Years ago in Madison, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said, "Just Tri-ing to Understand." After attending my seventh start of an Ironman race, I feel like I'm starting to get it.
Just a bit.
It seems to make more sense at the finish line, though.
|George gets body markings, including|
his age (50) on his calf. This way, racers
know when people older than they are
pass them. ;-)
|Nick and Angela, Iron Sherpas|
|The lake in early morning.|
|Milling around before the start.|
|His nose is healing nicely from its|
impact with the dock.
|Mike, number 2007, looking happy!|
|Suited up with his Sherpa carrying the bike pump.|
So glad I didn't have to carry that thing this year.
Thanks for the help, Nick!
|Mike suited up and ready to swim. Sherpa Ang has his backpack.|
She's earning her Sherpa gift!
The start was accompanied by fireworks and a canon blast, but the crowds made it impossible for us to see any of the waves leave the beach. We Sherpas went back to the hotel, picked up Jack, and ate a quick breakfast before moseying down to T1, where we saw both guys running from the lake to their bike gear.
Both were VERY happy with their swim times. George may have PRed his swim at 1:11, and Mike significantly improved his time over last year with a 1:33 swim!
It's fascinating to watch athletes in T1. Some have huge smiles on their faces, and others look for all the world like they're thinking, "Thank God I didn't drown!!!" or perhaps, "OMG, I have 138.2 miles left to go!!!!"
Most triathletes have favorite and least favorite events...the three sports are just so very different. George and Mike generally enjoy the swim. George says he zens out. They both prefer the bike (unless they get muscle cramps or bonk, in which case each has claimed to want to give their bike to anyone who will take it, or possibly throw it under a bus so they never have to ride it again).
The run is the weakest event for both guys, so the key is to keep their legs fresh enough to make the 26.2-mile. It's tempting to rage on the bike, thinking you're making up for a slow run, but that never works. All three times George didn't finish, he stopped half-way through the run with horrible cramps and dehydration. We don't want that happening today!
And now we wait. The bike splits are weird lengths. The first is 7km, and both men are over that mat with good times, but the second bike split is 73.5km, which means we won't get an update for quite a while.
In the meantime, we're relaxing. I should be back around 4:00-5:00 with a bike update and hopefully some pictures from the start of their marathons! If you want to track them for the eight different bike splits, go to Ironman Mont Tremblant Athlete Tracker and use 1965 for George and 2007 for Mike.