Sunday, November 20, 2016

Day of the Ironman! Perfect Weather - Cloudy and in the low 70's!

Ken and I were up at 4:45 and by 5:30 we were on our way to Tempe and the Ironman Arizona!  Traffic was lighter than we anticipated but unfortunately we drove past the 1st parking garage to go to the one we had been in yesterday and some of the streets were closed for the race.  We ended up going back over the bridge and sort of going in circles only getting into the garage by 6:25. Ernie and Noela had left about 15 minutes after us and were on the bridge to watch the swimmers enter the water before we were walking out of the garage. Rather frustrating!

We walked very quickly to the spot where the swimmers were going to enter the water and here is the good part of the story!  We actually saw Dane lined up to enter the water and believe me, it isn't easy to find your swimmer in amongst all of them.  He was all smiles and ready to start his racing day!

Looking good!

Now  he puts on the game face!

Ken walked onto the bridge to get a view of the swimmers!
Swimmers everywhere!

After he entered the water for the 2.4 mile swim, we met up with Ernie and Noela and went to the transition area where we could see Dane as he exited the water and ran to get his bag of "gear" for riding bike.  He had finished his swim in 1 hour and 4 minutes, a great time!  We quickly moved to another viewing area to see him leave on his bike.  Unfortunately we missed him when he passed.  Not sure how it happened, but it did!

Hard to tell but these are rows of blue and pink bags.  The
participants pack these ahead of race day and they get a blue one
 when transitioning from the swim to the bike ride and then
 the pink one when transitioning from the bike to the run!  It
contains food, drink mixes, clothes, and shoes!

This is the area where all the bikes are kept till the racers
get them for their bike ride. There were about 2,400

Finished with the 2.4 mile swim.....

....and getting his bag of bike riding gear and then it
is off for the 112 mile bike ride!
Then we met up with the Burkholder gang to determine where we would watch the bike race.  At that point, Ernie, Noela, Ken and I decided to walk a few blocks to get breakfast, returning in time to see Dane pass several times during the bike race. 

Biking race has begun - 112 miles!

Looking good and still smiling!

We changed our viewing position again to see him cross the finish line for biking which he completed in better time then he had anticipated! 

Waiting to see their son and hubby finish the bike ride!

Approaching the finish line of the bike race!

Still looking good and smiling!

Another move for us to see him begin the 26.2 mile run. 

Starting the 26.2 mile run!

The 4 of us left at that point (it was 2:15) to have lunch at the Corner Bakery. It was a delicious lunch at a very reasonable price!  Back to our spot for watching the rest of the run with the Burkholder group!  About a month ago, Dane started having trouble with his heel and the Dr. thinks he has a possible stress fracture.  As a result, he hadn't been able to run as much as usual.  He only ran a 3 mile and 16 mile run in the last 2 weeks.  So, the run proved to be rather difficult for him today.  He said between miles 12 and 18 it was really a struggle for him and it was due to not enough training the last month.  But, he kept smiling and running.

Father and son!  At this point Dane was starting to feel the pain!

Ready to be done!

We all moved to the finish line and waited for Dane to arrive.  We were able to follow his progress throughout the race on our phones and we knew that he was behind his normal racing time for the run.  So, we were thrilled when he crossed the finish line after 11 hours and 19 minutes, an extremely good time. He looked good and was moving well after the race.  We are so proud of him!

Steven, Sarah, Cali and Bria are cheering on the finishers!
What an accomplishment!

Training and then doing an Ironman requires the cooperation
and support of the whole family and they do a great job!

After congratulating him and listening to him talk about the race, Ken and I left and headed back to the CG arriving at 7:30.  Ernie and Noela had stayed till Dane crossed the finish line - what troopers.  It is a long day and all of us were tired.  I feel bad saying that when all we did was watch the race.  Dane did all the work!!!!

We had the football game on while Ken went through the pictures.  Then I downloaded them and worked on the blog!  It certainly was an amazing day. It is hard to explain the excitement and action that goes on at an Ironman Race. It is quite an event!!

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