Ironman Chattanooga 144.6: Team Wapiti


When I was training for my first half Ironman last spring, my friends Alycia and Miranda were my biggest supporters. Miranda and I would bike together for my long bike rides. Alycia traveled with me to Victoria and served as my Race Logistics Coordinator when I completed my half Ironman in June. During the last few months of training the three of met weekly at a local Mexican restaurant were we discussed life, training and counted down the days till IMCHOO over tacos. I remember when Miranda excitedly announced 100 days till race day. 

The Universe created the right and perfect conditions for me to join my friends for this epic conclusion to a year of training. It was the perfect scenario, they had an extra room in the house and I had enough airline miles for an airline ticket. Then BOOM, before we knew it we were landing in Chattanooga, with race day only a few days away. 

Chattanooga was more diverse than I thought it would be. I never thought in a million years that I would enjoy the most delicious tacos that I've ever experienced in my life to date. Notice a theme here? The Tennessee Aquarium was impressive, a four level fresh water where I learned that fresh water fish can grow to be the size of me! Of course it also had a large River Otter exhibit. Being a history buff, I really enjoyed touring local Civil War monuments and learning about the role that Chattanooga played during the Civil War. I enjoyed great craft beer, tasty bbq and experienced grits for the first time. Chattanooga was an interesting blend of new/old and a cool urban vibe.  


Team Wapiti: Alan, Josh, Nick, Miranda and Alycia. 

I was so thrilled to be able to see my friend Anne from Florida race in person! The last two times she's done an Ironman I've tracked her via the internet two time zones away. I was able to see her coming out of the water and I was able to run with her a little bit on the run course. 

I almost died in Georgia. Have you ever done a u-turn in a school bus on a busy interstate? I did, not once but TWICE on the way to the bike course. That is just one of many fabulous stories I have from my epic day of cheering and supporting at IMCHOO. 

I am a huge lover of people watching. I got my fill and then some spectating the entire day at IMCHOO. I loved cheering for strangers. There is an energy to an Ironman race that cannot be described with words. It was amazing. I saw random strangers helping one another, I cheered for people I didn't even know like I knew them because I was standing next to their loved one or friend. I cried when I saw Miranda see her daughters as she was about to run down the finisher chute. 

This was the longest time I'd been away from Mr. W and the girls. It was strange being away from them for so long and traveling solo. Mr. W quickly realized that I do a lot of driving.  I enjoyed meeting Miranda's aunt, Debbie and her cousin Amy. We hung out together with Miranda's daughters while Team Wapiti focused on getting race ready, driving the bike course and picking up packets and checking in bikes. During the race we were Team Wapitis official cheering section, complete with official shirts, thanks to Amy. Here I am pictured below wearing a long sleeve shirt as I was trying my best not to get burnt to a crisp standing in 97 degree weather on the bike course. 


Alycia rented a beautiful house with a large front porch that was close to the Ironman village. It also provided a great source of entertainment. Besides the actual race, the time spent on the front porch was my absolute favorite. We talked, laughed, drank Tennessee whiskey, listened to music and observed the neighbors. My last night in Chattanooga I was able to enjoy local bbq, Tennessee whiskey while listening to bluegrass music. Bonus was a trip to the local Dollar General earlier in the evening with the most awesome people watching. I have so many wonderful memories of my week in Chattanooga. I am so thankful that I was able to go and support and cheer for my friends. 





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