|I managed a quick burst of energy to smile |
and pose for the official photographer
As I headed through downtown Boise (aka BoDo) on the 13.1-mile run course, I came across the Team BEEF cheering section: Traci O'Donnell (and her husband Jim), Katlin Davis (and her parents Phil and Yvette), Janice Streng and Jesse the intern from the Idaho Beef Council, Idaho beef producer and blogger Kim Brackett, and Wyatt Prescott from the Idaho Cattlemen's Association were there, I think (I know there were all at the race but honestly can't tell you for sure if they were all together at this point). Seeing them provided a great boost of adrenaline. Time to dig deep. Finish strong.
|An unknown Team BEEF member approaches|
the finish line
Everytime I saw another Team BEEF member I shouted "Give me some BEEF!" and high-fived them. The camaraderie was tangible. We supported and encouraged each other to keep moving. Eventually the high fives turned to low fives and then a wave or slight hand motion or head nod in their direction as I felt the sharp pain between my shoulders blades every time I deviated from the steady, even running motion. Even taking a Dixie cup of Gatorade from a volunteer and tilting my head back to drink it became a problem.
|Dane is looking strong as he strides toward|
the finish line
There are serious athletes like Dane and then there are weekend warriors like me. And then there are professional athletes like Ben Hoffman from Colorado, the overall winner, who finished about two and one-half hours ahead of me!
The highlight of the run, by far, was the Boy Scouts at Aid Station BEEF. Every time a Team BEEF athlete approached they began chanting "BEEF!" and didn't stop until you were trailing out of sight. After the first time through I began looking forward to seeing them on the return, then again on the second loop and one last time towards the end. Like a Hot Wheels track motor they sucked us in one side as we ran low on momentum and shot us out the other with a fresh burst of speed.
|Exhausted, relieved that it was over, I waited in line for my official photo|
|I finished in 6:30:48, the slowest of my three |
Ironman 70.3 events. But I finished.