June 29, 2011

I know this is a few days late but I wanted to recap my weekend. It was a fun one!

I live in Coeur d’Alene, which happens to be the home of the Ford Ironman! If you do not know what an Ironman is, let me explain, it is the most hardcore triathlon out there and consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike, and 26.2 mile run. About 2500 athletes competed at this years event. Crazy.

Me and a friend volunteered as security for the event.


Official Security yo!

We had to be downtown at 6:30 but left at six to try to find decent parking. Since the majority of the roads were shut down so we ended up parking far away and hiking down. We tried really hard to be on time but the crowds were crazy! So we ended up being 15 minutes late.

We were in charge of keeping spectators out of the swim to bike transition area.



The view of Lake CDA from our post

I tried to get a good picture of all the swimmers but I couldn’t leave my post!

The rumor was that the water was only 52 degrees when the race coordinators had informed the athletes prior to the start it was 57. All the athletes had wetsuits on but they still looked so disorientated coming out of the water. And a few had to drop out and be taken medical tent.  The fastest swimmer was out of the water in 49:00 minutes and the cutoff time is 2:20. Three people missed the cutoff but I believe they let them complete the event regardless.

Once we were done there we went to drink! haha We ate breakfast and then promptly began drinking some adult beverages Smile It only took about 4 drinks before the first pro athlete was pasting the finish line! He was from Australia and finished in just about 8 hours.

At that point we had been out in the sun for 9 hours so we took a break and went home. After a nap I was ready to get back to drinking. haha No, we really wanted to head back down there to see the final athletes pass the finish line. The cutoff time is midnight, a total of 17 hours of swim, bike, and run! There was two people, a man and a women who made it just in time. In the final stretch there are bleachers full of people cheering them on and then as they cross the finish line and receive their medal the crowd chants “You are an Ironman.” It really is an amazing moment.

Then midnight hits and the crew starts to tear everything down and everyone starts to go home. But about a minute later another women comes in but sadly she missed the cut of time. This made me so emotional! To go through all of that to come up a minute short! Everyone cheered for her and I heard some people in the crowd say she would still get a medal, etc.

All the athletes who participate in the Ironman are incredibly inspiring. Maybe some day I will be crazy enough to take it on, but for now I perfectly happy watching and drinking for 17 hours!