Steve, James and I made it to Madison yesterday without incident, and went directly to athlete check-in. The whole Ironman check-in process is long, and took about an hour. There are waivers, USAT licensing, weigh-in, and then a line to get your bags/swim caps/wrist bands/etc. After that we headed into the official Ironman store, where I wanted to buy some water bottles and a new race number belt. I got in a crazy long line to check out, and when it hadn’t moved after about 10 minutes, I gave up. Hopefully it is a little less crazy today and I can get what I need for the race.
I love how you can literally feel the excitement in the air. The whole city becomes electric with Ironman. The wristbands make it official.
I may or may not have squealed a little when I found out my swim cap is hot pink. Maybe the swim won’t be so bad after all.
After checking into the hotel and relaxing for a little bit, it was time to walk back to Monona Terrace for the athlete dinner and mandatory rules meeting.
The food was average, but the whole point of the dinner is to get everyone pumped up for the race. Mike Reilly spoke, giving a bunch of statistics about the race, like which states have the most participants racing. All 50 states are represented, as well as a bunch of different countries. The field is 26% women, and I am in the largest female age group, with around 180 women. He also honored the 200 first responders that will be racing on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and the 10th anniversary of Ironman Wisconsin. Pretty cool stuff, and I’m sure it will be an exciting and emotional day out there.
After the dinner, we just had to stop at the Chocolate Shoppe on State Street for ice cream. It wasn’t even my idea, I swear.
Fat Elvis = banana ice cream, peanut butter chunks, and liquid chocolate chip swirl. Oh yes.
Today we will be checking in our bikes and gear bags, and getting in the lake for a little warm up swim. Then it will be an early dinner and hopefully an early bed time!