Ironman Arizona Race Report

I left my racer hat at home for this one and went down to AZ with my coach-wife-mom-daughter-escort gal hat. A couple of my athletes and Steve raced. I’m sure it would not hurt the popularity of women’s mtb racing if we had outfits as hot as the pro tri gals were sporting. Here is eventual 3rd place pro woman, Hillary Biscay.

One of my athletes Nicole had a PR race finishing in an amazing 10:37. Read her IM race report here. Steve was the top Utah finisher crossing the line in 10:41 and obliterating the family IM record (mine at 12:02). IM is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike (non-drafting) and 26.2 mile run. Steve’s splits were 1:03/5:52/3:33. He put down one killer run and passed hundreds of folks. He was pretty darn happy during most of the run. See cheesy grin below. My other athlete John made his goal of finishing his first IM and I was proud of him for finishing in a time of 16:15.

Steve passed me on the run. How he managed to do this was because I scored the sweetest ever volunteer job. I was a run escort gal! I was escort to 3rd place pro woman. The run course was three laps and 3rd place woman was a lap ahead of Steve when he flew by with this big “I’m passing folks like they are standing still” smile. Big, big thanks go to my mom who looked after the kids while I was volunteering. She even got Wesley into the kids pen so he could run the final 50 yards and across the finish line. Sharing the finish line moment and photo with family members is a big thing at IM. It is kind of like training for it has been such a huge undertaking and your family needs to be so supportive to make it work so they deserve a share of the finish line glory. The IM finish line is an emotional place. Lots of hugs, tears and endorphins. If you ever wonder why seemingly normal people do it visit an IM finish line sometime.

Here is me with fellow escort gal and tri coach DeeAnn Bonnell waiting for our racers to come in off the bike and start the run. Check out the cool pink uniforms. The guys got boring green ones.

The womens race was so exciting and it was tremendous to be able to watch it from such a close vantage. First place Michellie Jones was waaay up the road but there was a fierce battle for 2nd and 3rd with those positions changing hands a total of eight times. Those pro tri gals are soooo freakin’ tough. They fought hard for it. Below is Desiree Ficker (#56) passing Heather Gollnick (#64) to take second  pushing Heather back into third. Hillary is back in fourth at this point after fading from 2nd. The guy on the bike in the green in front is the second place escort.

Desiree went past fast and was gone – looked like gone forever. A mile after this she was out of sight. Heather had a few moments in the portaloo a while later. She came out looking like a different lady and chased Desiree back down. Whatever came out in the loo made her go about a minute mile faster. She went past Des fast. Des went anaerobic for 2 miles (yes after about 8 hours of racing and it was close to 90F she put down a couple of anaerobic miles). She dug hard to stay with Heather but Heather was on a mission. Then Des slowed down a tiny bit but kept running through the dry heaves – gnarliness!!! Hillary meanwhile was running a steady and consistent pace and ran up on and past a suffering Des to take 3rd. At mile 24 Des almost chased her back down with what must have been an extreme effort – these gals are tough (did I say that already) but Hillary had enough in the tank to hold her off.