Ken Landolt (836)
Part 1: People
So here I sit with a lovely Belgian Ale, one week removed from my second Ironman finish wondering what to include. I’ll do my best not to have it all be about me but let’s face it, that will be difficult. Doing an Ironman is inherently selfish and I’ve been “me” focused for far too long.
Everyone adjusts so I can be called an Ironman. Sara graciously and stoically handles the entire household while I prepare and grump about the little details. I’m dedicated and inspirational? Nope, that honor goes to Sara.
The boys don’t get it and who can blame them, they are young. They only know Dad is gone too much and he is grumpy when he is home. All they want is the human jungle gym to reopen for business.
The rest of our families and friends kindly give me a pass while I check out of normal human life and attempt to prepare my body for one very long day.
Out West I am blessed with more kind-hearted people. The people of Coeur d’ Alene truly embrace Ironman athletes. People in restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops and our campground welcome us to town, wish us luck and tell us where they will be volunteering on race day. It feels like the entire town is as focused on the event as I am.
As race day looms and I turn into a Class-A prick fretting over details, well-wishers come out of the woodwork. Friends and relatives drive 1,500 miles to watch and it feels like the entire Triathlon community takes time out of their busy schedule to phone or email encouragement. I can barely eke out a thank-you without my voice cracking as emotion wells up inside.
June 21st dawns sunny and cold. Sara and I listen to our traditional pre-race CD. Green Day finishes singing “I hope you have the time of your life” and the next thing I know I’m staring at the ½ mile buoy with 2,600 nervous racers and 10,000 spectators. Today my body will tell me to quit. My mind knows that can’t happen. Family and friends are watching and I need to deliver satisfaction 140.6 miles down the road. Anything less simply won’t do.
Next: Part II: Places