He is an Ironman! He completed the full 140.6 miles in 12 hours, 32 minutes and 17 seconds!!! (The time shown in the photo is the time since the professionals started the race, which was approximately 45 minutes after Jeff started!) I am so proud of him! He did it! After a long hard year of training, he is done!
Our day began at 4 am on Sunday. He had to head down to transition area (where all the gear is stored and where they transition between swimming, biking and running) at 5 am. After checking his bike tires, we made the walk to where the swim began. At 6:50 am the professionals started the swim and at 7 am the remaining 2100 athletes began. Jeff was in a very long line awaiting his turn to jump in the river. After 35 minutes of waiting and walking, his race began! He finished swimming 2.4 miles in the Ohio river in 1 hour and 15 minutes! He then went into riding his bike for 112 miles before he began running a full marathon (which is 26.2 miles). There is no "break time" for the athletes. There is no time outs or lunch breaks. He literally began his race and didn't finish for 12 and a half hours!
It was difficult being a spectator because I had no idea where he was on the course, or how he was doing. I had to wait it out at the transition area and hope he would be coming in anytime. He had hoped for a 12 hour race but was so excited to finish in 12 and a half! Out of the 2100 athletes, he finished 452 out the 1900 athletes that actually finished the course. Hundreds of athletes couldn't physically or emotionally finish the race and had to drop out. He was ranked 92 out of 342 in his age division, 35-39. He did awesome!!!! The photo shows him finishing the line....I only got one photo because I was so excited and relieved to see him! Somehow, Jeff's mother and I were able to get a great spot at the finish line! While waiting for Jeff we saw dozens of athletes cross the finish line. Some where emotional, some were so happy that they finished and others were beyond exhausted. I have never witnessed someone so exhausted that they literally collapsed. It is beyond me how these athletes can travel 140.6 miles in one day....much less why they want to do that to themselves!!!
We left Kentucky on Monday and drove 6 hours to California, MO (where his parents are from). We crashed for the night....where I locked the keys in the car.....but thankfully for a AAA fella who is now my new best friend....he fixed my error (I was really tired).....So, today we are back in Wichita, after driving 5 hours. Jeff is feeling really well considering what he did. His fee hurt and his legs are sore...but he's doing well! So...we are both exhausted, excited and ready for bed!