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Ironman Coer d'Alene 2012 - The Aftermath

After getting into the finish line shoot, a volunteer comes up to me, sees I am totally fine and moves on to the next.

I am good. I am done. I just want to see my family and get some food. I even feel good enough to try on my finisher's shirt to make sure it fits!

I go off to find Yon, take some token Ironman pictures and see Candace finish the race. :)
RMTC representing
 Off to food tent where I reunite with even more friends and recount our races.
Keith, Beth and I taking a tiny moment to stop inhaling our pizza and take a pic
My AMAZING support Crew
Finally, it is back to the hotel to shower up and put the kids to bed. Hunter insists he can stay up to midnight. "But, mom, the guy on the microphone said that tonight, TONIGHT the kids get to stay up until midnight." And, if I had had a slower race, he probably would have been right, but not this time, not this year, Hunter. {One year, I will take them to the finish. It is something to see!}

Ross is gracious enough to stay in the hotel with the kids while I head back down to the finish line with Andy and Madeline to meet up with others. I had asked Ross ahead of time if it would be ok for me to go, since I had never seen the actual midnight finish. He was fine with that and was just wanting to get to bed. He was tired and I don't blame him! Spectating an IM is a lot of work and adding in two kids has gotta triple that!!!

We get down there around 10, just in time to see Beth, Cory, Jeannette, Tim and Jen cross!!! Here is my video I took of Jen, sorry babes, I am NO videographer (this proves it).

{Not finish photo, BUT...} Props to this super-couple who did the WHOLE thing together on their 4th anniversary!
Go, Team Nardin! (ie, Beth and Cory)
IronJen and IronTim
After checking up on Tim and Jen, I find Nina, Yon, Jess and Charley to add to the party!

Slightly before 11, I notice that Mike Reilly (the "voice" of Ironman) takes a break. At 11 o'clock, on the dot, he is back and ready to rock out. For the whole last hour of Ironman, he is pumping up both the crowd and those who are coming in. These rockstars have been out there 16+ hours at this point. Oy vey! The things they must have gone through, demons they challenged in their minds, all day long, moving forward. Wow.

I check my Facebook real quick on my phone, only to see that someone posted to "send good thoughts to Carla". I look up at the clock. YIKES! It is 11:42 and I have not seen her finish! I text Yon, who had gone back up the course to see if he has found her yet. (A group had gone back to help encourage her in.) "No", he texted back. Double YIKES!I hold my breath. If Yon, Katy, Nick, Melissa and Jess are going back to find her and they have not, then will she have enough time to get in? Thankfully, they had missed her and at 11:49, we see her in the shoot. We are SCREAMING our heads off. It was SO EXCITING to see her finish!!! I am so, so, so very proud of her. This course was one tough cookie and she made it! (Later, she told me how one of the biggest challenges was 'not getting in that golf cart' they had out to help support her. Good girl!)

Now, here is the tear jerker side of Ironman. This video will give you a sense of the rocking party, but also the dramatic finish. In this instance, it is a little of both and an AWESOME outcome for someone who is not "officially" an Ironman. (No spoilers here, you gotta watch if you want to see...)

Wow! Wow! Wow!

So, there you have it folks! One long day, with the 2 most dramatic parts being the start and the finish. It is hard to imagine that WTC envisioned this is what it would become when they started it, but it has. It is a brand, a race and much, much more ... for everyone involved. From spectating to completing, you don't want to miss it.