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Ironman Louisville - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Louisville, Kentucky
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
98F / 37C
Sunny
Total Time = 15h 03m 3s
Overall Rank = 1661/3000
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 281/
Pre-race routine:

It was 2:00 am and a wedding party awakened me outside my hotel room. Normally I would be upset but today was the day- the day I thought about for the last 2 ½ years now. It had finally arrived. I wasn’t ready to get up yet, so I just lay there thinking about the past year and all I have gone through. All of the ups and downs I have endured – all for today. Finally 3:45 am came around and I hear Till I Collapse by Eminem and it is time to start my day. I got up and did my “new” pre race breakfast – a bottle of Ensure, a bagel with peanut butter, and a banana. The Ensure was the new part. I had only used it before my longer training days and seemed to work well. The morning of an Ironman is easy. All of your gear is at the race sight with the exception of special needs bags. Once I got to transition, I put all of my nutrition on my bike; double checked my gear bags, dropped off my special needs bags and made the ¾ mile walk to swim start. At swim start, I met up with my friend Thomas’s wife who was so kind to get up with us and save our spot in line as it was over a mile long. After about an hour, they asked everyone who was not a participant to step out of the line and all of the athletes to step up. The next thing I know they are playing the national anthem and the pros are off. After this, I look over at my friend Thomas and say to him “Can you believe we are actually here doing this?” The line begins to move very quickly and the next thing I know I take the plunge. The race is officially on.
Event warmup:

Other than loosening up my arms, there was no warm up.
Swim
  • 1h 09m 35s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 26s / 100 yards
Comments:

As my race began, I felt great. My swim stroke had been feeling awesome during my last two weeks of my training and today was no different. I was cruising – actually gliding effortlessly. I would occasionally sight forward to not run into anybody, but for the most part, I had clear water as we made it through the channel. As we made it the turn into the main part of the Ohio River, I took a quick look at my watch and it said 24 minutes. I knew it was a little slower than I had hoped, but I was going again the current and now I was going the rest of the swim with the current. I picked a large building in the distance to sight off. After a couple minutes in the main part of river, my mind started wandering and I started thinking about everything – all of my training, my wife, my friends at BT, and my trip to Tortola earlier this year. All good thoughts - I was in a good place. After a few minutes, I remembered I needed to sight, and I am glad I did. Not because I was off line, but because I noticed a bunch of hot air balloons in the air over the riverbanks. How cool was that! As far as the swim, I was right on, swimming dead straight. I started to sight about every five minutes. As we approached the swim finish, the entire Louisville side of the river was lined with people screaming, cheering and yelling. The next thing I know, the volunteer grabs my arms and pulls me up the steps. My ironman swim was done! As I am running to transition, I feel like a million bucks! There are people four and five deep lining both sides of the gates. They are awesome. What energy!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing
Transition 1
  • 07m 39s
Comments:

Transition was pretty uneventful. I grabbed my bag, headed into the change tent and threw some Body Glide on my feet, put on my sunglasses, helmet and shoes and I was off. As I was running out, I saw Jeanne and Bill, but unfortunately missed Sara.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing
Bike
  • 6h 23m 56s
  • 112 miles
  • 17.50 mile/hr
Comments:

It’s time to start the part that was my biggest fear – the bike. Sara and I rode the course
the day before and it was hilly. When people say big, endless rollers, with a few hills, they aren’t kidding. My Garmin registered just over 4100 feet of climbing. As I head out, again the crowd is amazing! People everywhere. Yelling, screaming, cheering holding up encouraging signs. It was so invigorating. I started on the only flat part of the course – River Road. It should have been a good time to let my heart rate come down, but it stayed in the 150’s and wouldn’t come down. I think it was just from the adrenaline flowing. I felt like I was barely pedaling, but was averaging around 20-21 mph. River Road lasted for about 10 miles, and then intersected with Hwy 42. I made a left on 42 and enjoyed the last few sections of flats before the first hill. It didn’t feel too bad. I just put it in a low gear and spun up it. After a few miles of constant rollers, I made the left onto 1694 where the real “hill” was. The fun part was that the first section is flat, and then goes into a screaming downhill, I tucked in my aerobars and hit 48 mph. That was scary, but so much fun. What a rush. Once we hit the bottom, we had our first sustained climb. It was steep and about a mile and half until we reached the turn around before doing it in reverse. As I was climbing, I saw some guys coming down the other side who were still pedaling in a full tuck. I bet they hit close to 60 mph. The downhill section was white knuckle scary, but so much fun. As I climbed out, I was still feeling good. My heart rate only went up about 8 bpm on the climb. I was just sitting and spinning. Once we finished up 1694, we made a right hand turn onto 42, which took us to 393 where the loop began. Again, it was just endless rollers – big rolling hills. Nothing major happened here. At this point, we were about 30 miles into the ride and my legs felt great. After another turn onto 146, we made the ride into LaGrange. They have an “Ironman Festival” during the race. They entire downtown area was lined with people three and four deep screaming, yelling and cheering as you went flying by. As I was going by, I heard the announcer say “And here comes Chris Dill from South Carolina. Let’s hear it for him!!” The crowd went nuts!! What an experience!! The good thing was that I got to do it again on the second loop! The next turn took us to Old Ballard School Road. It was a narrow road that was barely wide enough to fit one car on, never mind two. It was a shallow grade climb which lead to a steeper climb near the end. During this entire time, I have been right on schedule with my nutrition. I was taking Infinit, which has all I need (calories, carbs, electrolytes, etc.) and chasing it with water. I was consuming about one full bottle of water every ten miles. I was feeling great. OBS Road eventually ran into Old Sligo where there was a nice hill. I actually had to get out of my saddle for this one and climb. Of course, that’s where the Ironman film crew was set up – right where everyone was struggling. No big deal. The rest of first loop was uneventful. There was a pretty significant headwind on 42 on the way back in that made things tough. The second loop began great. I was feeling awesome. I flew through LaGrange – same crazy crowd. Again, they were very invigorating. All things were great until I reached the aid station around mile 75. I passed the people handing out Perform and Powerbars looking for water. Then I hear a volunteer say they were out of water. What???? It’s almost 100 degrees and you are out of water???? On the second loop, I probably saw at least 50 people sitting on the side of the road. I assume because of the heat. At the last table, I grabbed a PB Perform, which I can’t stand. It doesn’t sit well in my stomach to begin with and I was already at my maximum calorie limit with my Infinit. Oh boy. This could be trouble, but I needed fluids. After a few sips of the Perform, I could tell things were not working out and by mile 80, I felt like somebody just grabbed my stomach and was twisting it like a wet towel. Then, to top things off, my left knee began to hurt. This was the same pain that caused my to stop running for five weeks back at the beginning of my IM training. It hurt so much I had a hard time pressing the pedal down. I was praying this would just go away, but it would not. If this hurt now, how in the world am I going to run a marathon? After about three miles of this, I began to have thoughts of not finishing the bike. I actually began to get tears in my eyes. Other than my knee and my stomach, I felt like a rock star. The doc said it could come back at any time and it did – at the worst possible time. After a few minutes someone named Chris riding the same bike I was riding pulled up beside me and asked how I was doing. I told him not well. We chatted for a few minutes and he told me to keep pushing and I did. I did my best to just put the pain out of my mind. Eventually it went away. As I make my way past 1694, on my way back into town, my I feel my left groin muscle begin to cramp. Luckily there was one aid station left which had water. I took two bottles, hoping to get them both down before the end of the bike. I tried taking in more Infinit. It wasn’t working. As I hit mile 101, my leg is cramping even worse and at mile 110, it locks up. My leg is stiff as a board and I can’t even bend it. I pull over to try the rest of my water. I just had two miles left until I can hit up my electrolyte pills. As I am sitting there, on the side of road, I had about five guys ask if I was ok. I told them yes. I knew I only had two miles left so I decided to try to pedal with just my right leg and my left leg just hanging. I did this for a mile then my leg relaxed. I slipped my feet out of my shoes and cruised into transition.

What would you do differently?:

Don't know. I can't plan for the course to be out of water.
Transition 2
  • 13m 7s
Comments:

Once in transition, I took my time. The first thing I did was pop three electrolyte pills with water and waited a few minutes for them to kick in. I finally made it out and felt a little better. I didn’t have any more cramps, but my stomach was getting worse.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I had to take my time. That's what I did to not miss anything.
Run
  • 7h 08m 46s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 16m 22s  min/mile
Comments:

As I made it out on to the run course, I was able to jog. Just as every other part of the day, the crowd was so supportive. During the run, your number is facing forward and in an IM, your name is printed on your bib. I probably had one hundred people say “Good job Chris. Keep it up.” It felt good to have people say your name after 8 long hours. The first part of the run took you out then over a bridge and back. I walk / ran most of this section. I was doing ok. I was making it. Not fast, but I was going forward. At the second aid station, I had a strange feeling. I actually had to use the bathroom. Holy cow! How great was that! The run / walk continued for the first four miles, then it turned to mostly walking. My stomach was hurting, but I knew I was not as bad as others. From this point on, I heard ambulances about every five minutes. At each aid station, I tried everything from chicken broth, coke, water, pretzels and gels. At mile six, I started walking with a guy named Matt. He and I chatted for a while discussing the race. This was his third IM and he said it was by far the hardest. As we made the turn at mile 8, we decided to run between the aid stations and had some success. At mile 13, I told him to go ahead. I could not keep and did not want to stop him from reaching his goal of sub 13. As we made our way back into town, the crowd was crazy and really got me motivated. I started to run again, but once I started my way back out, my stomach had enough. I stopped at the aid station and asked the volunteer if it was okay if I could use her trashcan. I had to throw up. She said, “Do whatever you need and let me know if you need anything.” There it goes. After about five minutes, I started to feel better and the lead volunteer for that aid station asked if I was okay. I told her, “Yes. I will be fine. I’ll make it,” She said, “I know you will. You are a true inspiration. My name is Jen. Let me know if you need anything” Man did that make me feel good. As I approached mile 15, I came upon one of the scariest scenes I have ever witnessed. The paramedics had just arrived to a guy who had a full seizure and collapsed, hitting his face on the road. There was blood everywhere. It really put things into perspective. At mile 16, I noticed some people walking, but they were walking faster than I. So I dug down and tried to pick up the walking pace. Immediately I felt nauseous. By the next aid station, I was vomiting again. After all this, I could tell I was getting very dehydrated, so I tried everything – coke – nope. Chicken broth – nope. Water – nope. All caused nausea with one sip. Finally I tried just sucking on some ice cubes. It worked the best of all, but then at mile 21 the ice stopped working. I vomited again. I still had five miles to go and it was going to be a long five miles. During my training, I used to think “Good, only five miles to go”. Now, it’s “my gosh, another five miles of walking is going to take me another two hours. How am going to finish this?” Then, at mile 22 I heard something. I heard my name. It was my dad. He knew I should have been finished over an hour ago and walked four miles until he found me. I can’t even begin to tell you how good that was to hear his voice and see him. He immediately called everyone to let them know I was in rough shape, but was okay. We walked and chatted. I was so out of it, once I reached the motivational mile, I almost missed the mat to pull up the message my wife left for me. Luckily I crossed it and read her message, which brought a smile to my face. As I made it to mile 25, I came to the final aid station where I saw Jen, the volunteer who helped me earlier. She said “Hey! I remember you” She gave me a hug and told me to go cross that finish line because I earned the title of Ironman. Right before I made the turn on to Fourth Street, I saw my friend Ann. She was laying on the ground with the three other guys from Greenville’s cell phones wait to report to their families, but she had not seen them yet. Walking down Fourth St, a guy told me to try and run. I told him I would vomit on everybody and that was not the way I want to remember my race. He said just try. I did and I was able to run down the shoot through the finish line to the song “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne. How ironic.
What would you do differently?:

I don't think there was much I could do.
Post race
Warm down:

After the race, they took me straight the medical area where I received 3 IV bags, was able to get some chicken broth in my system and able to keep it down. The doc who was with me said she estimated approximately 1200 people had gone through there today. She said that she loved fitness and is an avid runner, but didn’t know why we do this to ourselves and our body was not made to do those types of things. At that time, I didn’t have an answer, but told her I might see her at the same time and same place next year.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of water on the bike started a chain reaction that I could not overcome.

Event comments:

Overall this was such an amazing experience. It is one I will never forget for as long as I live. With the exception of the water issue, I thought everything was awesome. In the pre race meeting, Mike Reilly mentioned that there were over 3,000 volunteers for this weekend. This race would not exist without them. I tried to thank every single one I saw that day. Also, the people of Louisville were incredible. What a great city. There were all different people everywhere during the entire race. There were people who lived in big mansion size houses to smaller mobile homes sitting out in front cheering and holding motivational signs for the entire race.




Last updated: 2009-10-05 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:09:35 | 4224 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 59/
Overall: 408/3000
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Velocity Speedsuit
Course: Out through channel, round buoy to main river and follow to finish.
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 07:39
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
06:23:56 | 112 miles | 17.50 mile/hr
Age Group: 147/
Overall: 881/3000
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Rolling hills with some climbs
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 13:07
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
07:08:46 | 26.2 miles | 16m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 218/
Overall: 1661/3000
Performance: Bad
Course: Flat to start. Over a bridge and back. Through the streets of downtown Louisville. Nice course.
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? No
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2010-08-31 11:27 AM

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Expert
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Greer, SC
Subject: Ironman Louisville


2010-08-31 11:38 AM
in reply to: #3073528

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Champion
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Charlottesville, Virginia
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome job Chris, it was very cool to watch you cross the line on video.  LOL, I was laughing at the song playing when you finished as well.

Amazing to finish with the extreme heat and no water at the aid station.

Congrats IRONMAN!

2010-08-31 12:02 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Master
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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great race, loved the rr.  You are an Ironman!!   What's next?
2010-08-31 12:02 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Elite
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Raleigh
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Great write up Chris, but not as great as the effort and determination you showed on the course! You did yourself proud.

2010-08-31 12:11 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Champion
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marietta
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
man,  so damn proud of you.  you really are an amazing inspiration.  way to stay focused and carry on through some incredibly tough conditions. congrats again my friend.  you are an ironman! 
2010-08-31 12:14 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Member
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25
Oldham County
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Congrats Ironman!
It was a tough day out there for you all.  I had many folks hand me their bike in transition and tell me to throw it in the river. 
Nice race report...I had to compose myself a bit when I read this: "Then, at mile 22 I heard something. I heard my name. It was my dad. He knew I should have been finished over an hour ago and walked four miles until he found me. I can’t even begin to tell you how good that was to hear his voice and see him."


2010-08-31 12:31 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Master
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Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Damn, 3 IVs?  That's impressive that you toughed it out!
2010-08-31 12:37 PM
in reply to: #3073714

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Master
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Beijing
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
TyIslander - 2010-08-30 1:14 PM Congrats Ironman!
It was a tough day out there for you all.  I had many folks hand me their bike in transition and tell me to throw it in the river. 
Nice race report...I had to compose myself a bit when I read this: "Then, at mile 22 I heard something. I heard my name. It was my dad. He knew I should have been finished over an hour ago and walked four miles until he found me. I can’t even begin to tell you how good that was to hear his voice and see him."



I was going to copy the exact same selection into my reply...  I had the same reaction.  What would we do without our dads?
2010-08-31 12:40 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Master
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Tosa, WI
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
I have nothing else to say but.......  

this is Frickin Awesome!   

Dino 
2010-08-31 12:40 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Champion
7163
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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Really terrific effort Chris....can't say enough about how happy I am you were able to cross that finish line under those circumstances!  Rest up.
2010-08-31 12:46 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Pro
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Wherever the trail takes me, WA.
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
You put the "Iron and Man" in Ironman!!! CONGRATS!!!  Way to stick with it!  It's a great feeling and accomplishment!  BE PROUD!


2010-08-31 1:32 PM
in reply to: #3073828

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Amazing. I can't imagine the mental toughness it took to get through that marathon under those conditions. You are a rock star! And what a great race report. Your appreciation for your family and the volunteers and spectators is really touching.
2010-08-31 2:17 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Master
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Wow....what an amazing race report!!

I almost cried!!!

AWESOME job out there is VERY rough conditions...I was a spectator all day, so I know how unbelievable it was out there!

So glad you finished and got to the medical tent in one piece!!

2010-08-31 2:21 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Wow, what a great RR, and you should be incredibly proud of your outstanding performance. You had to adapt to really tough conditions, and you kept going. Just amazing. I also thought the part about seeing your dad was very uplifting. WAY TO GO, IRONMAN!!
2010-08-31 3:39 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Elite
4108
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Calgary,AB,Canada
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Chris ... Wow. Epic day-- Ironman. Congrats.
What an amazing journey. What a day.
2010-08-31 4:17 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Master
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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Still wiping the tears from my face after reading this... SERIOUSLY!!! Great report, Chris, and congratulations for enduring what you did. Loved reading about Jen -- people like that make such a huge difference in a race, I don't even think they have any idea. And your dad (here come the tears again) -- that is just so awesome!! I am continually in awe of what our bodies and brains can do. You took everything to the Next Level... Congratulations, Ironman!!!


2010-08-31 4:23 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville

Congrats on your first IM IRONMAN!!  Woohoo way to push thru on the run.  Hoep you are feeling better!!

2010-08-31 6:50 PM
in reply to: #3073795

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Master
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Suwanee, Ga.
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
moondawg14 - 2010-08-31 1:37 PM
TyIslander - 2010-08-30 1:14 PM Congrats Ironman!
It was a tough day out there for you all.  I had many folks hand me their bike in transition and tell me to throw it in the river. 
Nice race report...I had to compose myself a bit when I read this: "Then, at mile 22 I heard something. I heard my name. It was my dad. He knew I should have been finished over an hour ago and walked four miles until he found me. I can’t even begin to tell you how good that was to hear his voice and see him."



I was going to copy the exact same selection into my reply...  I had the same reaction.  What would we do without our dads?



x4...or whatever....Please don't tell all my macho buddies that I teared up reading this.  AWESOME job my friend.  You are a true inspiration and I know your family is very proud of you.


2010-09-01 8:50 AM
in reply to: #3073528

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Expert
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Auburn AL
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome job Chris!  Someone above said they almost cried...well, I got her beat, as that report brought tears to my eyes.  I could feel your pain buddy. 

Way to hang in there thru what sounded like a really tough day.  Look forward to talking to you about it.
2010-09-01 9:07 AM
in reply to: #3073528

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Master
1395
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Granvile, Ohio
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Amazing report!  Way to overcome some tough circumstances and keep focused on the finish.  

Congrats Ironman!!!
2010-09-01 11:52 AM
in reply to: #3073528

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Master
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Apex, north carolina
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Having just signed up for an Ironman the day after this happened to you really made your RR personal.  I teared up 3 times reading it. Especially the part about your dad finding you on the run course.  I will think of you often over the next year.  Being an Ironman is more than crossing the finish line. Being a true Ironman is being challenged by conditions beyond your control and coming out victorious.. YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!


2010-09-01 12:10 PM
in reply to: #3076126

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Master
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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Great job Jeepguy!  You did great - way to tough it out even with the vomiting.  I cried reading about when your dad showed up too, so I can only imagine how great it was to see him in person.  : )
2010-09-01 12:59 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Awesome job out there Ironman!
What a tough day, but you did it.
Loved your Dad finding you, still teary about that.

Rest up.  It's not really the next day..but three/four days later that it all hits!
2010-09-01 5:47 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Elite
3072
200010002525
san francisco
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Chris, why'd you have to go and make me cry?!!!  Tremendous RR.

After such a tough year with the knee issues way back in the spring...and after all of the hard work training for this race, it culminated in quite the performance.  You really are an inspiration to push through everything you had to on a crazy, brutally hot day. 

So proud of you and so very happy for you!!!  NICE FRICKIN' JOB!!!!! 
2010-09-01 8:18 PM
in reply to: #3073528

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Expert
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100010025
Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman Louisville
Chris, man, way to tough it out.  High five your Dad for me man.  That's really great he came and found you.  Wonderful and vivid report!  Hope to met you at some point, I'll buy first round!
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