>> Thursday, September 17, 2009
There’s a 2 hour and 20 minute cut-off for the swim at most Ironman races. It always gets a little emotional when that time is nearing. The 2:20 cut-off was a little loose at IM WI on Sunday: they kept saying that you just need to be standing in the water by that time, even if you aren’t quite across the timing mat.
Here’s the last few minutes and seconds of the swim at IM WI 2009. The crowd hears Mike Riley say what they’ve been wanting to hear at the 1:50 point in this video, and they erupt!
Direct link on YouTube
There was actually one more man JUST behind him in the water. They let that second man keep going too. Anyone else out there finished the swim, their timing chip was removed, and their Ironman Day was over.
I dug through the results last night. The man that finished just behind the man in the video went on to finish the race in 16:22:03. Unfortunately, the man in my video didn’t make the bike cut-off - he never finished the race.
This next video is RIGHT at the bike cut-off time (which is 5:30 pm - 10 hours and 30 minutes into the race). Usually, athletes are told to dismount well before the 2 timing mats, and then run over the mats and into transition. This woman was SO CLOSE to missing the cut-off time that the volunteers didn’t even let her dismount; they just drug her across both timing mats while she was still on her bike so that she’d make the cut-off time!
Direct link on YouTube
I think at the end of the video, you can hear people shouting “Good job, Julie.” I searched through the results, found a “Julie” with one of the slower bike splits, and she didn’t end up finishing the race. Dang.
The saddest thing (which I couldn’t bring myself to film) was the 2 people that finished just a few minutes after Julie. The next person to finish the bike dismounted and went sprinting across the timing mats as if he knew it was going to be close. A volunteer had to grab him around his waist to stop him. The athlete’s head dropped - he knew why the volunteer was holding him back. They took his chip and ended his race.
A minute after he came in, a woman came riding up. She dismounted, was told that she couldn’t continue, and she placed her head in her hands and just stood there and cried. I think everyone around her was crying too.
Later today I’ll post photos of a lot of our friends rocking the race. It will be more up-beat than this post! ;)