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Race Reports - Ironman Race Reports

Active ImageThe scenery was beautiful, the water warm and clear. Anticipation high, nerves OMG don’t even ask. Somehow I find myself treading water next to the dock and the big Gatorade bottle moments away form the start of the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Oh, I’m on the front line -was this a good idea? Where are all the women- it’s nothing but men- oh I’m gonna get my --- kicked! BOOM! There goes the cannon and we’re on our way. Just go! Men, men, men, in front of me, behind me, over me- I could swim so much faster if they would just get out of my way! I swim to where the surf boards are in hopes of some room and who do I see but Ted Tierney hanging out on a surfboard saying hi to me- how cool to run into a friend in the middle of an ironman swim-I took it as a sign of good luck. Crowd finally started to thin out after the turnaround boat and I had only one guy constantly hit me the whole way in- or did I hit him-I wondered what he was thinking-probably get this crazy chick away from me! Finally hit the dock, so great to see crowds of people cheering, look at my watch ok, 1:03 not too bad-would have been faster if those guys had just moved over! I have a very fast transition but almost too fast I almost forgot my bike shorts! All I could think was that the easy part was over, I had to “get through the bike” I knew it would be tough-boy was I right!
Swim: 1:03:12

There’s only 2 things- ok 3- I would say about the bike -windy,windy windy! You can add long and boring.-more boring than the LIE- wind and lava, wind and lava. I felt pretty good the first 40 miles or so especially when I was told there were only 2 girls ahead of me in my age group-how exciting! How exciting until we hit the hills and winds up to Havi to the turn around. Everything seemed to slow down. Heavy cross winds made it hard to hold onto the bike or to ride in aero position or even to get food. Thank God I could reach my Twizzlers! The last 7 miles to the turnaround felt like they took an hour, since I had borrowed the bike (thanks m.e.stajk). I had no speedometer so I kept asking people where the turn around was. They’re not very talkative out there but I did get a few Go Mom!-having it written all over my back, I got the coolest tan lines! Riding was better on the way back, you could pick up some speed but still had heavy crosswinds so you really had to hold onto the bike- didn’t want to get blown over! Finally back to the scenic (more lava) Queen K and 35 miles back into a stiff head wind. I made it back to Kona but was fried to the point where I wasn’t sure if I did a 6 hour ride or a 7 hour ride (turned out to be 6:11).
Bike: 6:11:37

Psyched to get my butt off that bike and into the run, made my only potty stop of the day and was off running! So exciting! Unfortunately my legs were not as excited as the rest of me. I figured they’d relax after I got going but it didn’t happen. Oh no! My legs usually feel pretty good off the bike but not this time- I had never ridden in that kind of wind for that long. I have had dead legs in a marathon before-who hasn’t? BUT never at the START of marathon! I knew it was going to be a long day so I made a deal with myself that I would only walk the water stops. Even though my legs hurt the rest of me felt great and the run was amazing, Great crowd support along Alii Dr., huge water stops (that I could not wait to get to) great volunteers, beautiful scenery, even got to see my friends and run with my daughters for a bit. Up Palani Hill was tougher than I thought- hadn’t I done nothing but run hills in training? Run to the infamous energy lab was long with the sun blaring. {josquote2}Temps in the 90's and not a cloud in the sky, I ran with ice down my jogbra and ice cubes in my hands to keep me cool.{/josquote2} Must have worked- I felt great (except for my legs-if they would only cooperate I’d be flying!) Saw some pros that were walking so I knew it was tough for everyone. Saw lots of friends out on the course, Danielle Sullivan who made it look easy, Harry S who stopped to give me big hug and kiss, high fived Mike, Moira and others on the way back to Kona. I knew I was going to finish, not as fast as I wanted as I saw several girls in my age group pass me but there was nothing I could do, I was gong as fast as I could, might as well enjoy it! Coming down Alii DR. (back to civilization) all I could think of finishing with my daughters- praying they’d be waiting for me and there they were! “Come on Mom let’s go!” I thought they were going to out sprint me to the finish but they stayed with me, I raised my arms at what I thought was the finish and they said no mom the finish is over there- I couldn’t imagine running any more but of course I did.

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After all the 20 mile runs, 100 mile plus bike rides, countless laps, after dealing with plantar facitis all year, after all the time, $$ and effort just to get to Hawaii, after racing for 11 hours and 44 minutes to cross that finish line with my daughters was PRICELESS!

Finished: 11:44:37

I don’t have to tell you my fellow athletes how good the beer tasted after and of course I was the only one in the massage tent with a beer. I know how lucky I was to have the experience of a lifetime and I couldn’t have gotten there with out a lot of help. Big thanks to Jose Lopez who talked me into doing ironman in the first place, Dr. Bob Otto who guided me though all those workouts (who I didn’t always listen to but he put up with me anyway) my family- who put up with where’s mom-out on the bike! All my friends who contributed $ so I could get to Hawaii, my friends who flew out there with me-some of who had never even seen a race before! Thank you,  Thank you,  Thank you!

All I can say is that the 11:44 that gave 17th in my age group would have been in the top 5 in the 50 age group -so wait till next time!!!!!!!!!!!!-Barbara