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!!