Well, AJ started at the end. For her, it was a great place to truly begin. For me the whole thing is kind of circular.
I don’t really know where the beginning is. Maybe the flight from Chicago to Madison. I asked the fellow sitting next to me in the airport with his feet up on his bag (as mine were) if I could take a picture of his shoes. He laughed, agreed, and we talked. He was heading to his first IronMan. His bike was going from Raleigh with the good folks from Inside Out Sports.
Maybe seeing my brother and having a quiet dinner at Outback was where it became real. The silver holographic wrist band was beside his watch. It could have been Friday, with our first blogger meet-up. Greyhound, Simply Stu, Texafornia, TriBoomer, the Sweets, Rural Girl, Jetpack, Roman and his friend Scott, Scott from BMC, Tac Boy and The Wils. Lunch at The Great Dane.
Or the second blogger meet-up with Laurie, AJ, Siren, Bold, Erin, RobbyB and more. Credit to Mr. Wil for this photo. I have yet to meet a better bunch of folks.
Or was it the pasta dinner followed by the athlete meeting, where I thoroughly enjoyed sitting across from Greyhound and getting to know him a bit better? Another treat happened when IM Able joined our end of a big long blogger table!
Saturday instead of the blogger meeting, Brent put the finishing touches on bags and the little blue Canondale. We took the bike to transition (yes, Brent’s walking away with the LBC halfway down this picture with the backpack & white cap on).
The transition bags got to their appointed places. That smacks of reality.
When we finally got to the Expo and visited with our pal Wayne who works the Inside Out Sports booth? Again, it’s that Fraternity of Iron. I picked up a long-sleeved Wisconsin Triathlon fleecy, to substitute for the hoodie The Boarder had appropriated Thursday morning. I wore the new fleecy for the swim and the evening of the run. Brent wore it the next day before his dry clothes bag showed up. And it became a fine blanket on the plane, too.
After the expo we hooked up with Mishele (you’ve seen that picture) and spent a quiet hour gabbing at Starbucks. Brent headed back to the hotel, and I back to the Great Dane to see AJ, Siren, Mark, and IronPol who had just driven in! (In an odd twist of fate, we probably left as 21st Century Mom went in. Thank heavens I met her later, or I’d really have been kicking myself.)
I cabbed it back to the hotel, and figured out how to set the alarm, as well as sort the wakeup call. Soon enough it would be race day!
Transition pictures can be enlarged with a mouse click.