Ironman Canada 2008 – Day 3

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The peach.  This is where it all begins, and all ends.  Four times to be precise.  You leave the beach behind the peach above on the swim and you see it again during T1.  You go out for a casual Sunday bike ride and then 112 miles later see it again during T2.  You see it again 25 miles later, just one mile from the finish.  And then you see it again, for the glorious last peachy time – at the finish.  It’s all about the peach.

But before I see the peach many times tomorrow, let’s recap today…

First up was another 20-25 minute or so swim in the nice chilly waters of the lake.

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It seems though that this swim might have killed my little underwater camera.  Not sure why, but it’s currently on life support.  If it dies, it did it’s duty for two strong years – so I’d accept that it had a rough life.  But as of later this afternoon, it seems to be happy again.  We’ll see.

After another short 25 minute semi-tempo run I grabbed breakfast with some friends and then headed back to the hotel.

A short shower later, and I was back in line again to go through the registration tent – for the second day in a row.  This time though, it would be to register for Ironman Canada 2009 (next August 30th).  Athletes are allowed to register the day before, and everyone else on Monday.  I don’t actually have to commit until Sept 8th though.  Either way, much better than camping out overnight like last year.

Registration

Afterwards, I headed back to the hotel to pack up all my bags before eating and taking a short nap.

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I like to pack all the bags outside whenever possible, as it just makes everything more clear and forces everything away from any furniture (which is a dangerous place for items to escape under).  Yes, there’s a lot of bags:

  1. Morning gear bag
  2. Swim to bike bag
  3. Bike special needs bag
  4. Bike to run bag
  5. Run special needs bag

The nutrition bottles I’ll fill tonight, but I wanted to ensure the ‘count’ was all correct first.

I also taped a few reminders to my aero-bottle:

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The first one is ‘Salt’ to remind me to take Enduralytes (salt tablet things), as I often forget those.  The second one below it says “No Z4”, in an attempt to remind me to not ever go into Z4 on my bike.  Z2 the whole way except climbs in Z3.  I wanted to write “Don’t be a dumbass in Z4”, but my leftover stickers weren’t long enough.  If I go out too hard on the bike, I crash on my run.

From there it was down to transition area to check-in the bike and ‘Swim to bike’ and ‘Bike to run’ bags.  The other bags I handover tomorrow.

First up – bye-bye dear bike:

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(Mine’s the one on the left, silver Cervelo with HED3 wheels)

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I actually have a kick-ass bike rack position, a mere 5-6 racks from the bike exit.  Which means very little distance to run with my bike to the exit.  They take your bike from you as you enter T2, so I don’t have to run with it again then.

After that, it was off to drop off my ‘Swim to bike’ bag, along with 2,300 of my bags friends.

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Then, it was a quick jaunt over to the ‘Bike to run’ bag drop-off, where I stashed my running shoes and Garmin wrist strap.

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While wandering around the transition area, I found the swim buoys for tomorrow.  I don’t understand what it means by “Not a toy”.  Odd.  Seems like a fun toy to me.

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Before exiting transition, I made a swing by the line of pro bikes.  It was interesting looking at them – not because of the bikes themselves, but because of what was on the bikes.  For example – Pro AJ Johnson had his power specifications for each leg of the race:

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And Pro Duncan Milne had a picture of his wife and baby on his bars.  It was heavily faded, definitely well worn.

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Me however… I prefer to have my photo on the front page of the local newspaper.  Today’s edition has me in the upper right hand corner – as part of yesterday’s Underpants Run.

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(Sorry sportsfans, you can only just see my head in this photo)

As I left transition for they were just putting the final touches on the finishing area.

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Which…brings me back to the peach.  Early tomorrow evening when I see the peach for the final time it will end a year long journey from the first peach sighting a year ago at registration to the final mile of the run along lake shore drive.  It is the culmination of over 4,000 miles of cycling since last August, 1,300 miles of running and 180 miles of swimming (316,800 yards).  But no matter how many miles I’ve put in – I can say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey and the tons of new and close friends I’ve made along the way.  I wouldn’t trade any Ironman finish or medal for those friends and memories.

The next time I post I post I’ll hopefully be an Ironman. For those tracking online tomorrow on Ironman.com starting at 7AM PST:

I’m #186.

And with that… I leave you with the peach again, but this time – showing not the starting beach, but the finishing line just barely visible to the right.  Thanks again everyone!

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21 Comments

  1. Ray, best wishes for you tomorrow.

    Cherish that last mile after you see the peach the forth time…… and don’t pull my move of being a dumbass on the bike!!!!!!

    Do good because I’ll be watching. I have nothing else to do, there is a tropical storm centered over my house ;)

    Reply
  2. Good luck tomorrow Ray! Looking forward to seeing how it goes for you. Hopefully just peachy!

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  3. Good luck! Make sure you have someone take a bazillion photos.

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  4. Best wishes out there!

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  5. have a great time, and try to remember all of it!

    bon chance!

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  6. Are you nervous yet? It’s hard to imagine you as nervous! Virtual cowbell will start clanging for you in – what, a little less than 2 hours. Yikes! Go Rainmaker Go!

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  7. 1:06 on the swim!!! That is frickin’ AWESOME!!! All those laps in the pool paid off.

    It looks like you got out of the water right with Benson a.k.a. Jeff.

    Peach sighting #2…

    Reply
  8. 2:53 in T1!!! Holy Smokes, you are not goofing around. Go Ray Go!!!

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  9. Great swim time! holy crap, T1!! I can’t believe your time!!!

    Go Go Go!!

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  10. You’re killin’ it out there! I just checked and you had a great swim and the bike looks to be going well. Here’s hoping your mojo sticks with you for the rest of the day!

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  11. Doing great! Your freakin’ Ironman transitions are faster than my sprint transitions. What a great bike – you averaged over 20 mph! Gooooo Ray – I’m totally cheering you on from DC.

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  12. YOWZA!!! Over 20 mph on the bike and a sub 2 min T2!!!

    You are ROCKIN’ the course!!!

    GO RAY, GO!!!

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  13. Good luck Rainmaker, you’ve put in a lot of hard work, fun though yoyu claim it to be, now go collect the reward.

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  14. Awesome run pace at the half way point. Hopefully you are not running in the rain.

    Just over 2 hours to go!!!

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  15. Woot! Woot!

    I put down my beer long enough to type this as I just saw you cross the line in 10:49

    AWESOME RAY!!!!!!!!!

    Tired???? :)

    Reply
  16. I just hit the refresh button again and there you were! FANTASTICO! 10:49?! You rocked it.

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  17. OMG!!! What an AWESOME finish!!!

    YOU ROCK!!! 15th in your division!!!!

    Congratulation on a super IRONMAN!!!

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  18. WHAT THEY SAID!!!! You’re a celebrity now~!!!!!!!

    15TH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    CONGRATS!!!!!!

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  19. Congrats man on a great race. You are truly an IRONMAN by making that course your bitch. Rest up and par-tay.

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  20. WOW!!!!!!!!!! Many congratulations, Ironman! Incredibly well-raced!!

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  21. Great photos. ….you’ve come a long way for the peach!

    Reply

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