Oh man. Iron Man weekend. I am going to tell the story as best I can here on the ole blog.
We arrived in Madison Friday afternoon so that Fuzzy could check in and listen to a course talk. The course talk was also fascinating for me, because it gave me an idea of what the athletes' days would be like. Since I have completed a number of triathlons at this point (though none come close to Iron Man level), it was easy for me to visualize what it would be like. But also, impossible to imagine what it would be like.
We ate an early dinner with Kristen and Shaun, and then hung out in our hotel room with my friends Kelly and Jon while Fuzzy packed all of his gear bags. He had to check everything in Saturday morning.
Saturday, Fuzzy and Shaun checked in their bikes and bags and we headed off to the farmer's market by the Capitol Building. We got all sorts of yummy treats and a cool poster, but got overheated and needed to get off our feet. We went back to hang out in our awesome hotel room at the Hotel Ruby Marie, which was right near all the IM action, was giant, and had a hot tub. Not too shabby.
All the bikes racked and ready to go.
Fuzzy, racked and ready to go.
The added bonus to all the Iron Man events of the weekend is that we were joined by Jeremy and Jan! You might remember them from the Paris wedding earlier this summer! When we were all in Paris, we discovered that Jan went to the University of Wisconsin, so they took advantage of the event to have a visit. We met up with them for a nice pasta dinner (full of cocktails and wine for all but Fuzzy.) It was so awesome getting to spend so much time with them over the weekend.
Jeremy's tank top may or may not be a women's tank top.*
The next morning came bright and early, and we headed down to Monona Terrace for morning-of events: body marking, last minute bike checks, special needs bag check-ins, etc. There is a weird mix of anxiety and eerie stillness on the morning of a triathlon, and this was no exception. There were tons of spectators everywhere, and I was all weepy for what the day was about to bring.
Ready for action.
In the chute and ready to go!
Well, almost ready.
Future Iron Men.
The swim is in Lake Monona, and it is a water start (as opposed to a beach start. We've done both.) All 2500 athletes lined up and waited to go.
Then they fired a cannon, and they were off!
There was a jumbotron so you could see your peeps exit the water.
There were 2 lines of
strippers peelers whose job it was to peel your wetsuit off of you. It looked really fun. Also, where I was standing, there was a lot of water splashing and some folks got hit with wetsuit legs.
Fuzzy emerged from the water after 1 hour and 50 minutes (8:50am). It was so exciting.
Then this happened.
Amazing. So sweet. He totally turned around just to give me a kiss. Thanks go to Jeremy for taping the moment. A girl standing nearby also taped it, saying that when he turned around she "knew he was going back for someone." So I have this video of it, too.
On to transition.
*It is a women's tank top.