We waited in the transition area for 20 minutes to secure the perfect spot to cheer on our friends and athletes as they grabbed their swim-to-bike (Transition 1 bag) after exiting the water and then cheered for them again after changing in the men/women changing tent before running to grab their bike from the racks. I couldn't believe how many people we knew doing this race (over 30 from Jacksonville!) alongside our own coaching and nutrition athletes so it was so great to cheer for those who inspire us.
He was right.
I was so surprised when I saw them and it totally made my day. I was in a low spot and when I saw my family and Karel as I was heading out on the first out and back section, I think I sprinted on my bike because I was just so excited to head back to see them again!
There is something really incredible about the first mile (and last) of the Ironman and the crowd support at PCB did not disappoint. The music from the Atlanta Tri Club was contagious as it was hard to not want to dance and cheer for every single athlete who was running - from the pros who finished in record time (the sub 8 hours!) to the very last finisher at midnight...and even the handful of athletes still on the course after midnight. What's so amazing about the Ironman is that although you have to finish before midnight, the staff at Ironman will wait til everyone finishes...even if at 12:10pm. And the spectators LOVE the last hour so there are no shortage of cheers past 11pm (after 16 hours of racing).
There were many PR's on this perfect day but there are no guarantees with the Ironman. Just because a day is perfect, fast or the body is trained, you never know what will happen on that day. You may surprise yourself and you may get frustrated. But in the end - you must respect the body. There is nothing easy about not finishing a race so either you keep moving forward, and eventually find yourself at the finish line or find something within you that will light a fire to keep you coming back for more, even if you don't receive a finisher medal.
The energy was the same, the inspiration was there and my love for what the human body is capable of doing continues to grow.
I'm so proud of every athlete who gave the best effort possible at 2013 Ironman Florida - our friends from Jacksonville, the many athletes who let Karel service their bikes before the race, our friends from afar and those who we never met but looked amazing out on the course.
I'd like to take a moment to spotlight the amazing Trimarni athletes who were on the course....
JM Marchand - some people like to say "it wasn't your day". It's not easy when you don't finish a race and devote so much time, money and energy to get to the starting line. But JM - it was your day. Karel had worked with you for many months to lead up to this day and even though the cards (and a 2222 bib number) were not in your favor, this doesn't mean that we didn't gain a lot from this experience. There WILL be another race and I love that you are ready to tweak your nutrition as Karel and I know that your body was trained for this race. We loved seeing you out on the course, racing strong and refusing to give up until the body said enough. Even though you made it to mile 15 or so of the run, consider those extra unfinished miles motivation for next season...plus, I heard you have a 5K to run with your 8 year old daughter for Girls on the Run, next weekend so rest up!
Diane Murphy - Thank you for letting me share this IM journey with you by using the Trimarni race week and race day nutrition service. You NAILED your first IM and executed perfectly with a 10:51 finishing time and 11th age group (30-34). I'm so proud of your well-fueled body and for doing what you love for 140.6 miles. Enjoy your finisher medal!
Josh Griffin - When an athlete wants to be coached and has sights on a PR, we always tell our athletes not to chase a PR. But when your only IM was 12:50 with little structured training, we know there's plenty of room for improvement. Talk about sticking to a plan - in training and racing. After a few months of solid training with Karel and letting me formulate a custom INFINIT sport drink, you did exactly what you came to IMFL to do - execute. And your body did not let you down. 9:54:26 finishing time!!! We are so proud of you!
Maggie Crotty - You purchased the Trimarni 12-week Ironman pre built training plan with hopes to maintain balance and finish your first Ironman with quality over quantity training. We worked together with nutrition first, then tweaked training and I reviewed your files with your monthly pre-built plan phone calls and you dug deep on race day (with your boyfriend sharing the journey with you - way to go MATT!). 14:24 for your very first Ironman - WAY TO GO!!! We are so very proud of you and thank you for letting me share this exciting moment with you.