Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ironman Wisconsin 2009-My day as a volunteer and spectator

As you all should know by now I am doing Ironman Wisconsin in 2012. I started volunteering last year and will volunteer every year until I do it and will volunteer again after I do it. It is such an awesome experience, so here is my day as a volunteer and spectator in pictures. Enjoy.

This year I was only able to volunteer the day of Ironman unlike last year where I volunteered Saturday and Sunday. Keith's sister came in to visit us from California and I had a U2 concert the night before, which was AWESOME!! I parked around the lake from where the swim start was. This first few pictures are the view as I was walking to the swim start. I love this one with the boats.

The sun was just starting to peek over the horizon.

I'm getting closer you can start to see the swim bouys in the distance.

As I was walking I was welcomed by this sign.

I got situated on the lake front in time to hear the cannon go off and the pros start.

Ten minutes later the age groupers started.

Here are the pros starting the second loop. They were amazing. Everyone was amazing the whole day.

I got myself to the finish line. I had several friends doing it and was hoping to see them come out of the water. I also love to watch the wetsuit strippers in action. It's fun and a job I hope I can get next year. :)

Here they are in action. I had three friends specifically that I was trying to see come out of the water. They are Matt, Nic, and Ken. It gets so crazy and I missed all three of them. The neat thing is is that they came out of the water at the 1:09 mark and were within seconds of each other. They don't even know each other. Amazing.

This Ironman athlete lost 185 pounds on the way to his Ironman dream. Another lady lost 180 pounds.

This guy lost 211 pounds on his journey. They are so inspiring to me. By the time I toe the line at my Ironman I will have lost between 130-145 pounds, so I enjoyed being able to be there and cheer them on.

Here are the strippers cheering on the last swimmers. I stayed until the cutoff to cheer on the last swimmers.

Hree comes one of the last swimmers. I thought he was cute and we were all hoping his speedo stayed on while he was stripped. It did. :)

Here is the last swimmer that made it out of the water as the cutoff time hit. I have never yelled so much as I did cheering him in. He just made it. There were only 6 swimmers I believe that did not make it if I am remembering right. There was a 3 year old next to me in her mom's arms while I was screaming like a wild banchee and she looked at me and said, "You're loud." HAHA

After watching the swim finish, I headed to State and Lake Street where I would be volunteering for 8 hours at a run aid station. On the way there I took this picture.

Here is a picture of State Street with the capitol in the background. On this street everyone writes messages to their atheletes in side walk chalk. What follows are the messages I wrote to my friends.

Here is my message to my friend Ken. He was doing his first Ironman and rocked it. Proud of you Ken.

This was a funny message that I laughed at.

I met Nic last year volunteering. We kept in touch and I am so glad because now I got to be part of his first Ironman. Nic, you are a stud, and you really rocked it. He did his first Ironman in 11 hours 15 minutes. Great Job!!

Here is my message for my friend Matt from The Fitness Pursuit. Great job out there Matt and all you other TFP atheletes.

Team Brazo (Robert) is a friend I met online through our blogs. We met last year in person for the first time at a blogger meet up dinner the night before IMWI. We did not get to see each other this race, but he did AWESOME!!

XT4 (Chris) and I met at the blogger dinner last year as well and follow each others blogs. Unfortunately, we did not see each other all day either, but I was cheering and praying for him all day. Great job Chris.

I just liked how this looked. People of all ages were writing messages for their atheletes and were out there supporting them for the full 17 hours plus some. Spectating takes a lot of dedication and I know that all the atheletes appreicate it. Anyone not busy in 2012 is welcome to come out and cheer me on. I'll need all the support I can get that day.

Here I am at my aid station meeting. We were all set up and ready to go for the first runners. Just getting our last minute directions.

We were told in an email that the aid station was jungled themed and that we could dress up, so I brought an Indy hat and snake, but the thing is no one else dressed up, so I ended up not wearing it. We also helped make the balloon arch.

Here we are filling water. A couple weeks before this I joined a Masters Swim class at the YMCA. The guy to my right, Bill, is in that class. We had never met, started talking one day, figured out we were both volunteering at the same station, and he's doing it next year. GO BILL. Small world. We had a lot of fun. Those are his friends Bob and Kim.

We had an announcement that the first runner was coming, so I was all ready. I wanted to give the first runner his water. If you notice someone running in the background, that was not the first runner. HAHA

Here is Pro, Chris McDonald. I heart him. He won this race last year. I got to give him water twice. S I G H!!

Here is Kim giving pro Hilary Biscay water. I heart her too. She won it last year.

I cannot remember this little boys name, but he was such a trooper and really wanted to help and he did. When he realized at one point that more runners were taking Gatorade he ditched us for the Gatorade table. HAHA.

Here are Bob and Kim in action.

Here they are hamming it up for the camera.

Look at this awesome aid station. I will be volunteering at it again next year. It's also a great way to see your friends that are doing the race a few times.

Here is my buddy Nic. Always has to flex for the camera. He looked strong the whole run. I was bummed I didn't get to see him cross the finish line. He was so fast, I was still volunteering at the time.

This is my friend Chris. We met through our blogs, met in person last year at gear check. I had the honor of giving him his medal at his first Ironman. Can't wait to see you out there again Chris. He's doing IMWI 2010.

Tihs is a new friend I met, Katie, she will be doing it next year as well. Good Luck Katie.

This is my friend Ken. This was his first Ironman. We volunteered together a lot last year. That is how we met and we will be friends now for a long time. Gotta love his jersey. HAHA

Can anyone guess what these are? Yeah, us either. Actually they are power bars, but by the looks of them they should have been called Power Pooh!!

My friend Chris again.

Chris in action.

Ok, this is one awesome man. This is my friend Larry. We met years ago on a message board on that I started called PLUS SIZE TRIATHLETE. We started emailing and kept in touch. He had some weigh to lose, he had gotten adult onset asthma, and never knew how to swim. In the last 5 years he has learned to swim, control his asthma, and has lost weight. His first Ironman was last year and this was his second. We lost touch and there I was at my aid station, grab a water, hold it up, yell water, and there was Larry. I'm so proud of him. He is 53 and this is not his last Ironman by any means. Larry I know you had a tough day, but you overcame it to finish and hear your name again. "Larry Schultz, you are an Ironman."

This is my friend, Maddie. We both go to the same weight watchers meeting. She now in college in Madison. She stopped by to see me twice at my aid station. She was about 70 pounds overweight in high school and decided to lose her weight by graduation so she could have a more active life in college. I'm so proud of you Maddie. I can't wait to have you cheering for me in 2012. Thanks for all your support and encouragement.

Here's Nic again.

Here comes Matt.

Way to go Matt getting a sub 12 time. You were great out there.

Here is a picture of me and Chris. Chris thanks for being such an encouraging friend. I appreciate you.

I wrote all my friends names on my arms. I cheered for them all day and prayed for them all day.

You guys all rocked.

Here I am waiting for a few of my friends to cross the finish line. Nic and Matt finished in under 12 hours, so I missed them. I was looking for Larry, Ken, Chris and Robert.

Here is an athlete from The Fitness Pursuit. Not sure who, but way to go!!

Here is TFPer Lauri crossing the finish line. I worked out with her once at The Fitness Pursuit. Way to go Lauri.

I loved this poster. So true!!

Here is my buddy Ken crossing the finish line. "Ken you are an Ironman." Great job.

Looking for Ken in this mob.

Yay, I found him. I missed Chris and Robert crossing the finish line, but saw my friend Larry come in. By that point my battery in my camera was dead, so no picture of Larry. I got to go and congratulate him. Last year I missed him crossing the finish line, so I'm glad I got to see him this year.

The race officially ends at midnight, but a bunch of us stayed until 12:30 to cheer in the last athelete. Two people that came in before her were Jenny and Mike Wimmer. They are a couple that I just learned about online they have both lost a lot of weight and although they DNFed (Did not finish) this race they are amazing and very inspirational to me. I got to see Mike cross the finish line around 12:16.You'll get them next year for sure. Thanks for inspiring me even more in my journey.

After the day I went to bed at my hotel and had to head back to real life the next day. :( Can't wait for next year.


Anonymous said...

wow, so cool! I can't wait to hear your recap of the day.

Team Brazo said...

Very cool (especially that "Go Team BRAZO" picture). You are going to LOVE doing IMWI 2012.

Have a nice day.

Darcar said...

I love how you have gotten to know so many of these athletes and they've encouraged you and you pass that on. I can't wait to do our first Olympic and then 1/2 Iron together. I'll be right there rooting you on at every aid station and medal station for your Ironman. I love you! You are also an inspiration to me! But, I am still going to kick your BUTT! YOU SHALL NOT DEFEAT ME! I DON'T CARE HOW GOOD BOB IS, I WILL PREVAIL! :) Sorry, someone got Dr. Jeykl got ahold of my computer.

Bob Mitera said...

Darcar is going to be really disappointed. I can see the negativity in her post. Dead meat.

staci girl said...

I would have to agree with bob =] ... my money is on you melissa!! you go girl!!