If you’ve got a spare, oh, day, you’ve got time for Ironman
24.06.2007 - 24.06.2007 30 °C
Sunday 24th June. Ironman France. 3.8km swim. 180km bike ride. 42km run. 1500 competitors. If you’re thinking, “Geez, they could find 1500 people that actually volunteer to do that?” I don’t blame you. Still, triathlon is Michael’s passion and in the for-better-or-worse tradition, I supported him in his quest to get Ironman number five under his belt. Four a.m. was getting-up time. Four thirty was eating breakfast and drinking rocket-fuel coffee time. Four forty five was double-checking equipment and getting suited-up time. I remained supportive by lying in bed groaning and pulling pillows over my head. Then it was time to go. Pre-sunrise, the morning was perfectly still and you could feel the nervous energy emanating from of hundreds of super-fit (but potentially not quite of sound mind) endurance athletes zipping themselves into wetsuits, checking their bikes, making last-minute preparations. The starting gun broke the early stillness and they were off – the leaders would return in well over eight hours, while the tail-enders would cross the finish line seventeen hours later. Michael has written his own race report which he won’t let me add to the blog because he has gone all shy, but if you want to read about what it’s actually like to physically, and mentally, put yourself through an Ironman, let us know and we’ll forward it on. And as I simply stood on the sidelines cheering for almost 11 hours, my account is much less exciting and drama-filled. You’ll be glad to know that Mike did us all proud in Nice, with a finishing time of 10 hours, 55 minutes on a thirty-degree day, and he was still smiling at the end (or was that a grimace). And other than having to limp around for a week after, losing a few toenails, sustaining a couple of weeping welts on the back of his neck from wetsuit chaffing and having a really rather nasty case of sunburn, he pulled up very well. And what’s a few toenails between friends? So...any takers for next year?
After the swim (3.8km in...)
Heading out on the bike
Sunburn and neck welts and heat stroke, oh my!