Monday, September 11, 2006

So yea, stripping is fun

So is cheering!

and the most fun is catching, especially when it's a Trisaratops!

What a fantastic race!

Trihubby and I had an incredible day that began at 5 AM heading down to Monona Terrace by six to watch the athletes assemble. We scanned the crowd for familiar faces and were warmly rewarded with a huge hug from Trisaratops and Iron Wil. The athletes will tell their own stories, this was their race and we were thrilled to be along for the ride. Stripping duty began at 7 am, shortly after the canon sounded the start. 2400 or so athletes churning the water for 2.4 miles. Two women, including Andrea Fischer bested the men by several minutes and were first out of the water. Contrast that with the sorry people hyperventilating in the ambulance only minutes into the race. A rep from Ironman North America told us some people just freak out and quit, that would be so tough.

We met up with Greyhound, who was just a great guy to hang around with- (what else can you say about a man who goes hunting for hot coffee and food for you in a sea of people-heart as big as his homestate) and headed out to Verona to watch the bikers come through on their first loop. By this time it was raining off and on, everything from sprinkles to full on rain. The wind was gusty, but not as bad as it could be, on the whole, everyone looked cold and cautious.

We reported to our run aid station, where I invented a full line of clothing made entirely of green Hefty bags. Watch for the debut on the runway next spring. Trihubby was not so enthused by my sense of style, but that didn't stop him from huddling with me and Hefty trying to get warm.

"You left The Tribe at home?" a voice soaked with indignation. (well that could have been the onset of hypothermia talking)

And it was The Silent Fury himself, Walcka.

It is so great to meet our fellow bloggers, even if you think the most handsome "Fury" can't possibly be the guy from the blog because blog guy has blonde hair.

Mike's a nice guy who took it all in stride, mostly because I reminded him that I am the one who glued their helmet to their hand.

For the record, we left The Tribe at home because we knew it would be a long day, and face it, sometimes you just need a little mommy/daddy time.

Around 3:30 we headed back down the run path cheering for friends, watching for Iron Wil and Sara. Chris came through the aid station looking strong with a classic Chris smile, he is so fun to see on the course, because on the way to a stellar finish, he has you convinced that he's merely crawling along. The guy is an animal! A courageous, friendly animal.

A brief stop at Starbucks, trading places at the finish line, and posting, throwing every prayer I know behind Sara and Wil who were still out on the bike course. IM live is slow updating, so for a brief moment we thought they hadn't made the cutoff, but then the site caught up with reality, and they were off and running. Trihubby met up with Wil and ran her to the first water stop, what a smile!

Greyhound used his influence and got us into the finish shoot, so we spent the next several hours "catching" and escorting finishers through the medals/pictures/timing chip process. The first time I met RunbubbaRun was as he came through the finish with his wife and adorable daughter. That one made me cry. Not that you would notice, because by now the rain was unrelenting.

We broke for dinner, toasting our friends courage and strength with tequila and scotch (ok, we had to warm up somehow) and returned to the finish line, waiting for Sara and Wil.

Then out of the drizzle and fog came

"Sara Z, you are an Ironman!" and there was Trisaratops, glowing with excitement.

A little after 11, we got the sad news that there was a half marathon cut off time and that Wil hadn't made it, so sad.

We said good night to Fury and Greyhound, each leaving exhausted but thrilled with the activity of the day.

But then morning came and it was time to reload the ironman canon: Meeting up with Bubba, Simply Stu, Iron Wil, Greyhound, we processed through for Ironman Wisconsin '07.

As of now, the burden of Ironman will be on Trihubby's shoulders, as it just doesn't seem wise to have two parents training for a super difficult race at the same time. But Simply Stu assured me, there is always room for a Trimama on the IMmoo '07 team,

even if it is just stripping you all!

Trimama signing off.


Chris said...

Woohoo! I'll have some local company for Moo 2007! Kudos to trihubby for getting his certificate and signing up.

When is he going to start his own blog, anyway?

Iron Pol said...

Tri Mama, you can count on this Wisconsinite being there for 2007, either as a participant or as a part of the Team raceAthlete Iron Moo Support Crew. I'm in e-mail discussions with Active about what happened to my registration. It got far enough to result in an Ironman ID, yet not far enough to get a confirmation e-mail. That's a pretty small gap.

If I don't get in, I'll be kidnapping my best friend (or at least his motorcycle), and adding to the Simply Stu tracking group.

Awesome report, and great pictures. I'm sorry we didn't meet in person, but glad you ran into Grey and the others.

Laurie said...

I was wondering who Sara recognized after she crossed the finish line. I am sure she was glad to have your support on such a tough day, along with all of the other athletes. Great job supporting our bloggers!

Comm's said...

I didn't know sara was so tall, I always pictured here as short. thats teh internet for you. good job to hubby pulling the trigger and great picture for next years team. proud of you.

RunBubbaRun said...

Wow, thanks for volunteering, I was so dazed I did not even know it was you at the finish. It was great meeting you and TRidaddy. I know you are go going to "Rock" IMFL.

jbmmommy said...

What a great report. I've been reading back through your blog and love it! You're awesome. Good for trihubby for signing up for 2007, and good luck to you with the rest of your training. Great job to both of you for volunteering and enjoying yourselves despite the conditions.

Spence said...

Thanks for the report Trimama! It made me feel like I was there with you all. I'm in for the support team next fall for will be a PARTY!!

Flatman said...

You two look great in plastic...

How cool is it that your "mommy/daddy" time included volunteering for 17 hours in the rain at an Ironman!!!

Thanks for babysitting everyone that day. You deserve a medal too.

greyhound said...

What could be better? Becoming a first time Ironman AND having the coolest mom on the block yank off your neoprene!!!

Now I just need to get one of those clock thingies on my blog.

Game on, Trihubby. Man up.

Fe-lady said...

Great report! Glad you had a great time despite the weather!
(You guys worked hard...that's no easy job, wetsuit stripping!)
You HAVE to get this months issue of INSIDE TRIATHLON if you don't get the subscription as it's all about Minnesota triathletes and the cool races they put on (especially for the kids-they mention the one your kids did!) And they also talk about how great Minnesota people are! :-)

Tri-Geek Kahuna said...

Will you be my official stripper next year?

Siren said...

GAH! I missed you guys too?! I wound up on the finish line (handing out bags to catchers) from 9 - midnight. I must have seen you.
It was really hard to hear the announcer guy and I missed TriSaraTops coming in, and I asked every single captain there how to get racer information but none of them knew, so I stayed until after 12 hoping to see Wil. I didn't get the news until I drove back to Illinois Monday morning.

TriSaraTops said...

You are so amazing.

Thanks for being there for me! You all are awesome. I can't even express how special my finish was with you guys there.

In my delerioum, I thought I saw some of the Tribe at the mile 18 water stop--I asked a little girl if she was Soapinator, and got a REALLY strange look. :) ha ha

I WISH I could be at the finish line in Florida with you--know that I will be cheering for you all day!

Thanks again for everything--and thank TriDaddy, too!

Lana said...

Wow - what a day! You guys are awesome to brave the elements like that for your fellow triathletes. You have inspired me to do the same!

Ellie said...

What an amazing day! Can't wait to share IMFL with you!

Lisa said...

We were probably catching together and I had no idea! I apparently talked to Siren several times too! I caught from somewhere around 7:30 to after midnight (see my latest).

I'll be out there in '07, watching more closely for bloggers! :)

qcmier said...

Great job. Thanks for being out there for all us racers!!!