It was Emily from Each Step is One in the Right Direction (formerly I run for Life), I can't believe she spotted me, what a great surprise. We hadn't seen each other since last September when we met up at the Toronto Waterfront race!
As we continued along the skies opened up again, it was just pouring, we were all wondering if this was going to be the weather pattern for the rest of the day, fortunately no, it ended up being a beautiful day.
While standing at T1 another friend of mine, Kara, shouted out that all of our Ottawa group had made their swim times and were out on their bikes.
Since we had totally lost Anne and there was no way we were ever going to find Dean, we called him at the hotel and made plans to meet up later in the day. It was only around 8 a.m. but we'd been up since 3 o'clock and we were hungry, so we went for breakfast at Charlies before we headed back outside to watch the cyclist's.
Again, we watched and wandered around until we were able to drive out of town, it was after 7pm. We headed back to the motel for a shower and a little rest, yes we are woosies, the Ironman competitor's were still going.
I had brought my little bell that I always bring to races, but ended up buying an Ironman cowbell from the sports expo.
Some people just have to supersize!!
Isn't this just a scream???
We watched the cyclists coming down the hill just in front of the large Olympic Stadium for quite some time. We were lucky enough to catch a quick glimpse of Kona Shelley, man that girl is fearless.
We were also able to see a couple of the other's but still no Anne. Just as we were changing our location we caught sight of her, but she was so focused she didn't even hear us.
I have to admit, if I were to do this event again (as a volunteer), I would make a point of finding the vantage points along the route. We missed so much by not knowing our terrain, locations for waterstations, special needs bags etc...so truly we missed out on a lot of the excitement.
We were literally locked into Lake Placid as well. State Trooper's had manned road blocks in place and there was no way you were going to be let out of town!
There is also a corner on route called Ottawa Corner which we didn't know about until later in the day, so we missed a lot of the inside scoop as to where everyone was in the event!!
Later in the afternoon, just by sheer luck I caught sight of Anne again on her bike, she was coming up the last hill of her second loop by Mirror Lake and was heading towards T2. I was screaming her name and ringing my little cowbell, she looked right at me. I gave her a huge wave and a thumbs up to which she responded with a big smile and thumbs up and continued on her way to start her run. Afterwards I asked her if it had given her a boost to get the thumbs up....she didn't even remember seeing me!!
We ran towards the transition zone to see if we could see her coming out of the bike area to start her marathon!! Yes, we saw her and we waved, cheered, rang the cowbell, everyone started yelling her name. She finally saw us and gave us another great big smile and blew us kisses and she was gone....
By the time we headed back into town to watch the finisher's the State Trooper's had blocked off access into Lake Placid, so we were detoured around to the other side of Mirror Lake. We had to park the car way on the other end of town. Finding a restaurant that wasn't chalker block full was another story. It was now 10pm and we were just able to sit down for dinner.
Again, not knowing where Anne was in her run it was really hard to determine where we'd find her. (Little did I realise until way too late, I could have signed up to have her whereabout's sent to my cell phone, duh). The sheer magnitude of people there was overwhelming. We never got close to the finish line.
I have to admit, we didn't see her finish, but from what she tells me, she never even found Dean either until she was back at the hotel. She crossed the finish line in 15:32, she felt great but spent. She loaded up her bags onto her bike and walked back to the hotel alone.
To me it seemed an anti-climatic end to the day but Anne was okay with it, she just needed her space, her time alone to reflect on the huge accomplishment she had just achieved.
We are meeting later today, to *debrief so to speak. If I were to volunteer there again I would do it differently, but for the very first time, I have to say it was incredible!!!
Life's fun if you don't weaken,
* we are going to be swimming, eating, having adult BEvERages and I am going to collect Anne's version of her amazing day, as she will be my guest blogger in a day or so...stay tuned.