Training for an Ironman can be a lonely process.
Racing in one shouldn’t be!
To help Steph rock a personal best at the Ironman World Championships this past weekend, we, her tribe and fanatic cheerleaders, gathered from the corners of the globe. And what a tribe it was! To help make it a great race (and have some fun along the way) we followed what I’ll call the “principles of IronFan-dom”:
1. Bright is best.
Especially when it comes to clothing, smiles, and attitude. When we’re with the same people for 11 hours, they better be great. Hat tip to Newton Running and lululemon athletica for making such colourful gear that we could rock too.
2. Fuel your body all day.
We recommend using coconut water, throat lozenges, bananas, and quinoa bowls.
3. Running shoes are for running.
They got us from point A to point B fast – and also allowed us to run beside Steph for short bits during the marathon.
4. Use custom signs.
They create smiles on the athletes’ faces and some needed shade when we were out in the middle of nowhere.
5. Pit stops for beer are fully acceptable.
The bike course is long. Read: a perfect time to stop for an afternoon bevee. (Just don’t tell your racer)
6. Cheer using words.
We quickly learned that cheers like “Wooo” and “Yeeah” do not inspire and are annoying to hear. Instead we rocked the “You’re stronger than you think you are,” “we’re so proud of you already,” and “turn it up, now!” The smiles and the shifts in attitude we saw can speak for themselves.
7. Smartphones were our friend.
We used our GPS to find the backroads that got us around the road closures and dropped pins on our mobile maps to determine distance and approximate arrival times. Our smartphones were a saving grace. Use them.
8. Never complain about the workouts the days before or after the race.
We sweat once a day – and made sure that Steph didn’t hear any of our referencing the crazy heat or the killer hills. She just rocked an Ironman. #perspective
9. Make friends with the police.
There are spots along the course that were “restricted” where our friendly smiles and a cheer sign from Mom came in real handy.
10. Show up where they need you the most.
Mapping out a full strategy of where to be and when made all the difference. When the marathon got tough, the heat got intense, and all she wanted to do was stop, we made sure there was a gaggle of raging fans out there to kick that little “I can’t do this” voice to the curb.
11. Take it all in.
It was Kona. It was Steph. It was a dream. It was a goal – crushed. It was hot. It was a day of unbelievable acts of courage.
It was amazing.
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