I can't wait to look up Technorati for other folks who blog about Ironman Canada up here in Penticton. I doubt there will be many entries there were "only" 2400 participants (largest so far) and of course thousands of spectators and 4500 volunteers just amazing.
Quick Summary: I finished, doing it again next year, it was a pretty cool day outside of my own race and this is not an easy day.
Ironman Day started for me at 3am with breakfast. I prepared my race food, had some Peet's coffee from Alex and headed off to take care my bike and drop off my gear/food around 5:15am w/ Kris. (By the way, I did the race w/ Team in Training's Ironteam a one of a kind). I had a flat tire when I went to pump up my bike and a friendly bike barn technician took care of it for me. I watched as my teammates went by and headed off to the start line.
Right side! You know like the movie Remember the Titans. I helped my friend Alex on the swim to the first buoy with Jeff, one of my heroes who already did Ironman Couer D'Alene a couple months before. This was Alex's third try at making the swim cut-off and this year he made it, the highlight of this whole race — you just wouldn't believe.
The swim, otherwise, was pretty boring except I was able to a good chunk of it with my friend Jeff by my side. The bike ride (especially on a new double crankset) was pretty hard but aero bars which I used for the first time was great and helped me shave some time. I caught up with a lot of my teammates and as I walked the marathon, they caught up to me which was nice. The highlight of the bike ride was seeing Alex on the bike, it was beautiful sight. When I left him at the first buoy, I honestly wasn't very confident he'd make it. I was just crossing my fingers the whole time.
Anyhow, the marathon/walk was uneventful. I was doing a lot of math just to make sure I squeaked in on time. I hung out with Colin most of the evening, a Canadian Mountie, and we chatted and had a good time. He's a big dude like me, and it was his first Ironman. I also had never seen so many ambulances before on a race. There were also about 200+ people who didn't finish the race.
I came in with 23 minutes to spare. Katina walked the last mile and a half with me and I took her by the arm and cross the finished line (wearing my Firefox t-shirt, if I may add, can't wait to post the photos). I got a couple slices of pizza and hung out at the finish. I gave a hug to Alex, Susan, Kris, Gina as they all made it to the finish. It was pretty incredible. It's the big perk for being so slow this year.
The team was great! Everyone, from all the familes and staff cheering us on through the wee hours of the night. I'm getting my massage today, hopefully can walk and drive to work by Wednesday. And I'm signing again for this for next year and signing up a friend as well. While I'm signed up to be on the team next year, I maybe on the fence.
Oh, so some takeaways:
– The best kisses in the world are: wedding day kiss, and Ironman race kisses at the top of mile 100 on the bike and at the very end of an Ironman race. Those kisses are just amazing.
– People in Canada are so nice. This is such a great country and very pretty too.
– I need to train next year and actually lose some weight, I can't carry all this weight around with me next year. I need to at least drop 20lbs.
– Opera CEO's 1 million download publicity stunt where he said he'd swim to the USA was so dumb and I took it as a personal insult as I actually do swim and that would've been pretty cool. The CEO ended up blaming his PR Manager. The whole thing was just absolutely lame. Our (Mozilla's) PR manager, mcolvig, did his darn Ironman race. We don't do publicity stunts here, we just get our stuff done and try to do big things.