Once again, we were down in Lake Placid for Ironman. Once again, it was a beautiful day and it was fabulous to see so many athletes doing their thing on race day!!
I started shooting photos just after 6am at the swim start area, waited for the last swimmers to exit the lake and then made my way to the bike course for a few hours before heading back towards the oval to see the finishers coming in.
I was so happy to see so many friends racing this year! I think I knew about 20 people in the race so I was able to get tons of photographs of them! The one thing about Lake Placid is that it's very spectator-friendly with the looped course. If you miss an athlete the first time they come around, they will be back!
Two of my girlfriends, Maye and Cathy, were doing their very first Ironman event. Each time I saw them, they were smiling! You've gotta love that!!! They were still smiling when they crossed the finish line shortly after 15 hours after beginning the race. Way to go, girls!!! You ROCK!
It was a scorching hot day on race day. Honestly, I don't know how the athletes managed. The water temperature was 77-78 degrees on race day so wetsuits were optional. Some of my friends raced with a wetsuit and some raced without. The ones that were going for a Kona spot, raced without.
One friend had a mishap on the first loop of the bike course and fractured her clavicle. We wish Denise a speedy recovery...
Another friend (Angela) was meant to race but 1 week out from race day, had a crash on her bike and was so badly injured that she couldn't race. What a heartbreak! All of that training and planning... sigh... I guess that's part of it but... still... :(
Carmel won her age group and will be off to lovely Hawaii for the Kona race this year! Way to go, Carmel!! Some raced for 10 - 11 hours... some raced for much longer. All earned the title 'Ironman'. Way to go, everyone!!
Eric and some other friends signed up for 2012, so we have already planned our lodging for next year. I can't wait to go back! I just love that place!!
I shot 1330 photos on race day (I was out there for 14 hours, camera in hand... blisters forming on my chin - ugh!) and learned a couple of things: I need a 100% SPF sunscreen for marathon days like that; I need a much larger sun hat (I don't care how silly it looks - it's necessary!); it's a good idea to take a break and plunge into the lake to cool off periodically... but the one thing that I realized (again) on race day:
I CAN'T WAIT TO DO AN IRONMAN!!!!