So, as most of you know, Ryan participated in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 in Boise this weekend. 70.3 is how many miles are crossed between the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run. It is the first time he has attempted this distance, which is exactly half of the original Ironman. He said it was harder than he thought, his biggest challenge coming at the run when he spent the first six and a half miles trying to get the cramps out of his legs following a bike course that included more hills than he thought it would. For example, miles 30-45 included a steady ascent and the terrain repeatedly varied about 400 vertical feet. He missed his goal time of 5 hours by a half an hour, mostly due to the run. Below are some pictures of the race so that you can see how the event looks.This is a picture of the 2nd transition area (T2) in downtown Boise. Each athlete was required to put everything they needed for the run into the red bag and put it where their number was posted, which is where they would hang their bikes and biking gear the next day when they came in off the bike. The run started from here, was an out and back course, finishing one block away.
Ryan getting ready for the start. We rose at 4:30 a.m. and arrived at the reservoir by 5:30. His swim start wasn't until 7:20, but they closed the transition area and quit body marking at 6:30 and parking was limited so we decided we'd better arrive early. Unfortunately it was quite cool that morning and the winds were going strong, subsequently everyone was shivering and the water was less than ideal for the swim with the waves. The water temp was about 60 degrees. Ryan finally put on his wet suit early to keep warm.Just before going in with his "wave" to begin the swim... There were 1200 total participants and so the event began in waves 5 minutes apart. Each wave was made up of males or females of various age groups, such as men age 30-34, or women age 45-49. The professional men and women always gets the first two starts. Each wave gets a different colored swim cap, which helps to identify who is coming out of the water when they finish.In the water with his fellow "age groupers" (30-34 yrs. age) waiting for the signal to start
Coming out of the water (I almost missed the picture) and heading up the ramp to the first transition area where the bikes are set up.
T1 (Transition Area 1) where he's getting ready to bike. Some of these transitions are amazing. For example, the professional man who won the race transitioned in 57 seconds. That means he ran up the ramp, got his wet suit off (no small feat) and his biking helmet and shoes on and out of the area in less than a minute. Unfortunately I didn't get to see that, though I would have liked to. Ryan was in and out in just over two minutes, which is still very good.
Coming in off the bike and getting ready to run. This is where it began to rain off and on. I guess this is refreshing during a long run, but not so much as a spectator. These transition areas are secure and guarded day and night because of the expensive equipment. We figured that there was probably five or six millions dollars just in bikes.
Heading out onto the 13.1 mile run (half marathon) It was a great downtown area, very quaint. You can see the capitol building in the background.
Coming into the finish line. There really is a lot of energy at these races, particularly at the start and at the finish line.After the race, which also happened to be our thirteenth anniversary. Though it was an exciting weekend, we were wiped out and hit the sack in a record time of 8pm. Congratulations Ryan ...you da' man!