One of life’s great experiences
Ironman Wisconsin 2006
Swim 2.4 miles, Bike 112 miles, Run 26.2 miles, SMILE for the rest of your LIFE!
The Ironman. One of life’s great experiences. Considered to be the most challenging endurance event in the world. The event and the multi-year journey toward Mount Ironman will change you forever. It is an accomplishment that will spill over into every aspect of your life. It also has a major effect on your family, friends and those that come to cheer you on. Nobody is ever the same after the Ironman experience.
“Here at the Edge of it I must remind myself that there are things that I have learned, things that have not come easily – things for which I went hunting, for which I have sacrificed, and which will not abandon me. I have nothing to fear on this side of it, and knowing this, I will be ready . . . I will succeed because I have come too far. I have worked too hard, and because I have no choice, as I have burned the bridge leading back to all that I used to be.” – Iron Wil
Ironman Wisconsin 2006 continued the tradition of being one of the toughest races in the world. The hilly terrain, the winds, the heat or cold bring every athlete to the Edge of human abilities. To survive Ironman Wisconsin is an amazing feat that most people consider just plain impossible.
“You can quit and they won’t care, but you will always know.” – NBC broadcast of Ironman 2004
This year it was the brutal cold, rain and wind that provided the challenge. Temperatures were in the 50’s, over 20 degrees colder than normal for that date, and 40 degrees colder than Ironman Wisconsin 2005. Constant rain and high winds put all the athletes at risk of hypothermia on the bike. Many were shaking so bad that they could not even walk after the bike. Chilled to the bone and uncertain if they could run, athletes started the marathon wearing blankets and large garbage bags to get warm. Watching the fear in their faces as they came off the bike and started the run sent chills down our spines. The courage being displayed was humbling. It cut us to the core.
“What this power is, I cannot say. All I know is that it exists and becomes available only when you are in that state of mind in which you know EXACTLY what you want and you are fully determined not to quit until you get it.” – Alexander Grahm Bell
Most of the athletes we were tracking somehow did get to that finish line! My good friend and training buddy Greg F. had a day to remember. He was frozen to the bone and shaking on the bike. During a brief visit at the top of the big Timber Lane climb, it was so clear that the day was taking a major toll on him. But like the Ironman that he is, he gutted it out and finished the bike. Can you imagine riding in the pouring rain with high winds and 50F temps for over 7 hours? Oh my gosh, what a nightmare that had to be! Greg was in such rough shape at the bike-to-run transition station that they didn’t want him to go out for the run. But Greg did not quit. He pushed his way out the door and found that finish line. We had several chances to link with Greg’s wife Karen and his children Bella and Nathan throughout the day. Watching the emotional ride they experienced made the day even more special. The photo above of Greg and Karen at the finish line is priceless. Check out his finish line video with Bella and Nathan below.
It was also fun to see Burt, Robert, Danny, Abby, Patty, Melinda, Janine, Mike and other ET friends out there. Burt was all smiles out on the course and at the finish line. Burt’s wife Sue (an ET Athlete) and the kids were busting with joy at Burt’s super day.
A huge CONGRATS to all the Ironman Finishers and their Iron Support Crews!!!!
You can view all the photos from our Ironman day at ET Photo.
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”