Monday, August 25, 2008

Bryan the Triathlete

On Sunday Bryan competed in his first official International Distance Triathlon here in Chicago. He did awesome!!!! Several weeks ago he did a Sprint Triathlon about an hour north of the city just for practice, but this was the real deal- .93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. His parents got to come along for the fun, and we joined our good friends the Paces as well.

Here they are getting ready to go in the parking garage. At 5am. After leaving our house at 4:30am. After waking up at 3:45am. Early morning would be an understatement.
Bryan and Aaron's wave (there were 50+ waves of athletes, since they could hardly just throw 8000+ people in the lake to swim at the same time) didn't start until 7:45am, but they had to have all of their gear situated in the transition area by 5:45am, so we got to experience a Chicago sunrise in the meantime. Quite lovely I must say!
Here Baby Hannah makes the face that we were all feeling at this point:
Mom and Dad S waiting for the action to get started:
And here is Bryan, pondering his racing strategy it seems:
Baby Hannah got some practice walking with her Uncle Bryan during the pre-race waiting time. This picture doesn't even remotely demonstrate the length of the line for the portapotties. I couldn't get far enough back to include the whole line. It was insanity. Disgusting insanity.
On the right you can see where the swimmers all jumped in the water. Each wave had a different color swim cap, and they were released 4 minutes apart. Here you can see Bryan's wave (wave 21) with the white caps, all huddled together ready to swim. The yellow caps you see swimming already were a previous wave. What you do not see is the mass chaos of flailing arms and legs when the horn sounded for them to start.
Once the swimmers spread out a little bit we were able to spot both Bryan and Aaron and walk alongside them for the second half of the swim. It was nice to have them so close to the shore- we tried to cheer every time Bry came up for air!
Here you see Bry in the bottom righthand corner, just swimmin' away:
And here he is coming out of the water, headed off to transition to the bike:

We totally missed the bike part (it was quite a long walk from the swim area, and they were long gone by the time we got there), so we headed down to wait by where the run started. And here they come:
Next up, the finish line. We strained to see them coming around the bend. There they are, wayyyy down there:
Getting closer:
And here at last, hurray!
In a surprise move, Aaron dashed over to the sidelines and grabbed Hannah, running with her over the finish line, much to the delight of the crowd and several photographers who seized the moment for a unique photo. We were hoping to see that picture in the Chicago Tribune, but it hasn't surfaced yet...

Baby Hannah loves her daddy's medal:
Here is our little cheering section at the finish line:
The two finishers enjoying their gatorade:
Me and my Triathlete. Awwwww :)

So proud of you baby!