Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ironman Word of the Day = RAIN

Life in Lake Placid had just been beautiful since we arrived on Wednesday afternoon. We had a slight downpour on Friday morning when Chris was out for a swim and I was out kayaking along on Mirror Lake. But, besides that little outburst, the skies remained relatively clear and rain free for the rest of the trip... until this morning. Peeking out the window at 4am showed the forecast for the morning - cloudy skies with the sun no where in sight.

I dropped Chris off as close to transition as I could and off he went to do his pre-race stuff while I parked the car and headed back to find him in a sea of 2000 athletes and the accompanying spectators. I found myself a spot along the fenced area where the athletes head to the water to chip in and get warmed up. I spotted Chris, collected his flip-flops and water bottle and wished him a quick good luck and off he went. No rain. Then, I staked out my spot to watch the start. Ironman starts are always fantastic to watch. Imagine 2000 swimmers taking off in one mass start. Music blaring, people cheering, and the cannon goes off. There they go. Amazing to watch -unlike anything you've seen. In fact, this is my 5th Ironman swim start that I've watched (Chris' third to participate in) and I am still in awe of the sight. Unfortunately, video just doesn't do it justice, but here's a clip from last year's race.

Well, just as the start began, so did the rain. Just some sprinkles here and there. Then a little steadier and a little harder, then, there was no turning back. After the mass start, I knew to find a spot at the run out from the water into the transition. If I didn't head over immediately, I would most likely have no luck finding a spot to keep an eye out for Chris. So, there I stood, a good spot, not too crowded yet, in the rain. Then, after one hour, one minute and 26 seconds, Chris comes up the mat headed for transition. Right on schedule. Nice! The only thing he could really predict today was the swim because the rain enters new variables in the bike equation as well as the run. Very scientific.

So, I'm trying off at the hotel waiting for hour 3 on the bike to approach. I'll head out to the front of the hotel to keep my eye out for Chris whizzing by on the first loop. How nice, the course runs right in front of our hotel. Yah!

If you want to track Chris' performace today, check out this link: Track an Athlete. His number is 334. Also, if you want to have loads of fun later today, you can watch the live feed on Ironman Live to watch Chris finish (I don't think the coverage starts until later this afternoon). Hopefully, the rain will be gone by then. Chris was hoping for an under 12 hour finish, so beginning at 6pm eastern time (5pm central), tune in!

More updates later and pics when we return!


Whitney said...

Very cool.
I would think rain would be appealing during a swim and the run?

Stefanie said...

Wow, that looks super intense! Yah to Chris for doing that!!

Kelly said...

Jon and I always go down to see the runners cross the finish at the Madison Ironman. I agree, it is unlike anything you will ever see. So emotional. I'd love to see the start also.

It looks like Chris did really my book anyway.