IronmanSA 70.3 – my version

In some ways this isn’t my story – it wasn’t my race. I never spent hours training and preparing. I was just “support”.IMG_3900

Most of you may know by now that David never finished the race. His bike died half way through the cycle. It was devastating. He was going so well until then – he was 15 minutes ahead of the times he thought he would do. He was looking strong and really doing so well.

My heart broke for him when I got the sms and this morning when I downloaded the photos and saw his face as he came out for the ride – he was having the time of this life. The whole thing just sucked!

Despite that I am still so super proud of him – he put so much training and effort and hard work into preparing for this race. I know he would have finished but for some reason it was not meant to be this year. So we will be back next year :)

As a spectator the race ran like a well oiled machine. There was lots of place for us to watch each transition, there were volunteers helping us cross the track, there was food and drinks available. As is always the case the vibe between the spectators is really awesome.

My one and only complaint would be the fact that David was left on the side of the road for over an hour after his bike broke. He sent me an sms during my breakfast with Shayne and said he would get a lift back so I went back to the finish not thinking for a second it would take almost 2 hours for him to get back. We were still holding out hope that they support vehicle could fix the problem so I knew I couldn’t ask anyone for help but I assumed asking if the support vehicles have a schedule of sorts wouldn’t be an issue. Well I was wrong. The referee who I asked didn’t ask me if D was ok – he asked how I knew he had stopped. Apparently the athletes aren’t allowed cell phones with them and if they are caught with them it is an instant disqualification :-/ He was so rude to me and so uninterested in whether David was ok or not and eventually told me he would just have to wait! Fair enough! But over an hour wait in insane heat? I really don’t think that is cool. Apparently there were 4 support vehicles for the 90km ride – that’s one every 24km – considering that 300 people didn’t finish it doesn’t seem like enough.

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I was also on the beach when they pulled out one of the men who died. It was horrible. We saw them pull up with the dingy and all you see is the wetsuit and all the wetsuits are very similar. It was a very nerve-wracking moment and I held my breathe until I saw a marking on the suit that I knew wasn’t David’s.

A race like the Iron Man is tough. It is physically challenging, even for the fit guys, and while the athletes are so focused on finishing, winning, bettering times – the supporters all hold their breath at each transition. Some times I wish David had stuck with golf – at least you can’t get injured playing golf :)

 

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Even though the result wasn’t what either of us wanted, we got to spend two days together kid-free in 2 pretty little towns and for me, that is always like winning the lotto.

Congratulations to Pamela and Christelle who also raced :) See you ladies next year?

Does your partner do any outside activities like this? Are you supportive/involved? Or is it his/her thing?

12 thoughts on “IronmanSA 70.3 – my version

  1. Hi

    So sorry he did not make it, technical issues suck – I have been (touch wood) really lucky.

    Then with regards to the support vehicles. I understand that the wait is horrid, I saw quite a few people while racing at the side of the road. (One of them on their phone, I wonder if that was David) anyway, even if the vehicle had reached him earlier it is not to say that he would have been able to get back on the road. The support crew is allowed to verbally assist and possible give you some supplies, however if they touch your bike it is considered external assistance and you are automatically disqualified. I saw this happen to one of the other competitors. It is really harsh I know, but I guess the whole thing with it being and Ironman is that you do it on your own.
    Knowing my bike is one thing I am slack on, and if it ever came down to it, a technical difficulty would be the one thing that would kill my race too.

    • Pam – I totally get that and I respect it – it is after all a competition but I still do think there should have been more vehicles picking people up – with that heat the chances of dehydration are high! D learnt a lot about his bike and know is prepared should something similar happen again :))

  2. So sorry his bike broke!! It is one of those things we can’t control along with the damn wind that blew along the whole cycle leg.

    I was standing on the stairs waiting to get onto the beach for my race start when they carried the one guy past me. At that stage I didn’t know he had passed away else I would have been slightly more freaked out then I was.

    I’ll be back next year – Sunday I wasn’t so sure I would do it again. By Tuesday afternoon with stiff legs and all I knew I would be back :-)

    Hubby does half and full Ironman. At full I’m just support and I tell you been a supporter is also very hard work!

  3. So sorry to hear that problems with his bike side-lined your husband. I’m sure that was tough on him. But like you said, you got to spend two days with him and be there to support him. Supporting our husbands is so important. My husband isn’t an athlete but he is a musician. He plays in several different groups; quartets, big bands, concert bands and a symphony. I go to a lot of concerts to support him. I enjoy most of the music but sometimes I go just because he is playing some special piece that means a lot to him. Being supportive of each other is so important. I’m so glad you were able to be there for your husband. Good luck getting ready for next year.

  4. So sorry that he couldn’t finish and I believe you that it must have been awful to see the dead man brought out of the sea. Next year he will try again and I am sure then he will succeed.

  5. Still very well done to David. H does his field guiding and I fully support it but I do worry about lions, rhinos etc and wait anxiously for the Sunday phone call as they are out of cellphone reception for the whole weekend.

  6. I told Dean aboutt he tech story and he said they have become so strict because of cheating etc. But I steal feel for d having to be out in the sun for that long. They obviously need more assistance. Is there anyway you can log a complaint with the organisers?

    Maybe i’ll see u next year then?

  7. How horrible to have to be in the sun that long? I would have cried! Well done to him though – Iron Man is NOT easy. I personally would NEVER do it. But then again, I’ve learned to never say never.

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