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    Ironman Wisconsin

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Mike finished Ironman Wisconsin this weekend and he lived to tell about it! After months of training and anticipation the four of us traveled down to Madison, Wisconsin last Friday for the event. Mike checked in at Monona Terrace Friday afternoon while the kids and I sat and watched the inspiring athletes wander around the small Expo and Ironman official merchandise shop. On Saturday he checked his bike into the transition area and dropped off his transition bags (the things he changes into for each individual sport). We were all in bed early Saturday night (though some of us...ahem, Miss Lucy...decided to not sleep much that night) because we all had a very early morning wake-up call ahead of us. Mike was up at 4 along with Lucy and I right behind him and Benjamin at 5. Mike made it out to the shuttle at 4:30 and we met Aunt Jen, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Bert at 5:30 so we could watch the guys (Uncle Joe raced, too) take off on the swim portion of the race. It was a gorgeous morning. The sun rise over Lake Monona was breathtaking.

    Sun rising on Ironman WI 2012 

    It was pretty crowded up on the terrace, so we didn't have a great view of the swimmers. I was able to get this video (click through to our webpage if you can't see it) by holding my camera up in the air:

    Ironman Wisconsin 2012 Swim Start Ironman Wisconsin 2012 Swim Start

    After all of the athletes were well on their way into the 2.4 mile swim, we walked over to a great spot where we would be able to watch all of the athletes leave transition on their bikes. Here is Mike leaving with his bike (he's dead center in the photo with the black and red Aero helmet):

    Ironman Mike leaving on his bike

    While everyone was pedaling through Madison, out to the country roads we settled in at mile 45. Since the bike route is two loops, we were also able to see them at mile 85. Benjamin brought along his neon skeleton outfit, which was a HUGE hit with the athletes - they cheered him on more than the other way around!

    Skeleton Benjamin waiting to cheer for Dad

    Joe on the bike:

      Ironman Joe on the bike 

     Mike on the bike:

      Ironman Mike on the bike 

     We were stationed at our spot on the bike course for over 3 hours and the kids were exhausted. The three of us went back to the hotel so that Lucy could nap for an hour and a half while Benjamin and I caught up on the Packers game (ugh). When Lucy woke up we were off to the run course where we got extremely lucky to find a great parking spot in a ramp right on the course. We walked down to the street, found out we were around mile 14 and just happened to catch Joe almost immediately. There was a turn around point not far from where we were so all of the runners came back through our area again. We saw Joe one more time and then Mike came by not too long after that. He said he was "pretty busted up," but he was smiling AND still moving - a good sign.

      Ironman Joe on the run Ironman Mike on the run

    Once Mike ran by us for the second time we met up with Cindy, Bert and Mike's cousin Sharon who lives in Madison and came out to watch the race. We all walked down to the finish line, which was very crowded. We were able to get a spot right on the barricade and then we waited and waited and waited. Joe came through around 9pm and that was when we decided to move a little closer to the finish line so we could see Mike come across it. It was pretty dark by then and my night photography is HORRIBLE, so I didn't take any photos of the finish line. Mike finished at just under 14 hours.  He said that he had so much fun and...(uh oh) is hoping to do more!!

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