It’s been 8 months since I was in Arizona last, and this past weekend I was able to join my family (sister, brother-in-law and nephew flew in from Dallas, brother lives in AZ) in cheering on my 54 year-old father as he competed in one of the world’s toughest competition, the Ironman. The Ironman is a triathlon that consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, ending with a marathon 26.2 miles run, raced in that order without breaks. That’s a total of 140.6 miles completed between the hours of 7am (start) and midnight (end). Click here for more regarding the history of the Ironman Triathlon.
One year ago, my dad made the courageous decision to register for the 2012 Ironman and began training for IMAZ in March. My father, who is an accountant, loves numbers and is a true gadget guy, which explains why for Christmas 2011 my siblings and I got him the Garmin Forerunner 310XT- his training best friend. Here are his statistics of his training regime:
Running: 88 activities, 410 miles
Cycling: 114 activities, 2706 miles
Indoor cycling (Spin): 32 activities, 34 hours
OWS (Open Water Swimming): 13 activities, 21 miles
Add to this, four Olympic distance triathlons and one 1/2 Ironman distance triathlon, countless hours of workouts, yoga classes, track workouts (and bleachers), stretching, whirlpools, saunas, chiropractic treatments and massages. Talk about passion, focus and determination.
November 18, 2012 was a day my family and dad will never forget. It all began at 6:45 am in the morning in Tempe Town Lake for the float-start swim, pros @ 6:45am Age-groupers (my dad) @ 7am. My dad completed the swimming leg in 1 hr 20 minutes 20 seconds (2:04/100M), ranking him at 98th for his age group and 1140th overall (2900 athletes total). Transitioning to the bike was up next. For us, the bike portion was a little more entertaining since the course passes by our condo 4 times before the Bike-Run transition, meaning every 2-hrs, my dad got that extra burst of energy as we stood there cheering him on…GO GRAND-DUDE GO!!! His bike statistics for the total 112 miles ended in 6:35:59 in 138th rank in his age group and 1625th overall. Next, up the marathon. As with the bike, the run course passed the condo a total of 6 times giving my dad extra support every hour to 1.5 hours until the finish line. His run statistics: 6:11:43, 146th rank in age-group, 1827th rank overall. My dad became an Ironman at 9:31 PM with a time of 14 hours 31 minutes and 4 seconds.
Watching my dad cross the finish line ,as the guy announcing my dad as an Ironman was one of the proudest moments of my life. Click here for all the pictures taken during the day.
The Ironman was not the *only* reason I headed home. My not-so-little nephew was turning 2 just a few days after the Ironman and my family was able to spend his birthday party together with friends. Best part, I didn’t tell my sister I changed my flight to make it to his party and I surprised her! It was my first time ever surprising someone and I’m glad it was her! Click for Pictures.
Overall, you could say that my first trip home was a success and I am eagerly awaiting my next trip home.