September 20, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin 2008 pre- race report

Just call me Mr. Consistency I guess... well for those who were wanting my thoughts and (semi-skewed) views on this race, grab a bagel and a power bar, make sure you are adequately hydrated and be prepared for my rendition of the journey thru the farmlands that I like to call the Ironman Wisconsin pre-race report.
Most of you probably know by know that I went a 10:44:56 a few weeks ago and I'm generally pretty happy about that. (I say generally because a few things went wrong that were preventable and I am still stewing a little about that...but I digress, we will discuss that later on)

I signed up for my third attempt at the Irondistance race back last September when I realized that a good buddy of mine that I have known since the wee years of our adolesence was going to be graduating from parajumping school in the airforce in May or June and would be free to race with me in September. His name is Phil VanPeursem and he just married his high school sweetheart Kelly (also a dear friend of mine) and moved out to Portland, OR where he is stationed curently. We decided upon Wisconsin because it was the only IM race where you could still sign up online and it was almost halfway for us at that time.
Cool, we both got it...I was finally going to be racing an IM with the guy that originally got me into triathlon in the first place by convincing me to do the Penn Yann/Keuka Lake sprint triathlon in 2004. Yes it was still the Penn Yann tri at that point... :o) He's always been a big brother to me and this was finally my chance to show him the ropes as this was my third and Phil's first one. Neat :o) We were both rather eager to race together again.
Well, I was driving out to Wisconsin with my dad (as we always road trip to IM's together) and we left on a Wednesday morning to get there late on Wednesday night. It was a fun drive and a lot of goofy things happened (dad almost sitting in dog poo when we stopped for lunch) but I won't bore you with the details. It was fun and it's really cool to spend some good quality bonding time with my father every year and chat about a lot of things. (we had a 13 hour drive to yammer on...) And for those of you that know my father, he doesn't like to travel with the radio/CD player on, so that means no music and we end up chewing the fat about a variety of subjects during the ride. It really is one of the most enjoyable parts of doing an Ironman race, travelling with dad.
Dad always was and is really goofy (now you all see where I get it from) and when he climbed into the car, he taped a quarter onto my dashboard. I found this a litle weird and looked at the coin to inspect. It was a Wisconsin state quarter with a state motto of FORWARD which we both found rather appropriate. That kinda became the motto of our trip, thanks dad. :o)

I also wanted to mention that the funniest publication that I have read in a while is the onion newspaper. They apparently print it in Madison, WI and they have it for free on the street corner. If you ever get a chance, just go to and check it out. It is freaking hysterical and here is a shot of my dad doing a goofy face and reading the Onion one day during lunch :o)
Well, we got there in one piece and settled in, did all the fun pre-IM stuff like the Gatorade morning swims, visited the local bike shops, went and checked in and got weighed (I was 158lbs!!) We checked out the beautiful Minona Terrace which was built by the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright. As dad was a draftsman back in the day, we had a lot of good conversation about styles of architechture and buildings. We also checked out the capitol and took some photos.

As the days drew nearer to the race I got all the fun things done, organized by transition bags, cleaned and lubed up the bike, dropped everything off the day before, stole an extra swim cap at registration (third year in a row!!!)
Now it was the day before the IM and we were done with everything by 11am. Dad and I kind of looked at eachother and wondered what we were going to do for the whole day. On our ride up, we had discussed the possibility of driving to Iowa from Madison, Wisconsin. We have this competition to see who can get to all 50 states first and neither of us had IA. So what did we do, but climbed back into the car and drove the 2 hours each way to Iowa... and had lunch there at this place called the Brickhouse. We both had really spicy Chicken Alfredo that made your nose run. We stopped in the visitors center before and picked up a few pamphlets, took some photos. For those of you that remember hammerfest swims - pat yourself on the back because the were "kind of a big deal" ;o)

This photo below was actually taken via cell phone in Dubuque, IA in front of the visitors center. Pardon the terribble shot, it was a self portrait and I have the ugly blue Tifosi's on my head because the oakley's were already in the transition bag that I handed in that morning...
We were looking for a place for lunch and saw a large neon sign that read "laughing ass lager" and knew we had to go there for lunch. It was the brickhouse and it was really good pasta. I treated dad to lunch and we ate and then walked around for about 5 minutes, then drove back to Wisconsin. :o) Cause that's how we roll.

Ok, enough of the pre-race stuff and now onto the actual race. I'm going to post the RACE REPORT in a different post so that it breaks up the monotony of this story. So cheers, I'll be back in a minute.

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