What I'm reading: Fatal Judgment, by Irene Hannon.
First, a reminder that I'm giving away downloads of FINDING SARAH to anyone who asks for one. Email me at bookstore (at) terryodell (dot) com with Thanksgiving in the subject line. I'll give you either a Kindle gift or a Smashwords coupon. Be sure to tell me which you want. Expires Monday, so don't wait.
I know a lot of you read my post about my daughter's first Iron Man Triathlon, and know that we drove down to Arizona to watch her amazing effort. Here are some pictures of the event. For anyone who doesn't know what an Iron Man is, it's a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride, finished up with a 26.2 mile run. Nicole spent the year training and it paid off. She finished strong, with a smile on her face, and was very close to her projected time. You can read her race reports to see what it was like from her side at her blog, Banana Death.
These athletes are either nuts or way too dedicated--or both. We saw athletes who were running with prosthetic legs--one man even carried a spare. And a tandem bike, which was used by a blind competitor.
The first event was the swim, which began right around sunrise. Imagine over 2500 people in the water waiting for the start.
This was the leg of the race where it was virtually impossible to pick out individual competitors.
We found a spot near the point where the swimmers exited the water. Nicole had predicted about 1.5 hours for her to complete the swim, which is her weakest event. She was very close to that time.
And if you want to know what it's like to watch the swim portion of an Iron Man, I tried a short video with my cell phone.
Next came the bike ride.
There were a LOT of bikes!
The bike course was 3 circuits. We found a spot near the turnaround so we could see Nicole when she came down, then when she headed out again. She predicted 2 hours per circuit, and again, was very close to her time.
We had the "Swim, Bike, Run, Cake" sign which made her smile as she rode by.
After the bike, the athletes had to transition for the run. Here's Nicole after dismounting her bike, checking her time.
The transition area was huge to accommodate all the athletes.
Volunteers took care of the bikes, and more volunteers handed them their gear bags.
We found a spot on the run course so we could again cheer her on. Her prediction was about 1.5 hours per lap, and again, she was very much on target. (And if you're wondering what we did in between Nicole sightings, we cheered for everyone, especially those wearing the Team In Training purple.)
And she finished. Strong, happy, and with a huge smile on her face!
Some final observations: We were positioned at the start of the finish chute for the end of the race. We watched "Elvis" finish (although he didn't do the entire race in costume). One athlete stopped right before the finish to propose to his girlfriend. (She said yes). Another did cartwheels--guess the arms weren't as tired as the legs. And the athletes who got the biggest ovations were the ones who looked like they'd come this far but might not make the final yards to the finish line. The spectators were fantastic, encouraging them to hang in just a little longer.
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