Ironman Wisconsin 2007 – Part 2
…or should I say the Splash. What do you get when you throw 2,200 people into the water all at once? Lots of water splashing all over the place. Chaos is the best way to try to describe the swim during an Ironman. Both Bob and I tried to avoid the majority of the action by staying towards the back. The good thing is that you avoided some of the people swimming over you and things like that, but no one is totally immune. At the start I took a very easy pace and actually swam behind Bob for the firsts ¼ or so. I was in no rush and just wanted to get through the swim. I got kicked a few times, but nothing major. My two issues with the swim were just related to the environment. The first was that it seemed everyone was zig-zagging all over the place. It seemed that whenever I started to get into a groove someone would come cross right in front of me. The other issue I had was that the majority of the people had white swim caps. Now this doesn’t help you when you are trying to sight and all you see is water splashing around because the white caps just blend in. Now this could easily be changed with different colored caps. An added bonus would be to make the course buoys a LOT bigger so that if you are a ways from the markers you could actually see them.
Anyway the swim ended up being pretty uneventful. I saw Bob a few times during the first lap when we would both stop to get our bearings. We’d yell HEY and then it was back to “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” About ¾ through the swim the boredom factor started to come into play. I wasn’t feeling tired or anything which was good, but I was a ready to be done. I tried to stay focused and pushed toward the end. Finally after 8 straight-aways and 7 turns covering 2.4 miles I reached the swim exit. I climbed out of to a roaring crowd and smiled. It felt great to get out of the water and I was happy to have finished the swim without any major events. I spotted the strippers and within 7 millie-seconds my wetsuit was off and I was jogging toward the helix. With the crowd cheering as I went, I slowly made it up the helix to transition.
I made my way into the Terrace and easily found my swim to bike bag. Maybe it was because the majority of the bags were already gone, but it probably was just the fact that the volunteer was there right away. At least that’s a better story. hehe My transition wasn’t fast by any means, but I needed to slow things down to make sure that I had everything and that my body was settled enough after the long swim. Again the volunteers were great and a quick rest stop I was running towards my bike. Half way there I heard the IronCrew cheer which was great to hear. I was at the far end of the Terrance so it was only a hop, skip, and a jump to the helix. Right at the top was my family who screamed, a little too loud, and I tried to get on my bike. Now it’s one thing to be enthusiastic and cheering, but I don’t they understood the concept of getting onto a bike and then trying to ride down a circular parking ramp. Or at least that they person need to be concentrating on that task and it’s better if you are not screaming from three feet away like you some teeny-bopper at a Justin Timberlake concert. I love that my family came to support me, but they almost caused a bike crash before I even got on the course. :)