Tuesday, November 6, 2007

IM Redneck Riviera

Ah, Panama City Beach.... home to numerous high rise condos, waffle houses, gigantic surf shops... and Ironman Florida!

What a trip, what a race. The journey started on Halloween. I rushed out of work and drove to Gerald & Sarah's house. They were preparing Grace, aka Tinker Bell, for trick-or-treating. I was on candy duty. After I passed out the goods from their front porch, and they returned from the door-to-door begging, we piled bags/bikes/baby into the car and took off (around 7:30 pm).

Our original plan was to drive until midnight, find a hotel, crash, and finish the drive to PC in the morning. Well... you know how it goes... you put two competitive triathletes in the front seats of a car, give them a destination, and you're bound to see them drive until both pass out or you reach the point of interest.

So, after listening to Grace talk/cry/sing/scream the entire way (thank goodness she's so cute) and hitting the usual ATL traffic, we arrived in PC at 3:00 am. Just enough time to get some sleep.

I swear I closed my eyes and the alarm went off 2 minutes later. Somehow, Grace was wide awake (the child has more energy than the energizer bunny)... and urging everyone to say "good morning to the sunshine." (Hey, I'll greet the sun any day!)

We grabbed bags and left for the beach - as we were to meet other SC competitors at the race start around 8:30. What a sight... beautiful white, sandy beaches swarming with athletic bodies ;) Not a bad Thursday morning. G took off into the water for his swim, Sarah and Grace began building sand castles, and I began hunting for our friends. Not so easy to find people when everyone is wearing a black wetsuit! I ran into Jerome who was preparing for his swim... then soon found Peter, Keith, Robin, Gaylan, and Jennifer.

Everyone seemed pumped up and ready to get off their feet. I left with Peter... we went to his "home stay" (an awesome, huge house in a gated community about 10 min away). Barbara, his hostess was so wonderful to take us (Peter, his mom, and myself) in for the week/weekend.

Thursday night we had a huge rave at G's condo ;). Riiiiiight.

.... well, I last worked on this post weeks ago. Sorry for the delay. Since IMFL, I've had the eye surgery (success!!! I can see, CLEARLY). Used my new fantastic vision to watch the DAWGS romp up on AU.... gotta love college football and the SEC (the perfect Fall day in Athens, GA with Dad and Sarah). I also ran a big MDA fundraising event in Spartanburg, SC (raised $76,800... goodie!).

To sum up IMFL: it was a blast. Everyone raced SO well... CONGRATS to Peter, G, Jerome, Robin, Keith, Gaylan, Jennifer, Nicole, Julie, Forrest, Regina, & Frank. I was exhausted just cheering for you all.

Jen, Peter's mom, and I ran one loop of the course while the athletes were out on their bikes. After that very tough workout, we treated ourselves to some WAFFLE HOUSE (oh baby!)... soooo yummy.

Post race was your typical IM scene... Peter getting IV's and me wandering around looking for people I know. I loved seeing Jerome, Forrest, and G finish (all achieving BIG PR's). YES! Celebrated with some Papa John's with G & Sarah.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is ABOUT TIME you put up the FL RR, missy! Glad your surgery went well! :) Loved seeing you down there, of course! Jenny:)