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11/28/2009

Ironman Finisher

Hope this finds everyone enjoying their holiday weekend! I finished Ironman Arizona in 10:51:28, 58th out of 237 finishers in my age group. Not bad, not bad at all. Met my goal of finishing under 11hours, so that was great! The race overall was quite an impressive event. Almost 3000 participants started and somewhere around 2500 finished. My wife and her parents came down for the event, as did my friend John. Their help was awesome! I saw them twice on the bike course, and three times on the bike. Looking for them made that portion of the bike and run a little easier. Since I began training for this, everything I've read has said that at some point during the race you will feel really, really awful and want to quit. Not so. At no point did I feel really, really awful and want to quit. There were times when I didn't feel good, and I certainly felt tired the last half of the marathon, but I was so happy to be on the last half of the marathon that it didn't matter. I felt like the vast majority of the race was behind me at that point. Just had to hammer the rest of it home. My entire race strategy was to arrive at mile twenty of the marathon with something left in my tank, and I did. I came up on mile twenty and thought to myself "two more easy miles, then I'm going to hammer it." Two miles later I said the same thing to myself, and then the last mile and a half I picked up the pace for a strong finish. It was awesome!

I can't say enough about the volunteers in AZ. They were outstanding! Every one of them worked hard to put on an awesome event and take care of the athletes… I don't think I'll ever forget the guy in cowboy drag at the Phoenix multisport table handing out water… he made me laugh and put a smile on my face for the next several miles. These races would not be possible without all the volunteers, so thank one next time you race, or better yet, volunteer yourself!

I also owe thanks to everyone who donated to the SOF Warrior Foundation I was raising money for with this race! For those of you who donated, thank you very, very much! Janus hasn't given me a total yet, but heartfelt thanks from me and those kids you help send to college!

Next challenge: Ironman St. George, May 1 2010!

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