Well, I survived Ironman Wisconsin….finished in 14 (h):16 (m).
A few quick notes on the race:
-It was the largest race in the history of Ironman with over 2600 people
-Weather was not exactly “ideal”…after wind chill factor, temperature was 50 degrees at best. Plus it rained ALL DAY. Rained pretty hard most of time, actually. I was worried about it being too hot, not it being too cold was I was unprepared with cold weather clothes.
-Water temp wasn’t too bad, the wetsuit really helped. Surprisingly, I was very calm at the start. People describe the group start as a “washing machine” or a “blender” and they are not kidding. At one point I had someone’s right arm come over my right should, yes…they were completely on top of me. Due to the strong winds, the water was pretty choppy. Choppy enough that you wouldn’t be able to water ski on it. Once you get into the swim a bit you can find some open space and get into a groove. I got out of the water in 1:14
- 112 miles in rain and wind isn’t the most fun. The route was pretty hilly and due to the wet ground, you were unable to take advantage of the free speed on the downhills. I think I topped out at 42 MPH and when your brakes are wet and they don’t work very well, riding at those speeds can get pretty hairy. I was fortunate not to wreck or get any flats. All in all the bile took right about 7 hours. To give you an idea as to how cold it was, when I got into the transition area my hands were solid blocks of ice. I was able to un-velcro my cycling shows and change from my cycling shorts into my running shorts, but my hands were to frozen to put on my short, socks, shoes, race number, etc. Had to get a volunteer to help.
-The rain still had to let up so I knew I was in for a long run. The course is an “out and back” half marathon course that you run twice. Pretty solid course around downtown Madison and the UW campus. The people of Madison and the family / friends of the others in the race provided great fan support. Your race number also has your first name on it, so you have strangers shouting out your name and encouraging you on. Plus the volunteers at this event are amazing. They both made the run much easier. I am not sure what my time was, but I think around 5:30.
All in all…it was a great experience. I am sure it will take a few days to sink it, but it was pretty cool.
Thanks to all of you who encouraged me over the past months.
Special thanks for Mark Smith (of Dick Smith Ford in Raytown for helping me get into the race after it was full…Ford is the title sponsor of the event)
Very special thanks to those who donated to my Make a Wish fund raiser! We raised almost $6000 and have been able to fully fund a wish for a 15 year guy from Wichita.
Mom and Dad came to cheer and visit the grandkids. It was an amazing event. I am doing all I can to keep Tash from signing up next year!!!