We left the hotel at 5:30AM and after a quick stop at Circle K for coffee and a donut each, we were in line for the Merchandise store by 5:50AM. And when I say “in line” I mean there was already a line of people an hour plus before it was supposed to open! We were probably 30 people deep. Everyone was super friendly and it was interesting to hear some of the “war” stories from the day before. One of the girls behind us thinks she qualified for Kona and another girl was in line to get her Dad – who was a finisher yesterday – a finishers item to give as a Christmas gift because she knew he wouldn’t take the time to do it for himself.
Thankfully, they did open a little early but only let a certain amount of people in at a time. We were in the third group to gain entrance. And the plan was to grab the correct size in anything he saw that he MIGHT want to buy and then go through each item afterward. Although a near mishap of getting some women’s items instead of men’s, he actually didn’t do too bad and only bought 4 items.
We then went back to the hotel and grabbed some of the complimentary breakfast before going back up to the room to resume sleeping. This time we did NOT set the alarm.
This may sound silly but once we got up and showered, we headed back to Ironman Village. He needed to pick up his transition bags and also give his Tri bag to TriBike Transport. Why didn’t we do all of this when we were there earlier in the morning? Well, I’m not sure if those other areas were open yet and the only focus the first trip here was getting those finishers items!
While picking up his transition bags, we got to watch them start the Roll Down ceremony. From the Ironman website:
- Slot Allocation and Rolldown will be completed together in the same ceremony for all IRONMAN events. Please check the schedule of events for time and location.
Anyone who wishes to claim a Rolldown slot must attend the IRONMAN World Championship Slot Allocation and Rolldown Ceremony and claim their slot in person.
- If an automatic qualifier in an Age Group chooses not to take the slot, does not attend the IRONMAN World Championship Slot Allocation and Rolldown Ceremony, or has already qualified, the next eligible finisher in that Age Group may claim the slot that has rolled down.
- If there are no more eligible finishers in a particular Age Group or no other finishers in attendance at the IRONMAN World Championship Slot Allocation and Rolldown Ceremony in that Age Group, that unclaimed slot will be reallocated to another Age Group within the gender based on the athletes-to-slots ratio.
- The Age Group within the gender with the largest athletes-to-slots ratio will receive the first reallocated slot, followed by the next largest ratio receiving the second re-allocated slot (if applicable), and so on.
We heard a couple of names announced and those folks ran up to the stage to claim their spot but we also heard one name get called and the guy let it roll down. Unless he’s been to Kona before, I can’t imagine passing up that opportunity. We would mortgage the house if we needed to for my husband (and me!) to go.
After everything was given to TriBike Transport, it was back to the hotel to pack up our remaining items and drive to P&K’s house for our final night in Arizona.
Once we arrived I took the posters out and took additional pictures of them in the sunlight.
I also did a little photo shot with my husband and his finishers medal.
Then it was finally time for the last of the surprises. I could finally give him all the cards/letters/notes that friends and family had sent. He was totally surprised and had no idea that he would be getting this.
His final request tonight was to go out to dinner and have a steak. We took some pictures with our host family before we left for the restaurant.
The kids got a kick out of wearing the medal when we were at the restaurant.
What a great six days we had in Arizona. Days that were filled with friends and family and laughter. And now my husband is a Two-Time Ironman Finisher. I am a very proud Ironmate!