Race Coverage

"I Need a Hug More Than Anything"....

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By Branden Scheel (bscheeltri.com)

 

Ironman Arizona Race Report - Sunday morning we woke up knowing it was going to be a big day. Alexa and I met my mom and sister down in the lobby at 4:45am and headed out to the venue. We arrived in great time and were off to check gear bags with the rest of the Stallworths by 5:15. After getting all of our special needs bags set and all nutrition put into the right areas, we headed to the bikes to get everything race-ready. Tires were pumped up, nutrition was set, power meters calibrated, it was time to go! We went to the Smile Train tent for warm-up and to see family before heading to the start. After a quick snack and some warm-up, we gave the loved ones a hug goodbye and Alexa, Ayla, and I headed to the swim.


Ayla and Alexa are great swimmers so they weaved in and out of people to the front of the swim start. I had been improving steadily on the swim so I went with them hoping to stay on Alexa’s feet for as long as possible. After the...

national anthem and a quick kiss good luck to Alexa, we headed into the water and started the long day. I quickly got on Alexa’s feet and followed her around buoy 1, but around the second buoy Alexa went under the Corner and took off around it and I lost her feet. I tried 2 or 3 times to catch up but DAMN that girl is fast. I settled in behind another guy and followed him for most the swim. Around 20 minutes in we passed under a bridge and I was really getting bored and sick of swimming so I laid on my back and waved to the people on the bridge for a few seconds before returning to the same guy’s feet. Every time I saw an airplane or a bird I took my time to watch it just as something to do. The swim is so monotonous and boring I just needed something to do. Around the halfway point someone grabbed my ankle and swam right over me, this gave me something to do! For the next 3 minutes and probably 200 strokes, I did everything I could to touch his feet EVERY. SINGLE. STROKE. If you are going to swim over me, I’m going to annoy the heck out of you :D we turned to go back to the swim exit around 3000 yds in and my arms were toast. I did what I could to get in at a decent time and ended with a swim time of 1:03:49.   READ MORE

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