Monday, August 27, 2007


I made the voyage to the Okanagan this weekend for two reasons - to attend a wedding and to watch Ironman Canada.

The wedding took place on Saturday at a small vineyard just outside of Kelowna. The combination of the outdoors, lovely scenery, nice weather and easy access to wine, made for a lovely event.

I hit the road early on Sunday to make it to Penticton for the 7:00am swim start for Ironman Canada. It was difficult to identify my friends amidst the mayhem of 2,600 wetsuit-clad triathletes jockeying for position, so I walked up mainstreet and met up with an old triathlon friend, Cate. I didn't even have time to get coffee before the first athletes were finished the 2.4 mile swim, out of the water, through transition and on to the bike. As the bikes screamed past, I had to focus in order to recognize my friends. Matt, then Catherine, then Chris, then Curran. I was proud that all of my friends were such speedy swimmers - all four were out of the water within 70 minutes. It was convenient too, as it afforded us time for a leisurely breakfast before driving out to watch the cyclists climb up Yellow Lake.

As I was munching on my bagel, it sunk in that my day was only now beginning, and there were 2,600 people that had already been excercising for over two hours. We watched and cheered as our friends danced up the Yellow Lake, making it all look so easy. Then we headed back to town to watch the run.

I put on my rollerskates so that I could cruise further down the marathon route and find a spot where my spectating talents might be put to optimal use. Climbing uphill through a crowd of distracted people on a surface resembling cobblestone is a tough way to learn how to skate. After three miles of awkwardly propelling myself forward with a Frankenstein-esque swagger, I found my spot and immediately retired the skates. I didn't have to wait long before my friends came through.

Three out of four of my friends finished - each acheiving personal bests. Chris broke ten hours, finishing 52nd overall (that is not a typo!) and taking almost half an hour off his 2005 time. Wowsa. Matt finished in 10:23. Catherine finished in 10:29. Curran turned out great swim and bike splits but did not finish due to a series of unfortunate events (but that is his story to tell, not mine). I am so proud of all of my friends. It takes tremendous courage to lay it all on the line.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget finishing an ironman in under 10 hours, getting to Penticton by 7am the morning after attending a "winery wedding" is the real accomplishment!

Thanks for coming out Tori, your cheers were a wondeful distraction from the pain of the day!

September 3, 2007 at 9:56:00 PM MDT  

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