The day started early and I was blessed to have my 5 year old niece and my mother along to help cheer on Izaac. This was my mom's first event that she has ever attended and let's just say now "she gets it!" Up to this point she was convinced that Izaac should never do something this long, it wasn't natural and she doesn't want him hurt. You have to love mom's! Now she has become one of Izaac's biggest fans.
Anyway, we get to the start and the weather is CRAPPY! It was so windy and chilly. Izaac gets his transition set up and guess who is right next to him? None other than Macca! Apparently he didn't get a special spot! That is Macca in the white shirt and black cap.
As you know, they delayed the start for the half because of the rough water conditions. However, all the athletes were already in the water ready to go, wondering what the hell was going on and pretty much refusing to get out. They wanted to swim! At one point the whole group was chanting "let us swim or we want to start" (can't remember exactly). Unfortunately they couldn't here the announcement that the swim was being delayed and there was no structured attempt to get them out of the water. Finally after 20-30 minutes they got out of the water and all went into the changing tents to warm up. I questioned whether they would cancel the whole race because it was so bad...and got an eye roll :-). Come on Kelly, they dont cancel races for a little rain and wind! Finally the water calmed down enough for the kayakers to hold their position and feel safe and the half began. I don't know about you, but I always get teary eyed watching the beginning of a race. It is just amazing!
We got to see all the people getting "stripped". That may have been the most comical part of the whole day. I know it's mean and it will come back to haunt me some day, but is was quite a site to see all those dazed swimmers flopping around on the ground while volunteers were trying to remove the wetsuits.
By the way, about half way through the swim there was quite a bit of lightening going over the lake. Kinda of scary to us watching but Izaac didn't know it.
Oh, in between all this the leaders were coming in from the full. My mom was shouting I hope it's a girl!! I assured her that its almost always a guy out of the water first and then wouldn't you know it...the first one out was a girl...Amanada Lovato. My mom went crazy shouting you go girl and saying I told you so. Quite a funny memory.
We cheer Izaac off on the bike, then Stef, then we are on our way to follow them on the bike course. It was great knowing the area and where to stop and park. My whole goal was to get some awesome pictures of Izaac on the bike, and I got a few but basically we barely got to the spot when he would come zooming by quicker than I anticipated and I missed a lot of good opportunities.
My mom and niece right before we saw Izaac. Our first almost miss of the day because we were screwing around taking pictures of ourselves!
We drove down about 7-8 miles of the bike course with my mom yelling out the window "you go girl" to all the girls and my niece practically hanging half way out the window shouting "Go Bikers!" This continued all day. I'm not sure if people were happy to see us or tired of us by the end but they sure got to know us!
Here's a great one of Stef. Unfortunately this was the last time we saw her that day. Doesn't she look strong!
This is coming up the first of the three sisters. We started off at the bottom of the hill because I didn't want people to be embarrassed if they had to get off and walk and we were standing right there. This quickly changed and we climbed to the top. Much more fun! There was a lot of walking and cursing and disbelief that they still had 2 hills to go but one of the most amazing things we witnessed was the great attitudes and friendliness of almost everyone on that hill, even in such a hard situation. I love this picture of Izaac. He looks great. Every time we saw him on the bike, he looked strong, had a great smile and was joking with us. I bet he was glad he new these hills so well!
The 1st picture below is what they faced after the first sister. More climbing. There was more cursing going on here :-) The next picture is one of the disabled athletes. This men and women are truly amazing and inspiring. It was great to watch them throughout the day. And they are AMAZING athletes!
We continued to chase Izaac all over Henderson to wave and cheer him on before we arrived at T2. Then it was time for the run. At this point the three of us decide to head over to the Las Vegas Tri Club aid station to help out till Izaac came through. I think it was around mile 7-10. We had a blast. My niece loves to hand out drinks and it was great to see all of our "friends" (you know the athletes you have seen throughout the whole day).
Here is Izaac! We surprised him since it was a last minute decision to go to the aid station. The 1st picture is him showing me that he found some electrolytes after I tried to shove some down his throat. We had forgot them at home, and I was concerned about it. Apparently he can take care of himself :-)
Here are some pictures from the aid station.
Here are some pictures from the aid station.
After Izaac came through, we hopped in the car and headed to the finish line. I would love to say I got a fantastic photo of him crossing the finish line but I forgot to turn the camera on. What can I say, it was a long day!
Here is immediately after crossing. He is so tired he is hugging the wrong girl!! Umm Izaac, that is not your wife! Just kidding, that is one of his co-workers.
And exactly what the doctor ordered after a long day...a nice cold beer! Mmmmm!!
We had such a great time. And as many have mentioned before, being a spectathlete is tiring! We were exhausted. My mom is now hooked and loves to tell everyone about her awesome son-in-law and can't wait to see the next race.