Ironman Wisconsin weekend started a little something like this:
John and I are registered for both Ironman 70.3 Racine and Ironman Wisconsin. The excitement can’t be described, it’s just plain and simple huge. The possibilities of what we will do together are endless. It’s going to be one hell of a Iron journey.
On Friday morning I arrived for my athlete check-in volunteer shift. I was sent to the weighing station, a tapering triathlete’s favorite thing–no, not really, at all. What an interesting shift! To my surprise, it was the guys who were the most vain about their weight. They would empty out every ounce from their pockets, including a stick of chapstick. CHAPSTICK, COME ON!! My instructions for all were to leave their shoes on for weight, because if they got weighed on race day, they would be wearing their shoes. Athletes pleaded, “let me take them offffffffff, they weigh at least 12 lbs!”
For the most part they made fun of the situation, but part of me was a little sad that any Ironman athlete would be so wound up over the number on the scale. Of all the things to worry about before taking on 140.6 miles, weight should not be one of them.
Sunday morning my shift was to load a truck with bike special needs bags. It was a short, simple shift. From there, John and I made a beeline to watch the swim start. It’s been a couple years since I’ve watched the swim start, watching it from above was a strange feeling. It sounds odd, but it didn’t look quite as massive as I remembered it. Maybe that’s my two years of experience of being in the water talking, or maybe it was the angle I watched from… Maybe I’m really anxious to get back into that mass start in 2016!
After the swim start we drove out to Verona area to spectate on the last nasty hill of three sisters (most people I know call them the Bitches). What a perfect day to lose your voice screaming at random Iron-strangers. So. Much. Fun.
After a few hours screaming on the bitches a nap was required. Maybe that nap was an Iron-fan fail, but, it got me to last through the night until the very last finisher. Watching the final thirty minutes of an Ironman is full of so much magic. I cried for complete strangers, they were incredible! The look of relief on their faces coming down that chute, the joy, the courage, the never-give-up determination…There’s no way I could sum up how amazing it is.