Well there is nothing like spectating a super endurance event to get over yourself and let your hair down. This past weekend my buddy Daisy was due to race her second full distance triathlon at Cedar Point. We had such a blast cheering for her and the other triathletes last year I just could not miss out this year! Though our cheering numbers were down we brought our "A" game to the event this year with the addition of a megaphone and some sweet funny signs that Daisy printed up for us as well as bringing our bikes so we could get all around on the run course.
The crowd favorites seemed to be "Fuck Yeah, You Rock!", "Run like they are chasing you", "PR OR ER!", "Bet you can't wait to get off that bike" (for late in the bike), "Bet you wish you had that bike back" (for late in the run), amongst some other less PC signs like "If triathlon was easy it would be your mom", "Is your junk numb yet?", "Swim like you are going to drown", "We do triathletes, not triathlons", "Free nipple massages at the finish" (for those boys who chafed).
We started the day watching Daisy traipse through the muck to get in the water, and then to the start. Then we loaded up the truck and headed to the swim exit. Cheers as swimmers exited included, "nice guns", "awesome smile", "nice tats" amongst others, and we made sure to ring that cowbell proudly. Daisy was out of the water in a jiffy and we headed to mile 30/60 of the bike in Milan (after a quick starbucks stop for some much needed caffeine and fuel!).
We cranked the tunes and propped ourselves up with our signs, our cowbell, and our megaphone. It started to get warm and our cheers of encouragement traversed over into jokes about it being hot out there, or was it just the triathletes. We had quite a few men with mustaches out there and tried to single them out with some racier cheering. For the second time around we began making sure our men in spandex were appreciated. Lots of "Are you available" and "What's your number" cheers from Terlop on the megaphone were given out. Cheering or borderline harassment, you be the judge ;)
One gentleman who had seen our is your junk numb yet sign apparently wanted to make sure we remembered he had been through once and let us know that it was numb, he gave us quite a show on his second time through!
It was getting so hot the shirt had to come off, so we gave a few of the guys a "show". Unfortunately I had forgotten my swimsuit. It is a good thing I have no shame as I cheered in my running skirt, CEP socks, and Sports Bra for those cyclists to continue to "Kick Ass." The church crowd was not sure what to make of us!
Daisy was like clockwork and it wasn't long before she cruised through for the second time. We decided to wait and cheer for another 30 minutes before heading to mile 90 of the bike. We missed the lead pros, but we got to give some love to those speedy cyclists in the middle of nowhere. Terlop is a bike expert so she made sure to let those riders know which bikes she loved. The cheer for mile 90 seemed to be "You are the wind beneath my wings" or other such cheesy nonsense. And unlike last year we were all still sober at this point knowing we still planned to ride ourselves, so there was no drunk dancing in the street this year, but we tried to make up for it with our signs and megaphone spirit!
Once Daisy came through and we had hollered her ears off it was time to head to Sandusky so the boys could get some beers and we could get some food before hopping on our bikes! We found our bar with the patio on the run course and I planted myself and the megaphone so I could cheer as I waited for my food. Our buddy BH was the bike pacer for the lead male pro and he ensured me I could be heard for 4 city blocks from the bar. I would say the megaphone was already a huge success! We promised the lead pro a beer after the finish and cheered him and BH on their way.
Apparently I paint quite a picture with fork in one hand scarfing down my steak salad and megaphone in the other making sure no runner is left without cheers. I take spectating seriously.
Daisy came through and we were all excited. That queued up Terlop and I to finally get our lazy butts on our bikes and at least get in some sort of exercise! But we didn't want the triathletes to miss us too much so we stayed mostly on the run course cruising pretty easy and cheering all that we saw. After about 18 miles and seeing Daisy at mile 19 we knew we had about an hour before her finish and that we should probably up the intensity as Terlop was supposed to have some sort of workout. I don't know much about cycling but I know Terlop is pretty good, but she was riding a cyclocross bike with knobby tires so I told her to just do whatever she needed and I would play along. She apparently was worried about dropping me and didn't want to push too hard. Oh Gauntlet thrown, bring it Terlop ;) So I told her to just go hammer and not to worry about me.
We headed away from the run course so we could push without run traffic. It felt so good to hammer. It was windy but for my first time back on the road bike since Sweet Corn in 2008 (The year of the Beast), it felt pretty homey. We cruised along for 10 miles around 20 mph (humbling note Daisy averaged faster than this for 112 miles and I am pretty sure she wasn't hammering, lol), worried about making it back in time to see Daisy. Turns out we needn't have worried (my math skills are poor) and we arrived in time to get in a cool down while cheering on runners and spotting Daisy with a little over a mile to go and letting her know this was going to be a nail biter as she was currently 3rd amateur, right behind 2nd, and 4th was coming up on her quick. Those poor girls were leaving nothing out there!
We got back to the finish and let our crew know Daisy was on her way. We all cheered like the crazy crew we are for her as she came in just behind Pro athlete Nicole van Buerden (who was looking great in her Lunar Flys despite a rough day on the run course). Daisy managed to rally enough to catch 2nd but was overtaken by the lady in 4th and "settled" for 3rd amateur and 10th overall! Not quite the run she was hoping for so I was feeling for her, but very proud of her for doing so great so soon after her bike accident! I could tell every time we saw her on the run she was struggling, so I am truly impressed with her perseverance out there with her body trying to shut it down.
We watched Daisy hobble around a bit before it was time for Terlop to hit the road home and time for us to hit the showers! Unfortunately for me the hot sweaty cheering and bike ride had left my outfit quite rank! I even managed to out stink our superstar ironman Daisy. I think the boys were very torn about letting her take her ice bath before making me shower! But ice bath and shower we all did. Then my new Fiesta and I played chauffeur to go pick up Daisy's bike and bags, and then we made the trek to the Dairy Queen drive thru for some much deserved burgers (and a nutter butter blizzard for me!).
We got back to the rev3 finish line and with no delay my presence was requested at the finish line as there was a club spirit challenge to be won. I'm not one to brag, but we had an unfair advantage with me on the team, add my new friend the megaphone and it was really a no brainer. CTC was going to win this challenge hands down! I danced and cheered with tri buddy Eric as I scarfed down my blizzard and burger. We stopped for a messy hair pic with Big Sexy Chris MacDonald (what a cutie!) before getting back to work and heading to the stands to dance and cheer some more. I still hadn't really figured out what this contest was all about but all of a sudden I see a guy with a mic waving around a free swimsuit and my free scwhag loving instincts kick in and I get on the megaphone demanding to know what I have to do to get that swimsuit. My lucky day, apparently I just need to be loud and obnoxious to get that swimsuit! Also lucky for me it is my size so I proceed to suit up and continue our dance and cheer party!
Eventually I found my bravery was waning and I did throw on my jeans over that suit (Erics legs were putting mine to shame once again!). (Apparently it was on long enough for me to get donned "Megaphone Swimsuit Girl" on facebook post race by complete strangers though) After all at this point I was still adult beverage free. Daisy and her awesome hubby helped remedy that and we let the beer soak in a bit and chase my PF sore feet blues away. Amazing what some fun tunes, a few cold ones, and the adrenaline of watching all these amazing athletes can do for a sore foot!
A few of the male pros including the winner and Big Sexy were in the finishers chute donning their glow sticks and cheering on finishers while passing out freebies to the spectators. I used the power of the megaphone to help direct some freebies my friends ways. Though I had to heckle the winner a bit about his lack of tossing skills which resulted in a few direct aims at my head. But all was forgiven when we hooked him up with a few brews (as promised during the race!). Eventually a few of the women pros joined the post race finisher chute party and we really had a good time chatting with them and dancing around while cheering in the finishers.
To my surprise Simply Stu was on the staff and we had some fun heckling going on amongst the pros and the cheerers to try and determine this club spirit award! Eventually as the clock was winding down everyone was invited into the finishers chute, which made for some really fun finishes! Flags and Glow Stick tunnels as runners carrying the flag streamed in mixed in with craziness between each runners finish were the highlight. Stu and I even donned swim caps and "swam" our way up and down the chute a few times for fun. All this mixed in with dancing with my CTC buddies made for a really fun night. Alas as all parties do ours eventually did have to end. But the final results were in after the last finisher and CTC indeed did win the most spirited club award (as if there was any doubt!). We loaded all the CTC gear up and it was back to Hotel Breakers for a much needed sleep!
*Pictures to be added in when I get a chance to upload!