Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2009 Ironman World Championships Blog- Days 5->8

A spectator's perspective...

Days 5-8 10.10.09- 10.13.09

Yes, it took me a few days to blog again because there was a lot going on and plus post race, I was just drained and tired! Supporting is hard work! So I guess I'll start with race happenings...then race itself... post race... then overall thoughts.

Race Happenings- I woke up at 3am to report to Body Marking duties..yours truly was assigned to bodymark the Physically Challenged and VIP athletes which is generally a less chaotic of a line- thank goodness! That coupled with being positioned right next to the Pro line gave me great photo access! Great photo access was the theme of my day! After body marking duties, I made my way through transition and then there it was- prime spot to take photos of swimmers exiting the water- right on top of the swim stairs where they exit! I wanted to stay out until the last person comes in which is what I've done in the past but having not slept for more than 4-5 hours a night since I've arrived in Kona and being up since 3am, I made it until 1030pm..so onto the race...

The Race was one of the best ones I've seen in terms of drama and how it unfolded..well the Men's race anyway! The Women's race was all Chrissie Wellington! It was also great because I knew a lot more ppl that were racing this year vs. last year! Being where I was at the swim exit, it was great to see friends as they entered and exited the water. The most exciting part of the race had to be about mile 9 of the run? We saw Macca then Andreas followed closely by Crowie and Faris Al-Sultan.. they were all chasing Chris Lieto...at that point.. you knew there was going to be drama drama drama happening on the Queen K! Crowie and Chrissie Wellington ended up winning the race but two athletes I was most happy for was Chris Lieto and Andy Potts. Chris Lieto for risking it and bringing it to them on the bike and holding that gap for the majority of the run of bring home his best finish yet and Andy Potts for only dropping two places from last year despite being involved in the Chicago Tri crash. By the way, have you heard? Chrissie Wellington broke the Women's course record previously held by Paula Newby-Frasier in 1992! Very cool that I was at the finish line watching all this unfold!

And while all that was great, the most inspiring moment had to have come when physically challenged athlete, Rudy Garcia, a double amputee, exited the water in a 1:05!! I felt chills and tears when I witnessed it!

This photo would not do the moment justice but here it is-
Photo below- Crowie being crowned as the 2009 Ironman Champion!

Photo below- Chrissie Wellington broke the course record held since 1992 as she is crowed the 2009 World Champion!
Post Race..the after party has been at Huggos for the last two years sponsored by K-Swiss and a great party it was! It's the place of Who's Who in the world of Ironman Triathlon, AGers, and supporters! Abbey and I stayed out until about 3:30am that day and got to bed around 4am. Good times!
Below is a video I put together for the AIMP crew- congrats to all!!

Photos can be found here!

As I sit here, my last morning at Lava Java in Kona, I will miss the sounds of aerodynamics and carbon passing by every 2 seconds, the compressions socks and the vibe here in Kona. Until next time! Mahalo...

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