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Home » Endurance » Triathlons » Ironman » Wisconsin 2006 » Signup Day

Signup Day

The crowd of people waiting to sign up for Ironman Wisconsin

All the other people eager to get a spot. (I think that is Iron Wil on the far right in the red sweater)

I dozed in my car at Capital Springs Centennial State Park overnight and woke up to another rainy morning. I returned to Madison for the privilege of standing in line to pay for my own execution. Although I arrived well before registration began, a multitude had already gathered in Monona Terrace to seal their fate as well. While waiting for the doors to open though, a rumor spread that only cash or check would be accepted as payment. My face dropped. I had intended to use plastic and was not carrying that kind of cash or my checkbook. My checking account was too unhealthy anyway, so I could not pull money from an ATM. Would the start of my year-long journey be stopped before it even began by a little matter of money? I contemplated trying to overdraw my account, but decided instead to find public internet access and register online despite being in Madison.

After getting some hasty directions, I ran to Madison’s public library. It did not open until nine though — the same time registration started. I was however, not sure if online enrollment began then. In any case I would have to hustle once inside the library. I waited impatiently outside hoping my scheme would succeed. Eventually a librarian cracked open the doors, and I hurried to obtain a temporary library card. After the relatively painless process, I had just sat down at a terminal when a man from the Ironman registration line rushed up to me. To my relief he hurriedly explained that payment was not due that morning but would be taken online later. How awesome that this stranger I only spent ten minutes with in line would come find me at the library to ensure I would be registered for my own voyage. He did not want to wonder all year whether I got in. Triathletes rock.

Me with my completed Ironman registration form

Signing my life away

I arrived back at Monona Terrace and signed my yellow slip reserving a spot in Ironman Wisconsin 2007. I managed to meet SimplyStu by the registration room, who is wickedly awesome guy. His enthusiasm over triathlon is genuine, as his personality and energy are the same as in his podcast. The identical demeanor was actually a little creepy, but also reassuring to know that such unbridled enthusiasm exists out there. Many others were also proudly wearing their finisher shirts, which was a sight to behold. With my business accomplished though, I drove back home to reintegrate with real life. After all, I was already taking a vacation day from work to stand in the rain until midnight and then register for the grueling test of endurance that morning.

Returning home, I studied my odometer to determine exactly how far is 140.6 miles (the cumulative distance of the swim, bike, and run in an Ironman). My conclusion was from Cedar Rapids, IA to downtown Madison is about 160 miles. The 140.6 mark is by the National Motorcycle Museum outside Anamosa, IA. If I manage not to be arrested, I am tempted to erect a “140.6 Miles to Madison” sign alongside Highway 151.

I have a year of work ahead of me, until I get to see if I am worthy of having the words “Joey, You are an Ironman!” announced to the world. The journey starts now.