Monday, August 14, 2006

The Vineman

Our 13.1 miler was uneventful. We did the distance and my ITB wasn't nearly as bad as the week before. One word of note: Chalk Hill Road is the devil....Cambered surfaces like you wouldn't believe--no wonder I was in pain last week!

A funny thing happened during our run.

We saw bicylists...Hundreds of them....and they were racing...and they had numbers written on their arms.

The were riding the same route as we were running by coincidence (on our part). They were very friendly "morning ladies" they often shouted to us. They were encouraging "Good job". Once I was stopped and stretching, waiting for my sister to catch up when one gal encouraged me to "Keep Going".

And these guys were fit! OMG were they fit! I knew I was witnessing a tri--but didn't have any idea until I got back home that it was the full Vineman.

While I had showered, had a huge lunch out with sis, took an hour nap, the tri-athletes were still at it. I realised at 6:00pm that if I left my house then, I could drive to the finish and cheer on the athletes finishing around the 12 hour mark. Little did I know at the time that I would stay at the event cheering them on for over 3 hours!


I saw a woman cross the finish-line into the arms of her husband and young children. It was her first Ironman and she finished 11th place women's overall. She just couldn't believe it. She laughed and cried and her family along with her.

I saw a guy complete the race, sat down on a chair to receive his metal and to get help getting his timing chip off, only to realise that he couldn't get back up. He couldn't stop shaking. He was carried to the medical tent.

I saw another gal cross the finish line doing a cartwheel!!!

I walked a 1/4 mile along the side of the course and met up with a man that had already finished the race and was looking for his wife. He asked me who I was waiting for. It was nearing 8:30 at this time over 14 hours since the tri began and most of the spectators have left. I told him I was waiting for no one, that I was just there to cheer people on. He just smiled and told me that he appreciates people like me that just come out for no other reason but to cheer strangers on and in the later hours....
His wife soon appeared down the road. Her husband took a couple of photos and then she started running faster calling back to her husband "He won't be able to catch her". "Ooh, Baby" was his reply.

It was getting late and I had to pick up my daughter at her friend's house. I told her about the tri and about those still coming in to finish in the dark and she wanted to go. So we went back, parked and walked near the finish. We cheered on a few finishers and my daughter looks at me,
and said..."I want to do this some day!".

We shall see.....

One thing is for sure though. I am going to volunteer to help out for next year's Vineman!


Blogger Kurt said...

Awesome post! That was very special of you to cheer them on for the sake of just cheering them on. That says a lot about you!

1:09 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

Great story -- as Kurt suggested,it really does show a generous spirit on your part. Incidentally, I've done the Vineman half that last five years, and have been contemplating giving the full a go. Your tale is inspirational!

3:42 PM  
Blogger teacherwoman said...

Sounds like a great experience! I would love to witness something like that...I couldn't ever imagine doing what they all do, just thinking about the training makes my head spin!

3:53 PM  
Blogger Wanna-be 5k-er said...

How exciting that you witnessed such life changing moments for these folks! Wow! I saw a tri advertising they needed volunteers in this neck of the woods and I am thinking about volunteering, too! How cool!

7:27 PM  
Blogger backofpack said...

We watched an Ironman a couple of years ago and I have to agree, it is incredible! Glad your ITB is better too.

8:55 PM  
Blogger pinaypower said...

awesome awesome awesome! i just got totally excited just READING about it!

11:40 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

How fun. Nice job on your run.
And you are such a great gal for cheering on.
Good luck to your daughter - I hope she does it.

6:51 AM  

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