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Ironman Wisconsin 2011

With enjoying volunteering on the water the prior year and a bunch of friends racing this year, my plans once again had me in Madison on Ironman weekend with my kayak. Unfortunately, my POS replacement car obtained following a little fender bender after Ironman Lake Placid decided starting was an optional feature. This left me no way to transport a kayak to Madison or arrive in time for the required safety meeting. Fortunately I knew other people in town going to watch, so I could at least hitch a ride with them, just sans a boat. And not having to be at the Saturday morning swim safety meeting meant I got to run a 5K back home.

A very early departure got us to Wisconsin’s capital before the 7 a.m. cannon and we watched the swimmers from atop Monona Terrance. The bird’s eye view of the course was nice, but it still did not compare to that of being on the water, being buffeted by the swimmers’ waves.

After all the competitors had started riding their bikes, I got my own workout in the for day by once again running from downtown Madison to the Ironman party in Verona. Although not across an Iowa county, I was accompanied by a runner from back home and we enjoyed the Wisconsin country side, until arriving in Verona to meet our other friends and watch the bikes zoom past.

I was very content being on the sidelines and watching others race. Usually the thrill of race day makes me at least a little giddy, longing to be out there racing. Not today though, my previous two Ironmans that year had vanquished any and all desire to be on the course. I had my fill of long, painful, vomiting walks for a while. I am sure the passion will come back, but cheering was more than sufficient for that day.

After catching a ride back on the bus to Madison, I wandered around the run course with my infamous bullhorn and newly added air horn, cheering and harassing the competitors. I knew quite a few people racing, and managed to find everyone of them hobbling on the streets of Madison at least once.

With an already very early morning and having to get back home still that night, we did not stay until midnight to cheer in the last runners as normal, but ducked out after several of the competitors we knew finished and we had a chance to congratulate them. All in all another fun day in Madison, but I wish my original plans to be a kayak volunteer would have panned out.