Witnessing Greatness

Training for a Half Ironman is no joke. You have to be able to do 70.3 miles (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) in one day. Doing some of the training for it when you are not actually racing it is kind of fun, though.

[This is a picture from when we did Tri Santa Cruz last year. PC: Linh]:

Tri Santa Cruz 1

I call it “turning into a black ant” when I get my wetsuit and swim skullcap on… because I look like a black ant.

Anyways, my amazing friend Amy (as well as many from our running group: Dennis, Rosemary, and Bernadette) completed the Ironman 70.3 Vineman on Sunday.

As a spectator of an all-day event like this, Linh and I had to be strategic in where we should be at what time so that we could spot Amy at all of the transitions.

The day before, we all went over to the high school in Windsor to attend the mandatory athlete briefing and pick up the bib and shirt.

[PC: Linh]


[PC: Bernadette]



Afterwards, I was supposed to go for a run while Linh, Amy, and Bernadette went for a swim. Instead, I was hit with a wave of sleepiness and ended up taking a nap. 40 minutes of snoozing and felt super refreshed (which is when they came back from the swim).

Ate some delicious Vietnamese food afterwards, and then finally got in my 4-mile run. Linh and I had some super interesting conversation and ran a bit longer and faster than planned. Don’t you love when that happens?


Morning came and I was randomly getting butterflies, even though I wasn’t racing, haha.

We ran into lots of people that we knew, and just hung out until it was time for Amy’s wave.


IM does not wait around. They start right on time, so make sure you’re ready to go when they call your wave!


^ There they go!!!

And so we made our way up to one of the bridges to watch for Amy. I know what her stroke looks like, so I had to look for the silver cap and the blue accents on the black wetsuit. I think I found her:


LOL… I know, I realized that the picture makes it super hard (or impossible) to see, haha. Anyways, I snapped that picture and then walked back out to where people start mounting their bikes. If that was her, the timing should have worked out where I’d see her bike out.

BOOM, looking strong, she went out for the bike leg:


So these triathletes are on the bike for HOURS… so we had some time to kill. The IM athlete tracker app was kind of poopy, but Linh was able to keep track of her with their own family tracking app. We timed it so we could see her come in from the bike leg, as well as see our RunningAddicts member (Dennis) finish his race.


She came in from the bike, looking strong. She emerged again for the run, looking awesome!


I was so excited and happy to see that she was smiling and looking strong:


I was only able to get out “Go AMY! ‘A‘ is for ‘Amazing’!…” before all the spectators looked and me, smiling and waiting. Someone asked for the rest of it. I got shy and ran away… besides, she was already far away. The rest was: “‘M‘ is for ‘My hero!’ ‘Y‘ is for ‘You got this!'”

Can’t even imagine having to run a half marathon after all that other fun swimming and biking.

Oh! I can believe how hungry I was by that time. It’s like when my youth kids complain of immense hunger after 90 minutes of eating a snack. I guess the snacks did not give me any sustenance? Anyways, I inhaled three street tacos. I don’t think it was actually delicious, but it sure seemed that way since I was so hungry, haha.

Keeping track of Amy’s progress with their app, we could see that she was making GREAT time. She seemed to be picking up speed some at the end! So when she was super close to the high school, I went over to spot her. She rounded the corner and she said she saw me flailing my arms wildly and then running away, haha. I ran back so I could get pictures of her nearing the finish. Arm-flailing was out of an unfiltered explosion of excitement.

Now this is the best way to run the last 100m:



Amy always has a strong finishing kick, so she whipped by me real quickly. Glad my phone kept up with capturing this amazing moment!

Here are our amazing women finishers:


^Bernadette, Rosemary, Amy. They courageously jumped off of that after this picture. Hahaha, they all wavered slightly upon landing.

See all of these amazing triathletes cross the finish line was exhilarating and exciting. It was inspiring to see people of ages, shapes, and sizes throw their arms in triumph as they finished the half Ironman.

I truly got to witness greatness over the weekend 🙂



Lot of people asked why I wasn’t racing it. I said simply, “I have no monies. And I’m super bad on a bike.” Plus, I was there to happily cheer on our other racers, as well as carry around a big jug of water so that Amy could shower after the race:

[PC: Linh]



^Happy to finally get ride of all the water, haha. At least we watered the grass.

Anyways, I would consider doing a longer duathlon (aquathlon?) where I swim and run… but I am totally not sure about the whole biking thing just yet.


Have you ever done a long course triathlon (70.3)? 

Would you rather swim and run, or bike and run? 

6 responses to “Witnessing Greatness

  1. Thank YOU so much for all your support. I am so lucky with great people around me especially you, Michelle. Great write-up and photos, love them! You can do the Surf City aquathon with us, yeah?… 🙂

  2. Triathlons have swimming and cycling, neither of which I like, so I don’t do them. Congrats to Amy! She looked great and you’re a great friend for spectating.

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