Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ultraman Canada Crewing Day 2

Day 2- 171 miles on the bike for Ingrid!

Check in was at 5:30 and the start was at 6:00, the crews took off before the athletes to keep the narrow road as clear as possible for the first 10-15 miles. So we drove out to the main road and found a spot where lots of other crews were waiting for their athletes. We hung out and talked with other crews about how their athletes were feeling. I think that gave us all confidence about Ingrid's race, some athletes were feeling good, but quite a few seemed to be having some issues (mostly stomach issues), so we felt lucky that Ingrid had gotten through day 1 so well. When she rode by, she had already passed 3 or 4 people and was close to a couple more, she seemed happy and excited! Yay!!

It was a cool morning, but I had talked her out of wearing her cycling jacket (I know, ME saying she wouldn't be cold??), I was worried that was a mistake, but she said she wasn't cold at all! Whew!!
Ingrid rode by orchards and vineyards, and we stopped and jumped out of the car to cheer her on every 6 miles. This part of the course was mostly flat, Ingrid looked great, and we were having fun! We saw other Ultraman athletes and crews along the way, which was fun and reassuring, since we didn't really see any of them on day 1.

The first really tough part of day 2 was The Wall, it was a mountain, with switchbacks going up and at the end was a very steep section! We knew Ingrid could do it since she had pre ridden it, but we knew it would be tough and even after The Wall, she had to keep going mostly uphill for about 10 miles! The Wall was on narrow roads so it was another "No Feed Zone" so we had to drive to the end and couldn't stop to cheer Ingrid up. But announcer Steve King was on The Wall announcing and encouraging the athletes up the steep climb. We stopped a couple of miles past The Wall and saw a family out spectating, they were some of the only spectators the entire race, so everyone was really happy to see them!
This is actually on Richter Pass from day 1, but The Wall was this steep or more so!

White Lake
Past The Wall, but still climbing. Astronaut Alvin Drew gave a pre-race presentation and the Q&A after quickly went to "how do you go to the bathroom in space?" We all found it funny and a little weird, so we made a sign for Ingrid on the front it said "Astro Al says shoot for the stars" and on the back it said "and pee in your pants!" Ingrid laughed when she saw the sign and later told us that she loved it.

By this time, we had been in the car for a long time, my triathlon math skills were starting to get blurry, and we all started to get a little silly. I heard "woof woof" from the back seat. I turned and saw this:
and Ramona with the Pringle still hanging from her tongue said "look I'm a dog!" Of course I laughed and laughed!
Then Jeff had one too. "I'm a duck! Quack!" Sadly, I don't have a silly Pringle trick.

I think this was about the time Ingrid passed Fausto. Fausto was a very strong looking athlete from Florida who owns a bootcamp business. He looked fast and from the time we met him we assumed he'd be impossible to beat.

At our next stop we got everything set up, when Ingrid pulled up she seemed stressed and in a HURRY! She exchanged camelbaks, grabbed some gels, took a 5 hr energy, and maybe a pb&j and took off in way under a minute! Just after Jeff pushed her off Tour de France style, Fausto rolled by and said "WOW, she's GOOD!!" His crew was right in front of us, so we saw his stop, change of clothes, drink, leg massage... interesting contrast!

Since Ingrid seemed so stressed and rushed, we were a little worried. Has she had too much 5hr energy and/or pre-race?, Is she just in "race mode" after passing Fausto?, Should we remind her she has to run a DOUBLE marathon tomorrow?...We didn't know what was going on or what to say to try to bring her stress level down (or really if we even needed to bring her stress level down). pretty bridge along the course

A stop or 2 later Ingrid yelled "how far to Princeton and how long til the cut off?" WHAT?? Why is she thinking about the cut off, when she's SO far ahead and doing so well, and there isn't an official cut off in Princeton anyway! The race director had suggested that if you got to Princeton much after 3pm, you might want to cut the course and not do the last 45ish mile out & back section, since it could take up to 3 hours, and there was no point in going all the way out there if you were going to miss the real cut off at 6pm. For whatever reason (I blame pre-race) Ingrid had that unofficial cut off in her head big time! I pulled out the map and figured it out. At our next stop, I told her "less than 30 miles and almost 3 hours to Princeton" Seriously, I'm pretty sure even I could make that "cut off". Turns out she had done her triathlon math a little off and really thought she was cutting it close (it makes perfect sense in her race report, but when she explained it to me after the finish I was 100% confused!). So THAT'S why she seemed stressed earlier.pretty views along the Similkameen River near Bromely Rock park

We got to our next real stop in Princeton and Ingrid was back to normal- fast, efficient and relaxed, thank goodness!!
She seemed to LOVE the out & back to Lake Allison, she was flying and we were so happy for her!
Jeff and I on the out & back to Lake Allison

Ingrid FINISHING day 2!!! The announcer said she had moved up quite a few places in the standings after such a great ride! And during the run on day 3, he said she stayed in her aerobars more than any other athlete he saw!

Ingrid was super happy at the finish again and wanted to hang out and talk with everyone, she also had to wait a really long time for her massage. Since the day 3 start is near Princeton, everyone stayed in hotel rooms in Princeton provided by the race. Jeff and I went to check in while Ingrid and Ramona hung out at the finish line. Dinner was also provided by the race, we carefully planned and brought our own food since we assumed the post race dinner would be pasta, and who wants to eat something new (especially from an unknown restaurant) the night before a DOUBLE marathon!! As it turned out we all (even Ingrid!) ate the pasta dinner provided by the race (I don't normally eat much wheat, but spaghetti looked & sounded SO good!).

I think it was almost 8 by the time we got to the hotel and got the van unpacked. Jeff and I had to run to the store to pick up water, ice, etc, and look for a finish line treat for Ingrid. I saw an individual sized coconut cream pie in the deli/refrigerated section (Ingrid had told the race organizers that if she could have any dessert at the finish it would be coconut cream pie- PERFECT!). We stopped and got root beer floats on the way back to the hotel, I was in serious need of a sugar rush, I knew I still had at least an hour's worth of stuff to get done, and I was EXHAUSTED! Jeff looked more tired than I think I've ever seen him too. After getting all the necessary stuff done, Ramona and I decorated the van with blue painter's tape (thanks Coach Cindy!), we were both super tired and could barely think enough to spell Irongrid! I also uploaded a few pictures and updated facebook for the fans at home, since we hadn't had cell service most of the day. Again, I was asleep before my head hit the pillow, but so HAPPY! Ingrid had pretty much the perfect ride, and was feeling good about the DOUBLE marathon tomorrow!

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