2015 IMFL (spectator) race report

Spectating is not easy but we absolutely love watching our athletes in action.

My alarm woke us up at 5:30am on race day morning and Karel started the water in our electric kettle (that we brought) to fill the French Press (that Karel brought). Campy stayed snuggled in bed (with one eye opened to make sure we didn’t leave him) as we had a snack before heading out the hotel door to watch our athletes start the bike. The race started at 6:15am so we watched the live feed on Ironman.com until the athletes started their second loop of the swim. 

From experience, it was always hard to spot our athletes coming out of the water with so many people so we decided to spectate on the corner of Front Beach and Thomas, less than ½ mile from where the athletes started the bike. 

We were able to spot all our athletes and many of our friends racing so it was the perfect location for cheering. Plus, it’s always nice to surprise athletes when they don’t expect us to be there on the course. 

After we saw all of the Trimarni athletes start the bike (Colleen, Rita, Stefanie and Maggie) we went back to our hotel for breakfast (we had a microwave and fridge in our room at the Executive Inn – it’s not as fancy as it sounds but pet-friendly, free Wi-Fi, no carpet for the floors, close to the race venue and cheap!). 

We tracked our athletes via the Ironman Live tracker online as well as the free Ironmobile app. With a new out and back section on the course, we planned when we would head out to see our athletes. Around 10am, Karel biked to the out and back section (a little over 22 miles away) on his road bike and I drove (with Campy). 

For the next few hours, we cheered on all of the athletes who came by for the out and back (around mile 70-85ish). With a non-wetsuit swim to start the day, we knew it would be a warm day in PCB. There was some cloud cover with a rain shower while spectating the bike from 11am – 1pm to help cool us off. 

After we saw all of our athletes on the bike (who all looked great – lots of smiles!), Karel, Campy and I drove back to the hotel for a quick lunch. We rested for just about an hour and then made our way to the run course. Since we were just a mile away from the race venue, it was very quick to get to where we needed to be on and before race day. 

Karel biked to the run course so he could see the athletes as they made their way out of T2 and on to the run course. It’s always nice to see familiar faces when you start the run but we knew it would be good for our athletes to see Karel a few miles down the road for a little coach pick-me-up. Campy and I drove (well, I drove, Campy navigated) to Mellow Mushroom and parked in the lot behind the building and I spotted two of our friends and Trimarni campers Alex and Angie and their dogs. We all walked to the run course to cheer on the athletes.

The struggle is real people - Ironman is no joke when you are a 12-lb Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound. 

One of the best parts about spectating is that Karel and I can see our friends on and off the course. We bumped into a few other friends from Jacksonville which was great to catch up.
And coach Katie Malone from Greenville too. 

Lots of cheering. Yay Colleen - you are doing an IRONMAN for the first time!!!

We stayed out on the course all afternoon and evening from 3pm until 10pm, until our last athlete had finished.
In between waiting for our athletes to finish, we ate dinner at Mellow Mushroom. It was quite exciting watching all of the athletes finishing the race and we even had to stop mid-bite while we were eating to sprint to the road to run-in with our athletes. 

Campy was exhausted from all the spectating so he spent most of the time in our arms….except for when we caught-up with our athletes in the last 1 mile of the race to run with them for a few minutes. 

Campy really enjoyed finishing the Ironman 3x’s on Saturday and we enjoyed the “Iron puppy” cheers. 

Colleen finishing.

Stefanie finishing.

Maggie finishing. 

From the statistics, it was a very challenging day for many. We are so proud of our 4 Trimarni athletes who all finished (especially first-timer Ironman Colleen) but we just loved how everyone was working hard to get to the finish. 

The Ironman is not an easy event.
An Ironman finisher medal is not given away for free or just because you paid a registration fee.
Sometimes you earn the medal on the first try but sometimes it takes years to understand how to "race" in an Ironman event.

It doesn't matter how slow or fast you go but the important thing is that you always give your best effort.
At Trimarni, we focus on racing to our best ability all while keeping the body in optimal health.

And no matter how your Ironman race goes, it is important that you do not overlook your biggest accomplishment which is simply getting to the start line.

Congrats to the 2193 finishers but most of all, the 2980 starters who had the determination, courage, strength, fitness and skills to start a 140.6 mile journey. 

Don't stop dreaming big and always be willing to work hard for your goals.
And no matter how your race goes, don't forget to thank your body for what it allows you to do.