One Final IM AZ Post: Finish Line Video from Midnight

>> 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... 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.

Congrats Patricia!!

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!!"

Now, WichitaTri tweeted me the link to this video. It's just crappy cell phone video, but you get to see Mike Reilly HAULING Patricia up to the finish line so she can finish right at midnight (17 hours). Look for them at the 1:40 point of this 2 minute video:

Direct link:

And I'm pretty sure the woman running past at the 1:06 mark was Tracey who commented this on my post from Thursday (where I was writing about Patricia):

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!


Jennfer Cook,  2:32 PM, November 26, 2011  

Wow. As someone who is seriously considering my first I'M, these posts have been very inspiring. I want that experience!

Cyborg Queen 3:49 PM, November 26, 2011  

Very inspiring Steve! I've been so resistant to doing an Ironman because I'm always hard on myself. However after seeing Pat finish...I shifted my beliefs. I want and WILL finish...doesn't matter if it takes me 16:59:59...I still can finish! Not registered for any, but it'll be a goal someday!

PS - If you do a Google Search on her..she's becoming famous! I wish we can find her email address or some contact info...would love to hear a RR from her and her journey!!

Cyborg Queen 3:53 PM, November 26, 2011  

According to Athlinks, this is her FIRST and ONLY triathlon!

Unknown 7:08 PM, November 26, 2011  

Ugh! I wanna do this!!!

Nathan Veldhoen 12:49 PM, November 27, 2011  

That was awesome...thanks for the share.

Stefanie 3:48 PM, November 27, 2011  

Ummm Yeah... that one will make you cry. I love it!

Unknown 6:48 PM, November 27, 2011  

Its a very awesome experience!!! thanks for sharing this one!!

Anonymous,  7:57 AM, November 29, 2011  

Here is another amazing story this guy feel in the final couple of miles it was another 4 hours to finish the last 2 miles and finished with 20 minutes to spare. here is the link:
I also did IM Arizona, great event, compares to any other.

Anonymous,  1:31 PM, November 30, 2011  

Aww this gives me goosebumps! I was there too and watched them hurl her down the finishing shoot. It's always SO cool to see the pros out there cheering the last finishers on. Amanda Stevens was there too dancing like crazy cheering.

What was even crazier was the 4 people who didn't make the cutoff who were rolling through the finishing shoot after. It was heartbreaking seeing them miss the official cutoff.

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