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Sunday, August 16, 2009

IMWI 2009 Spectators Guide

**I have this in a Word document, but can't seem to figure out how to post it or share it publicly. If you want the document in Word, email me and I will send it.

Spectator Guide
Wimmers Do Wisconsin
September 13, 2009

Mike Wimmer ~ Athlete #
Jennifer Wimmer ~ Athlete

Race Start: 7 AM from Monona Terrace

The Swim: 2.4 miles/3.8K (2 loop course) in front of Monona Terrace

If you want to see the start, you’ll need to get there early (like by 6:30) There is no parking at the Terrace and parking in the downtown ramps may be tough. You can park at the Alliant Energy Center and take the free shuttle to the Terrace.

Where to watch:
There are several options here. Be aware that these areas are all quite crowded. Think early about where you want to be watching from and ease your way into position.
· from the sidewalk along the lakefront in front of Monona Terrace. (Good lateral view of the swimmers as they pass by twice)
· From the top of Monona Terrace (great view of the “washing machine” from above and there are vendors there selling breakfast items and drinks)
· At the swim exit chute (you can watch swimmers exit the water and get wetsuit stripped)
· If you want to watch the swim exit, please get there right away after the start. This fills up very fast and gets very crowded once the athletes start exiting the water.

Anticipated Finish Times:
Mike: 8:45 AM.
Jenny : 8:30 AM (about 90 minutes @ 2:15/100)

T1 swim to bike transition: wetsuit stripping and run up the helix into the Terrace and dress for the bike
Roughly 10 minutes??

The Bike: 112 miles/180K start ~ 8:45AM

The course goes from Monona Terrace out to Verona where we do two 40-mile loops before heading back to the Terrace for the run.

The easiest place to watch is probably Verona at the High School aid station. That is roughly mile 50 so there is plenty of time to get there. The riders come by very quickly so it may be difficult to spot specific riders, but it is very spectator friendly here. There are usually area service groups that sell concessions, grilled sandwiches, etc here so bring a few bucks to eat lunch.

There is a free shuttle by the Terrace (Wilson St) that will bus you to Verona. You could also drive to Verona and park by the library.

Good spectator spots on the bike course:
· Verona HS aid station
· Mt Horeb HS aid station
· Timber Lane – very steep hill (the 2nd of 3 hills known affectionately as “the 3 Bitches”) This is the best option to actually see us (going very very slowly uphill) but it fills up fast and is a bit more difficult to get to. Athletes go by very slowly here and it is really easy to see them. You have to park in the residential neighborhood and walk down Timber Lane.

Lunch: You have lots of options here.
In Verona, you can eat at the stands along Main Street in Verona, or if you head south you’ll find some places to eat. If you are in the mood for pizza, I’ve heard that Avanti’s pizza is quite good. If you head up the hill to the corner of the course, there is a gas station in walking distance where you can buy a cold soda or snacks.
I recommend that you pack a few snacks and water in a backpack to bring with you. It is important you stay hydrated and nourished – it’s a long day for spectators too.

Anticipated Finish Time: 8 hours (@14 mph avg) ~ 4:45-5pm ~ This is a total guesstimate.
Mike is hoping to be off the bike by 4PM, Jenny by 4:30, but who knows.

T2 (Bike to Run Transition): roughly 5 minutes to change clothes/shoes

The Run: 26.2 miles / 42K ~ start 5pm

The run will be more spectator-friendly than the bike. This is a 2 loop course and you should have several opportunities to see us if you move around a little. The finish line is near the Capitol. You can watch runners there, along the square, or down State Street. State Street is great because you see the athletes pass down and back. Once you see us running toward the Capital the last time, you will have time to get to the finish to watch us cross the line.

There will be a lot going on in this area, especially in the afternoon and early evening. Find somewhere to eat some supper; there are more options than I can list within easy walking distance. I recommend Ian’s Pizza (sold by the slice) on State Street, especially the Mac & Cheese pizza – YUM!

Realistically, we are looking at finishing the run between and 11pm and midnight, so find a place to entertain yourself, and be sure to find time to sit and rest – it’s a very long day! As the race winds down and it gets darker outside, the spectators usually start to move closer to the finish line and you probably should too. (There can be a shady character or two out there at night, so be safe!)

With all that said, anything can happen and times can be way ahead or behind. Ironman can get the best of people on the bike or more often on the run, so don’t get worried if we get off schedule.

The Winners:
The men’s winners will probably be finishing about 3:30-4:00pm. Women’s winners will likely be 45 minutes or so after the men’s winner.

Foofy Stuff:
Unless you are totally into the triathlon scene, spectating is kind of boring. There is a tent by the finish line where you can make signs or you can bring chalk and write encouraging messages on the State St like “only 6 hours left” or “stop puking” or “you paid to do this??”
There is also an IM shop in the Terrace where you can look at or buy mementos or overpriced gear. Let me know if you need my wish list and sizes J

Tracking your Athlete:
They have computers available in the Terrace where you can check the athlete tracker on (click on Ironman Live and it’s in the lower left) and type in our numbers if you lose track of us – or if you can’t make it. They are also showing it live on so if you can’t come and you’re interested you can watch the live feed and see some fo the race and the finish line.

Taking care of yourself for race day:
· Wear comfortable shoes with good support and cushioning. You will do a lot of walking; flip-flops or cutesy shoes will not serve you well.
· Get a good night sleep.
· Pack a backpack with a few snacks, a water bottle, some money for snacks/meals, sunscreen, a disposable rain slicker, a light jacket for evening. Remember that you will have to carry it all day, so pack light!
· Be sure to get enough to eat and drink. This is an endurance sport for the spectators too!
· Take time to rest and relax. Find a park bench or piece of shade and get off your feet.
· Enjoy the ambience of the day ~ it can be very uplifting and exciting!

VERY IMPORTANT- We can receive no outside help so please do not help us. Do not hand us anything, including water, a jacket, hat, food, or anything. We may be suffering but it is our choice. This could cause a disqualification. We paid good money to suffer so let us.


Many thanks to Mike Wolfgram from whom I pirated the majority of this guide, with some minor adjustments for pacing as he is far faster than we are!


Wendy said...

For what they are worth, here are my thought.

Watching the swim from the top of Monona Terrace is a Thing of Beauty. The sound of churning water in the silence of the morning (news helicopter excepted) is truly amazing! Get there early to be in the front row.

The queue for the buses out to Verona in 2007 was impressive, but moved fairly quickly. Knowing what gear your athletes are wearing is helpful to spotting them as they come into the aid station. The crowds in Verona really thin out after the lead groups go through. I actually had athletes I didn't know thank me for staying out there to cheer.

An added bonus on State Street is at least later in the day you can get a table at one of the cafes, sit, eat something, and ring your cowbell for the runners. At least that's what I did before heading over to the finish line.

tayjizzy said...

wow! all good info. see ya there! I'll try to find a cow bell.

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