Ironman World Championship 2010

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A short account of my day at the Ironman:

My wife and my Dad and I got up early (about 5 am) to get down to watch the start of the race. The pro men and women go off at 0630 and everyone else goes off at 0700. I must say, there is nothing like the mass age group swim start of an ironman race. I had heard about it before and I had seen it on TV (which is amazing in and of itself) but watching it in person is truly unbelievable. Over 1700 athletes all started the swim at the same time in Kailua bay. There were churning arms and legs (and bad swim form :o)…) everywhere. I got a few pictures and some video but they are really hard to see because we didn’t get there early enough to get a spot on the sea wall.

We stuck around to watch Andy Potts come out of the water right around 48 minutes (what?…crazy!). I did the math for you on this…that is equivalent to 1:09 per 100 yards or 1:15 per 100 meters….for 2.4 miles. He came out of the water with a 3-minute lead on the pack.

We stayed and watched all of the pro men and women get out onto the bike course. Then, we left the race and went back to the house for a while (with a stop at the hospital to meet my relatives with my 15 month old daughter that had burned her hand by plunging it into a mug of extremely hot coffee…a whole story in itself…don’t worry she is recovering just fine).

I managed to make it back to the race in time to see Macca cross the line in first followed closely by Raelert. I also got to see Crowie and Lieto cross before heading back to the house again. Here is a video of Macca heading down Ali’i to victory….he looks amazingly fresh:

Macca 2010 Ironman World Championship from Ryan Chapman on Vimeo.

But, the best part of the day was going back to the finish line from 9 pm to midnight and watching the last of the finishers cross the line. The energy at the finish line was amazing and I saw some of the most inspirational things I have ever seen. I saw an 80 year old man (Lew Hollander) cross the finish line (get this…he took an hour off his time from last year…?????!!!!), I saw a triple (yes, triple) amputee cross the line with two prosthetic legs and only one arm, I saw a lady cross the line that did the entire bike and run with a medical boot on (like you get when you have a broken foot), I saw two different 75 year old Japanese men cross the line, and I saw scores of other people that had pushed themselves beyond what most believe their bodies can do.

What I took away from this was that there are very few people out there that can truly say, “I would really like to do an Ironman but I can’t”. There were people in that race that would tell you different. If a young man with no legs and only one arm can figure out a way to make it across that line and an 80 year old man can do an hour better than last year, chances are that you can do an Ironman too. All you have to do is want to do it and then go do it. If you don’t want to do an Ironman, that is one thing…but don’t tell me that you can’t. If you want to do one, then go out and do it. Your body is capable of things that you never dreamed of, your mind is often the only thing holding you back.

finish

2 Comments

  • Sue Campana

    November 1, 2010

    This is great…you’re right, very inspirational! Thanks for sharing. Sue

    • BASEtraining

      November 1, 2010

      Thanks, Sue! I hope you are doing well. Get in touch with me and let me know how your swimming is going.