>> Saturday, November 26, 2011
I have one more post about this, and then I'll stop talking about it. Really. But it's too much of a "moment" to just let slide by.
To catch everyone up: I posted about the last official Ironman Arizona finisher on Wednesday. Here's most of that post:
For anyone who's trained as an "age-group" triathlete for an Ironman event, you know the meaning behind 17 hours.
Seventeen hours is the cut-off time to be considered an official finisher of an Ironman. After that, they may let you finish or they may pull you off the course, but either way, it won't "count."
Check out this amazing photo from last weekend's Ironman Arizona:The athlete finishing is Patricia Tillotson (age 56) from Wilmington, DE. She had a 1:38:20 swim, a 8:06:09 bike, and a 7:00:00 run. She finished as the last "official" finisher...
...in exactly 17:00:00.
Eneko Llanos (who won IM AZ in SUB-8:00:00!) is the one cheering right over her shoulder, and I believe that's Linsey Corbin with the camera phone (who finished as the 2nd female in sub-9:00:00). The third place female (Meredith Kessler - 9:00:14) is in the blue jacket between Eneko and Linsey. It's always so cool to see the pros come back out HOURS after they've finished to cheer everyone else to the finish line!
And famed Ironman announcer Mike Reilly (the voice that says "Steve Stenzel, YOU are an Ironman!") is the one crouched down with the backwards hat who is cheering like a mad-man. I don't know how he has the energy to do that for over 17 hours at EVERY Ironman! That man is just as much an athlete as all of the triathletes!
Someone named Sharon commented on the photo on Facebook:I was there - just to the right of the guy with hat/mustache on far left of the photo. It was a heart-stopping moment. Mike Reilly half-supported, half-flung her across the finish line. I don't think anyone cared that it might be considered outside assistance....
This gives me goosebumps.
Then on Thursday, I posted pro triathlete Linsey Corbin's photo from her twitter page of the other side of the action:
Linsey's caption: "And the final finisher crosses @ IMAZ. Unreal!!"
Direct link: http://youtu.be/Yoi4D-MPCiM
I finished just 30 seconds in front of her. It was my first IM and I was trying hard to hear my name and the song that was playing. Let me tell you...that finish chute was DEAFENING when I went down. It literally hurt my ears and I couldn't hear a thing. I went up to Mike Reilly a few minutes later and hugged him and told him I'd waited a long time to hear him call me an Ironman. It was an incredible night.
What a night! Congrats to all the finishers!