Usually the Ironman rolls into Tempe just as the cooler weather begins, but today was surely a test of endurance of the true IRONMEN out there, competing in 80 degree temperatures. If you are not familiar with the event, the Ironman is a triathlon, which is a multiple-stage competition of continuous activities such as swimming, biking and running in sequential order proving extreme endurance disciplines. Today, I went to Tempe Beach Park to cheer on athletes from the sidelines and snap a few photos, of course. I can’t wait to hear the results.
At 7 this morning, the athletes began their goal of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and full marathon, 26.2 miles. The athletes who participate in Ironman’s train extensively, have specific diets, workouts and even personal coaches help them prepare for such a high level of competition.
When standing at the bike finish line, I saw a coach calmly update his client on his combined time of swim and bike thus far, as the man dismounted his bike and shed the cycling shoe. I noticed a very fast paced mentality where you need to keep moving all the time. As soon as the athlete comes close to the check point, they clicked off the cycling shoe and begin dismounting the bike and give the bike to a volunteer who takes the bike to valet as the athlete prepares for the running stint.
I love watching the race and the feeling of inspiration that surrounds me as they pass by. I feel a strong sense motivation and realization that working hard for something is a beautiful thing.
It’s a lifelong goal for some, and a career for others. To all, they show motivation and drive, each has their own personal story, but all want to finish the race.
A quick interesting fact: People come from all 50 United States and many other countries to compete in the Ironman.