|Heading to the water|
|The directive is to jump. No diving.|
|TT start, but still a mass of swimmers|
|Go that way! Over there!|
|Life is worth swimming|
|Slippery when wet. Wet. Slipping. Crashing. Hurting.|
Lunch was at Noodles and Company, a franchise that Noah I discovered in Chicago. You order and pay, then sit at a table where they will bring the food to you. That feels so much nicer than standing in the McDonalds lobby.
I should have just started my volunteer shift, but after locating the station where I was to be on duty later, I headed off to Lookout Mountain by bike. The road is a moderate incline for six km, for a total gain of over 250 meters. It was a tough ride, leaving me spent by the time I made the top. Having enough of riding, I went for dinner at Five Guys, then to the aid station.
|Run aid #1. My crew|
By nightfall, the runners had thinned, so I made a clean-up pass down the road. Lots of Gu tabs. Runners were coming out from special needs, so I found some strange items. A couple shirts. Cans of pop and energy drinks. A little hotel bottle of mouthwash. A toothbrush -- because you want to brush your teeth during the race, right? Cookies. Towel. This one thing looked like a pair of socks on the road. I picked it up. Nope -- dead squirrel. I moaned for the next couple of runners to thank me for supporting them, because that was nasty and way beyond what I signed up for.
I ended up selecting Chattanooga as this year's race because the lunar eclipse was happening at 9:30 that evening. The moon came out for about a five minutes at 8:30, then it was cloudy for the rest of the night, so no joy there. No blood moon over the race.
After the last runner, who stopped at our station and decided to abandon, I stayed on station cleaning and packing until the work was done and the captain said it was all over. The trash was piled, and the cardboard recycle as well.
|By the light of the moon|
I went down to the finish, but was too tired to stand there cheering. They didn't have bleachers. On towards the midnight close, there were a few stragglers on course, and I hurried the one guy, yelling that he could still make it, but needed to run for it. He found the speed, and ran the last minute to the line, crossing just as the clock ticked off midnight. It seems like everyone who managed to finish was recorded an official time, as if the customary midnight cut-off didn't apply. The book still says that you get 17 hours, so maybe midnight doesn't matter here.
Wanting to get out of town early, I didn't go back in the morning to buy my ticket. It shouldn't sell out for weeks. I signed up online when I got home. Ironman 2016 I'm back to Chattanooga.