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Monday, July 21, 2008

Ironman Success Amidst the Rain

Wow, what an awful weather day yesterday! The competitors deserve a Plus sign after their "Ironman" tag. We were definitely Iron Spectators.

The rain started 10 minutes into the swim and didn't really let up until about 9 PM. It made for a less than wonderful day for spectators, but totally awful one for competitors.

Matt and I got down there around 6:40 AM. I saw IronKim go by, but she didn't hear my small voice. Kim, I also saw you twice on the bike and at the finish. I definitely have to work on my volume. You looked great and had a very solid race! You are an Ironman!! Oh, and you always had a smile on your face - looked like you were truly enjoying the experience.

Anyway, we stationed ourselves at the swim exit to watch the athletes race by to transition. Joe had a stellar swim at 1:13 - we almost missed him coming out he was so fast. Sam had an equally awesome swim at 1:27. We did get her attention - she was all smiles! By then, we were totally drenched, so we headed back to the cottage to dry our clothes, get warm and take a little break from the rain (we also invested in some rain ponchos that would prove most valuable later).

After the break, we headed out to the big Papa Bear hill at the end of the bike course to see the athletes finish lap 1 and some of the pros finish lap 2. We saw Joe on the way to the hill and then caught Sam 45 minutes later on her way up the hill. She was in the zone, but when she saw us, again, she was all smiles.

We then headed to a restaurant called "The Cottage" to get some grub (on the walk back we saw Ben Miralia looking good on his bike). Again, we were quite wet and had some time, so we went back to our cottage for another round in the clothes dryer and some break time.

Next, we headed to a place a couple turns from the bike finish to catch Sam and Joe again. We saw Joe during a brief respite from the downpour heading towards a solid bike time of 7:08. We finally got his attention and he favored us with a smile. Then, the rain picked up again in a big way while we waited for Sam. She came through about 1:10 later and headed towards a bike time of 8:14 (I know it is slower than she wanted, but she was slowed down by the torrential downpours - she doesn't like descending hills on a clear day, so this was just terrifying for her but she did it).

We then ran over to the run start to catch her. We did see her, but she was in the pain zone by then and didn't hear us. Plus, there were a ton of spectators. I don't think the crowd was much smaller than usual, which was great given the weather.

We intended to stay out for the rest of the night, but we were both shivering from being so wet. I made the executive decision to go back to the cottage one more time for another round with the clothes dryer and a hot shower for me.

After a short break, we headed downtown for a quick bite to eat and then straight to the finish line. I wish I could have seen more of their run, but it wasn't in the cards. Fortunately, the weather finally broke and the last spectating was fun. Of course, watching at the finish line is always fun. Finally, Sam's and Joe's daughter could come out to watch. I kept Sam's mother and father up-to-date all day via phone, but it isn't the same as watching.

The finish line is always a blast. I saw Tony (Jodi's TTT partner) come in with a smile on his face. A minute later, IronKim came in also wearing a smile. At 14:32:48, Joe crossed the finish line and became an Ironman officially. Less than an hour later at 15:27:29, Sam crossed to earn her Ironman title.

I'm so proud of both of them, not only for persevering through the terrible weather yesterday, but for the months of training. They have a 3-year-old and full-time jobs, but somehow juggled schedules and lost sleep in order to get it all in. It has been great joining them for the ride. Congrats guys, congrats to all the Ironman competitors and enjoy some much deserved time off! I'll see you hobbling around the town soon.

Pictures and maybe a video coming soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jen, we enjoyed following the race via your's and Matt's blogs and twitters. Can't say we would have enjoyed being there in the rain. Congrats to all of your friends.

9:11 AM

Blogger Charlie said...

Congrats to the two of them. What a day. I hate rain on the bike.
I saw Joe finish, but missed Sam.
Congrats to you also. You have worked hard helping Sam with her training.

4:57 PM

Blogger tracie said...

congrats to sam and joe!!! and i second charlie, i feel like you crossed that finish in LP this year too!!!

9:57 AM

Blogger Kim said...

im so sad i missed you :( but thanks so much for cheering me on! the run was definitely difficult for me with my damn injury but i tried to remain positive! congrats to sam and joe, and thanks for being out there in the rain cheering us on!!!

3:42 PM


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