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...)
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.
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).
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.
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)
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.
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?)
7. Biker guy wearing a yellow jersey.
- First of all, he is not winning. Also, his name doesn't rhyme with Shmance Barmstrong.
- 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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
12. Old guy.
How are you doing this? More importantly, how are you beating my brother?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
18. Guy who looks like he just got flour-bombed with sunscreen.
19. Super triumphant guy.
His joy is infectious, especially as he crosses the finish.
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.
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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