|Ready for swim, 7 am|
We had quite a busy weekend, leaving on Saturday morning for Cambridge, Md., a little town on the Choptank River on the Eastern Shore, where Walt was participating in the Ironman 70.3 EagleMan Triathalon on Sunday. We first went to the race expo to pick up his race packet, then to the race course to drop off his bike in a fenced off transition area. This is where the racers keep their bikes, and all their gear, and where they prepare for each leg of the race. The race was a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. After doing all the race prep, we relaxed by the pool of our hotel for awhile, overlooking the river, having a glass of wine (me), and people watching. Then it was carb loading for dinner--lots of pasta--and early to bed. We were up at 4:30 am, catching a shuttle bus to the race. The race started at 6:45 am with about 6 different swim waves--there were 2400 people in the race. Walt started his swim about 7:10 am, and he was off. It had been pouring rain for the previous few days, but it was cloudy and calm Sunday morning, thank goodness. It's pretty amazing watching all these people at 6 in the morning, so pumped up and excited.
|Hard to get a good picture of swimmers, so far out, but he's in there somewhere|
There are lots of boats and kayaks in the water watching the swimmers. I didn't see anyone get pulled out, but during the afternoon I talked to a woman who did--she had swallowed too much water, had to be pulled out, and couldn't finish the race. After the swimmers come out of the water, they run to the transition area, take off their wetsuits, and get ready for the bikes.
They bike all through the countryside, so I didn't get any good pictures of the bikes. Walt said it was pretty flat, but really, really hot. By mid-morning, the sun was out and it was hot and humid. Walt said when he first got off the bike, he could hardly walk, let alone run, but after a few minutes he had his legs back!
It's always a relief to see him come down the last stretch, and I even caught a picture of him going through the finish. He didn't collapse or throw up or anything (a lot of people do), so I'd say he looked pretty good! After the race, volunteers immediately put cold towels on their necks and heads, and hand them bottles of water or gatorade, put the medal around their necks, and help the racers who need more help. There is a lot of food available for runners, and everyone just lies around on the grass recuperating and rehydrating, and getting some food.
|Walt going through finish line|
|Leaning to the right a little, but smiling|