7 09 2011

This weekend my husband will officially one-up me in irondistance finishes.  (At least I hope he will!)  Here’s a little secret we don’t tell our significant others when we are getting ready to do an iron distance race:   It’s a whole lot harder to spectate than it is to do the race.

The anxiety over the swim, the waiting, the waiting, more waiting – the anxiety every time you hear an ambulance, trying to see them every loop of the run / bike course.  It’s a big job.  Bring kids along and it’s just down right not. fun.

This weekend I’ll be timing the race my husband is doing so I’ll be pretty distracted.  I won’t be the best iron spouse out there, I’ll be able to see his splits constantly, but I’ll be lucky to see him as he loops around and if I’m busy with a timing issue I’ll miss him.  I won’t miss his finish – THAT I promise – but the rest will be hit and miss.

Having done some Iron- spectating in my day here are a few tips I have to all those spouses, parents, kids etc. that are getting ready for ‘the big day’:

1.  Food – carry your own.  I heard a tweet about a 2 block line at a Starbucks during one of the recent m-dot races.  If I had to wait 2 blocks for coffee it would be bad news.  If I had to wait in line WITH my 9 and 12 year olds there might be a murder.   You never know when one of those rug rats are going to get hungry and there aren’t many McDonalds race courses.

2.  Camera – Take pictures, lots and lots of pictures.  See someone with a suit and bike that is even close to your iron spouse’s colors – snap a shot.  If you don’t take the fantastic pictures you will end up paying $65,254 (only slightly exaggerated) in event photos.  Trust me, I have some very nice event photos that might or might not have set us back a month or two in the kids’ college funds because BOTH hubby and I were racing so neither could take pictures.

3.  Post-race.  You know how you’ve been racing all day and you are sooooo excited to see your iron person finish and you want to talk and the kiddos want to talk to them and all the family wants to call and congratulate them?  They want to lay down in medical and get an IV.  I once saw a poor racer sitting down post race, propped up against a wall, eyes half shut and his wife had the phone to his ear with kids yammering on on the other end.   He looked like he was ready to fall over and really just wanted to get his stuff and go to bed.

4.   Post-race – cont.  For goodness sake, during the race go gather up your iron-spouse’s stuff in transition.  Get the bike and the bags while he / she is out on the run.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not usually allowed to touch their bike – go. get. it.  Pack it up in the car or better yet, take it to the hotel.  AND, learn a lesson from me – empty out the botttles.  They will NOT smell good the next day if you forget.

5.  Post – race cont.  FOOD.  At some point your racer is going to be hungry again.  It might not be for a couple of hours but when they do, they are going to want FOOD.  Generally I hear BURGER and FRIES and the most common request.  Problem is, some of us mortals finish late and it’s hard to find a BURGER and FRY joint that’s open.  Work it out.  You, the iron -sherpa, have the responsibility of having food ready for your poor  racer that has now burned approximately 1 million calories today.




2 responses

7 09 2011
Kelly Covert (@TrimommyKelly)

Awesome post! I’ve actually been having stress dreams about spectating!! You brought up quite a few things I wouldn’t have even thought about, mainly the food issue. Duh!!
Luckily, my in-laws are coming to help with the kids, so hopefully I’ll be able to have a bit of fun!!

7 09 2011

OOOH! I like #4 – never thought of that!!! Not that I’ll have anyone with me this time, but I will in the future and I’ll remember to tell them to have my stuff all picked up and ready to go. FANTASTIC! See you this weekend!!!

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