RateYourBurn | 20 Types of Athletes You'll see at an Ironman Race (from a First-Time Spectator)

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Last weekend, my brother participated in the inaugural (and potentially only) NYC Ironman competition. Obviously, I marked off the entire day "BUSY!!" on my outlook calendar, psyched myself up for some super-fanning, and spent all day trying to catch him at as many spots as possible on the course. We found him 8 times; inevitably, 99% of the day was spent cheering for complete strangers. This .... was a TOTAL BLAST. So, to help you live vicariously, here's a list of 20 athletes you'll likely see if you spectate an Ironman (and I highly recommend that you do...)

will see at an ironman rateyourburn triathlon

Ironmen/triathletes: is one of these you? Let us know below!

1. Guy who is pouring anything he can find on himself to try to wash away the urine that was recently released all over his shorts and legs.

iron man meme sterotype guy who just peed on himse

2. Guy who motions for the crowd to cheer as he approaches on his bike.

I LOVE this guy! His energy and enthusiasm epitomize the spirit of the Ironman. If you don't cheer for him, you should be banned from spectating (IMO).

guy who likes noise makers ironman stereotypes mem

3. Alien hat guy.

Actually, about 30% of the bikers were wearing these helmets, but they never got old. They are soooo funny lookin'. If you think the drawing below is an exxageration, click here.

ironman i am an aerodynamic alien weird helmet ste

4. Took-as-many-sponges-as-humanly-possible guy.

This guy looks like a stripper tucking dollar bills anywhere they will possibly fit. (For those of you who are unfamiliar: race organizers sometimes hand out cold-water-soaked sponges at certain parts on the course as a way to help cool down the runners)

ironman guy who took every sponge he could possibl

5. Biker guy who throws his water bottle at the fans.

At first I was alarmed, thinking I had done something to offend this person. But then I realized he was just doing a good deed by chucking his empties in a race-spectated area for easier cleanup.

ironman guy who throws water bottle at you memes n

6. Guy running the Ironman with one fucking leg.

There is nothing, other than seeing my brother, that turns me into a psychotic crazy fan than seeing these so-called handicapped people doing things that 99% of "able-bodied" people will never do. I cheered so hard I actually tasted blood (can you rip a vocal cord? Is that possible?)

one leg iron man stereotypes memes rateyourburn pr

7. Biker guy wearing a yellow jersey. 

  1. First of all, he is not winning. Also, his name doesn't rhyme with Shmance Barmstrong.
  2. Second of all, I'm making a point of this guy because he was the least friendly participant on the course (when I say "he" I am referring to every racer wearing a yellow jersey.) One yellow-jerseyed-man rode directly on the line that spectators are supposed to stand behind, and then shooed us away (a sweep of the hand, like "step back, plebes") as if we were getting too close to greatness. Whyyy? BTW, there are studies showing that smiling enhances your mood and performance. All of these yellow jersey guys were just kind of .... jerks.*

*If you are friendly and happened to be wearing a yellow jersey, please bring back honor to your yellow-jerseyed peoples by commenting in the section below.

ironman guy wearing a yellow jersey stereotypes me

8. Guy who has turned himself into a human billboard for something comically unrelated to running, biking, or swimming.

Hey, If you run the race, you should wear whatever you feel like wearing! Just make sure there are big printed words so I can cheer you on ("YES! YOU'RE ENDING DIABETES! YAY! JEWS FOR JESUS! SALLY'S CLEANING SERVICE LOOKING GOOD!" If you print it, I will scream it.)

ironman human billboard stereotypes memes nyc tria

9. Guy who printed his name AS LARGE AS POSSIBLE on his uniform.

In doing so, he has announced to me that he enjoys being cheered for, and therefore I will probably pretend to know him.... "PETER oh my God is that really you???!! I have been waiting for you for MY WHOLE LIFE!!" (Yes. I actually do this. It usually goes over well. Usually.)

ironman guy with his name in big letters on his sh

10. NYPD and NYFD guys running with photos of lost friends.

So touching. There's something about it that gives you that gutteral "proud to be a New Yorker" feeling every time.

ironman nypd nyfd in memory of firemen policemen s

11. The pro who's curled up vomiting somewhere along course, but won't take help because he doesn't want to be disqualified.

There are rules about assisting the participants - if you help people in a certain way it can actually kick them out of the race. I've heard amazing stories about people crawling to the finish at Kona, refusing help from anyone.

ironman pro in fetal position on bench worried abo

12. Old guy.

How are you doing this? More importantly, how are you beating my brother?

ironman old guy stereotypes memes nyc triathalon r

13. Pro women.

I was BLOWN AWAY by these ladies. The top female competitors were incredibly close to the top men. They. Were. Killing. It. Major props to these rockstar fembots showing all of womankind that we are in it to win it. I got chills.

woman winner nyc ironman stereotypes memes rateyou
who run the world girls ironman triathalon rateyou

14. Guy who bought a nice new white spandex unitard and shaved all of his extremities.

Except his ass crack. Which you could see clearly through his white shorts.

ironman guy wearing white outfit who shaved everyt

15. Fat guy.

I go wild for the fat guy. He's doing this Ironman just like the rest of them, but he's sometimes carrying almost an entire additional person's worth of weight on his frame. The epitome of "no excuses". Super inspiring.

ironman fat guy stereotypes memes nyc triathalon r

16. Hottest chick I've ever seen.

This one is actually drawn directly after a woman who was running the race with a turquoise top (anyone who spectated will remember her, she was basically the picture of fitness). She had a nasty bod and her hair was in these cool braid things. She, too, was beating my brother. Girl was crushing it. Plus she always smiled at the fans.

girl with sickest body ever ironman triathalon ste

17. Guy who lost like 30 pounds training for the race (and was normal-size to begin with) and you barely recognize him when he runs by.

Ironman training = major calorie deficiency. Really hard to keep weight on.

guy who lost 40 pounds training for the ironman an

18. Guy who looks like he just got flour-bombed with sunscreen.

ironman guy who just got flourbombed with sunscree

19. Super triumphant guy.

His joy is infectious, especially as he crosses the finish.

I am an ironman happiest day of his life first tim

20. Superman.

AKA my brother. Because despite the fact that the "peeing on himself" guy may have been loosely entirely based off of him, or the fact that the old guy and the hot girl beat him or that he didn't finish sub-11 hours like he wanted to, this guy continues to be my hero in every sense of the word. Being an ironman? Cool. Being a better big brother than any other big brother of time? Way cooler.*

*Would like to note that he is currently tied with my other big brother for the "best big brother of time" award.

super brother iron man race memes stereotypes rate

Love you D!

Have you run an Ironman (or a triathlon, or any other race that involves these stereotypes)? Which one are you? Let me know in the comments below!


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Comments 171 Comments

Darbi 08/19/2012

I was laughing until I got to #20 and now I'm crying.  You are a good sister and this is a beautiful post.

Lactic Addict 08/19/2012

Thank you Darbi! He's an amazing brother, who gives me 110% support when I do things like... quite my job to build a fitness instructor rating website. So the least I can do is be the best fan EVER. Smile

smiffy 08/20/2012

Laughed so hard! I recognise all the Ironfolk you mention.
I'm fat guy/old guy/ lost 30 lbs guy/supertriumphant guy/sunscreen guy all rolled into one..
also slow guy/ hobbling guy and smiling at everybody guy!
Great post!

Pseudelic 08/20/2012

Thank you very much for putting into lay terms what my family will see for the first time in 3 weeks.  I think they are going to absolutely love this primer.  I'd also like to thank you for cheering on all the strangers.  So many of us do this crazy sport and don't have fans willing/able to stand in the hot sun for hours and hours (a triathlete for 10 years and this is the first time I have family coming) - fans that cheer us without knowing us make a huge difference, particularly on these long grueling events!  Smile

Catherine 08/20/2012

Like Darbi, I was laughing until I got to #20, and now I'm crying.  Just this weekend, I committed to doing my first Ironman 1/2 with a bunch of girlfriends, in honour of our turning 50 this year (Kona, if we can get in.  Go big or go home!).  It's been 25+ years since my last triathlon, and never an Ironman, so this is terrifying and exhilirating and crazy and...well, all of the above.  I hope I'm the "Girls that rule the world" category instead of the "puking/peeing on self" person!

Thanks for the laughs, and thanks for confirming that this is a good idea.  

P.S. Want to join us?  Smile

Lactic Addict 08/20/2012

@smitty - Sounds like you're one of my favorite types of people to cheer for!
@Pseudelic - good luck with your upcoming event! Your family will love it. We were thinking about doing a "what to wear" post (on the ironman side and the fan side) because some people were so much harder to spot than others! (The gist - bright colors, big lettering, potentially costume elements... and an unusual colored helmet! Easiest way to spot the person you're looking for during the bike). Glad you enjoyed and it's a pleasure cheering for you!

Lactic Addict 08/20/2012

Catherine, that is AMAZING! Best of luck to you, and if you get (lucky?) maybe I'll be spectating! I would love to do one of these eventually - run and swim would be doable with training, my biggest issue is running/knees. Tried to do a marathon a few years ago but couldn't get over 10 miles in training without serious knee pain (I ran a half marathon and the week after was excruciating). These are all excuses though - need to find a killer physical therapist and just DO IT!

sdg 08/20/2012

I am crying from laughing.  omg Lactic you are hilarious.

Jesica from runladylike.com 08/20/2012

This is such a great post. It made me laugh out loud. I wonder which one of these I'll be at my half ironman next month Smile I'd like to say it will be the hot chick, but it will likely be the person washing off all the pee Smile Congrats to your brother on an awesome accomplishment!

RateYourBurn 08/20/2012

Thank you SDG Smile

Lactic Addict 08/20/2012

Jesica, that is amazing! Which Ironman are you doing? I wish you flat roads and rabid fans Smile

Silver Deutch 08/20/2012

Very True!!!
I participated in IMNYC too and def saw all of these people. Great post!


laminator 08/21/2012

Thank you for posting this on my FB wall!  I absolutely LOVED this!
Saw all of these characters in IMNYC last weekend as well as in the Timberman 70.3 this weekend. So accurate and so true.

Congrats to your brother for an amazing accomplishment!

Caroline 08/21/2012

I would so like to think I am the hot girl, but I am more like the guy peeing himself.

Nati 08/21/2012

Biker guy wearing a yellow jersey!!, these are many of these men hahahaha, and am I pro woman?? hahaha, hopefully!! ;)

Lactic Addict 08/21/2012

@Silver - congrats!! What were you wearing, wonder if I saw you?
@laminator - so glad you enjoyed. Did you run both or are you a serial spectator? Jealous, either way.
@Caroline - lol... One can always hope. It was not fair for someone to look that good after that many miles. Something to aspire to!
@Nati - do you wear the yellow jersey?? Lol! And you know now that I think about it - I didn't see any women wearing yellow. I know a lot of these stereotypes are men, but of course, the majority of participants were men. But the women in general looked so amazing, and on average better prepared for the race (regardless of pace, the women seemed more comfortable). Of course, this is another stereotype. Just my impression Smile

ShelleyM 08/21/2012

You are SO talented Gillian!  You had me busting a gut throughout the whole list (and teary on #20).  Having done a couple of Sprint Tri's, I have personally witnessed many of these sterotypes and you were spot on!  Love your creative humor.  

Jim 08/21/2012

This is so excellent. I think I may be a couple of these. Can you guess which ones? Hint, not hot chick with turquoise top.

Ironman Florida 2005

Lactic Addict 08/21/2012

Thanks @Shelley!
@Jim - hopefully not any of the ones I left out... like "bleeding nipples guy", "maybe if I stare at my feet hard enough they will continue to move forward" guy, or "death rattle breathing guy"?

Kelly Dobos 08/22/2012

Thank you for enlightening me.  My step son is in an Ironman this weekend in Louisville, KY.  There is a group of us going to watch.  I will be on the look out for all of these participants.  Looking forward to them all.

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

Nice @Kelly! Make sure to be recognizable on the day of (have your whole group wear the same bright color / bring a balloon / have a big sign/etc) so that he can find you! Half the time you won't recognize your people as the go by on the bike, they'll actually find you first. ENJOY!

Kelly Dobos 08/22/2012

Thanks @Lactic.  We are discussing what colour shirts we should wear right now.

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

YELLOW, anyone?

JK, don't think the yellow thing counts if you're a fan Smile

Nicole 08/22/2012

Was reading this on my lunch hour at work..Now all my co-workers know I am NOT working at my desk as I laugh hysterically at these (especially #14-almost choked on my salad I was laughing so hard!).
Great job! It's always nice to have a cheering section-looks like you might be Best Sister Ever! Smile

Emma 08/22/2012

I'm crying here at the big bro finale. Mascara everywhere. Thank you!

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

@Nicole - so happy you enjoyed! My bro was riding behind asscrack man for about 10 miles. The bike really accentuates the view apparently.
@Emma - thank you for the note. He's a pretty special dude. 11 years my senior, so logically everything he's ever done has been "the coolest thing ever" to me. These footsteps are harder to follow than most Smile

Carly 08/22/2012

Amazing. Too bad you didn't see me, the girl who has shoved two cups of ice down her sports bra and is pulling out pieces to snack on. Mmm. Ice covered in sweat salt.

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

@Carly - hilarious...that would have made a great drawing! Next time, try not to be so sneaky so I can bust your stereotype! haha.

still laughing  08/22/2012

You are hilarious. and so so true. the yellow jersey guy could also be called the "waaaay to serious" guy. if you are doing something this crazy, you should at least be able to laugh at yourself. I would like to believe im number 16, but in reality im probably more of a #1. maybe a bit of #19. can you pee on yourself triumphantly?

Leonel 08/22/2012

I laughed so hard since #1.  Great simple and funny post (I have no idea how I came to read it though..)

I did Ironman Brazil (awesome race) and relate to the following:
#1 yes, I peed on the bike like 120853 times haha, mostly because I was nervous, it was kinda cold and I was drinking lots of water.. but your pee at this stage is basically salt and water so not much discust.
#5 making it easier for the people who clean up the place
#19 Because I sacrificed a lot of partying to be at the ironman so I was grateful I finished and now could go celebrate!! hahaha yeah!!  and most importantly because I knew that a new chip was set on my brain that I could do ANYTHING I set out to..  

Loved your post.. tell your bro congrats!

Rose Cameron 08/22/2012

YES! This is awesome Smile Thanks for the good laughs! I'm a good combo of the above except for the yellow jersey guy (i'm not a jerk)

baker 08/22/2012

Amazing! So funny thank you. I totally remember the attractive gal in the turquoise top, I was a mile behind her.


george 08/22/2012

This is an awesomely funny article.  Congrats to your brother.  Every detail in here is so true, the crazy serious biker that is clearly not enjoying him/herself and thinks they are the best out there is hilarious. Thanks.

Philly215 08/22/2012

This is brilliant!   But you need #14A -- the guy in the really nice white bibs who has totally soiled himself, but keeps running despite the streams of diarrhea down his legs.  Both gross AND inspiring!

half iron woman 08/22/2012

You are the best fan ever!! Loved this.

I Am the water pourer. Hot flashes and running!!!!

Jonathan 08/22/2012

Loved the cartoons and the descriptions. I am at 98 completed marathons and have yet to try an Ironman but it is on my bucket list.

Meagan 08/22/2012

Funniest thing ever!  I posted on my facebook.  Thank you.  I was racing that race and saw ALL of these folks (I may have been one or 2).  You are a true spectathlete!  Thanks for being there to cheers us on.

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

@stillllaughing - absolutely. I always pee triumphantly, regardless of whether or not I'm in public.
@Leonel - You must be a dedicated partier to have been thinking about alcohol as you crossed the finish line. Most finishers are more excited about shooting up (fluids in the medical tent, that is)
@Rose - love it!
@baker - she was hard to miss wasn't she?
@george - thanks! That guy definitely needs to lighten up - be happy about this amazing thing you're doing!
@Philly- agggggghhhhhhhh YES but I didn't see that guy! Probably would have yelled something like "NOTHING TO SEE HERE, IT'S ALL FROM THE HUDSON" (there was a broken sewage line and the swim almost got cancelled because of the water quality....)
@halfironwoman - you must be the sponge guy too then! I'd been wondering if female ironmans were called ironwomans.
@Jonathan - that's incredible! The running part really wins the race it seems - that's where a lot of people bonk out. You'd be well prepared!

Thank you everyone for these hilarious comments.

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

@Meagan - "a true spectathlete" - I am honored for the title!

flat lori 08/22/2012

This is hysterical... I love it. I have seen all of these people.  You are clearly the best little sister of all time!!!!

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

Thanks @flatlori!!

JR 08/22/2012

This is incredibly funny, accurate and moving all at the same time!!!  Well done!!!  Thanks so much for the chuckle leading into Ironman Canada 2012!!!

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

@JR - GOOD LUCK! Hopefully beautiful scenery and a bunch of lunatic fans!

Dennis 08/22/2012

I am the old guy!!!

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

Yes @Dennis! Rock on!

Nicki 08/22/2012

Very good and I have seen them all. I'm the Mum out the back of the field racing and having a day away from the kids

Lactic Addict 08/22/2012

@Nicki - dig it. Who run the world?

Diane Casselberry 08/22/2012

I ran IMLP, and I was totally that girl with my name in bold letter on the front of my tri top, and the ever obnoxious IRONMAN VIRGIN on my back. The outfit was black and fuscia. Yeah, I kind of stood out, but I was out there way past the old guy and anybody who peed on themself!

Wiebe 08/22/2012

So true ans so funny, I will be the tired smiling girl while hoping to finish my third ironman  at Ironman Canada. The cheering fans and volunteers make my day!

Stef 08/22/2012

Ha ha ha this is priceless and so RIGHT ON!

Congrats to your brother!

Amado C 08/22/2012

You made me laugh so hard. BTW, I'm #15. Last raced in '02, next race 2013

Shane 08/22/2012

Very funny! Thanks for that!

kristin 08/22/2012

Great post!! Thanks for cheering for everyone and taking the time to find humor in such a grueling day (for you, not us cuz we're busy all day!) Congrats to your Iron Brother!  My baby bro jumped in the NYC Mary w/ me for the last 10 miles - brothers rock!

kristin 08/22/2012

OMG Diane C. ~ I saw u on River Rd. in LP and you weren't sure you were going to make cut off!! Congratulations Ironman!  I told you that after today you'd have to throw away the shirt cuz you weren't gonna be a virgin anymore. ;)

Dan 08/22/2012

Great post.  I was #15 the fat guy crossing the finish line 2 weeks ago at IMNYC in 16:18:??.

barbara cronin stagnari 08/22/2012

SOOO funny! I have just completed my 12th ironman,even did kona 4x and i have been many of these! helmet girl,peed myself(and not been able to pee myself-which is much harder!)writing on my abs and go mom on my back,the no suntan lotion in kona-ouch,the looking at feet so they'll move,the "fit girl" or at least fit for 50! the one who gets the crowd going,the triumphant finisher and the one who has a beer at the finishline. just shows you ironman takes all types! thanks for funny but true post!

TriChick 08/22/2012

You forgot the "Ironman Tattoo Guy".  When you go to check in for Ironman events half the people there are sporting "M" dot tattoos. They want the whole world to know for all eternity that they completed an Ironman.  Another good one is "Jacked up guy"  He is super high strung and is stressed out at all times.  

Nina 08/22/2012

I'm # 19. I was so excited to finish Ironman Florida last year. A mile before the finish line a women walking by stated, "Little Mama in a few minutes your going to be an Ironman."  I saw a lot of the other folks on this list out there.  

TravelDiva 08/22/2012

LOVED this!!! As I train for my first IM70.3, in my mind I am that hot chick, but in reality I'm more like the plump girl, peeing on herself and trying to be all non-chalant about it all the while grinning at everyone that came out to cheer! Great post

Elaine 08/22/2012

OMG that is hysterical  I did the race and wish I had you cheering for me - I was the boring old lady with a cool Hawaii aero helmet that no one probably noticed.  Thanks for sharing this I almost pissed my pants - laughing that is.  What a great description of how an IM race really is.  Can you please come too IM AZ in November to cheer me on?  

Karen 08/22/2012

I loved you post.  I started this at 50 years old and will never do a full ironman, but I am attempting my first half distance this weekend.  I am definitely a #2.  I'm usually at the end of the pack and beginning to feel alone out there.  If I pass a spectator that is just standing around waiting for someone else, I'll ask them to cheer for me.  Maybe it's more like begging.  Every cheer and cowbell is extremely appreciated!!

Bryan 08/22/2012

I think I was fat guy - and I also lost 40 pounds prior to the race. Does that make me some sort of hybrid?

Kelly 08/22/2012

Wicked funny!!!  I start an 18-month plan for my first full Ironman (New Zealand 2014!!  Come spectate! Smile) in 8 days!!!  I hope to be the hot chick come race day, but the one where everything is shaved but the crack made me laugh out loud....Thought I was the only one who was looking at someone else's crack...I mean, you can't MISS it in that scenarioSmile

And thank you for cheering for random people.   It makes a huge difference, especially if you can get us to to smileSmile

Keith 08/23/2012

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand that's pretty much the funniest thing I've ever read on the Internet. I shared it with everyone I know who's ever run, watched, or heard of a triathlon. AWESOME!

Jamaica 08/23/2012

TOO FUNNY! Congrats to your Bro! So coo to hear "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"
I am a finish line captain with St. George IM. We got bumped to the 70.3 but that's cool. It'll be even better. I wanted to be in NYC SO bad, but the VIP slots were not available to me. Frown So we are headed to IMTX in May.
I think the only one you are missing might be the dude who loves halloween costumes -Captain hat, Santa hat, fairy wings, tu-tu.... please tell me there was a Statue of Libery running the NYC IM!! Smile

lisa 08/23/2012

4 14 18 made me laugh out loud!  It takes a lot for me to laugh like that!  I have done several triathlons and am a spectator at many.  I totally understand this post.  Beautifully written.

Kiwini 08/23/2012

Great observations. I have seen them all. And, am #12.

IM Western Australia, 2010
IM Cozumel, 2013

jazzyjeff 08/23/2012

Wonderful post! I totally recognize each of these from my own experiences. Your brother is very lucky to have you giving him all this support. I have done more than 60 triathlons including 4 ironmans and admit that it is spectators like you that often make all the difference in the world. When you are feeling totally spent and can't go on and a total stranger gets right up by your side and screams how awesome you are it gives you that extra boost you need to finish. I speak for all those you cheered on, THANK YOU!

Amy 08/23/2012

Hilarious.  I was volunteering at the first run station at the NYC Ironman and saw all of these people!  You nailed it.  However, you neglected to mention the big man in the Hello Kitty tri suit.  8b, perhaps.  Thanks for posting!

Helen 08/23/2012

What a great post!  You put into words what I have witnessed countless times.  My husband has done 4 IM's, and we have cheered at IM Wisconsin numerous times, as we always have may friends racing it.  We bring cow bells and our enthusiasm and voices and also cheer for everyone out on the course.  My goal is to make everyone smile.  Most do, but, as you said, some are so serious and must be thinking they are going to qualify for Kona.  I laughed so hard at your descriptions.  You might have a fabulous big brother, but he has a fantastic sister!

kim 08/23/2012

i love it!  i may be the chick/pee on self/sponge person!  maybe!  we racers love sideliners like you.  you cheer everyone on, even those who have no one to cheer for them (like me)!  and, it makes me smile!  thank you for the laugh and for cheering!

Nicolas 08/23/2012

Dude this ia awesome... I would be the water/ oups pee in my pants type of guy... with a smile, smiling at most of the encouraging people!   I train hard (with pleasure) and love the sport, guys like you makes it soooo much better and rewarding... and yes it's blast to watch an Ironman, I was at IM Mont Tremblant last weekeend as a spectator since I raced in Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain 3 weeks before.... Man I enjoyed it so much and actually wanted to jump in!


Emily 08/23/2012

Hahahahha!!! I LOVED this. I've only done a half Ironman but I'd say I'm the hot chick, pouring water on herself w/ several sponges tucked in my onesie like a stripper triumphantly crossing the finish line Smile The illustrations were priceless! I too enjoy being a spectator. Thanks for sharing!

Ann McG 08/23/2012

For #6, maybe you could add #6a - Kona Ironman finisher with no legs and one arm full - my friend Rajesh Durbal!

Joel 08/23/2012

This has got to be one of the funniest posts I've read in a long, long time - and so true!!!!

Valentina 08/23/2012

Lactic- this was a WONDERFUL piece!! It seems that both you and your brother are amazing people. This was posted to our club's email blast and I know that you'll get more comments. It struck home with all of us... thank you so very much for taking the time to add some humor and love to our lives.

Mike 08/23/2012

Wow...that's frikkin awesome!  Laughed like crazy because it' sooo true!  Great blog.  You're big brother seems like a great guy but you seem like a pretty damn amazing little sister too.  

I'm not an ironman (yet) but I like to think I'd be #1,2,18 and 19.


Katherine 08/23/2012

I just did this race too and I LOVE your rendition.  My husband equally loved it as he was a spectator.  Too funny!  I'm actually none of these however- I'm an IronMommy raising money for Robin Hood and just happy to cross the finish line and see my kids again!  Thanks for sharing your hilarious article- its really awesome.

Jen 08/23/2012

I read this while eating lunch.  Mistake. I actually spit out a mouth full I laughed so hard.  Everyone of these are soooo true.  Great post.

Somos Extremos 08/23/2012

I just finished my first Ironman a couple weeks ago, now I'm wondering which one I am?!  I didn't pee myself, I'm not a pro, definitely not type A personality.... more of a "let's do this, what's the worst that can happen?" and had my girlfriend bring me a 6 pack at the finish line. Thank you, great post.

Watts 08/23/2012

I love the sponge one! So spot on and hilarious.

tai blechta 08/23/2012

Loved your post.  The crazy smiling fast girl who so many of you seem to be loving.  Her name is Mariane and yup, she's ALWAYS smiling.  Her husband was in the top 10 as well until the biiig hill.  She's a Lululemon run ambassador and you can check out her cool site and blog below.  She does great wordpress website work btw!  Give her some loveSmile www.freelifestylehawaii.com/.../

Jim 08/23/2012

Great Insights, and great funny drawings! I was in the Olympic distance national championship last week, and I was the dorky guy who DIDN'T wear an alien bike helmet. Also, 1. I haven't gone longer than an Olympic yet, because I don't want to be the Guy who just peed himself; 2. I wear Maize (yellow) and blue in some races because those are Michigan's colors, but I smile as often as I can to make up for other yellow jersey guys 3. I don't shave, but I am an old guy, and I have been "vomit guy" more than once. Thanks for sharing!

Lactic Addict 08/23/2012

I'm so sorry I haven't been able to respond to all these amazing comments, but I have been reading every one! @Tai - THAT'S HER!!!

Victoria 08/23/2012

Masterfully written...I am doing my first half Ironman and hope my family will have the same experience you did as they watch the race.

Betsy 08/23/2012

Oh! this made me howl! I'm doing my first Olympic Triathlon in 2 days and this was just what I needed to remind me how wonderful it is to just get out there and DO IT! Thanks for the laughs & of course for the artistic talent.

George 08/23/2012

I am the creepy bib # writer/name/ facebook stalker guy lol

runpdx 08/23/2012

Fantastic post! My husband has completed 10 Ironman races -- #11 in Nov, and I can definitely attest to your highly accurate athlete types. Your next post should be spectator types -- those are also highly inspiring, entertaining and down-right, lovingly, obnoxious!

Damien 08/23/2012

You folks are awesome - reading through the comments is literally stirring some of the same emotions along the course.  My favorites are the folks among you who are trying any sort of distance for the first time.  Keep it up, keep at it and on race day, keep smiling no matter how you feel.  In fact, try it especially if you feel terrible - flash a smile and ask a stranger for a high five and you'll get a lift that will drive you to the next water station.  Promise.    

Gill - you are the best,

Super Brother

Bobbie 08/23/2012

So funny .I laughed until the tears ran down my face. Yes I've seen them all.

Tim 08/23/2012

This was classic!  You are fast becoming a social media legend in the sport of Ironman.

Chris 08/23/2012

Haha, so funny. I recognize all of these and have been five of them myself -- urine guy (yep!), alien guy, sponge guy, bottle guy, suntan lotion guy, and triumphant guy! I guess that's six. Someday  hopefully, I'll be old ironman guy, and next time I'm definitely going to egg on the crowd from the bike! Thanks for the post, awesome.

Alison Gittelman 08/23/2012

Beautiful post!  Love how it was funny but never callous. Old guy made me laugh out loud because the picture is so real - old guys always wear less than everyone else. I think its to show off their wrinkles!

Mike 08/23/2012

I am a nice guy and I have worn a yellow jersey in all my Ironman races.

Judy 08/23/2012

Love, love, love it!!! Sooo true...it is such an awesome event, whether participating, spectating or volunteering!!  I hope my daughters feel like this about their amazing big brother!!

SPEEDIE 08/23/2012

My first spectator at my first triathlon was my 90+ year old grandmother who watched the whole thing in disbelief. That was cool. I loved all the spectators in every race I did after that. Thankyou for the perspective from the other side.

Shauna @ Pleasure not Punishment 08/24/2012


M Jacobs 08/24/2012

My wife has done over 20 Ironmans and I laughed my butt off as you see these racers at every event.  Great to see someone else who now loves specatating too and congrats to your brother! -CPT Jacobs

Chrissy 08/24/2012

LOVE!!!!! Did my first Ironman this year and wanted to give back as a volunteer at IMNY. Loved being on the other side and chuckled myself silly reading this. What an awesome sister you are - and talented. Who runs the world?? Girls!

Kam 08/24/2012

1,2, 4  and 19. This was hilarious, and so true.

Ken Z 08/24/2012

I was a spectator at the Mont tremblont Canada Ironman. Like you my brother participated.  I laughed harder and harder as i read on through your blog.... ON POINT... These people are pure inspiration.  The disipline and will power is unmatched...  I recommend everyone experience a dose of Ironman, it shows what potential we as humans really have..... "Old Guy" was my favorite!!!!!!

Laurie 08/24/2012

LOVE this!  Several friends recently completed Ironman events and you nailed the characterizations.  You are a very talented person.

Marisol 08/24/2012

This awesome! Congrats to your brother. I might have caught him at the end.  I volunteered, and it was just great seeing everyone finish.  Smile

JamieT 08/24/2012

Great job! I've been fortunate to complete 3 IM's. In Kona in 2008, there was a marine who completed the bike and run in his fatigues. He wore his army boots on both the bike and run. At the recent IM-NY you missed the guy who completed the race dressed in casual walking shorts and a button-down shirt. In addition, he rode a standard street cruiser (no fancy tri-bike for him)- I was so shocked at his attire, I wouldn't be surprised if he had dress shoes on his feet. Great job by everyone out there competing!

Cuddles 08/24/2012

#14, are you sure that was hair? Maybe he was makin' a little poopy. I've seen it happen and it wasn't pretty.

Cuddles 08/24/2012

Oh yeah, I'm the pee guy. It is so liberating to pee on yourself. All the cool kids are doing it these days.

Venki 08/24/2012

I just couldn't stop laughing all through the post. This is hilarious!! Amazing post. Just love love people like you who come out to cheer. I have only done a triathlon relay so far, but I do a lot of biking and running, so I can totally understand the post and hope to do an ironman someday. Can I call on you to come and treat me like your brother Smile)

Since you asked, I am probably more like 9/10/19 above, since I run/bike to raise funds for a charity org I volunteer for.

Thanks for such a wonderful post!

zinedine zidane 08/24/2012

This post has made me laugh out loud several times, great to read a spectators point of view on Ironman distance triathlon.  Having done my first Ironman this year I can say that in my opinion, what made the day special was the support from the spectators.  I got a huge lift from spectators who read my name off my race number and shouted encouragement.  

Rosey 08/24/2012

Funny, funny, funny. BUT i race in yellow and smile A LOT, hope to see you at he next one o help iron that one out Smile x
Great post, captured it brilliantly

tina 08/24/2012

White shorts guy! OMG. Why why why? Why doesn't their wife/partner tell them EVERYTHING show. Ever heard of wet tshirt contest. Wet sweaty ass is not a contest. Thanks for pointing it out.

Erica 08/24/2012

This is amazing!!! You're a great sis. I just did my first IM in Lake Placid and my friends and family, including little bro, were there!  It was amazing!!! I was 1,2,3 and 19! Thank you for your fun perspective.

Lisa 08/25/2012

This. Is. Dead. On. I got to cheer on friends at Muncie and saw everything you mentioned. And BIG TIME congratulations to your brother on being an IronMan!

Karen 08/25/2012

Thank you!  I laughed also until #20!  I hope my son feels that way!  I am doing my 2nd Ironman at 59 years young!  I did my first two years ago.....I think I am the person who pees, at my age it's hard not to pee my pants!  I also like people to cheer for me!  Heck - I'm not using a walker yet!  I love getting the crowd going and I am the one who doesn't stop talking the entire race - chatty cathy!  I even met a person during the swim in one of my races!  Thank you!  Love it!  Great job to your brother and all ironman!

John 08/25/2012

my triathlon team kit is yellow so I will be in a yellow cycle jersey at Ironman wales... I PROMISE I will be friendly and thanking spectators who will supporting me all the way.  I will also try to bee as many of these as I can Smile great article!

Kyra Morgan 08/26/2012

OMG, I couldn't stop laughing. Then #20, I literally wipping away tears as they roll down my cheeks. This is the best thing I've read in a really long time, thank you! Do you need a sister? Smile


That was great!

June 08/26/2012

OMG! Love this!  I'm 4 of these in 1!

Robert 08/26/2012

I'm the old guy.  I get to watch my sons compete which is kind of like watching your brother except I don't have a brother and my sister doesn't even spectate.  As for me, I'm still racing and still placing.

Melinda 08/26/2012

I'm a female version of #15. I completed a sprint triathlon with 3 goals. 1.) don't die 2.) finish 3.) not finish last. Happy to say I reached all 3. This blog cracked me up, thanks for sharing!!

Jon-Michael 08/27/2012

I guess I would fall under #15

Beth 08/27/2012

I recently completed my first Ironman and saw EVERY one of these athlete types on the course.  I was #2, 4, and 17!!  And I cheered for the rest.  

Kelly Dobos 08/28/2012

Well your article got me pumped to be a "spectathlete".  I cheered so much I almost lost my voice at IMKY.  My step son finished.  I have to confess and no disrespect but I think these athletes might be certifyably insane.  My daughter and I crossed people off your list as we saw them.  We also saw Forest Gump (my personal favourite) how he ran in all that hair and in the heat is beyond my imagination.  We saw Abe Lincoln's we called them with the bizarre beards, guy who hopped up steps before starting his running  (Easter bunny), guy who piroetted up stairs (the dancer), and the singer.  I loved the athletes that wanted you to cheer.  It was a sight to see 3000+ people line up to swim.  I am not an athlete.  I felt like I was in a marathon moving from place to place to see my step son.  I was worn out and I didn't do anything except cheer and walk! I was up from 4:40am til 12:30 pm. I admire your grit athletes.  Oh, my favourite saying on back of women's shirt...Pain is my Bitch.  Loved that.  Thank you for your entertaining post.

Dave 08/29/2012

I am number 6 guy with one fucking leg just like that was that NYC ironman that's my ironman race, it is awesome to get a great laugh we all feed off and help each other at any tri, good looking out

Rube 08/30/2012

Thanks for the creative post.  It was a joy to read.

athleteagain 09/01/2012

This post is so wonderful and so inspiring and I relate to it in so many ways - I was cheering on a friend (not a brother) at Ironman NYC and recognize every one you mention. I'm also a high school art teacher and LOVE your drawings. I often take my sketch book with me on the subway and do random sketches of people but it never occurred to me to take it to the race. What a fantastic idea and a great way to document your experience. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

Mary T. 09/02/2012

What a GREAT sister you are!  I was laughing so hard I peed myself and had to wash it off with water Smile  I just finished my first IM at the age of 53.  I saw all those people you have written about and have been inspired for a lifetime.  It's the fans that help get us through -- THANK YOU for being out there for all of us!  

kara 09/03/2012

This. Is. Fantastic.
What a great sister!
I'm a number of these all rolled into one.  
Thanks for an awesome post, I'm sharing it with all my Ironman/Ultraman friends!

scubaprousa 09/03/2012

I am 1 & 17.  No one recognized me, including my old teammates and coaches!

Trimomof5 09/03/2012

This is one of the funniest breakdowns ever.  Ive done several 70.3s and have seen every single one.  The one I don't get.... The white tri suit.  I'm doing the FL 140.6 in 2 months and I think I will entertain myself by counting the white tri suits.

ironsooz11 09/08/2012

Lactic, this was fabulous!  I've been a triathlete for nearly 17 years and I've seen all these folks on the courses - including the yellow shirts (sadly).  Shamelessly, I aspire to be the the girl in the turquoise top (the super fit looking one), but usually, I'm the one cheering my fellow competitors on as they ride past me up the hills.  Keep writing and drawing...you're stuff is awesome!

tinninches 09/11/2012

ive never been to or participated in, but i can visiualize each of these and im roflmao at work and people are trying to figure out why.  sharing, for sure!

Sister of Ironman 09/11/2012

I love this post! My brother ran in this race and I was sooo proud of him. I waited with his wife, his children and my husband to cheer him on and I'm sure I saw some of these people!!

Sean 09/20/2012

I did Ironman Canada just a couple of weeks ago for the second time and saw all of the folks you mentioned on the course plus a couple of others.

How about the 82 year old nun who finished in 16:32?  (Sister Madonna... freaking awesome!)?

Or the guy from Cops for Cancer named Colin.  He was 250lbs if not a bit more and was kicking my ass on the bike until the mountains.  He was a machine.

Or the guy who stopped racing to hug and kiss his wife and baby on the side of the road every time he saw them (ok, that was me)

Or the guy who stopped racing, left the course to go to McDonalds for french fries 21.5 miles into the run, returned to the exact spot on course he left and continued on (yeah, me again)

And what about those spectators who cheer for everyone, all the time, regardless of knowing them or not.  Who lie and tell us we look awesome when we are dead tired and who talk to us to bring us back to reality and help us keep moving?  

Those are my favourites.


Eric 09/21/2012

Steve in a Speedo post a link to you 20 Types post.  I've done Ironman USA (06), Wisconsin (08) and will be going back to Wisconsin in '13.

I am numbers 1 and 2.  I love getting the crowd pumped up.  

I'm going to start cheering at races like #9.  

Dee Dee 09/21/2012

11 & 12 Hysterical !!!

Jeannine 09/22/2012

Thanks for the great laugh.  I really enjoyed your art work.  But I have to confess that I love yellow, always have.  But I am realy friendly and not snobby or mean at all and love to smile at the spectators.  I really appreciate them.  Without them the race wouldn't be the same at all.  

Warren 09/23/2012

This was awesome!  Thank you!  I am probably the super triumphant guy and compared to most of the others, the fat guy as well. Props to your brother for finishing an Ironman, which is no easy task.  I did IM Florida twice (including 2010) and saw the "poop guy" in all his glory during the run.  This will make your brother feel better about his mishap: cache.gawkerassets.com/.../...740c454fc0153765.jpg

Redhead Running 10/31/2012

This is marvelous! Great write/paint up and congrats to your brother!!!

Tara 11/05/2012

Just did my first IM in FL and reading this at the airport during layover -- hysterical, I loved it! So true!!

melanie 11/14/2012

Thank you! That was TOO funny and so very true!!!

Danny 11/20/2012

I love this post so much - it's brilliant! Have linked to it as one of the inaugral posts for my new blog on starting out in triathlon - http://triathlondanny.wordpress.com/

Edson Chaccur 01/16/2013

I hate running close to the sunscreen guy!! hehehe

If you are looking for some competitions in Brazil, this is a very complete website http://sportvc.com

Mudflap 02/03/2013

I'm 47 and read news sites and blogs all the time.  I've never and I mean EVER left a comment.  You got me! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this..... Thanx a million.

mona 02/09/2013

YOU my friend have made my NIGHT! I am browsing this site like crazy and so inspired to do every fitness challenge possible!

Your drawings are hilaaarious!

Keep up the great spirit and sense of humour!

Dave B 04/07/2013

This was terrific.  laughed and cried.

acevedo15 04/10/2013

Fantastic site i'm intersted inside starting triathlon myself i have to do a ironman or ironman 80. 3

Karen 05/25/2013

I am ice bra girl, too!  I ran my first 70.3 in 90-degree heat and every picture from the run course clearly shows it's a tid bit nipply.  Smile  I plan to repeat the strategy at IM Louisville in 3 months.  Apparently it's my thing.  

Wawan 05/27/2013

Lol. Good one. I always smile. See me here: fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/.../...635155_n.jpg

Jan 05/28/2013

I loved this.  Thanks for being out there and supporting us!  I love it when the spectators are cheering like they know me.  
PS - I love the cold wet sponges!

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stacy mckinney 07/24/2013

Love this

Navarra Good 07/24/2013

This was brilliant.  Too funny.  You didn't mention funny tan girl/guy (various different levels of tan lines.  Dressed up guy.  I've seen kilts, tutus, a guy dressed as Elmo, etc. out on the course.  Oh and any guy/girl dealing with a mechanical.  I've seen people walk in with bent rims and a broken off seat.  Totally hardcore.

Michelle 08/14/2013

That was great!  Brought back wonderful memories...

Robbie K 08/15/2013

I am the old guy AND the fat guy and I made sure I smiled and waved at everybody because I am not sure when I will get to do another one. As I came down the chute at this years Ironman Lake Placid, I high fived everyone because if you are gonna cheer for me, I am gonna thank you.

Wendy 08/26/2013

Ditto with Darbi. Laughing till I cried at #20. And I wonder if she happens to be the Darbi who KILLED IT at Ironman Mont Tremblant??

lhart 10/08/2013

Laughed at all and am sending to my brother.  he's not an ironman but he was my hero when he finished the Boston Marathon last year.

Jon Rossing 02/19/2014

I'm clearly #15 - Ironman 70.3 Haugesund July 2013 - 8hrs 21 min. Trying to improve 2014!!!

John Paul 04/14/2014

Its amazing . By running and swimming You can control your weight and can keep fit yourself. I am for Iron man,iron man fans and ironman collectabls

John Paul 04/14/2014

Its amazing. By running and swimming  you can control your weight I am for iron man , iron  man fans and iron man collectables.

John Paul 04/14/2014

This is amazing  you can be an iron man . By running  and swimming  you can control your weight. i am for iron man, and iron man fans and iron man collectables

Cory 06/17/2014

Nicely done. This is hilarious! I am definitely #9!

david 06/17/2014

Excellent.  Most of us wear a few of those hats. Too tired or wish to conserve energy so forget rubbing in sunscreen; pee on yourself in the water and on the bike because you can, and it's a Tri thing. No stopping and besides its an art form to miss your shoes while peeing in your shorts. On the run, you're generally too dehydrated to muster any real pee.  I'm not the pretty woman but I saw a bunch. The only thing you admire is the will to keep pushin on.. At the end Im  the excited guy but it is mostly internal. Good sister you are

Beth 08/26/2014

I am number 1, 2,3....also number 12 who thinks she is number 16 haha!  Extremely number 19 after swim, after bike andCRAZY 19 after the run!! Saw all of these people out there.  Enjoyed this!

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Vic 02/18/2015

Loved it! I felt compelled to tell you that number 12: Old Guy, looks a lot like me. I've not done an Ironman, but am registered for a  Half Ironman at age 68 and 4 years after doing my first 5K. Love all the pictures, thanks for the laughter. And thanks for loving your big brothers, too!

Dana 03/24/2015

I was #19 at IM Lake Tahoe in 2013.
I'm hoping I can be other numbers at IMChatt this year... PLEASE, for the love of all things good can you come cheer at that race??! Spectators are the BOMB and make the day so much better. Laughing

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Jaci 04/26/2016

Great article!  Def had me laughing because it's so true!

Elden Lanen 06/21/2016

Cool! lol