Arizona Spectator report part 1: Dinner Hats
I need to catch up on some old posts, especially from Ironman Arizona. I had been doing a lot of bike training with Stephanie, but this was also Jill's first Ironman and veterans Teresa and Gary were there as well and there are many stories to tell.
Let's start with dinner. Dinner the night before Ironman is an important part of the race. You have a bad dinner, it can ruin the race for you. When we did Coeur d'Alene, Stephanie made sure that the pre-race-dinner was all about me. Well, me and Rich (my Ironbrother, her Ironhusband.) Now that it was her turn to do an Ironman, the dinner was all about... well, it was still about us.
Rich's father has a house about 20 minutes from the race site, and he hosted a dinner for Stephanie's huge entourage. Parents and sisters and nephews and paperboys and just about everyone else came out to Arizona supposedly to see Stephanie, but it may have been just for the food. For starters, on our way over to dinner Stephanie "made" us stop by the store to pick up all the fixings for an ice cream sundae bar. We were forced to buy ice cream and m&ms and gummi bears and Magic Chocolate Shell and sprinkles and... you get the idea.
When we got to the house, there was a cooler filled with Mountain Dew waiting for me- Rich and Stephanie certainly made sure I was taken care of. I don't even know what Stephanie ate, but she watched us scarf down pasta and bread with tons of butter, washed down with Mountain Dew followed by cups of ice cream with tons of toppings. Best. Carb Load. Ever.
At the dinner, we handed out our Steph swag. I don't know whose idea it was originally, but pretty much from the day Stephanie signed up for Ironman we knew we were going to make up some kind of chef hats for her. She's a great chef, and we played around with lots of punny taglines for her: The Ironman Chef. The Iron Steph. I said I would take care of the hats, and ultimately went with "Swim. Bake. Run." I thought it was clever.
I made up a logo which could be used for a banner and also scale down for the hats. I found some inexpensive fabric/paper chef hats online which were sturdy enough to handle iron-on transfers; I ordered a batch and printed out a bunch of logos on special iron-on paper.
Here's the problem: the hats shipped flat. So I just took my logos and ironed them on to the flat part of the hats, with the creases on either side. But when I tried them on, they just looked silly. (that is, more than a swim-bake-run chef hat should look.) I tried poofing and pinching them every which way, but basically they just looked like Pope hats.
So the hats didn't really work, but I wore mine all day during the race. If nothing else, it made Pope Wedgie easy to find in the crowds.
Fast forward a couple weeks after the race, and I got an email from IronmAnnie. She was in the studio commissary and saw one of the cooks wearing our same hats (sans logo) and apparently it looked great. Turns out, I put the logo on the SIDE of the hat; the crease was supposed to go in the front. Sure enough, I went back and tried on the hat, spun it 90 degrees and suddenly it looked great.
Sorry Stephanie, when you do your next Ironman I'll get it right!