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Ironman Arizona - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Tempe, Az
United States
70F / 21C
Sunny
Total Time = 14h 04m 5s
Overall Rank = 1186/1830
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 263/348
Pre-race routine:

First I am going to start from Wednesday before the race. I think the first mistake I made this week started on Wed. My wife and I decided to get a rental car on Thurs and Fri so I can do what I need and she can enjoy the city. My buddies talked me into hanging with them and they would drive...Sounds good since they are Iron Vets and I will learn lots from them. Well, I wanted to go check out the race site, but we (they) decided to eat instead. Now Shawn had been in Tempe since that morning and picked up his registration packet then. No big deal, there is tomorrow. On Thurs Matthew had gone to the pro meeting at 10 am and registered then. No big deal, there is this afternoon at the Carbo Dinner. At 4:30 we arrived at the site and guess what? Registration closed at 4. No big deal, there is still Friday at the morning swim. While at dinner I overheard someone say that registration was only Wed and Thurs only. OK now I'm nervous. I know they won't keep me out of the race, but I don't need this stress. Friday morning comes and I tell the wife that I'm taking this day into my hands and driving myself. I go for the swim then finally get registered! WHEW, All the pieces are in place now. Or are they? I get my bags ready for the race and get all of my bottles of nutrition ready. I already knew that I would have to figure something out about my run nutrition because I ran out of Met Endurance for my Ironman Cocktail. No big deal, I will use 4 scoops of Carbo Pro and 2 scoops of Cytomax. I also don't have my gels yet from my sponsor. No big deal, it will be here tomorrow. One flask for the bike and one for the run. Sat morning...no gel, No big deal, I will use Vanilla GU on the course.

...Stay tuned
Event warmup:

I slept pretty good for the night before the big day. I went to bed at 9 and woke up at midnight. I used the bathroom then drank some Gatorade.I went back to sleep. I then woke up at 1:30 worried about the fact that I wasn't nervous. I got up, check BT then went back to bed. At 3:30 I woke up, for good. I filled my bottles, kissed the wife and kids on the forehead, then there was a knock on the door. It was Matthew and it was 4:45. We got the car loaded and started to drive. There was 4 of us and we were laughing and joking around until Matthew remembered he hadn't been playing his prerace CD. He turned on the radio and we started listening to U2's "In the Name of love". Not one person said anything and the mood changed for everyone. That's a good prerace song! We got to the site and that was the last I saw of my friends until the end of the day. I got to my bike and the strap that holds my aero bottle in place was missing. No big deal, that's what duct tape is for :) Like Phil said they were playing this very soft music and I was trying to invision how this race was going to go and trying to get warm. Suddenly the the music changed and they said it was time to get in the water.
Swim
  • 1h 18m 59s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 03s / 100 meters
Comments:

They announced that once we cross over the timing mat that we must head straight for the water. Once you jump in, you can't stop and tread water, you have to move towards the start line. I stalled a little bit because I was already cold, but I had to pee. I jumped in and immediately I peed in my wetsuit. That was the first time I had peed in my suit, and I warmed right up :). I swam just under the Mill street bridge then moved toward the wall. I jumped up on the wall and waited until after the National Anthem before I got back in. I made sure I had plenty of space between me and the guy in front of me. The next thing you know, the gun goes off and I start swimming. I was expecting a big fight but there was room and I had to slow down only a couple of times. I didn't need to site because I was close to the wall. I stayed there for a while, then the next thing I know, I am all by myself and I start to get worried. I changed from a 2 stroke to a 3 stroke so I can look to my left. At that point I saw everybody hugging the bouys about 200 yards to my left. I gradually tried to angle myself away from the wall and before I knew it I was back in the washing machine. Just under the Rural street bridge there was a bouy and I (and everybody else around me)thought that was the turn around bouy. That area of water got really crowded in a hurry. I pulled up and my left calf cramped. I rubbed it for a second or two, then off I went really trying to not kick until my leg felt better. I got to the turn around bouy and went perpendicular to the bouy. The problem was there wasn't another bouy across from it. We didn't need to make a rectangle, it was more like a triangle so I added a bunch of yards on to my swim. Once I figured it out I was on my way back home!!! About 500 yards away, my lower back started to get tight, but what was I going to do except swim? I rounded the last bouy and hit the stairs. I, for the life of me couldn't work my legs to get up to the first step. The volunteer finally grabbed my arm and pulled me up. I got my wetsuit stripped and off to the changing tent.
What would you do differently?:

Round the turn around bouy better.
Transition 1
  • 06m 40s
Comments:

Just like Phil I didn't bring a towel and both of my feet were covered with grass. I got my jersey and helmet on, dusted off my feet, socks and shoes on and away I went.
What would you do differently?:

Bring a towel
Bike
  • 6h 57m 27s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.10 mile/hr
Comments:

I ran down the transition area and a volunteer handed me my bike. I got started, One event down, two to go! I knew I didn't want to hop on my bike and immediately start to eat or drink and they had an aid station at mile 1, so I just went past. I didn't drink any water until about 10 min into the ride. One problem I have had in the past was not drinking enough. By the time I got to the second station, I had finished off my aero bottle so I got another one. It was cool having them hand you your bottle on the fly! At 1:45 into the ride my back totally cramped up.I couldn't sit in the aero postion, great all this wind and I have to sit up. Not only did I have to sit up, I would spend :30 sec in aero, then 2-3 min sitting up then :05 sec standing up stretching. Try that in 20 mph winds. I had a very high cadence today. Everytime I looked it was over 95. At one point it was 105 so I kicked it up a gear or two back to a 90 cadence. I didn't look at speed at all on the ride. Unlike Phil, I'm not good at on-the-go math so I kept my watch on regular time. My bike computer had a clock on it but I couldn't do the math so I just rode as comfortably as I could. The good part of having my back tight was that I rode easy enough that my legs felt good. For the ride, I drank probably about 10 bottles of water, 4 bottles of IM cocktail, 2 gels and 1 banana. I peed twice on the bike. The last time at mile 95. I stopped and stretched for about 2 minutes. After that my back felt good so I rode the last 20 miles in more aero than sitting up and not much stretching :)
One wierd thing happened on the bike...About 5 miles into it I hear a phone ring, then the girl in front of me answers her cell phone. Talk about priorities.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
Transition 2
  • 12m 25s
Comments:

When I got to the transition area someone took my bike and off to the changing tent I go. I get to the tent and I am in nooo hurry to test out my back. I sit down take off my shoes and helmet. I put on my fuel belt and race number belt, IM visor and sunglasses. Then I asked a kid for a bottle of water and try to decide if I want 2 or 4 Advil. I don't usually take anything for pain so I don't know what 4 will do to me. So I opt for 2. I get out of the tent and have to "take care of business". I ask a volunteer where the bathrooms are and she points me to the men's urinals. I try to be as discreet as possible and ask where the other bathrooms are. She couldn't help me so I went back to the gear bag area and found a bathroom. After the bathroom break I got some sunscreen and off I go!
What would you do differently?:

Know where the bathrooms are and maybe pick up the pace a bit :)
Run
  • 5h 28m 43s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 33s  min/mile
Comments:

My legs felt great!!!I was about 200 yards from the run start and someone said "great smile and awesome pace" I turned to them and said "yeah, I am only 100 feet into this run" After that evrybody started laughing and cheering for me. What a rush. After the turn around I had to run past that area again and again all of those people were yelling "yeah Tom keep it up!!!" I know I had a faster pace in that area than any other spot on the course. My plan for the run was to go sub 5 hours and to eat some gels, gatorade and water for the first loop and try some Coke and chicken broth for the second loop. I tried to stick to the plan. I got to the first aid station and get a vanilla Gu and water. Perfect. the next station gatroade and water...just as scheduled. The next station, "No we don't have Vanilla, we have chocolate". No big deal, I will skip the gel and take my new IMC. So far so good. Next station. right on, next station, "No we don't vanilla ...or chocolate, we have raspberry (or something like that)". No big deal, I will just skip the gel. Now I am at mile 7 and at the big hills that Phil decribed. My plan was to run it the first time and figure it out the second time. I ran it and felt good. Now I am in a grove and try to do the math (again not my strong point) and figure that a 5 hour mary is out of the question. I was wrong about that but didn't figure that part out until the next day. Now I continue on and get to mile 12. I see the signs along the path that say all sorts of inspirational things, including "Go Tiger Phil and Madcow". That brought a smile to my face, but after that I saw a lady. She looked me right in the eye, reached down and grabbed a sign that read " BELIEVE For whatever reason that got me choked up and knew right then, that I was going to finish. At that point my new goal was to run the whole course. No walking except the aid stations. At mile 13 it was like a whole new race. I bailed on the Gatorade/ water thing because I can now add Coke and broth as per the plan. So at the first aid station I grabbed a Coke, Ahhh delicious. Now backing up a little. I have a tip for everybody. No matter how much you love beef jerky, Do not put this in your run special needs bag. It sounded like a good idea on Thursday but try chewing beef jerky after 11.5 hours of racing...no good, no good :(
At every aid station I alternated between water and broth and water and Gatorade. I also thanked as many people as I could and their cheering was contagious. The more you thanked them the more they cheered, then you smiled more and more people cheered and this cycle continued the whole race. One of the best feeling was at mile 20. I was expecting to feel bad, but I still felt good. I got to the hills and everybody around me walked ...not me. If anything I picked up the pace a little more there just because they weren't doing so good. At mile 21, I wasn't sure if I was fading. It was dark out now and the lighting wasn't great in one area. I ened up catching this guy and we ran shoulder to shoulder, stride for stride for about .5 miles, not looking at each other and not speaking, but literally 6 inches apart. We were keeping each other company in this dark and lonely place. Once we hit the light, the guy said "who would have thought that I would be running a 5+ hour marathon". All I could say is "Yeah but the hard part is over" After that I caught my IM training partner, Deb. We were runnig together and again not talking. At some point I looked at my shirt and said it was covered in salt. She had said that she didn't sweat at all today. We hit the downhill and off she went. I continued with my pace and I looked at my HR. It was 119 and I still felt great. At mile 23 I ran through the aid station. The people there asked if I needed anything and I said "Nope, no offense but I am soo happy I won't see any of you any more today".We all laughed and off I went. I had peed 4 times in the first 12.5 hours and 3 times in the last 1.5. I think that had the biggest effect on my second half run time, because I felt like I was running the same pace, but it was slower. I still felt good, so I'm not complaining. At mile 24, my wife and kids were there (I didn't see them). Now a little back tracking. Last year at my half IM My wife and kids were at the finish line. My daughter said she had to use the bathroom. My wife took her to the bathroom and when she came back, I had finished and she missed it. She took it harder than I did. Now this time I wanted to run with my kids. At the race, there was a spot for your kids to wait until you get there and you can get them and run down the shoot to the finish line. I got to the last block and rounded the corner to the finish line. I get to the kid pen and I don't see my kids. I stopped and looked back because maybe I missed them. There was a lady there with this panicked look on her face as she tried to help me find my kids (even though she didn't know what they looked like) I figured they were in the stands. I continued on to the finish line and they were no where to be found. When i finished, I was torn between being happy to be done and sad because my family wasn't there. The guy whose job it was to make sure I was Ok asked how I was feelng. Just then I see my wife and kids behind him! I just looked at him and said "I am great!" My wife and kids were around mile 24 when my daughter needd to use the bathroom again, this time my wife waited outside, She saw me run by and said I made it look so easy.She then tried to beat me to the finish line but couldn't get there, until I got there.
I still can't figure why I felt so good. If they were to add another loop to the course, I think I could have done it. It would have been slow but I was on auotpilot and as long as they had Coke and broth I could keep running.
What would you do differently?:

Absolutely nothing. I am the only person that I know that ran the whole course. My friend Deb passed out at the finish line and was taken to the emergency room with severe dehydration and hypothermia. She had a temp of 92! My buddy Shawn spent 2 hours in the med tent, getting 2.5 bags of IV fluid. My coach passed out at mile 6 and taken off the course in an ambulance, and my other buddy Matthew walked every hill. For being a non-runner, I did great!
Post race
Warm down:

Ate some pizza, got a massage. went to McDuffy's for a $.50 beer, then went back to the finish line to cheer in people for the last 40 minutes. Other than the Believe sign, the only other time I got choked up was when I went back to the finish line and I asked this lady who was holding a baby if she was waiting for someone. She looked like she was there all day and she said she was waiting for her son and the baby's father. She said "I hope he's not hurt. And if he doesn't finish I will kick his butt" After that we kept checking to see if she would get up and cheer when someone would go by. It was now like 11:50pm and he was running out of time. All of a sudden she came running down with a big smile on her face. I asked "was that him?" She said "Yes, thank God, he made it" It really hit home how much this race means, not only to the athletes but to the families and friends as well!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Big fat belly, slow ass legs :)

Event comments:

The volunteers and race supporters were insane! I can't begin to say how much that helped my mental well being. I don't know that even they know much they help. This race is mostly mental and having them out there makes or breaks you.

As a side note. For as happy as I was to have finished this race. My wife dropped a bomb on me. She said she wants to do a triathlon!!!! She has been thinking about it for a while and now she is really inspired. She doesn't want make a big deal about it until she is in better shape, but I am STOKED!!!. I told her that she should come to BT, but she doesn't want to be known as Tom's wife. She wants her own identity. So I probably won't say anything when she comes here :)




Last updated: 2005-04-12 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:18:59 | 3862 meters | 02m 03s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/348
Overall: 988/1830
Performance: Good
Suit: Ironman sleeveless
Course: One lap from just east of the Mill Avenue Bridges, under the Rural Street bridge, turn left twice and head back under all three bridges, turn left and head south to the finish.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
T1
Time: 06:40
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
06:57:27 | 112 miles | 16.10 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/348
Overall: 1305/1830
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Three laps. The first 8 miles was through Tempe, which featured a lot of turns and a few little hills. The last 27 miles was through Scottsdale and to the east, with no climbing and few turns. Each lap was 35 miles, then there were 7 more mile added in from the beginning of the Tempe piece to make it to the finish
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90+
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 12:25
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:28:43 | 26.2 miles | 12m 33s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/348
Overall: 1133/1830
Performance: Good
Course: Double loop, some on paved streets and sidewalks, some on crushed rock paths. Mile 7 and mile 20 featured a huge, three-stage hill.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2005-04-12 3:37 AM

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Elite
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San Diego
Subject: Ironman Arizona


2005-04-12 3:55 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Extreme Veteran
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Melbourne
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Ahh more goosebumps!

I think you guys are amazing and feel so lucky that you have shared the experience with all of us here. It is unbeliveably motivating to read these reports.

Sounds like you finished in great shape, hope your friends are doing better!

CONGRATULATIONS and enjoy your well deserved rest
2005-04-12 3:57 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Expert
1279
1000100100252525
Northern VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congratulations

Ironman

Great race, amazing accomplishement, but what about the tattoo????

2005-04-12 5:25 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Extreme Veteran
381
100100100252525
Peoria, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great job Tom!!

You looked great out on the course.  Your race report, and each and everyone of you that completed the course are truly and inspiration!

And, "You are an Ironman!" - Mike Rielly

- Tim



Edited by SwmBkRn 2005-04-12 5:28 AM
2005-04-12 6:41 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Veteran
224
100100
Greenville, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Awesome Tom. Great job!!!!
2005-04-12 6:41 AM
in reply to: #141463

Extreme Veteran
332
10010010025
PohangSi
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Congratulations! and nice race report Ironman!

Great job



2005-04-12 7:32 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Extreme Veteran
348
10010010025
Melbourne
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Amazing, amazing, amazing - I cannot believe what you did on the weekend!
ABSOLUTELY incredible.
Congratulations - you are my hero and legend!!!
M
2005-04-12 8:14 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Master
1557
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Maine
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Excellent race report - moved me to tears!  Sounds like very smart race planning and execution, thanks for sharing with us all.
2005-04-12 8:50 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Extreme Veteran
527
50025
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations!!! What a great accomplishment...Ironman!!!
2005-04-12 9:12 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Not a Coach
11473
5000500010001001001001002525
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Awesome Tom!  Congratulations!

Thanks for sharing the journey with us.  Truly inspirational!

2005-04-12 9:15 AM
in reply to: #141463

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molto veloce mama
9311
500020002000100100100
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
okay, why am i crying? must have bee the line 'and knew right then i was going to finish' - oh, i'm vaclempt! thank you for posting your story. awesome and inspiring.


2005-04-12 9:23 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Master
2447
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Marietta, Ga
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Tom, wowowowowowowowow.  What a great story.  Yesterday, I read Phil's and got goosebumps.  Today, I read yours and got goosebumps on top of goosebumps.  Awesome story.  Its amazing that you finished with such a low HR.  I guess Coke and chicken broth are the secret ingredients (not to mention the year of training and preparation).

Awesome race. Awesome report.  Awesome athelete.

2005-04-12 9:26 AM
in reply to: #141521

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations Tom.  It's been a privilege to follow your progress over these past months.
2005-04-12 9:44 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Master
1551
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Virginia Beach, VA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats Tom, you had an amazing race!!!
2005-04-12 10:43 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Master
1558
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Pensacola, Fl
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Great race Tom!!!  Congrats!

Still laughing at this qoute:  "Big fat belly, slow ass legs "

If you don't mind, I will take that quote with me to get me through my journey!!!  Something is going to have to keep a smile on my face during these many miles of training!!!  Not to menetion the race itself.

Coming to SD in May (4th-8th), I would love the chance to sit down to chat with you during my visit!  I would say we could run together, but you are deserving a major break from running....

2005-04-12 10:56 AM
in reply to: #141580

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Elite
3235
2000100010010025
San Diego
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Cavu9 - 2005-04-12 7:43 AM

Coming to SD in May (4th-8th), I would love the chance to sit down to chat with you during my visit!  I would say we could run together, but you are deserving a major break from running....


Lane,
You are welcome to use it. Lord knows I stloe a saying or two during the day "Pain is temporary, pride is forever" was another one that I loved.

I am leaving for Nebraska on the 5th through the 8th. So we can make it the 4th if you want. I am looking forward to meeting you.
Take care
Tom

Edited by madcow 2005-04-12 10:57 AM


2005-04-12 11:15 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Veteran
247
10010025
Mesa, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
CONGRATS Ironman!! You looked great on your run Tom. My volunteering job enabled me to float all over so I managed to see you a few times throughout the race day I even have a couple of photo's. 1 of you coming up to Mill Ave for the final leg. I have to tell you that you high fiving everyone all the way down Mill Ave was one of the great emotional moments of the day.

CONGRATS ONCE AGAIN
2005-04-12 11:56 AM
in reply to: #141463

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Master
2233
200010010025
Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations Tom!! Excellent Race Report too. I am so very glad to read that you finished in such great shape too. Way to go!

-Frank
2005-04-12 12:11 PM
in reply to: #141463

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Pro
5153
50001002525
Helena, MT
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Wow, your story about the woman waiting for her family at the finish line just made me bawl! You did so so so so amazingly well! I can't believe your run! AMAZING! I'm so proud of you! You are such a stud! I think I want to do one too, now....

Can't wait to "meet" your wife here on BT!

2005-04-12 12:22 PM
in reply to: #141463

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Extreme Veteran
322
100100100
Bay Area, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Great Job Tom!!!! Congrats on becoming an IRONMAN!!!
2005-04-12 12:27 PM
in reply to: #141463

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Expert
916
500100100100100
San mateo California
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Just one word..... A M A Z I N G!!!!!!
 
 I must add....   it was a great report....  
congratulations


2005-04-12 12:29 PM
in reply to: #141463

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Extreme Veteran
391
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Singapore
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

SWEEEEEETTTT Race report!!

How the hell did you REMEMBER everything like that??? Did you bring a notepad along!!??!

Man, can't tell you how awesome your performance was

And you BEAT YOUR COACH!! Muahahhaha

Awesome.  Truely an IRONCOW!!

2005-04-12 12:32 PM
in reply to: #141463

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Elite
2553
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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congrats on a fantastic IMAZ finish! And it's so cool that your wife has caught the bug and wants to do a tri herself! Can't wait to read her race reports in the future!
2005-04-12 12:48 PM
in reply to: #141463

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Champion
7704
50002000500100100
Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona
Congratulations on a great race and a great report.  Hope you are recovering nicely.  Take care -SMO
2005-04-12 1:01 PM
in reply to: #141463

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Elite
2706
2000500100100
Hurst, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman Arizona

Tom:

     Fantastic job!  We are all proud of you, and inspired.  I hope some day I can follow in your footsteps....IRONMAN!

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