Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lake Placid Iron Man 2017- Part Three

 Bring 'Em Home.
The Midnight Finishers.
 Part of every Ironman event 
is going back
 for the last part of the evening.
The Professionals are present.
The Finishers are present.
The Families are present.
Cheering and praying 
their loved ones home.
As a family we prayed 
at every hour of the race for Dan.
Safety. Strength. 
Lack of discouragement.
No equipment break down.
Mental focus.
The Lord's protection.
Bright lights.
Bright orange MMRF 
Bam Bam sticks.
Loud rock music.
I watched the Live Feed 
as I stayed with the littles asleep.
I could see our family down
 at the fence at the finish.
Raucous cheering and Mike Reilly
 on the microphone.
as the last athletes 
came across the finish line.
A race against the clock.
16 hours in.
16 1/2 hours in.
The clock winding down 
to the 17 hour time limit to finish.
Knowing that the first finisher 
was nine hours ahead of you.
Brent McMahon - 8 hours 13 minutes
Andy Potts- 8 hours 37 minutes
 They are at the finish line
 handing out medals. 
So how did this race get started?
"Whoever finishes first, 

We'll call him the Ironman.

During an awards banquet 
for the Waikiki Swim Club,
 John Collins, a Naval Officer
 stationed in Hawaii, 
and his fellow athletes began debating 
which athletes were the fittest: swimmers,
 bikers, or runners. Later, he and his wife Judy,
 who had both participated in new competitions 
known as triathlons in San Diego, 
decided to combine three
 of the toughest existing
 endurance races on the island. 
On February 18, 1978, 
15 competitors, including Collins, 
came to the shores of Waikiki
 to take on the first-ever IRONMAN challenge."  

But, it was pretty apparent that our family came 
home with another focus about finishing the race.
The looking for those 
"still coming".
Where are they?
Will they make it?
Gather them before time runs out.
Get 'em home.
The great cloud of witnesses.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so
 great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside
 every weight, and sin which clings so closely, 
and let us run with endurance
 the race that is set before us."
Hebrew 12:1
Time to finish well.
And cheer on EVERYONE 
to the finish line.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ironman Lake Placid 2017- Part Two

 Part Two of the the Ironman Story:
(photo heavy- big story)
First of all this event starts 
VERY EARLY in the morning.
The athlete and his parents 
left the house at 4:15 AM.
It was DARK then- 
the later crew saw this sunrise.
Cotton candy skies 
hovered over the bike transition area.
Dan spotted where we were 
and was able to greet his little family.
                                                                             photo credit- John Denninger
There is something iconic 
about the Ironman at the 
Lake Placid Olympic site.
Sister Sara and Levi 
joined the family photo group.
Root and Toot
 make out their secret cheer plan.
 The Professionals get in the water
 at Mirror Lake first.
Then you try to pick out your athlete out of 
1000's of black wetsuits.
Professionals wear silver hats.
Men wear green.
Women wear pink.
It is now a rolling start event.
Dan was in the early group
 of faster swimmers.
Then they swim 1.2 mile
 and get out of the water 
and run a half-circle on the beach 
to get back in the water to do that AGAIN.
And you finally just say you saw your athlete
 and start cheering and yell- GO DAN GO!
And ring a cowbell for good measure.
Then you give a whoot whoot 
for a swim time of 1 hour and 2 minutes.
Right on projected swim time.
AMAZING- because you get kicked.
 punched, and pushed in this swim.
It is an open water swim with 2,900 others.
Next you take off walking
 to Papa Bear hill to cheer on the racers.
It is suppose to be a "Bear" of a hill.
Our  "guide" said it was about a mile walk 
and then 1/2 hour later 
 said it was only 2/3 of a mile.
We sat on a rock by the road
 here for a long time.
But, they were playing loud 
classic rock music so it wasn't so bad.
 You make friends
 with the State troopers.
                                                                                  photo credit- Jessica Meier
The NEXT time you come,
 you will bring chalk to write words
 of encouragement 
to your athlete on the road.
                                                                                                                                      photo credit to Kathy Meier
And in the split second 
you look down to get your hat -
after waiting a LONG TIME.
So you get a photo from his momma.
And then his dad loses his voice
 from shouting at the bikers-
"You Got the Bear!"
So you start walking back
 and pick out your someday house -
 all because of those red Adirondack Chairs.
You check the air temperature 
with your tongue.
Early morning temp was 55 degrees.
Afternoon was about 71 degrees.
Partly cloudy with a great breeze.
A perfect Ironman weather day.
But we spotted you this time 
around for a thumbs up.
5 hours 35 minutes to ride 112 miles.
                                    photo credit- John Denninger
Dad- Peter-
"Ironman Traker App on your Phone" Expert.
The technology today 
lets you know exactly 
where your athlete is 
and projected times for each event. 
Time for the race support team
 to go to Starbucks.
Later, we spot our runner 
and give high fives and shout outs.
He asks,
"Where's my boy?"
The next time through he heads 
over to the MMRF 
(Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation)
Cheer tent. 
Now he is fueled with a quick hug
 and squeeze from his little family.
Time to head over to the 
Finish Line Cheer Square.
A wonderful perk for his 
fund-raising efforts for MMRF.
Ironman etiquette?
You cheer on EVERY athlete.
This crew worked hard 
on a long day with 2 one year olds.
When married to an Ironman athlete-
In this place- everyone knows
 about the sacrifice and time given 
to train for this event.  
Down the home stretch.
Cheered on all the way.
                                                                     photo credit- John Denninger
Greeted by the recovery team.

Finish Time
19th Place out of 176
M 30-34
111st  Place out of 1,575
By Gender
120th Place out of 2,199
(lost about 700 athletes since this race started)

 The Ironman out of the recovery tent.
And when you finish first for MMRF team
and raise over $10,000 
for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation-
you are a ROCK STAR.
Thank you to all who donated-
what a blessing.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ironman Lake Placid 2017- Part One

So here is the story from a 
Spectator Viewpoint 
of the Ironman Lake Placid 2017.
It is a LONG way there 
and sometimes you just need
 a little break.
So what does an Ironman do?
 They swim 2.4 miles, 
then bike 112 miles, 
and then they do a MARATHON.
BUT, when you get there-
those Adirondack Mountains 
are certainly beautiful 
around Lake Placid.
 AND the gardens and flowers 
are simply stunning at the 
Whiteface Club and Resort.

Welcome to Lake Placid-
 this place is use to 
greeting top athletes.
At the Olympic Center downtown
 you have to scope out the greats
 on the Hall of Fame Wall.
Eric Heiden, the 1980 Hockey Team,
 and Dick Button lend the credence 
of greatness to the Jack Shea Rink.
Cliff Bar takes a photo 
of the cheer squad with TRIGUY- Dan.
His parents- Peter and Kathy Meier.
Dan and Jess Meier and son Jack.
Sister-in-law Sara Wilson and son Levi.
And the inlaws- John and Connie Denninger.
You get to meet the Team Organizers
 for the fundraisers for MMRF, 
make a cheer sign 
and have some photo ops
 at the athlete center.
You get to hang out at the beach
 and plan your swim strategy.
You just chill and look
 at the gorgeous mountain views.
There was the birthday dinner 
for Grandpa John
 at the Dancing Bear Restaurant.
You go to the Opening Ceremony
 and hear some encouraging speakers 
and dance a bit.
 You wash and sparkle your bike.
Take in the views of the 1932 Olympic site.
You go to the MMRF 
(Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation)
reception and hear from some survivors
 and Ironman winners.
You realize that this race is about so much
 more than running a big race. 
Your hard work of fundraising 
can be saving lives in the future.
And then you hear that Dan Meier 
was the Number 7 Fundraiser 
with a total of $10, 201 raised for MMRF.
And you are just proud already.
He is already a winner.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Here and About-Around I-81 South

A recent trip sent us down
 the I-81 South Trail.
On the far western edge of Virginia
 and North Carolina.
And places here and there.
One small town was Marion, Virginia.
Spotted a wonderful store filled with
 beautifully displayed antique and vintage items.
Some things I had never seen before.
Reasonable prices for the value.
Connect here:
Past time emporium

Gas stop and photo op 
when your daughter
 is married to a Wilson.

Weaverville, North Carolina
 near Asheville.
Close to our September Woods- Airbnb.
Cute stores-
 Photos here through the windows.
A wonderful shop HERE:
Home Gear Shop
I didn't make it into Home Gear Shop
 but saw that inventory 
was 50% off for the month July.
                                                                                                                          photo- Twisted Laurel website.
The Twisted Laurel
A great spot for a relaxing dinner
 downtown Weaverville.
And our favorite sign in the town.
What if all of our homes and churches 
were places to fill up with GRACE FUEL?
And always great to see what 
is blooming wherever we go.
I-81 we'll be back.