watching ironman canada

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I drove north this weekend to support my coach and the 27 other athletes on our tri team who tackled the hilly-ass beast known as Ironman Canada. Initial impressions: Whistler is incredibly, stunningly, jaw-droppingly beautiful. Canadians don't look like they do on South Park. In fact, a lot of them are actually Australian. (Really, this is a thing. Apparently a lot of Aussies come up to Canada to work, particularly in the ski communities.) It doesn't take much time for three triathletes sharing a small one-bedroom condo to begin talking about how traveling makes poo difficult. Stick to beer and wine; the cocktails in Whistler are pretty much meh. (Like not muddling the mint in a mojito. Who does that?) Spectating an Ironman is exhausting, and there's a strong chance you won't shower and neither will the two other constipated triathletes you're rooming with.

Also, standing at the finish line will bring you to tears, especially if you stay until the midnight cut-off. The look of sheer joy on the finishers' faces when they cross that line is like nothing I can explain. It's just so raw and human and pure -- and you can't help wondering about these people's lives and everything that happened to bring them to that finish, both during the race and in the months and years leading up to it. 

I saw two proposals. A father and son cross the line holding hands. Athletes in their 70s looking incredibly strong and determined. A Korean woman who stopped halfway down the finishers' chute to do the Gangnam Style dance. People running while holding up photos of loved ones who passed away. 

Again: Whistler is incredibly, stunningly, jaw-droppingly beautiful.


Angela said...

Granted, I've only been there during ski season, but I *LOVE* Whistler & agree that it's absolutely gorgeous. I'm sure it's equally so in the summer. (And we've totally met tons of Australians skiing!)

Sounds like an awesome time. You are almost inspiring me to spectate Ironman. :)

Michaela said...

You can come watch me muddle through IMAZ in 2014! ;)

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