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Ironman Wisconsin - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Madison, Wisconsin
United States
Ironman North America
91F / 33C
Sunny
Total Time = 14h 11m
Overall Rank = 953/2076
Age Group = 40/44
Age Group Rank = 148/300
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 2:30 and fueled with 700 calories, went back to sleep until 3:30. Got to the event way too early and no one was there, seemed a little errie. Walked around and then I seen one of the bike repair guys come into the bike area. Had him pump up my tires, then put my fluids and lunch on the bike. Went to body marking, no one there yet, so I sat and waited. I was the first person to be marked. Now its official, I'm doing the race. Bought a Morning Glory muffin and a gatorade and sat down in a quiet corner and ate in peace. Although I was there at 4:30 in the morning, time seemed to fly by. I took out a marker and wrote on my hands and arms, all my friends that had helped me train on the way. It was long list that filled 2 hands and a good portion of my lower arms, at that point I realized how fortunate I have been. I may be doing the race but they have given me the support. Announcement came on that you should proceed down to the swim. Where did the time go.
Event warmup:

Just a quick hustle through hundreds of people trying to get thier wetsuit on and get into the water. Put the bodyglide on pretty heavy then zipped up and off to the water. I was amazed when I seen over 2000 people all lined up ready to go. Where would I fit into this overcrowded fishbowl. I decided to go right up front on the line, I thought it was easier to try and maintain my pace then try to gain or overtake people once we started. Stupid or not, that was my decision.
Swim
  • 1h 12m 1s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 52s / 100 meters
Comments:

The cannon went off, calm went to chaotic in about 1 second. I took a while to get adjusted to the smack down that I was now recieving. Maybe that front of the line stategy wasn't a good idea, but too late to change that now. I got hit in the eye (which is now a lovely shade of green) and it felt like people wher trying to rip my wetsuit off from the bottom up. I only bought this wet suit a week ago, I had visions of getting out of the water and seeing scratch marks and rips from the waist down. Finally settled in and kept remembering what my buddy Ryan said "whatever you do, don't stop in the swim", that was a good piece of advice. After the first loop it calmed down and I was into a nice rythm. It amazed me that when I swam one lap earlier in the week I kept thinking how far the lap felt and I kept stopping on the way. Now I'm swimming 2 laps non stop and I feel that I have enough steam for a third. I can only equate it to adrenaline. Thank you adrenaline.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe drop back a little off the start line. Its a funny thing, the swim is very hectic and unpredictable but it's also a rush at the same time. The swim does not scare me.
Transition 1
  • 08m 14s
Comments:

This was the most unusual transistion that I have ever encountered. I came out of the water, pulled my goggles down, took off my cap and had my wetsuit stripped off. Perfectly executed, those volunteers rock. Then I took my wetsuit and ran up a three storey parking helix into the lobby of the hotel were you get your transition bag and proceed to the change room. I had tied colourfull ribbons to my transition bag so it was easy to find. Worked great. Got into the change room put on my helmet, heart rate monitor and put on my socks. I carried my shoes because the run to the bike was out of the hotel into the parking structure, pass the people with sunblock (I never wear sunblock) and the length of the whole parking structure before you could mount your bike. That was just too much cement to run on in bike shoes. Put the shoes on at the mount line and the proceeded down the other side of the 3 storey parking helix. You picked up a lot of speed going down and the crowd where yelling, it was an unbelievable experience.
What would you do differently?:

Smile more.
Bike
  • 7h 04m 13s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.84 mile/hr
Comments:

Decided early on that I would take the first loop very easy and not push too hard. Easier said then done, if you went too slow it was difficult to get enough power to get you up the next hill without having to stand and power it. I tried to take advantage of any free speed that was available on the downside of the hills without sacrificing the momentum of going up the next hill. The hills seemed unrelenting to me. The aid stations were always a welcome break and the crowds were fantastic. People kept yelling at me something about goggles, then it dawned on me, I still have my swimmimg goggles around my neck, what a rookie I must have looked like. No wonder my transition was fast. I tried to take them off, but with the size of my helmet and another hill always on the horizon I had no choice but to leave them where they were. I managed to find a little bit of time to gobble down my homemade peanut butter and jam sandwich that I had make into a sealable waffle earlier at the motel. Towards the end of the bike I had 2 issues, my legs were starting to cramp everytime I had to climb a hill. For some odd reason there seemed to be some big hills to contend with at the end of the ride. I managed to overcome them without having my legs completely lock up. The course was taking its toll on my legs. I never felt exhausted or tired but my legs were dogging me. I also realized that I have been drinking heavily for over 7 hours and I have not peed. I immediately thought that my liver was shutting down and this became a major concern to me. I finally forced about 1/2 a cup of pee out. How can I put 10 bottles of fluid in my body and only pee 1/2 a cup. I was worried. This is something I have never dealt with. Got off the bike and still felt good.
What would you do differently?:

Get some hill work in, even if I have to travel to accomplish it. Take off goggles in transition.
Transition 2
  • 05m
Comments:

Ran into the hotel and I immediately seen my brightly decorated transition bag. Dumped it out, took off my helmet and finally took off those damned goggles. Put on running shoes. looked for my gum in the bag but couldn't find it. I swore I put gum in that bag. I like to chew gum while I run. Ran out off the building past the sunblock ladies and away I went.
Run
  • 5h 41m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 02s  min/mile
Comments:

O'kay this is were my ironman dreams came crashing down. Ran the first mile or so with a fellow bt'er, my legs were definetely hurting. Then they started cramping, everytime my foot hit the ground my quads would tighten up into a solid charlie horse. I could no longer run. This can't be happening, running is my best event. I walked with a few short burst of runs in between, I thought my world had come to an end and I started to cry. I put my sunglasses on so the world could not see what I had been reduced to. I then decided that my legs were shut down do to the fact that I had not urinated, I drank everything that I could get my hands on. If I put more in, something has to come out. Nice theory, but that didn't work. Maybe I need to stop drinking, maybe I have too much fluid in me. No more fluid, but I still can't run. My heart rate is very low, I want to run but my legs won't allow it. I wasn't going to give up, so right then I made a decision that if I could not run I would walk as fast as I can. Now I'm reduced to powerwalking 24 miles, but I don't care, I'm pissed off and a man on a mission. I never once slowed down or stopped. I was enbarrassed to be walking while the crowds were cheering, I think they would cheer me even if I was crawling, talk about supportive. My feet felt like they were walking on raw flesh, too much water had gone over the top off my head and to my shoes. Finally The finsh line is in sight, someone in the crowd yells at me to run it in on home, I try and my legs immediately disagree. I yell back at the guy and tell him that at this point I could not run to save my life. I was forced to walk accross the finish line. I could not bring myself to yell or put my arms up in excitment, I just bowed my head and went accross. There is no finish line shot were you can see my face, I don't want to be a poor sport but I was upset. I didn't come all this way to walk.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to overcome what had happened to my legs. Don't run with gum in your shoe.
Post race
Warm down:

After the race I ate some food and walked around for a while. My legs and feet were sore. After an hour and a half I decided to get my transition bags and bike and head for the car. My car was parked in a garage on a hill with some stairs to handle. Didn't do well on stairs. Had a 20 minute drive to the motel, got into the room and the first thing I wanted to do was take off my shoes. I would have done this earlier but I was afraid I wouldn't get them back on. Looked down at my brand new shoes and discovered that they were all blood soaked around the heels. Took the left shoe off first, oh that felt good, took the right shoe off and noticed something inside, it was my missing pack of trident gum, it must have fell into the shoe while in the transition bag. No wonder my foot felt like I was walking on raw skin, I had just walked 24 miles with a pack of gum in my shoe. You might be asking right now why I didn't stop and check my shoe if my foot hurt, I was worried that if I stopped I wouldn't start again. I'm now filty, sweaty and bloody, I really should have a shower, but the thought of hot water on open sores was just too much to handle. I got into bed and had 6 hours of rehearsing the events of the day and my disappointment. No sleep was had, so I waited for the complimentary breakfast to open. I pigged out and had one of everything they had, then I put my leftover Indian food from the night before in the microwave and ate that. I have a cast iron stomach and food seemed to comfort me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

goggles, bubble gum and lack of hill work.

Event comments:

It took 6 days before I would allow myself to write this race report. I was very angry and I didn't want to say something that I would reget. I acknowledge that it was a tough day and the conditions were unusually hard, I was prepared for that, after all it is an Ironman competition. After taking some time and reflecting upon the events that unfolded I am content with my race and what had unfolded. The first couple of days I would definetely consider myself as a poor sport, now that time has passed I am grateful for the great adventure and challenge that this Ironman has afforded me. I had my picture taken with Dave Harju and some great bt'er friends, I had dinner with a guy who won a lottery spot for Kona, how cool is that. I met a person who ended up coming in eleventh overall, and got to shared a lifetime of memories with alot of great athletes. It's funny to say but it feels like I experienced my lowest and my highest point in my life all in 14 hours and 11 minutes. I'm proud of my swim, I'm proud of my bike, and I will be back another day to prove myself in the run.




Last updated: 2005-09-15 12:00 AM
Swimming
01:12:01 | 3862 meters | 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/300
Overall: 753/2076
Performance: Good
Suit: Quintana Roo Full Suit
Course: 2 loop course that had no twist or turns.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
T1
Time: 08:14
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
07:04:13 | 112 miles | 15.84 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/300
Overall: 1196/2076
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: This bike course is often referred to as being a very technical course, that's just a polite way of saying its damn tough. It seemed like the hills are forever rolling and everytime you really pick up speed you were forced to put on the brakes, make a sharp turn and begin climing all over again. The course makes it very dificult to spend any length of time in the areo position. You are always gearing up or down, and there is very little time to eat solid food. I come from an area where the biggest hill is an overpass. A fellow bt'er took me out on the course prior to the race, he asked me what kind of wheels I had. I told him a disk wheel, he then asked me if I brought my other wheel with me. I told him no, he said nothing after that. I knew right then that his silence meant difficulty for me later. The disk proved hard to handle at times with the wind, especially if you were climbing.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 05:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
05:41:33 | 26.2 miles | 13m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/300
Overall: 1002/2076
Performance: Bad
Course: A very decent run course with 2 loops and one big hill that wasn't that bad.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %8lbs
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
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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2005-09-16 3:29 PM

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Extreme Veteran
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Chatham. Ontario
Subject: Ironman Wisconsin


2005-09-16 4:04 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Master
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Central, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

I'm not an expert but I think your race report is what this sport is ALL ABOUT - overcoming adversity! 

Sounds to me like you experienced the sport at its core and in its truest essence - - in my book, that makes you an IRONMAN (and then some)!  Congrats!!! 

2005-09-16 4:30 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

WOW...great race report..Actually it funny because you are all disappointed and I looked at where you placed before I read your report and thought "wow he did really well!!"  That was an awesome swim.  I'm in the same boat with the hill thing so I understand.  You did a marathon walking on a pack of gum with your feet bleeding.  and YOU ARE AN IRONMAN...that is something to be proud of no matter if you walked ran or cralwed over the finish line...and many a pro has crawled over the finish.  take care and keep it up...you are inspiring



Edited by sue7013 2005-09-16 4:31 PM
2005-09-16 5:22 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Master
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Newbury Park, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

I'm glad you got over your disappointment - you are over it right?  It is truly hard to gear up for so long and then not feel like you performed to your best, whatever the reason was.  Starting an IM is a huge accomplishment.  Finishing IM Wisconsin 2005 monumental.  Take some time and let being an IM finisher sink in.

You made us all proud! 

2005-09-16 7:08 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Extreme Veteran
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Sioux Falls, SD
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

WOW!!!!

That is all I have to say!!! I was watching everything on ironmanlive and I can't wait for my chance to be able to say I am an ironman.. Reading your report makes me want to keep working towards my goal.

You did GREAT!!! you are an IRONMAN!!! you over came many things and that in its self is a great thing and something to be proud off!!! Again CONGRATS

GJ

2005-09-16 7:55 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Not a Coach
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Media, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Glad you've reached "contentment".  But I hope you soon get to a stage much beyond that. 

You should be PROUD!  You overcame adversity on a very tough day.

You are an IRONMAN!

(And next time I'm sure you'll conquer that run.)


2005-09-16 8:05 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Expert
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Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Thanx for the race report.  I must say that your will power it awesome and inspiring.  Finding the pack of gum in your shoe,  while at the time must have made you mad, is just plain funny.  Sounds like something that I would do!!

Thanx for the inspiration, IRONMAN!!!!!

Adios
Dave

2005-09-16 8:24 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Elite Veteran
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chicago area
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
That is one of the best race reports I've ever read. How can you feel angry for accomplishing something that so few will even attempt?
I think you are incredible and also you're an Ironman!
Congratulations on finishing when the odds were against you.
2005-09-16 8:47 PM
in reply to: #248265

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Elite
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Chicago
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Hey Tony:

I felt bad that I left you at mile 6 to run with my friend Fiona and now I feel even worse because you had such a tough time by yourself on the run.

However, what I find inspiring is that YOU FREGGIN' FINISHED !!!!!!!!!!!!  You are not only awesome Tony, you are an IRONMAN an no one can take that away from you!!!!!

I loved meeting you and hanging with you and Dave Harju and kleinrider and BadgerIronman!

Head up bro.  You have absolutely no reason to be sulking.  You, my friend, are and Ironman and congratulations for completing such a grueling race and not being a DNF!

2005-09-17 8:41 AM
in reply to: #248280

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Extreme Veteran
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Tokyo, Japan
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Tony, what a race!!  That was truly an amazing day that you had.  As I promised I was there with you.  I was actually out running when you were on the run course and I was thinking of you every step of the way.

I saw your 13 mile split and I knew that you must have been struggling as I knew you could run faster than that.  Although I didn't know it was that bad.  I can't believe that you ran/walked a marathon with gum in your shoe.  Don't worry mate, you'll laugh about it one day...most likely when you're lineing up on the beach at Kona in October.

Hopefully after having a few more days to let your accomplishment sink in you're starting to realise what an astonishing feat it was just to finish the 2005 IM Wisconsin.  You truly are an IRONMAN my friend.

2005-09-17 1:01 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Extreme Veteran
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northeast Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
What an awesome and inspiring read! Pretty much ditto what everyone else said. Congratulations on becoming an IRONMAN!!!!!

Diane


2005-09-17 1:24 PM
in reply to: #248129

Champion
8903
500020001000500100100100100
Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Great report Tony. My wife and I watched all the results on the web and were glad to see you come across the line. Walking or not, you had people cheering for you all the way. There is no shame in walking. I had to walk a fair distance in my IM too, and reflecting back after several weeks, it's strengthened my resolve to have an even better finish the next time. You are still an Ironman, and no one can ever take that title away from you! Overcoming the little things that might have otherwise ruined your chance to finish...yes that's what you've done!

Congrats!! Well done!
2005-09-17 1:27 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Regular
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252525
Kansas (Kansas City area)
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Tony -
You are an IRONMAN!!! Congrats dude! I will probaby e-mail out my race report by end of next week.

So are you doing another one?
2005-09-17 1:59 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Tony,

I want to thank you, Ironman. 

Thank you for having the wisdom to wait a few days before you posted your RR.  You managed to get some pretty good perspective and that is great to see.  I hope as the days go on you will feel more and more proud.

Thank you for sharing your tough story with us.  I really felt your pain when I was reading and realized that you could not physically run...not even across the finish.  What amazing determination not to give up.

Thank you for not giving up.  Everytime I read an IM race report filled with challenges and difficulties and obstacles, it gives me fuel to complete my own race.  I KNOW that when my day comes, if I feel the same thing on the run, I will think of you and keep going with a fast walk or a slow walk or a shuffle...

BTW...thanks also for the chuckle about the goggles and the pack of gum...I am sure one day you will laugh hard at those two things

ivan

2005-09-18 8:39 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Extreme Veteran
471
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Northern Virginia
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
amazing story. sorry you had such issues on the run, but as i told you on your blog, you finished what is being considered one of the hardest ironman races ever with 3 hrs to spare. keep your head up and i hope to see you out there next time. when is the next one?

oh, and welcome to the goggle club. i wore mine all the way to the finish line on a sprint last year!
2005-09-19 7:58 AM
in reply to: #248129

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Extreme Veteran
402
100100100100
CT
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Glad to see that you have come to your senses. You are an IRONMAN no matter what time you finish, 9:01 or 16:59.59. I think you did an amazing job at sticking with your plan and making it onto the run course. We can only control so much of what happens and deal/adapt with what we can not. You really did an awesome job of dealing/adapting to whtat happened on the run.

Congrats! YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!!
(you are one of the few, less then one-one hundredth of a percent of the population, to have even tried and you suceeded)


2005-09-19 8:53 AM
in reply to: #248129

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Master
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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Tony

great job... You did great, walk or no walk you finished and you are a Ironman... great report, i love the part about the goggles...

it was great meeting you and everyone else...

2005-09-19 10:43 AM
in reply to: #248129

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Extreme Veteran
527
50025
Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Congratulations on accomplishing one of the most difficult athletic events period! You should be proud of your courage to participate & finish.

I think maybe the goggles could be a new fashion thing on the bike legs

2005-09-19 11:38 AM
in reply to: #248129

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Regular
58
2525
Lone Tree, CO
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

I know its easy for anyone else to say that you shouldn't be disappointed in your performance - because you had a great finishing time.  When you feel you didn't do your best its hard to get over it.  But, what I loved about your report is that you took the time to reflect and pull all the positives out of the day.  It brought a tear to my eye.  It's tough out there and the fact that you made it to the finish line under the circumstances is amazing!

I'm proud of you and you sound so proud of yourself!

2005-09-19 12:06 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Master
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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin

Awesome race and inspiring report.  Thanks for sharing it with those of us who are struggling to make it through the sprints and aspiring to accomplish what you just did. Congratulations Ironman!

2005-09-19 1:17 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Member
32
25
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Hey...you did it....and you are no worse for the wear....next time....just think you'll have all of this figured out and you'll rock harder than ever.


2005-09-20 8:09 AM
in reply to: #248129

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Extreme Veteran
384
100100100252525
Chatham. Ontario
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and pats on the back. I think that the next time I do an Ironman event, I will post my race report before the race, so I can get all your positive views and carry them with me into the race.  It's hard to realize, but the finish line is not always the defining moment,  its the journey that we take along the way.
2005-09-20 12:40 PM
in reply to: #248129

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Regular
61
2525
West Hartford
Subject: RE: Ironman Wisconsin
Congrats on a great day. Every one of these reports I read I feel proud of all each BT finisher, including myself. The conditions were very tough and we all went at it and overcame it in different ways. Congrats again!!! You are an Ironman!!!!
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