|Sunset on IMAZ race day from the bridge.|
|Giving Ray a few seconds of encouragement as he hammers|
the third loop of the run (finished with negative splits!).
|Athlete & Coach at the finish. Happy is an understatement.|
I think - no - I know, one of the keys to Ray's success on Sunday was his nutrition, which consisted of Skratch Labs Drink Mix, Honey Stinger Waffles, a few "emergency" PowerBar chomps if he needed, water ad libitum and....one more secret ingredient that's deserving of its own post, so I'll save it for next time. Curious?!?! heehee
|TRIBE bathroom decor.|
Of course networking with the usual Ironman suspects was also a priority, and we had some good times at the TRIBE Slowtwitch Party on Friday (you can see pics on Slowtwich gallery; there's one of the crowd in which you can spot me in a bicycle-clad shirt chatting with Charisa and Ian). That was a fun time, with a solid turnout, some good beers and nothing too crazy because it was still afternoon and light outside. We followed that up by hitting up the new TriSports shop where Leanda Cave gave a chat, and we mingled some more. Did I mention another open bar? Oh man...
|There are a couple fun breweries in the Tempe area.|
I don't drink much beer, but it is fun to try different kinds!
|Efrain is earning a little fame these days as the guy who races in|
Crocs, on the bike & run! (He made special bike shoes.)
Apparently Chrissie Wellington even got down
on hands & knees and kissed his shoes in Kona one time.
|Traditional Filipino fare cooked up for some pre-race "comfort food."|
Race Day / 11-Miler
|With all the pics I've seen of this sight over the years, I was|
trying to make a mass swim start look unique ;)
Spectating was a nonstop blast because so many people I know/know of were racing and/or spectating/working/etc at the race - it's like a mini Kona in a way, warm weather and all!
The pro race was definitely an interest of mine, of course, with the stacked field it was (is any Ironman in the US not stacked any more?). I always am curious to see how the pros go so late in the year after having done so many other races. It did not disappoint! I wanted to see it all, so let's just say we were doing a lot of math over the day to be in the right spots at the right times - to see Ray, the male/female pros, other friends, etc... I don't think I really even missed anything significant, whew. I even got to catch up with my buddy, Rachel Stanley, of 110% Play Harder compression. Rachel is a rad chick, and I'm glad she's working for such a legit compression brand. I love their stuff, and you'll likely be hearing me talk about it more in the future...
The swim was pretty interesting to watch. The pro men formed two packs side by side, which was something odd to see. And the female pros were then wondering which path they should follow, as I was later told by Linsey Corbin. The separate male/female start creates for an interesting dynamic and, in particular, it affects the women's times (listen to podcast with Corbin; read on below...)
From the swim it was hopping around the bike course. One fun highlight of the day was sitting with Ian Mikelson's parents during the bike, just as the pros were coming back toward transition from loop 1. At that point Ian was in second - a surprise to us at the time because we didn't know splits - and man were his folks stoked when we saw him fly by sitting #2!!! Hugs and cheers were rampant! Also, if you don't know, Ian's mom is one of the most dedicated triathlon moms ever and she knows her shit, too, when it comes to triathlon. A good person to sit with for race info.
Another highlight was finally meeting Sonja in person. She'd tweeted a pic of a girl who she thought was me running, which it wasn't (I was actually stuffing my face with food at the time). I later ran into her and, man, she is a rad chick too! We had fun talking, and I heard more about her Kona story, which honestly half made me want to puke, but it was also very interesting (hint: a detailed port-o-potty story). Anyways, I'm a GoSonja fan even more now.
Fast forward and all the usual stuff went on, including some epic racing and surprises. The men's bike record dropped by 6 minutes by Andrew Starky (bc I don't know how to spell his name), a 26-year-old German named Nils stole the win... the women's race proved again that anything is possible - I don't think anyone was expecting Leanda to NOT be on the podium, MBK did another IM for the year and podiumed again (what is that, 10? jk)...
I made sure to catch the pro finish from the VIP area, and it sounds like quite a few of you saw me on the Ironman Live video feed. Funny stuff.
Some pics of the race...
|Nils Frommhold. I really have a knack for taking |
run pics of the eventual winners... kinda weird!
|Linsey Corbin making up 7+ min out of T2|
to run her way to the win.
|I love the media crew. It's starting to feel like|
we're carnies as we travel from one race to another.
When I posted that Corbin/MBK pic, I tweeted "Somewhere MattDixon is cheering his brains out...
Champ Corbin Podcast
|The Mike Reilly interview.|
Feeling ThankfulAnd just like that we were on the way home. I can't believe how jam-packed my time in AZ was, and how fast the trip went - and that's with practically no working out on my end. It was so much fun! As we approach Thanksgiving, it's easy to say what I'm thankful for - I am just so thankful to have an athlete like Ray and am so proud of him. He's actually had a really tough year with some hard blows, and he finished it on a high note, which is awesome. He worked hard and earned this one. I know that his girlfriend, Anne, John and I were all on a total high those final hours seeing him on track for a stellar finish. Not to mention, I'm thankful Ray had the desire to go out and celebrate after too. Quote of the night was from Anne: "I have cowbell tunnel syndrome!" hahaha.
I am also so thankful to be involved in such an amazing sport with great people, including my E&T for inviting John and I in... they were probably happy to have us go because now they can finally have some alone time for the first time in the new place ;)
|Anyone know the story on this guy? Was it just random?|