Ironman Arizona 2011 & my IronMom

It started with a surprise.
Which was awesome because my mom really had no idea.

I call my mom IronMom on this blog for a reason.
She truly is an Ironman.

Ironman Arizona was her fourth Ironman event.
That is:
2.4 mile swim
112 mile bike
26.2 mile (marathon) run
All in one day.

If you have not spectated an Ironman event, please do so if you ever have the chance.
It's an amazing and emotional thing.
Especially when your mom is racing.

I arrived the day before race day,
the special needs bags were ready.

The snack bar was set up.

(In case you were wondering that's Oatmea   l.  Stupid app.)

Here is what Ironpeople consume on race day:  

After dinner we crashed early.
And awoke at the patootie-crack of dawn...

IronMom & IronNick were ready to race!

Transition was dark and crowded....

The body markers were busy....

We headed to the bridge to try and get positioned for the swim start....

Look at all those spectators lining the other bridge...

The paddleboarders were ready to go...

And the Pro's started jumping in.

Correction here.  
The actual start line was under the bridge I was standing on when I was taking these photos.
This was not a typicle Ironman swim start.
This was considered a deep water start, so the athletes had to jump in and swim to the start line.
This is because Tempe Town Lake is kind of like a giant dough-boy pool.
Usually all of the athletes run off of the beach or shore and into the water when the gun goes off.
Here, they had to get in first....more on that in a minute.

Swimming to the start line...

Safety First...

Here are all of the age-groupers getting in the water....
They had to climb over a barrier and jump off this dock...

Now, check out all of the athletes just waiting to get in....

Here is video...
This waiting would be so nerve-wracking!!

Others opted to walk along the wall until they couldn't anymore...

I loved this sign...
"Because you can"
That's why.

And the swimmers just kept coming...

 and coming...

Even this guy, without a wetsuit...

...and Santa...
(Didn't you know he does Ironman too?)

...and this guy who spotted me on the bridge and asked for a feature.

One of my better shots of the day I think....

Now, I'm sorry I couldn't bring you the actual start.
But here is what it looks like when 2,700 people start swimming all at once...

Spectators on the bridge we were on....

This guy was in the very back of the swim...

..and all of these people cheered him on the whole way...

Before we knew it the Pro's were on their way back...

...and out of the water...

...and the age-groupers were coming in...

IronMom is a rad swimmer.  She did the swim in 1:19...
Here is some bad video...

And then we were on the bike!!

She's even smiling!
She could be a race poster!

Pro (I think)...

IronMom bike video...she's telling us it was windy on the way back...

She's still smiling!!

Remember Nick?  He was racing too.
Wait, there he goes!

That's really his wheel too.

And bike finish for IronMom...

By the way, as this ↑ was happening, the winner finished.
That's 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run.
In 7 hours 59 minutes.

IronMike (step-dad) was my co-spectator for the day.
This is how most of the day went.
I walk.  I realize he's gone.
I turn around and there he is.
Way far behind me...

That's OK though.  
He earned the name IronMike for completing 9 Ironman events of his own.
This was to be #10, but alas, a back injury kept him from running...and racing.
Thankfully I got him for the day.  I would have been lost without him!

Back to the race!
Swim - check.
Bike - check.
Run started.

As IronMom started her run,
the 2nd place woman was on her way in...

Remember Nick?

He didn't mind.
He even stopped to chat with us...

This was a weird plaque by the lake...

OK.  Whatever you say plaque.

We saw IronMom one more time on the run...

and then we went and had dinner.

Before we knew it it was dark again...

...and the finish line was looming...

...and my IronMom came in strong!

Awesome, wonderful, inspiring job IronMom!

It was a great day...and it wasn't over for my mom.

But before we get to that, let me just mention that spectating, it is a sport within itself!
Here is a short summary of our day spectating....

Ironman Arizona - Spectating
by: thecyclistswife

No really, it was just like that!

Oh in case you were wondering, this is "blue guy"...
Photo: Triathlon Competitor

Now, I said the day wasn't over.
We had to return in the morning for something important....
...the awards banquet...

YouTube Video

That's Right!
IronMom got herself on the podium!!

Along with these other fine ladies...

Wow Mom.  You Rock.

A great surprise.  A long and wonderful day.
I am so proud of my IronMom.
For reals.
Someday I hope I can be like her.

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  1. Sar, you did such a fabulous job of capturing the day. I can't believe how crazy the swim start is. That is really bizarre. It's a wonder they even get started. But your XtraNormal rendition of the day you and. Ike had is hilarious.

    Thanks for putting this all together. Can't wait to see your. Oma's rendition of you doing this when it is your turn. YOU CAN DO IT!

    Cousin Debbie

  2. this is incredible! there is no way i would be able to do this. mainly because there is no way i would be able to get up at 4:30. CRAZY!!!
    xo TJ

  3. Thanks Debbie! And Mrs. Taylor - you could do it! If you were racing you wouldn't be able to sleep anyway. :)

  4. That was way cool Sarah. I loved the little animated clip on the spectating aspect! Very funny and very true. (And you nailed Mike!)

    Congrats to your Ironmom!


  5. that is so awesome! i love your ironmom. you should still come do the half here is STG. They made it half because the pro's wouldnt come do a full anymore, as it is one of the hardest ironman courses and its the beginning of the season. this year the first guy to go through (Ben i think was his name) won last year and was still like 2 hours behind his normal time. This course kicks butt!

    1. Hi Tere! I know, I wish she could. But, she is trying to get a slot to Ironman Kona, which means she needs a full race where she can win her age group. Like most Ironman age-groupers, she has a nemesis. There is one lady who ALWAYS kills it in her age group and gets the one and only slot. My mom ages up this year and won't be in the same group with that lady, so she wants to take her shot. Which means full Ironman or bust! :)


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