Monday, September 13, 2010

Ironman Wisconsin 2010 Spectator Race Report

Last year was a crazy year of spectating at Ironman Wisconsin 2009 in Madison, Wisconsin. Hubby finished his first Ironman and I spected from (before) dawn to (after) dusk with both kids.

You can check out my Ironman Wisconsin 2009 posts from Sept/Oct 2009:

My Hubby is an Ironman (HERE)
Jason Edge You're an Ironman (HERE)
Decked-out Marathon Mommy Minivan on Race Day (HERE)

On to Ironman Wisconsin 2010:

Hubby did not sign up for Ironman this year, but we still planned on spectating. One friend was competing in his seventh or eighth Ironman even and our awesome friend, Dwight Meyer, was competing in his first.

Hubby got up before dawn to head down to spectate the swim. I had asked my mom to watch the kids for 3-4 hours so that I could go and see the bike with hubby. I had planned on picking them up before the run. But, my mom decided to watch them all day (as in twelve hours!).

I met up with hubby for breakfast at Perkin's and then we headed out to Old Sauk Pass to see our buddy Dwight on his first loop. There were lines and lines of vehicles parked out on the country roads. We looked and looked for about 45 minutes. I hate standing there and waiting and then somehow he passed us and hollared to us. How can I stand there forever and not see him coming?! My kids weren't an excuse this time!!

We headed down the street to Fleet Feet Madison for me to test out some new running shoes. I have logged about 900+ miles on my current pair of Brooks Adrenalines. (I know, big no-no!). They didn't have my size and I didn't like the other pair I tried out. So, they ordered me a pair. Can't wait!

We headed to Marshall's to look for some bargains (didn't find much of anything) and picked up some Starbuck's.

We parked our cars near State Street. Getting out of our vehicles, you could HEAR the crowd support ... everywhere. It was intense. I love being in that atmosphere. It's the best thing ever.

We headed around the Capital Square, to the Monona Terrace. We looked around the Ironman store and watched our friend get off his bike and run inside of the Monona Terrace to change. We were able to see him come out the other side to start the run. Then we ran (in flip flops!) up to the Capital Square to see him during his first mile. He was all smiles. We saw him three times in about ten minutes or so.

This event is AWESOME for spectators. I've heard from everyone else that Ironman Wisconsin is one of the most spectator-friendly events. Even if you're aren't from the Madison area. There are SOOOOO many opportunities to see your participants in the event. And, there is so much to see and do while you are waiting to see them at the next spot --- the Capital, Monona Terrace, UW Campus, State Street, Camp Randall and lots of good food (ethnic and non-ethnic) ... all on the run and swim. The bike takes you to great areas on the west side of Madison and Verona. There are lots of great shops, running shops, a nice outdoor mall, plenty of restaurants to try out.

We met up with our neighbors to see him come through at the end of his first loop on the run. My kids weren't with us, but I had a blast with the neighbor girls. They are now old enough to read the names on people's bibs. We had a blast reading the names and cheering them on. We then grabbed some lunch from Pot Belly and saw our friend Dwight four more times on the run (we could've seen him more, if we hadn't waiting for our neighbor earlier).

State Street was lined with tons and tons of people. The aid stations are so incredibly organized. It's really unbelievable. I embarrassed hubby for three-four hours, naming every other person (from their bib) and trying to cheer up folks that were walking and staring at the ground. So many people looked like they just "had it". They were done. I loved it when most of them would say "thank you, I'm going to do this", after I told them "nice kick!" or "love the pink skirt!" and many of them would smile and start running again. BEST FEELING EVERRRR! Hubby was embarrassed by me. But, I was having the time of my life.

We headed around the Capital Square again and saw this guy setting up .... Captain "Iron" Man. He even had an ironing board. He picked up a lot of people's spirits, that were headed out on their second loop of the run.

We waited down at the finish line and I stood on my tippy toes, to try and see our friend, Dwight, come through. My calves and legs were shaking much of the day from standing on my toes. I was a little sore ... and embarrassed to admit it! We ended up seeing Dwight come in at dusk and was able to catch him on video, as he waved to us before the finish and then his name was called. He was an Ironman.

It was an awesome day! So, awesome in fact ... that hubby got the bug again and went downtown this morning to sign up for his second Ironman ... Ironman Wisconsin 2011.

I also picked up a new little friend for my running shoe cookie cutter. The Ironman store sells EVERYTHING with the Ironman m-dot logo on it ... seriously. I picked up this cookie cutter. The kids and I will have lots of fun making some cookies for Ironman Wisconsin 2011 next September.

What's your favorite event to spectate?


  1. Very entertaining spectating!

  2. I had wanted to head downtown - but got caught up in things around the house. Maybe next year. WOW - congrat's to hubby - Ironman #2.

    The whole idea is very inspirational - I really don't know how they do it. I rationally know that if you train adequately - anything is possible - but for many this is 11 + hours of activity . . . 11 + hours is a love time to do anything - let along swim - bike and run. WOW!

  3. Sounds like you had a great time cheering on your friends, and just people in general. Love the cookie cutter!

  4. It sounds like it was a fun day with the hubs! :D love the cookie cutter! :D I actually haven't spectated any races yet... but there are a few im thinking about watching in october as I am not prepared to run a marathon yet! lol ;)

  5. I don't know a single Ironman, but I think I'm going to make the trek to Madison to watch next year. It is so inspiring.

  6. Thanks for supporting Dwight! Meant the world to both of us! LOVE the cookie cutter. I will have to borrow it.

  7. wow i can't believe you spectated all day last year with the kids! whew. i hope you had some help? i think that rivals all the effort of doing the ironman :)

    love the cookie cutter and LOL about "captain iron man"! that is awesome. way to get out and support the running/tri-ing community!

  8. Congrats to Dwight and your hubby for signing up for next year.

    I love spectating. It's so emotionally charged and as a runner you can tell who needs the pick me up and who is just having a great time. I had so much fun spectating at the WDW Full Marathon in January that it really got my psyched for 2011 :)!