I made a last minute decision to drive out to Lake Placid over the weekend to cheer on teammate Tony and the smartasscrew. We drove out Friday night and crashed on the floor of Will's cabin. On Saturday I went for an early swim around the course and then Paulo, a friend Mark and I rode the bike course. Tony joined us for the first few miles before he racked his bike. The IMLP bike course is absolutely stunning. I loved the descent to Keene and overall the course was much less hilly than I had expected. We made it through the course in about 3:10 and then hung out for awhile. We carb loaded with the crew at an italian restaurant in Seranac Lake. Here is the crew before dinner:
Left to right: Alex, Sergio, Paulo, Will
Then after dinner, Will showed us his super secret nutrition strategy for the race:
Race day started early, as they always do. We were up at 4am and Will was in the zone listening to the theme song from the A-team. It was a very nice morning- clear skies and warm. We dropped Will at transition and found a place to park. We stood at the exit of transition and wished everyone well. I gave Tony a big hug and he seemed very excited to race.
Just about as the pro-cannon went off the rain started. Our lifesaver all day was the umbrella we bought at the grocery store for 12 bucks. Because it rained... and rained... and RAINED from 6:45am until 8pm, almost non-stop.
We stayed at the race site all day cheering. Will and Jacqui were having great races. I was really, really concerned about Tony because he was so very thin leading up to the race that I wasn't sure he was going to be able to handle the cold weather. His weigh-in was 158 pounds (6'4"). When we saw him after the first bike loop he was absolutely shivering. After seeing him go around for his second loop, we went to watch the pro-race. And what a race it was!
Will just absolutely had the race of his life. He got off the bike looking awesome after a 52 minute swim and 5:01 bike. He was in 9th place starting the run and everytime we saw him he had passed someone else. The last time we saw him he was absolutely running for his life! We cheered him on and he screamed in terror- JUST TELL ME WHO'S BEHIND ME!!!! Paulo just yelled- you're good, just go! I totally would have told him that he had a pro right on his ass
We then ran to the finish to see him come in. I have never seen anyone race with such joy as Will finishing IMLP. Ecstatic is totally an understatement. Will was completely overcome. It was one of the greatest things I have ever seen:
Total breakthrough performance, finishing 5th. AWESOME! Will is going to KONA!
Then I went back to find Tony. I was worried about him, but as I saw him coming toward me starting his run I was so relieved. He looked great and had gotten a thermal shirt to wear. He was ready to finish this race strong.
Tony went out on the run and we cheered Jacqui in to the finish. She did awesome as well, finishing as the 5th pro woman with a core body temp of 91. She was completely freezing but still forged ahead with a very strong performance. What a trooper!
I stayed out there for the next few hours cheering people on at the 23 mile mark. It was such an amazing sight to see those people fighting through the pouring rain and cold. Then Tony came and I was so happy to see him still running! I ran over to the oval to see him finish his Ironman with a huge PR on a super tough day. That's my training partner!
I have utmost respect for all the finishers from Sunday. What a day! You should all be so proud of yourselves!!!
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