|Gotta get a picture of the bling!|
|The winner from Australia.|
|Came in a little over 4 hours.|
I headed back to the transition area near Rob's spot a bit before he was scheduled to come in and my Dad headed over to the "Bike In" entrance to take pictures and alert us when he saw Rob. It was around the time I expected to see Rob that my Mom called to tell me that Scott couldn't find Rob out on the course and that he had gone a lot farther then he thought he needed to, he was wondering if he had just missed him and was asking if he was back yet. Crap, let the panic and worry set in. A very short time later we heard from Scott again. He had found Rob and his legs were cramping badly. He was going to get him to an aid station to get food and liquids into him. They were at the aid station near mile 38 out of 56. Instantly my mind raced of everything from needing a fluid IV, heat stroke, reminding him to wear his calf sleeves (turned out his calves weren't what was cramping this time) and just not being able to get back. I thought for sure he was done and that he was going to pull out of the race when he returned to transition. After waiting for what seemed like forever, we got a message from Scott saying they were on the last hill leading into the park. We jetted over to transition and watched him come in and walk his bike to his spot. He actually seemed okay. I had seen quite a few other athletes barely able to walk to their spots. We cheered and encouraged him and from what I could se he appeared to be getting ready for the run. Was he seriously going to go on to run a half marathon? Once he started moving he motioned for me to meet him at the "Run Out" part of transition. I don't think he realized that he had to run right by where I was standing, but I picked up my pace to meet him. He said the bike sucked and there had been a bad headwind, but that his legs felt better and that he had drank about 10 bottles of water and electrolytes. I asked him if he was going to continue and he said yes and high-fived me.
While he was out on the run we repositioned ourselves to a different shady spot on the run course so we could see him begin his second loop. Scott also arrived back and the rest of his family joined us as well. I was doing the online live tracking on Rob and he hadn't checked into the first checkpoint at 3.3 miles. I know the tracking can be delayed and knowing his usual pace, I was hoping he was still trucking along out there. Eventually it showed him passing the checkpoint but he was moving really slowly. While we were awaiting his arrival, a park employee came over to the crowd and told all of us that there was a severe thunderstorm heading our way and that it would arrive in about ten minutes. No sooner did she finish her sentence, that a flash of lightning light up the sky behind us. Oh great, here we go again.
You see, at almost every single major race Rob has done it has poured rain and/or stormed. I'm beginning to think the guy is cursed and that is the main reason why I haven't started a du/tri career of my own. Okay not really. Mom moved to get away from the tree we were under, Dad and I packed up all of our stuff. Molly was still down hanging at the finishing chute and I was texting her letting her know what was going on. As the spectators start to flee and seek shelter, the athletes were still out on the run course and I diligently continued to look for Rob to come around the group of trees. All of a sudden the rain picked up and the thunder and lightening were right on top of us. Across from where we had been sitting was a building/shed that held the park maintenance tractor, we all jumped in there, along with some finished athletes and other spectators. The rain was heavy, cold and the wind picked up. Where was this cooler weather all day? The athletes near us were actually starting to shiver. Scott and Dad hopped up on the tractor and I stood in the doorway so I could keep an eye on the sidewalk to continue to look for Rob. The lightening flashed and thunder cracked and it was a scary situation, but it was clear that the storm was moving quickly. While still in the shed my phone rang. It was Molly and she said she had just seen Rob go through the finish line. I wondered if they called the race since he hadn't done his second loop and encouraged her to try to meet up with him.
After maybe about 10 minutes the storm had moved and the rain let up enough to move around. Molly called again to let me know that she had met up with Rob and they were going to make their way towards transition. When we spotted them, Rob carrying a medal, we came out of the shed and I asked what had happened. He said that he was about to start his second loop when they closed the course and redirected him to go down the finish chute. He had been suffering through the run, but was determined to finish and was mad that they made him stop. So he took a medal, haha. Turns out they still gave them to people who couldn't go the entire distance because of the storm. Rob gathered his stuff from transition and complained about the heat and the challenging course and the lack of support. After we gathered all of the wet stuff we had left behind we made our way to the parking lot, only to see that people were still racing and finishing. What the heck? Apparently, Rob was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The race hadn't been cancelled or called due to weather, anyone who was already out on the second loop of the run got to continue and finish. If he had been just a bit farther along, which he would have been without the crappy bike and run time, he would have been able to keep going.
We continued on to the parking lot and noticed that the run course went right by the one and only exit out of the parking lot. No cars were moving. The rain continued off and on and cars were already getting impatient about not being able to go anywhere. Rob and I worked on packing up the car and we talked with my parents who were parked next to us. Rob also managed to suck down the two beers that he brought with him. Note to self: an easy way to make some extra money, sell beer in the parking lot post- Ironman race. Captive, thirsty audience who could have used some frosty beverages. Lots of people asked where he got it from. We sat in that parking lot for about an hour and then finally got moving into the traffic on the road. The car next to us had some choice words for the race and parking lot situation, ones that can't be repeated on this wholesome blog! Needless to say I don't think we'll be returning the Syracuse Ironman any time soon. Rob had a time listed in the race results but it also originally had a DNF, that has since been removed.
One we got back to Cicero we had a lovely cook out and Rob had about 4 more beers. So we decided to stay the night and head back to Rochester Monday morning. It has taken a few days for him not feel as sore but he was back out swimming Wednesday and Friday this week. Rob also got a nice email from Ironman offering him $100 off any 2013 70.3 race because of his race being cut short due to bad weather. Unfortunately, none of them are really feasibly to race, but the gesture was nice. This whole experience has made me super excited to volunteer for Ironman Lake Placid at the end of July, I'm sure I'll have tons to say about that one! Maybe Molly can work her way in as a wetsuit stripper. I also suggested if she became a body marker she could just write her number on any cute guys. We'll see!