Sunday, June 1, 2008

HALF AN IRONMAN


Well, I did it. I finished Honu, the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. It was a fun, scary, exciting, painful, exhausting, energizing, wonderful adventure. On one hand I'm glad it's over, but on the other, I'm sad my big race of the year has come and gone. Here are a few photos that Karen took from yesterday's event. They haven't posted the official race photos yet.

The first photo is as I cross the finish line. 70.3 miles in 6 hours, 29 minutes and 36 seconds. Not fast by any means, but this was all abut finishing. I had no idea what I was doing as far as pacing. If I would have enough left to finish or what.

The next photo is me sitting down and relaxing after six and a half hours on the road.

Karen was a volunteer this year. She was a penalty tent referee. Anyone caught drafting or breaking the rules on the bike would have to report to here to serve their time penalty. One cyclist told me that he just looked at her wrong and she made him stand with his nose in the corner during his time out ... She's one tough ref. I guess all those years as a daycare provider kicked in ...

That's me way in the back with my bike. I couldn't believe how windy it was on race day. I've never seen it that windy so early. It was a great experience though. I almost wrecked three times on my bike because of the wind. It's the closest I've come to coming off the bike and it happened three times. Scary!

The last photo is taken just before the swim. I was hiding how nervous I was. On the verge of throwing up, I walked out into the water, nearly puking. Sorry to be so graphic.

I was surprised when I finished Honu that I didn't feel more of a sense of accomplishment. It was over, I was tired. The end. But after thinking about it over night and most of today. The sense of accomplishment comes not from finishing Honu, but for me it comes from starting the event. Having the nerve to get into the water with 1,200 other insane individuals. I was so close to calling it quits before the canon went off. Even asking Karen to take me home. Fortunately, she thought I was just kidding. I wasn't, but I'm more proud of the fact that I had the courage to start the race than I am of the strength I had to finish it.

Thanks to everyone who sent me good thoughts yesterday and to everyone who was there to cheer me on. Thanks Karen for telling me "Randy Wrighthouse, you are half an Ironman!" when I crossed the finish line. Thanks Bree for the on-course encouragement and cheer. Thanks to all the other Big Island athletes. We all kept encouraging each other as we passed each other along the way. Thanks Bruce for your advice and encouragement. Thanks Debbie and Marilyn for your encouragement as well.

Way to go Ariel for getting your Ironman slot.

WHAT'S NEXT?
The Kona Marathon is June 29. That's my next race, other than the local Peaman and Team Mango events. In July is the King's swim (a 1.2 mile ocean swim) and I think the Hapuna Rough Water Swim is in July as well. In the long run, no pun intended, the Honolulu Marathon is Dec. 14.

4 comments:

BreeWee said...

What an amazing day... I am so proud of you! I hope you recover well and please sign up next year! I have to race with you! Also, Ariel made me smile sooooo big, she is amazing! Tell Karen good job too, the race needs more volunteers like her and it wouldn't be possible to have a race like Honu without her help!

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

Great effort and a lot better than my first attempt in 2005 at the 1/2distance (after 3 years of Peamans and Mangos). Next year sign up early and go for a slot. Well done, glad you made the last minute decision to do it!

Brooke Myers said...

Congrats to you yesterday - it was a bit of a bugger out there, but hey you finished and that IS an Accomplishment!!! You should totally be proud of yourself.

I'll see you for the Kona Marathon (although I'll be doing the 1/2)!

doodlebug said...

Again, Congratultions!!!! We are all very proud of you. You look fantastic, You and Karen both look like you have'nt aged at all. Hawaii is GOOD. Stay healthy, Keep up the great work outs you are an inspiration to us all . D :)

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