Thursday, April 19, 2007


This weekend I witnessed my friend Annie become an Ironman.

Annie did Ironman Arizona, and put on quite a show for us. The first unusual thing to happen is that somehow she got marked with two different race numbers on her arms. Not a big deal, but of all the things to worry about during an Ironman I never would have thought that could happen. She started the race with an awesome 1:21 swim; I thought 1:30 would be a great time so she was kicking butt. She then had an 8:48 T1; I knew many people at Ironmans have 10-15 minute transitions so I thought she was really zipping along.

The bike course is 3 loops; she was expecting to do 2.5 hours per loop, which would have her finishing the first loop around 11:00. We waited along the course as 11:00 came and went. 11:15...11:30...11:45... At 11:50 we saw her riding by with a big black mark on her shoulder and bandages on her arm. I was there when she put on her wetsuit in the morning, and I didn't recall seeing any bandages at the time.

As we found out later, at mile 8 (of a 112-mile ride) she hit a traffic cone and took a really bad spill. How bad? When first-aid arrived, they just assumed her race was over and they said they would call for the truck to bring her and her bike back to the start. But Annie said "no, I'm sticking with it." Now THAT'S the Ironman spirit!

Her aerobars got knocked out of alignment or something, and there was a problem with the rear wheel. I don't know the details, but it had something to do with the fact that it wouldn't spin any more. She was lucky enough that the tech truck came pretty quickly, but she still lost about 45 minutes before she got rolling again.

Oh, and then 15 miles later she flatted. Much to her relief (and embarrassment), the same guy who fixed her bike the last time came to her rescue again. As she puts it, he pulled up and said "oh, you again?"

There are very strict cut-off times for the Ironman. You must be finished with the bike ride by 5:30pm or you will not be allowed to continue the race. Our own Little-Miss-Drama-Queen decided she would come in at 5:28. Yes, after 10 1/2 hours of racing, she beat the cut-off with only 2 minutes to spare.

Annie is a pretty confident runner, and sure enough every time we saw her along the looping course she was smiling. Well, up until the end: At 11:36 we all watched as she became an Ironman, and there were tears in her eyes. I think we all had tears, which is as it should be.

That's her story. All my beind-the-scenes antics will be in a future post.


Blogger Nancy Toby said...

Well done Annie! Love the bAnnie... er, I mean, banner!!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Sweet Banner!! Wow that's some killer support. Good to see she made it after a major wipeout like that. Go IronAnnie!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

That is so cool...I love the awesome!! Way to go Ironman Annie..:-))

10:42 AM  
Anonymous IronmAnnie said...

I wish everyone who ever undertook an Ironman could have a supporter like Wedgie! I can't wait to help him train for his big race! But what about the T-shirts? Iron... Wedgie?

5:24 PM  

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