Thursday, October 15, 2009
I had many race day goals and must do's, but I also had a few in place for after I crossed the line. Last year I didn't go back to the finish line before midnight, and didn't make it out to the after parties Sunday night. Both were on my "must do" list!
After the wonderful magnesium i.v., half a pizza, and some ice cream it was time to get back to the race.
I was invited to enjoy the rest of the race from the v.i.p. area behind the finish line. I stood there for over 2 hours watching the final finishers fight for their finish. These are the moments that make this event so spectacular.
Several of the pro's came down to hand out leis. The time ticked down. We were all there at willing those still on the course to the finish. With one hour to go there were still 8 athletes out there... So we kept dancing, cheering, and willing them to the finish so they too could hear those words we all desire to hear from the voice of ironman himself!
I can not believe how much energy Mike Riley maintains throughout the day! Thanks for bringing me across the line again Mike! It has been wonderful to get to know Mike since getting involved in the sport. It's beyond awesome to have a friend call me through the finish! Mike you're simply the best.
I congratulated our 2009 champions and enjoyed hearing about their amazing accomplishments! They were both so unselfish and kept asking about my race. My response "oh I promise my race was no where near as exciting as yours, so tell me more!" I was obviously out on the course when they crossed the line, so enjoying a bit of their victory with them was quite memorable.
Here are your 2009 Ironman World Champions!!!
Crushing Paula Newby Fraser's record, CHRISSIE WELLINGTON...
And battling from behind on the run to take the win once again, Crowie!
It was awesome to see Rinny and congratulate her on her second place. She killed Chrissie's run record as she ticked off her competitors one at a time. This is truly remarkable considering the conditions out there! It was her first Ironman, and she told me she likes the distance and of course will be back again. Congrats Rinny!
The final finisher crossed with only 8 second to spare. Downtown Kona was going nuts! The music was pumping, the cheering was non-stop! They had to be able to hear us from 2 miles out! (then thanks to NBC the line stayed "open" for an unofficial finish by the former biggest looser winner). The traditional fire dance ensued and just like that the 31st Hawaiian Ironman was in the books!
As the day came to a close I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. To be part of this athletic event was just amazing! I am very thankful to be able to part of the Hawaiian Ironman family!
The celebrations continued through Sunday night. And once again it rained and poured on our festivities. (pictures of bonging beers from the flamingo have been omitted ;) It was awesome to catch up with everyone and rehash some of the stories from race day.
No matter where you go in the world The University of Michigan is represented through its alumni. (Tommy- thanks to you and GU for your powering me through this year, me, Andy, and Matthew). Congrats on an awesome race Andy!!! GO BLUE!
I miss Kona already, but these pictures help remind me how amazing my Ironman experience was! So amazing that I haven't squashed the idea of adding one more race to my 2009 season ;) More memories to come???...we'll see!