Thursday, October 2, 2014

Race Day at Ironman Augusta 70.3...

So yesterday I told you guys about #TEAMTAGYOURIT's road to the Ironman Augusta 70.3 relay. It was an amazing adventure and I am super sad its over. On to the next race! But first I need to tell you guys about RACEDAY!

We had decided to meet downstairs at 5:45 for the drive over to the bike transition, so that Laura and I could set up for the first transition. I had packed a bag with clothes to change out of and my tennis shoes. Laura needed all of her bike needs put on her bike. We took a couple of pictures of the bike area...
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You can see how full the bike transition was. I love that part of the race morning. Seeing all of the bikes and athletes ready to rock. They were body marking until 6:30, so we got ourselves marked and headed towards the start.

Since the swim in Augusta is a point to point swim straight down the river the bike transition is 1.2 mile from the start. They had huge buses going back and forth from the transition area to the start. So instead of having to walk to the start area we stood in the line for about 10 minutes waiting for the bus. Well worth it. 

We got to the start around 7:05 and checked out the start pad...
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At 7:30 they announce that we were about to start so they sang the start spangled banner while 4 parachuters jumped over us...
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Loved loved loved it! It was such a cool way to start the race. After singing they called the elite men out to the start deck...
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Once they hit hit the water, the elite women got their turn...
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After the pros got their start, they had the challenged impaired adults hit the water next. They were part of the Scott Rigsby Foundation that was taking on the full 70.3. It was inspiring to see people with such challenges compete in this race...  photo 20140928_073449_zpshblpt8vc.jpg 

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After the first groups hit the water, we headed to find the bathrooms. The lines weren't too long, but I will tell you this is the one time you wish you were a guy. They had like port-a-urinals , lol!
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I was not set to hit the water till 9:20, so we had plenty of time to hang out and relax before slipping on the wetsuit. We took one more group picture before Laura and Michelle headed down to the transition...
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Nicole stayed with me and set her self up on the bridge for pictures. They finally called for the relay swimmers to line up. We were the last group to start, so we lined up and waited out turn. Finally right on schedule at 9:20 they had us get in the water. They had decided to have an in water start because the current was slow. We were in the water for 2 minutes before they had us go.

I had decided to start closer to the back middle of the pack. I had been told to stay closest to the bouy for the best current. However I also knew that EVERYONE would be doing that also, so I stayed in the middle. Then the gun went off and we were off...
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Since I had swam half the course on Saturday, I kind of knew my surroundings. I knew once I passed the 2nd bridge I would almost be to the half way point.
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Nicole was my photographer. she was able to get some great shots from the bridge. Thanks Nicole...
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One of the great things about Augusta swim is that you can see the finish from start, so I knew once I got to the boathouse the finish was right there.

I finally got to the finish area and had to run about a 5th of a mile to the bike transition. Now at this point I had no idea my time. My goal was a sub 30. The way the relay works is your team has one timing bracelet. The person you are handing it off to has to remain this tent until you run up to them and exchange the timing piece. Then the cyclist/runner can start their part. When I ran up to the tent and handed off the timing, Laura was right there ready to go. I did notice how many people were still in transition so I knew I must have had a great swim. Nicole looked up my time and I had swam it in 29:11. #Boommmmmm Sub 30!

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Laura had a huge task ahead of her. She had to bike 56 miles into South Carolina and back. The bike course is one huge loop so the only time to really see them is starting and finishing.
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We knew that we would have a couple hours to wait on Laura to finish, so Nicole, Michelle, and I found a nice comfy grassy area close to the finish so we could cheer other cyclist in. One of the athletes we saw was double amputee and Scott Rigsby Foundation athlete Army Master Sergeant Cedric King. He was doing so well on the bike. It amazed me. NO Excuses!
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When Laura came in on the bike we went crazy for her. She went into transition and handed off to Nicole who was waiting to run the last 13.1 miles for the 70.3 finish... Nicole was worried about running a half marathon basically in the middle of the day, so she made sure she stretched and fueled often. She was ready to run...

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Looking so strong at the finish... 
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Nicole headed toward the finish line for a strong finish for #TEAMTAGYOURIT!
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So at exactly 7 hours and 2 minutes later #TEAMTAGYOURIT finished the 2014 Ironman Augusta Relay...   photo 149a70ad-ffaf-484c-a2bc-db66a13f10ed_zpse10a2d96.png 
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I was so proud of these 2 ladies. I had an amazing time and I am so thankful that I had this experience with Laura and Nicole. I couldn't have asked for a better team. It was an epic weekend.

So you ask whats next in my Ironman life?
That;s right Ill be at the big easy for lots of tri fun!

And then I have big plans for Ironman Augusta next year...
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