This weekend was so beyond epic that it needs more than one post to sum it all up — but to give you a teaser of what’s to come, on Saturday one of my good friends completed his first ever Ironman and on Sunday one of my other good friends got married and had the most awesome wedding ever.
We’ll go chronologically here and tackle the Ironman first.
My friend Stripes first started talking about wanting to do an Ironman about a year ago, and his original plan was to target Lake Placid in 2015.
Then I happened to see that Ironman was bringing an IM branded race to Maryland in 2014 (IM took over Cheseapeakeman), and I tipped Stripes off. Next thing I knew he was all registered for the race, and I was in charge of organizing our spectating team.
So Saturday morning a few of us headed out to Cambridge, Md., to watch him compete.
The kid is fast, and based on all his training times I figured sub-12 was well within reach. But as any smart racer does, Stripes was hedging his bets, and hoping for a strong finish.
We picked a spot on the marathon course where we’d be able to see him run past 4 times. The out and back course athletes ran 3 times was great for spectators, probably torture for the athletes.
The first time he ran past he was all smiles, looking good and cruising along after a really strong bike course.
On his second loop he was still grinning ear to ear and holding a pretty solid pace. Of course, I was doing all the race math in my head to see how much cushion he had to go sub-12.
His splits were strong, except for one slow down for a potty break, and if he maintained his pace, we knew he’d get it.
After his last trip past us, we high-tailed it to the finish line to get ready for him to come through the finisher’s chute.
Of course, this was the time when the IM site stopped updating his splits. So we had no idea how soon we’d see him.
Little did we know, Stripes had picked up major speed on his last loop of the course, and if his brother hadn’t shouted, “There he is” we may have all missed him.
He came flying down the finisher’s chute, arms in the air, a big ol’ smile on his face and crossed the finish line in 11:39:44. Crushed that sub-12.
Also, he placed 8th in his age group. NBD.
I could not be more proud of him. He put in hours and hours of training. Sacrificed nights out with friends. And every minute of his training and planning paid off.
I am so glad he picked a local-ish race and that we were able to cheer him on.
It was also awesome because one of my gym friend’s was competing in this Ironman too, so I was able to cheer him on as well. Alan went sub-10!!! I can’t even imagine that kind of speed!
Ironman spectating is so different than marathon spectating. Far fewer crowds and overall more quiet crowds than rowdy marathon spectators, but still I really, really enjoyed every minute of it. Getting to see one of your good friends accomplish something this huge is pretty special.
Congrats Stripes! I hope you are eating all the food, drinking all the beer and taking all the naps!