So long time in the works were my thoughts on Ironman WI 08. It was another one of those moving and amazing weekends that in fact led to my lapse of common sense and registering for IM WI 09.
This year it was all Ironman all the time leading up to the big day.
The day my compadres from Inside Out Sports rolled into town, Wednesday I believe, I went down to say hi, bring some Wisconsin hospitality (cheese curds and beer from the Great Dane of course) and hang out. It was great to see everyone as I hadn't seen them since the Rhode Island 70.3. Oh, and I dropped of my custom single speed frame, the pinglespeed if you will, so that the top notch staff could install the headset and bb for me. From there I headed down to my captain's meeting to find out the last minute updates for this years Race. More beer and food was had at the Great Dane while I chatted with all of the rockin' volunteers people from NA Sports.
Thursday I braved the rain, wind and all around icky weather to work the CycleOps PowerTap tent at the event. The weather was pretty nasty, but the company was good as I got to hang out with Edde from Inside Out Sports and Tim and Jacques from Cervelo. It was crazy to see the athletes venture out in the yuck to pick up their packets and see the vendors. I sure wouldn't be out in that grossness before a big race. Thursday night was capped off with a volunteer meeting to get my lifeguards ready for the big day. Friday was more of the same but with better weather.
Saturday the excitement was definitely mounting. Bright and early I was off to another volunteer meeting, followed by tracking down wetsuits and stopping by the expo. And I got to pick up the pinglspeed from Lawrence. It was looking pretty sweet! (Thanks dude!!) From there it was home to collect my thoughts and gear for the big day on Sunday.
4am...alarm clock goes off and I'm up. I headed down to the swim start to make sure that we were ready for the ~2200 athletes. Volunteers in place, I headed down to the swim finish line to watch the start and prepared to pull the swimmers from the water. That's right, this year I got my dream job and got to help the athletes out of the water as the finished the swim. The swim start was overwhelming and amazing as always. I'd be lying if I said it I wasn't just a little choked up. Its just such an overwhelming to watch the day start of so many dreams come true. This is what these athletes have worked so hard for so long.
The swim came and went and my official responsibilities were done for the day. I defintely went home for a nap before heading back down to the Terrace to watch more of the race. In all of my years watching and volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin, I have yet to actually make it out onto the run course, and this year was no different.
I had a pretty good idea of when the first Pro's would be finishing and we were sure to back down there to watch that. It was really exciting to watch the oh so attractive Chris McDonald take first for the men.
8hrs 43mins 29secs
The first female to roll in was Hillary Biscay. This was her first Ironman win, not to mention the fact that both she and Chris had just done Ironman Kentucky the week before. Wild!
9hrs 47mins 25secs
These people are amazing. I guess its all in a days work for them...
After watching Chris and Hillary become Ironman Wisconsin Champions we headed down to State St to grab some dinner and watch the runners from there. Its amazing to see athletes from all walks of life, all shapes, sizes and ages come out and work towards the same goal. And the fans! These family members and friends have been there every step of the way. While it all culminates in one day, there is so much more to the story, and these people have been through it all.
As the 17hr time limit closed in on the race we found our way back to the finish line area, and eventually into the VIP area with the Inside Out Sports kids. And wouldn't you know, there were the same athletes that just schooled IM WI kicking back enjoy the food and festivities like they had just gone for a leisurely stroll by the lake. (I'll have to track down my pictures from that night and properly pay tribute to the cool cats from Inside Out.....)
So these are two of the brave and patient people who are near and dear to my heart and who tolerate my obsession with Ironman. (Leave it alone, its my thing.) Just as they were some of my fearless volunteers and spent hours watching the race with me that day, I know they (along with many others) will be with me on my journey to Ironman 09!
Lots of hugs and kisses go out to Bryn and Ryan!!