I'm quite positive "funnest" is not a word but that is the way I'm summing up my time back home for Ironman Wisconsin. While I did have my share of dorkiness, like accidentally shutting off my cell phone when I knew people would be trying to connect with me. Duh!
We did make it to early Saturday volunteer meeting and I saw one of my P2 buddies gathering information for the rest of the gang who would volunteering as wetsuit peelers (or strippers - whichever word you prefer!)
We sat around a talked to a few people like Chivalry Chris and I met a new friend from Iowa who has traveled a few times to Minnesota to race. She inquired about teams etc so I gave her as much information I could on the various Tri Groups in the twin cities however that I especially partial to Gear West & P2.
We traveled our way through the Athlete Village waiting for my fellow P2'r Luke. I was supposed to meet him for a quick swim after the meeting - but he wasn't calling! Then I thought maybe I'd just head to the water to find him. Nadda - pulled out the cell phone and guess what - the freaking think was off! Man - I was bummed. So I missed a call from Trimama and Luke. I felt like such a dork. We did end up seeing Luke when he was finished and chatted a bit. We were also admiring the bikes of pro triathletes Dave Harju and Marie Danais. I asked Dave if he needed me to "watch" his bike for him. We also ran into some local homies just turned pro, Dan Cohen and John Shelp of SCS Multisport John was my coach for my first Ironman in Wisconsin.
After saying our goodbyes and wishing Luke good luck - we made our way back up to the Athlete Village where we ran into Trimama, Tac and the Tribe. They were looking to meet up with some of the other bloggers. It was neat to meet all these people whose blogs you read. I met Triboomer, Bolder, Jumper, Velo Bela and her husband Big Mike.
Would have loved to stick around longer but we made arrangements to meet a friend of ours for lunch and headed over the Janesville, WI to tip a few back and watch football.
Our next stop was back in Madison where we picked up one of my friends, Stephanie as she would be staying with us.
When we arrived the following day we made a line to the transition area and then headed to the water to assume our positions as wet suite peelers. It was a blast! I somehow missed my friends Luke and TK from P2, but I was fortunate enough to see one of our friends John - I apologize for whomever I jumped in front of to strip him. After I stripped him of his suit I just kept screaming "go John!!"
After our duties were complete we hit the Ironman Store and the Inside out Sports for some shopping. I purchased a nice fleece and a couple of stickers but that was it. I was totally impressed with my ability to say "no" if really didn't need it.
After shopping we headed over to the Great Dane, which is by far my favorite joint in Mad City. I used to frequent the place when I lived in Madison and they always have great beer, great food and great prices - hence the name Great Dane. We sat outside in the patio area and the weather could not have been any better.
We watched the pro's head out onto the run course followed by some of the age groupers. We got a few pictures of some of the competitors and then made our way to our next volunteer duty which was at the Headhunters headquarters on State Street. That tent was rock'in! Mark and I both became security, preventing boneheads from stepping in front of the racers. Some people can really be clueless. After things died down a bit I was able to focus all my time and energy on the racers. I sreamed at the top of my lungs calling them either by name or by their number. I danced for them, I jumped up & down for them, I clapped as hard as I could for them and even gave them high-fives. If someone smiled because of my crazy ways - it was worth it.
We didn't get a ton of photos - but the memories are great. The greatest news of the day however is that our friend John who has been trying to qualify for Kona has finally done it! I'm so happy for him. Another one of our Gear West team and acquaintance, Jey also qualified - YEAH!! - so I'm going to planning a trip to Kona in 2008 to cheer on my fellow racers. I CANNOT WAIT!!!