Monday, November 22, 2010

IronMan Arizona Spectator Report

Confession time: The Funny Foto Friday post where I said that I was running again was a scheduled post that I wrote on Thursday night.  Blogger trickery!  Next I'll be telling you that I'm actually not real and that this blog is actually written by a room full of monkeys typing randomly on a computer.  (Which is mostly true)

So, I didn't run on Friday as planned.  I took a sleeping pill Thursday night to try to get some rest and it worked a little TOO well.  It wasn't nearly as bad as my wine and NyQuil adventure, but it was close.  However, I put in a solid 6 miles on Saturday at a 7:45 pace.

Sunday however, was not about running - it was about volunteering....and hugging people in wet-suits.....and port-a-pottys (and football and wine).  You know, just like every other Sunday.  Sunday, along with RunnurMark, I was a Swim Spotter Volunteer for Ironman Arizona 2010.  Mark and I had previously chatted back and forth about how he wanted to volunteer so that he could get first dibs at signing up for IM AZ 2011.  One thing led to another and we were wedded in blissful civil union we were both signed up to be swim spotters.

The day started out early.  REALLY early.  We all huddled around and learned what the crap a swim spotter did.  Basically our job was to help swimmers out of the water who had decided that they had enough and wanted to quit.
Learning how to do what we do....at 5:30am

In addition to swim spotters, they had kayakers, jet-skiers, and boaters helping to keep everyone safe.  I did, however, have to laugh to myself when the leader of the boat group gave a lecture about how everyone was there to keep swimmers safe, not to party.  He followed that along with "I want everyone to have fun, but I don't want everyone out there blasting Coldplay music, partying or anything".  Really dude?  Coldplay??  If his idea of "fun" is blasting Coldplay while freezing on a boat at 6am I'm sure he is a RIOT on new years eve.

The pros being led by a stand-up surfer.  
If you look close, the stand up surfer is under the bridge even with the sun's glare


A bunch of off color jokes and 2 pee breaks in the bushes later and the age-groupers were off.  Hearing 2500 people swimming all at once was INTERESTING.  It sounded like a waterfall - and I'm sure did indeed feel like swimming in a washing machine like everyone says.

After 30 minutes or so, most of the swimmers were now passing in front my my station about a mile in.  Surprisingly, I had to help with pulling SEVEN people out of the water at my station alone.  Most were hypothermic or had cramped up and couldn't swim anymore.  That just makes it all the more amazing that so many people were able to finish.

Some runners were just a "BIT" off course.  Learn to sight buddy!


Once I was done with my volunteer duties, Mark and I both needed to take care of business. Apparently, saving lives makes you have to pee.  Before we went in, he asked me if I knew what the Joystick was for in the port-o-pots.  I responded that I had NO idea what he was talking about but had to take a picture to see if anyone else knew.  The best that we could come up with is that it was some sort of horrible horrible claw game?  Anyone else know??


$0.50 gives you a horrible "prize"

With our volunteering done at 9:30, we had the entire day to steal things out of the volunteer tent watch the rest of the race and cheer people on.  Here is a picture of Crissie Wellington on the bike on her way to a world record finish!

Either this is a horrible porn movie title or is the place where people who are caught drafting have to go.

RunnurMark, me, RunningLaur.  Gosh, I need a cool name that has Runner in it.  Oh, wait.  

RunnurMark, RunningLaur, my wife and brother in law all watched the bike course for a few hours.  It was amazing to see all shapes and sizes of bikers - including fellow blogger buddy IronChad.  One thing that was not fun however was the rain.  The Phoenix weather forecasters had been hollering about the rain all week long.  Usually, in the desert, that means that it will sprinkle for 3 minutes and then stop.  Turns out, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while - and even the weather man is right on occasion.  We got POURED on while watching the bike (oh, and all of the bikers were poured on too...whatever).

My wife, while smiling, was not impressed with the rain.  She did, however like my rain poncho that I picked up at one of my previous races.

Finally, I know what you are thinking.  "Wait - no poop references Adam!?"  Ohh, silly blog reader.  You know me better than that.  While watching the race with Mark, I learned all sorts of interesting tidbits that I didn't know about triathlon.  One of the best was peeing while biking.  I knew that it happened because of Frayed Lace's blog but never put two and two together that the pee / poop had to go somewhere.  I'll give you two guesses why the bike catchers in transition #2 are wearing rubber gloves.  You're only going to need one guess.

24 comments:

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Eeeewwwww! I don't want to be a bike catcher. That is pretty gross.

Teamarcia said...

What a day! So IronPeople don't need to go put their bikes away then? The catchers do that?

Colin Hayes said...

I'm pretty sure the purpose of the joystick is to steer Starship Sani-Can to planet Uranus.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I believe the joystick is for a prototype portapottie so Beth can drive it wherever she wants.

Emz said...

So bummed I missed this.

Ya, whatever you missed lunch.

signed-runningEmz

GeorgiaSnail said...

Some of us are catchers; some are pitchers...we should all wear protection...

Angie Bee said...

You have the funniest posts and the comments are a riot.
Yeah, I don't want to be a bike catcher.

ShutUpandRun said...

Note to self: start bringing rubber gloves on long runs. THanks for the tip.

Running Through Phoenix said...

Damn Colin Hayes. I had the Uranus joke!!!

Adrienne said...

Interesting...Rubber gloves, more than I wanted to know.

Cynthia O'H said...

Yucky! Bike catching makes it sound fun - but the gloves!

Great recap of the day. It gave me a whole new perspective of the event.

@Kovas: Funny!

Her Name is Rio said...

Geez- I knew about some folks peeing in their wetsuits during the swim...but didn't know about on the bike...eww.
Sounds like a good time, though! Sorry I missed this. Got back in town around 2pm- saw folks on the bikes near Casino Arizona.

Courtney said...

Seriously!? Thats gross. I would to volunteer/spectate at an Ironman. Ahhh maybe one day

Andrew Opala said...

do they wear gloves because all the riders have AIDS?

Laurie said...

Just found your blog. Freakin hilarious. I do not want to be a bike catcher when I grow up.

The Sean said...

I just learned everything I know about Ironman- thanks for the runner's insight into this strange world.
...and I am glad that you did not have to catch any bikes.

Nitmos said...

The worst is the ones that drop a deuce too. They don't make gloves thick enough...

BrianFlash said...

Good for you being all volunteery

Glenn Jones said...

Excellent on volunteering! Way to give back to the community! And remind me not to satnd behind the cyclists on a tri course....

Jamie said...

WHAT? There are people who volunteered to do that?? WHAT!?! This is completely blowing my mind. I'm in shock.

RunnuRMark said...

Sunday was good times for sure. It was nice to finally meet you...I've been waiting to pee in the bushes with an online buddy for months! I still have a burning desire to find out what that joystick is for. The quest continues....

Jill said...

I think my friend, Bill, did that race. Did you see him and be friendly and help him?? :)

http://www.coloradobikeaholics.com/

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

eww to the joystick that's just bizarre! kudos to you for volunteering and seriously doesn't it get you all psyched up to see so many people out there!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

eww to the joystick that's just bizarre! kudos to you for volunteering and seriously doesn't it get you all psyched up to see so many people out there!