|Kat cheers Paul, Audrey preparing a sponge in the background|
|Is this the famed Ironman shuffle?|
Headed into the turnaround at Mile 12 I saw Kevin coming out for his Mile 14. He looked pretty strong and I thought "good for him". Shortly after Mile 14 I saw Paul heading for the turnaround and he was moving OK but didn't look too comfortable. He told me not to stop, we high-fived, wished each other well and kept going. Around Mile 19 or so I saw Scott (Love the TTTC uniforms!) and he wasn't moving too fast but looked to be in good spirits. Again we wished each other well and kept moving. Very shortly thereafter I came back into town and with about 10k to go (Only 10k!) I started to allow myself to think I was going to be able to finish strong. A smile began to form and it just got bigger from there to the finish. Around Mile 22 I could see a Tri-Factor uniform in the distance and recognized Kevin moving pretty slowly. I caught him and asked him how things were going. Not well, apparently his stomach had shut down at Mile 17. I encouraged him to run with me but he said he couldn't so I went off on my own. You get to a high point on Main St between Skaha Lake to the South and Okanagan Lake to the North where the finish is. Like the man says "It's all downhill from there" and I really picked it up (or felt like I did). With your name on your race bib all of the spectators are cheering you on by name which is quite a boost.
|Feeling the Finish Line approaching|
|Kate was able to get the "Hero" picture|
At around 10:30 we headed back down to the line to cheer on the final finishers (this time I asked if we could take the car). What an experience! An absolute must-do part of your Ironman experience. Steve King and the rest of the announcing team get the crowd absolutely pumped up to cheer the finishers in. People at the barriers pound on the signboards to pace them. Nobody walks the final 100 meters. There's way too much energy. Jordan Rapp showed up with about an hour to go and if anyone looked like they might walk to the line he got them running. I saw a lot of the Twitter peeps (Tweeps) come across which made me feel particularly good. Watching those final finishers, right up until about two minutes to go, was almost as memorable as my own finish.
In Part 3: The "touchy-feely" part of Ironman