11:15:04 (swim 59:22, bike 6:10, run 3:54)
A whole Ironman. Eleven hours, fifteen minutes. A lot ahead of schedule. A PR. Sixth in her age group. Overall 304 out of more than 2,200 athletes.
Amazing. Inspiring. But ultimately, those are just numbers. They’re what we can see by reading the results page.
What we all were privileged to experience yesterday—the heart, talent, and grace Kristin showed as she finisher her fourth Ironman Wisconsin—is the real story.
Here are just a few things I learned watching Kristin on her Ironman Sunday:
- Most Ironmen grimace. Kristin smiles. All day. The whole way. No exceptions.
- The girl can swim. 2.4 miles in 59 minutes. The 106th Ironman out of the water!
- You can wake up on Ironman Sunday with a smile on your face even though you haven’t slept for a week.
- Bathrooms are not required on race day. Wetsuits and bike seats suffice.
- You can keep running, even when you can’t feel anything below your waist except excruciating pain in your foot.
- Amazing people earn phenomenal fans. Kristin’s crew started building very early in life and hasn’t stopped yet. The fan club was large and vocal yesterday, and included:
Mama Jackie: The birth-giver
Tim and Kelly: Tracking the race and cheering from Kelly’s 100-miler in Utah
Beth: Kristin’s “oldest friend” from the Rockford YMCA days
Anne: One of Kristin’s “best high school girls”
Team Zimmerman: Royce and his pretty-in-pink support crew
Jill and Ryan: Kristin’s freshman roommate and her mountain-biking husband
Kim: The “new girl” in the office who cheered like an old friend
Bride Emily: Straight from her honeymoon onto the race course
Lauren: Coaching Brodie, cheering Kristin
Tom Reason: The balding associate director of admissions
Peg: Vacation-bound, husband idling in the car, still out to watch Kristin swim
- Some Ironmen get very hungry at 3:30 a.m. after the race, and when they do, they eat Raisin Bran.
- You don’t want to be that trash-talking guy who blows past Kristin 20 miles into the bike. You’ll pay the price for the pass later. She will catch you in the end!
- At some level, it’s easier being an Ironman than an Ironman’s roommate.
- You can’t get too much of a good thing. Kristin is already registered for Ironman Wisconsin 2008. What are you doing next September 7th?
In the meantime, Kristin will have notably better and more interesting Ironman insights to share with us all tomorrow. For now she’s having a nice breakfast at Lazy Jane’s Café before heading to the Ironman banquet—much-deserved feasting.
Stay tuned for the good stuff from our very own four-time Ironman…