Jockstrapper’s Race Report: Beach2Battleship

4 11 2008

I am going to assume that a racer’s support crew is called ‘jockstrappers’ because, well we are providing the essential support. At any rate, last weekend was my turn to be the cheerleader for Paul’s Irondistance race, Beach2Battleship in one of my favorite all time cities – Wilmington, NC. For those of you not familiar this was an Irondistance (2.4 m. swim, 112 m. bike, 26.2 m. run) race, but not an IRONMAN which is an actual company with trademark for the cute little red M with the dot over it. There wasn’t quite the same amount of hoopla and it was 1/4 the size of an m-dot race but it was done first class and SetUp Events did a great job.
We traveled to Wilmington on Thurs. & picked up Paul’s packet, shopped the expo and got checked in at our Wrightsville Beach condo.
After a quick dinner at a pizza place close by we were ready to crash. Ruthie & Bobby (my sister & b.i.law) arrived later that evening & we all crashed together in the condo. I can’t say enough about how much help it was to have them staying there & helping out with the kids!!!!!! Friday was a relaxing morning, we went out and got some cool orange poster board & had some yummy Firehouse Subs for lunch, then the kids and I got ready to go to the YMCA Halloween party. We left Paul at the condo to lay around. After the YMCA shindig we met up with Renee, Scott & Hailee and had dinner all together at O.T.B.
We drove around a bit looking for neighborhoods to trick or treat, and finally found a very nice near the beach. I was once again reminded that I would love to live at the beach. Sat. morning at 4:45 Paul got up & got ready, I drove him the half mile to T1 (it was a point to point swim so I drove him there, but then he had to take a bus to the swim start) and dropped him off. I drove back to the hotel, met up with Scott and we ran the mile and a half or so to the swim start (no cars were supposed to be allowed). We found Paul eventually and waited in the chilly morning air to cheer him off. There was a nice current running so I figured I’d better get running back & get Ru, Bobby & the kids right away. When I got back they had already left so I ran over to T1 and met up with them.
Paul had a smoking 1:05 swim (ok, some of this was the current : ) and after bundeling up he was off on the bike. We went back to the hotel for some down time and I was surprisingly relaxed for a little while. t2 was at the USS North Carolina in downtown Wilmington. Around 11 am we parked downtown and took the water taxi provided by the race folks across the river to the battleship area. Our plan was to hang out, see Paul come in off the bike then head back over on the water taxi to the downtown area to see Paul run the loops over there, have a nice dinner, etc. That was before we saw the 2 hour line to get the water taxi back over – uh oh.
So we spent a lovely afternoon w/ Renee, Scott, Haliee, Ruthie & Bobby touring the battleship, playing outside and cheering on Paul (that only lasted a few minuites) All in all the kids were great.
Around the time that Paul was starting out on the run I was lucky enough to get a parking pass to bring my car to the small parking lot right at T2 that they had said was not for race participants. The thought of Paul having to wait in line for 2 hours after completing and Ironman was more than I could take. So, after a lot of stressing I watched Paul start on his second loop of the run after a blazing 2:12 first half marathon (and he looked great!) I ran the first 3.5 or so miles of the run course to get back to the car (folks were cheering for me, aid stations offering me drinks – I kept having so say, no, I’m not racing, just trying to get my car!) I thought I might catch Paul but no luck, he was just running too darn fast!!
Got the car and some subs and got back in plenty of time to wait for him to come down the finish line. I was waiting about 300 y. from the finish line, and was going to call Ruthie & the group at the finish line when he was coming. He blew by me running so fast I never caught back up to him & he made it thru the finsh line in an awesome 12:51. He looked great (ok, a little tired) and had a fantastic race.
It was really different to be there as the jockstrapper. I dont’ know that I do as well since I tend to be a *wee bit crazy and over the top about the races. I think Paul is better suited to stay calm and relaxed about what’s going on when I am racing. I am VERY, VERY proud of how wonderful he did & was glad to have the whole family (and great friends too!!) there to share the experience with!!

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