After watching the swim IronMomJenny her adorable daughter Ally and I reported to duty in T1 to slather the athletes in sunscreen. A few Pros were still coming through but they were not stopping for anything. They just blew through there in bare feet or socks because they were allowed to leave their shoes clipped to the bike pedals. The age groupers were not. Hmmmm…
There were times in transition when it got completely frenetic. We stood there yelling ‘SUN SCREEN?’ ‘SUNSCREEN??!!’ to dazed and focused athletes who were mostly thinking about what comes next and did they have all their nutrition and was it a good time to stop at a porat-potty and what? What??!! Oh – sunscreen? Sure! They were so on the move as though 30 seconds for some UV protection would mess up the day and they ended up with a thick, and probably annoying coating of goo on their shoulders. I tried not to slime them but there is only so much you can do under the circumstances. Jenny positioned herself at the end and yelled “Last chance for sunscreen” as she chased the athletes and made sure the back of their necks got some sunscreen.
I tried to keep watch for “my” athletes but I only saw a few amidst all the chaos. Tac came in and I ran over to sunscreen him and started yelling “Shake and Bake, Tac! Shake.And.Bake” and then wondered if he had ever seen Talladega Nights. He yelled “21stCentury?? NO WAY” I yelled “WAY” and he was off. Greyhound came through and I called to him. I asked him if he wanted some sunscreen and he said no but he wanted to give me a hug. It was a high point in the day. We had a quick one and then off he went wearing <a href=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1074/1021761633_ba1f57b901.jpg“>his white batwings; targert=”_blank”. I think I saw Roman rip through T1 and that’s about all I remember.
After a few hours of that the 3 of us and the Burley headed for the bus to go see some bike action. Jumper joined us. We thought the shuttle bus line was prohibitively long but it turned out to take about 15 minutes to get on and off we went.
If I thought picking the people out in T1 was hard it was nothing compared to catching them whiz by on bikes. We had our big beautiful banners with everyone’s name on them (Jenny has pics) and we yelled and rang cowbells and had a great time out there.
Then it was time for T2 sunscreen duty. I saw more athletes. I caught Bold heading out for the run and yelled to him and held the door for the porta-potty open. He was headed straight for it when some other dazed and focused dude just cut him off and took his station! He went to the next one and when he came out he just trotted off. He was in the zone. I also got Brent Buckner and I don’t remember who else.
At 3 we headed out again to watch people on the run.
This is where the day got even more fun if that was possible. Jenny had made a sign that said, “You Know Your Reasons” and people LOVED it. We called out people’s names and yelled “Karen! This is your day! You are IronKaren” lather, rinse, and repeat over and over and over and watch the smiles grow. It was like magic. We tried to find TriMama and the Tribe at their water station but we had the wrong one and thought they had left.
You may not know this but IronMomJenny knows at least every 5th person at the Ironman. Being with her was so much fun because she was forever spotting someone she knew either racing or watching. Jenny is just the nicest, warmest, friendliest, most open person I have ever met and spending the day with her was such a pleasure. If she saw someone she thought she knew she didn’t just sit there wondering “do I know that guy?” She would just turn to him and say “Hey! Do I know you? ” If the person looked confused and said, “umm.. don’t think so” she was unfazed. “Oh – I thought I did – you look so familiar” All smiles. I so admire her confidence and candor and warm heart. And her little Ally was such a trooper. Nary a complaint all day and a long day it was.
As we wandered around State Street looking for Trimama and the tribe and trying to find a good place to stand we bumped into Kona Shelly who was on her bike. It was so great to meet her. I only wish we had had more time. She spent most of her day in the penalty tent, dinging people on time. Not a happy job but I think she enjoyed her day.
At one point Bold came running by so I jumped off the curb and ran with him for a little bit. I asked him how it was going and he said “I’m hurting!” and I said “Well, you’re still in it and you look strong” and he said “I’m trying” and I let him run off. Another high point on the day.
I saw lots of people on the run, one of my favorites being this guy who did the entire run in hiking boots, dressed like the Cat in the Hat
I wish I had more pics but Jenny got the bulk of them so we’ll just have to wait for her to have some time.
I have 1 more IM WI post in me that will cover the finish line and my new relationship to the Ironman distance as well as the ton of stuff I’ve forgotten to put in this post. As Boomer would say – stay tuned.