I am...

Iron Fan!

Last weekend was Cedar Points first full and half triathlon hosted by REV3. Without getting into all the stupid technicalities of this being a full distance tri and not an Ironman, let's just say I spent the day watching many people become Ironmen without the trademark.

Headed to Sandusky Saturday after the Potato Stomp and met up with my girl Daisy for dinner. She was getting ready to do her first Ironman even the next morning and I was excited to tag along with her hubby and friends cheering her and a bunch of other friends to the finish. After some fun times eating and laughing centered around a very naughty poster in the womens restroom we were off for some quick shopping and then to our tiny hotel room at Hotel Breakers. We managed to squeeze a cot in there for me and it was lights out b 10ish because we needed to be up around 4:30 to get Daisy's stuff into transition and then get her back to the 7:05 am start.

Everything was smooth sailing and we were all relaxed and getting ready to roll. Our friend ET made a funny poster for Daisy and we were laughing about that when disaster struck and we realized Daisy's chip was not on her ankle. Thankfully the race start was delayed 10 minutes for some other reason leaving us just enough time to hop in the car, race around CP, and get her chip that was hiding in her bike shoe out of transition. We arrive with a few minutes to spare. Not the ideal way to start your ironman day.

With Daisy successfully in the water we made our way to the hotel room for some coffee then it was off to wish any half iron friends good luck before their start and head to the half start and half way point of the full iron swim. We arrived just in time to see Daisy hop back in the water a few minutes ahead of her target. Wished many other friends good luck then we headed to the swim exit and cheered as swimmers made their way to transition. We came prepared with our cowbells and gave everyone a good shock as they exited the water. We noticed Speedo Steve taking photos but with him cheering for the half we wouldn't get to hang out.

We were also cheering for our friend BH who would end up around Daisy all day but was a faster swimmer. So we knew once Daisy got out of the water we'd have to hustle to get out to mile 25 of the bike in time to see them both.

One pit stop to get some Gatorade and frappacino and we found a prime location for cheering near the town of Milan. This location would allow us to see the full distance triathletes twice at mile 25 and 60ish and the half iron folks once. Hands down we were the best truckload of spectators on the course. With 6 of us we had cowbells and chants prepared as each cyclist came by. Once Daisy went by I knew I had about 2 hours to get in my planned run for the day so I changed and headed out backwards through the course so I could cheer on all my half iron buddies while getting in my run. This worked out perfect as I got to see everyone once including buddies Kim, Pharmie, Tri Sara, Tri Eric and Karen as well as many other local CTC buddies. I cheered for every cyclist who passed (except the peloton of half cyclists that were blatantly drafting, I don't cheer for cheaters). It certainly kept the run entertaining, and as a bonus I got to see some of the faster half iron cyclists on my way back.

Made it back in time to change and cheer for a few CTC friends and Daisy as they rolled through 65.

After 65 it was time to head to about mile 95 of the bike. We were in the middle of nowhere next to a cornfield and we had fun coming up with crazy chants and filling in for the traffic cop when he had to use the corn facilities. Highlights of mile 95 were handing corn to a fellow CTC athlete and dancing to Prince while cyclists flew by. Daisy was flying and looked great when she went by. Smiles all the way.

Once she was through it was time to pack up and head into Sandusky to cheer on the runners. Because of the timing we didn't get to see any of our half buddies on the run, but they did great! Daisy's husband found a prime cheering spot around mile 6 of the run course. A bar with a patio right on the course! By this point many of us were sun burnt and we were hungry for real food! So this was a great spot. Added bonus the course is two loops and at this sections winds back and forth 4 times so we got to cheer for our athletes multiple times each mile from 6 to 10 and 18 to 19.

Then it was back to the finish to watch them bring it home. With blisters on our cowbell hands, sunburns on our cheeks, and our voices threatening to break we made it to the finish line to cheer. Upon arrival I ran into one of my college sorority sisters working the finish chute, you just never know who you'll see at these events! Our friends did great and Daisy crushed her first iron distance tri placing 15th overall female and top 4 in her age group! She finished so fast we had time to hit the coasters!

I suckered ET into joining me for Top Thrill Dragster and if we had time Maverick. And by coincidence ran into Steve and Pharmie heading to do the same. Had a blast catching up with them and watching ET freak out on Top Thrill. We had no lines and made it to Maverick with plenty of time. It was a fun way to finish out the day. I forgot how much fun I had with Pharmie at WIBA way back in 2006 I think. Was very happy to hear she had a phenomenal day on the course.

ET and I headed back to the finish to cheer for one of her friends and around 9:30 we finally headed to dinner at TGIF. The place was absolutely packed. I just couldn't fathom the fact that there were still many runners out there on the course in the dark. You Ironman athletes are a different breed! Finished the night with fantastic friends and was very happy for BH and Daisy for having such great races.

After all that trust me I slept really well!

Dinner night before

Multitasking, stretching, eating, hydrating, and cheering

Chasing Ironbuddy BH

Dancing to Prince

Chant Tunnel "Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!"

IronFan Crew

Cutest Couple Ever (Note Steve's new Sheriff Steve badge)

ET and I about to go from 0-120 in under 4 seconds!

IronBuddies Daisy and BH


KimZepp said...

What a great iron fan you are! :-)
I love that you took over for a cop while he ran to the cornfield - ha! :-)

Adventures with MS said...

This is great - I saw some of the pictures on facebook, so glad that you wrote up the story. :)

Josh said...

That's so inspiring. I really want to do a full IM distance tri... someday! Great recap and good on you for going on to cheer!