The Coeur Women Have Been Busy
After this weekend, you might say that we have mastered the art of multi-tasking. Jess and Hailey went up to Portland to attend a triathlon viewing party at Athletes Lounge and the rest of us headed over to Arizona to watch the race.
We arrived in Arizona a few days early and had fun setting up a mobile aid station on the Beeline highway. For those of you who haven't raced IMAZ, the Beeline is a 10 1/2 mile out and back that can make or break the bike leg. Many athletes come out here to stretch their legs, puts in some biking miles, and check road conditions. It was great meeting old friends and making new ones.
On race morning, we decided to be "contrarians" and set up camp on the North Scottsdale Road Bridge. We couldn't see the start but we were treated to the sight of 2,000 swimmers moving en mass toward us. It was fascinating to see lone swimmers in the middle of the pack. We could see people with clear water all around, while just a few feet away six or seven racers would be swimming on top of each other. I guess this explains how one swimmer could say that they had a peaceful swim most of the way while another in the same area said it was a scrum.
After the swim, we started the "Coffee Pour with Coeur" and began giving out free coffee as we made our way to the hot corner. Everyone knows how hard the athletes work during an Ironman but let's not forget the spectators! They have a long day in front of them too and deserve to be caffeinated. As we were passing out java, we had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Bentley. In case you don't know, Lisa is an 11 time Ironman winner and one of the nicest people you could meet. Speaking of nice, we also met some friends from Atlanta. By the way, if you are ever in Atlanta, check out Dynamo Swim Club. The coach (Matt) is incredible.
Before we knew it, the racers began flying by on the bike and we began snapping pictures. Due to the high speed, it was difficult to identify someone and get the camera locked in. Consequently, we got quite a few shots of bikers from behind. We were lucky enough to catch this picture of Katie Morse though. Katie had an amazing day. Despite racing Ironman Wisconsin just a few short months ago and having a bike crash recently, she suited up and not only completed IMAZ but also set a PR. Talk about heart and courage!
Eventually, the athletes started coming in and lacing up their running shoes to head out on the marathon. Once again, we elected to move away from the crowd so that we could cheer people on at some of the lonelier parts of the course. We found a spot under an overpass and set up camp there. Turns out we weren't the only ones thinking this way as we bumped into Galyn Burke and friends.
We managed to snap pictures of two of the sport's classiest athletes - Jordan Rapp and Meredith Kessler. Despite being on the absolute edge, they both managed to say thank you for the cheers! Note: if you haven't read it, take a look at our post on pro pay. These two deserve every penny they make plus many, many more.
We stayed at our post until we saw Katie come through on the run and then, sadly was time to catch our flight home.
Congratulations to everyone who raced and we hope you all enjoy the off season!