Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lake Placid Ironman July 2010 - A Spectator's View

For the second consecutive year, I was treated to the sight of athletes participating in the Lake Placid Ironman.  This year, I knew about 6 people racing, including my husband, Eric.  Race day was so exciting to witness!  I stood about 3 feet behind the wetsuit strippers so I had fabulous shots of the athletes readying for the swim start, the frenzy of them storming the beach afterwards, and flopping down to get stripped.  Those 'strippers' really put a lot of gusto into their jobs!!  Everytime I saw a wetsuit and resulting spray coming my way, I had to drop the camera lens down and turn my face away - LOL!   I managed to get photos of everyone I knew except for Eric... I think he exited the water during a particularly large crowd of swimmers and I missed him...

The bike leg is always great to watch - many fabulous photo ops and I saw Eric go by twice so that was great and I got some terrific shots of him!

The run course... I saw Eric going out for the run... gave him a kiss for good luck and then I hung around to see Tara Norton (fabulous pro athlete from Toronto) come into the finisher's oval prior to taking my seat at the Finish Line.

Last year I didn't get much opportunity to see the fastest finishers, as I was volunteering on the run course until quite late.  This year, I decided I wanted to witness those people who finished in under 11 hours... it was so great to see them coming down the chute!  I witnessed smiles, elation, tears of joy and one racer in particular who was so taken by the moment as she came down the chute, she literally stopped for a moment, taking it all in before she crossed - it gave me goosbumps!

Eric crossed the Finish Line looking perky and relatively fresh!  I was so happy to see him looking so great and strong!!!  When he came running through the chute, I could hardly believe it was him - the poor guy's been plagued with injuries for months - but he looked amazing!  So proud of him!!   By then, I was wearing a plastic bag (aka 'poncho') just to keep warm - it was freezing!! I was the yellow plastic-clad maniac jumping up and down in the bleachers, screaming, 'Go, Eric!!!!'.... he didn't see me... he forgot where I was going to be... I admit, when he didn't see me, my heart sank... I was so disappointed that we didn't even make eye contact... 

He crossed the line and the vanished from sight.  I figured if he didn't remember to look up where I said I'd be, he might not remember to come back and meet me there either... so I tried going looking for him... that took a good half hour and a lot of frustration - other people had seen him but I couldn't find him!  Finally - there he was!!  I felt so proud of him - what a fabulous accomplishment!

Congratulations to all of the finishers at Lake Placid Ironman - you all ROCK!!

No comments:

Post a Comment