September 7, 2014
This EVENT is new to Indianapolis and was scheduled to take place ON my husband’s 50th birthday. The distance also coincided with his training plan so…naturally he signed up. You may have read in some of my other posts that my husband is training for his second full Ironman race. It will take place in Arizona in November. He completed his first one down in Louisville, KY in 2008. He says doing another one is his way of “giving the finger” to turning 50.
I was out of town the day before so I didn’t get to go to packet pickup with him but it sounded like there wasn’t much to. It was conveniently located at a running store near us so that was nice. By the time I got home Saturday evening, he was getting all of his stuff together and ready for the next day. I needed to wait until he had gone to bed to begin my “surprise” for him. This caused me to stay up way too late but I’m glad I decided to whip something together even if it was last minute and maybe not my best effort.
Sunday morning I got up first, took a quick shower and then went to get my coffee. The race was scheduled to start at 8:00AM and he wanted to leave the house no later than 6:45AM. We were pretty much out the door on time. It was a cool morning so perfect racing weather and the reservoir temperature was such that it was wetsuit legal. My husband says that THAT is the best.
We parked at Rick’s Boatyard and Café and then made the short walk to the transition area to drop off his stuff. He ran into a snafu when he went to pick up his timing chip. His bib number was 44 but that ankle chip was gone. I’m guessing that maybe someone registered that morning and they were given it in error. So he was given number 153 instead…but he still had bib number 44. This would come in to play later.
This was the first time we’ve seen the groupings done by age rather than bib number.
Then it was over to get marked. She tried her best to have the “zero” be part of his tattoo.
Then he put on his wetsuit and headed down to the water. This was when I presented him with his motivational/birthday sign. He’s so cute!
But enough with the frivolities, he wanted to get in and test out the water.
Because of the starting area being very slippery, they asked all the male athletes get in the water waist deep and then they started the event…about 6 minutes late but that’s not too bad.
The female athletes started shortly after. While he was in the water, I ran around a took a few pictures:
He was out of the water in about the time he was hoping for and I was able to “accompany” him up to the transition area.
Once he was out on the bike, I went to the car and got my chair and my snacks.
Once again, I couldn’t remember how long he said it should take him on the bike but I was seated in the perfect spot to watch him come in and cheered on the other athletes.
Back in from the bike.
While he was in T2, I ran over to the RUN OUT area to get a photo of him there. Again…he really needs to lighten up and have some fun during these things.
I didn’t know what the run course was so I was a little confused as to where I would see him during the final pass. I tried to watch some of the other athletes and eventually figured it out. While waiting for him, I hear the guy on the PA announce that “#44 Skelton” had just crossed the line. WHAT? No way. How did I miss him. So I turned around – luckily I was only about 20 feet from the finish line – and eyeballed the guy that they announced as my husband. It was not him but he was wearing the #44 timing chip so I told them about the bib mix-up. The organizer of the event was there (I had met him over the summer at some fun runs I’d helped out with) and he knew that it was my husband’s birthday so he told me to let them know when he was close.
I see him coming down the road and run out with the sign to cheer him on.
He only had a short lap left to do so I let the RD know he was close. I stood at the finish line and waited. The made an announcement that they were stopping the music for just a bit and everyone would understand why in just a few moments. I saw my husband running up the final stretch and gave them the heads up. Suddenly they began playing “Happy Birthday” as he crossed the finish line. FUN!
Once he stopped his watch and gathered himself just a bit, I presented him with his very special “finishers” medal.
It was a great day to turn 50! Love this guy so much.