Over the weekend we drove to a smaller city in a neighboring state to watch a bunch of crazies attempt to travel 70.3 miles. On water and land. Without aid of a plane or train or automobile.
These crazies got up really early to swim 1.2 miles. As one athlete described it "the swim really sucked (white cap waves)". He ended up asking another triathlete, someone he surmised had done this before, how to manage the white caps. The experienced one said to just go with the flow and not fight it.
Then there was 56 miles on a bicycle. This athlete explained that the the cycling "kinda sucked". He went on to say that "everyone had Tri(atholon) bikes except me, which was kind of like running in flipflops while everyone else had sneakers".
Much yelling and screaming greeted the athlete as he finished his final mile on his non-Tri bike. Much running and jumping and down accompanied watching him get off his bike, switch to running shoes and take off for the next part.
And after he started off, little men decided to have their own running races.
They were pretty tired after a few hundred yards.
And the last part was a run. A mere 13.1 mile run (called half marathon in competitive craziness).
The athlete noted that "the run sucked, too (too humid and too hilly)".
And to say that my father (above), nephew (in his arms), sister-in-law, kids, husband, and mother were not insanely proud of my "little" brother (he is after all four years younger than me so I remember the day he came home from the hospital) for finishing an Ironman race - with a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bicycle race and THEN a 13.1 mile half marathon is an understatement. And that he finished this Ironman in 6 hours, 17 minutes and 23 seconds is just jaw dropping.
Because I remember him when he was first learning to walk. And it wasn't pretty.
According to the athlete, my brother, "overall, it was pretty fun!"