goal in mind.

Couch potatoes don’t start with an Ironman race.

The Ironman is a different echelon of athlete, of fitness, of endurance.

Even a half-Ironman still clocks in at 70 kilometers of swimming, biking and running. It’s no small feat to complete — and, as we have learned — to host.

Sunday’s Ironman medaled in many ways: it brought an influx of inspirational athletes to our region, and offered our own, homegrown endurance racers a beautiful, familiar place to compete.

Cash registers filled in hospitality businesses. Traverse City boosted its brand across the country in its relationship with Ironman.

But every Ironman and woman knows that the end of the race is just a temporary stopping point; there’s always something to improve.

Getting around Leelanau County was frustrating to our readers trying to get to church, to town and to work. Tension on the side streets was high, with law enforcement bearing the brunt.

One Michigan State police trooper was seemingly intentionally hit by an angry SUV driver; the trooper wasn’t hurt but the 82-year-old driver is in jail, awaiting charges.

While we commend Ironman organizers and Traverse City Tourism (and ourselves) for getting the word out on the road closures and routes, we know that not everyone goes to public meetings and follows local news.

  • Some people mighthave just been visiting the area, not knowing they were checking into the Hotel California for a few hours.

So we suggest doing as the athletes do post-race — reassess and reflect knowing the ground truth.

Traverse City has a two-year agreement with World Triathlon Corp., owned by Chinese multinational corporation Dalian Wanda Group Co.

Next year, we suggest reevaluating the route to lessen impact on peninsular travel.

If the route doesn’t change, we suggest creating a signed detour and focusing outreach efforts on imparting that information to residents, race security and law enforcement.

Endurance training involves learning and adapting.

Ironman is a good theoretical fit for our community, but we need to chase our personal best.

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