For the first part of this story, see this post.
After breakfast I texted the Runner, letting her know the first transition time and confirming when we’d meet. I was supposed to be bringing her race bib with me, but like the swim cap, that wasn’t something we had received.
The second transition area and finish were located in the same place, at the parking lot at the Legends at Sparks Marina, near Scheels. I arrived early, and located a volunteer by the second transition, who confirmed where the relay transition would occur and lent me a sharpie (to mark the team number on the Runner’s leg).
I met up with the Runner and her husband, and we promptly entered the air conditioned oasis of Scheels. This is a sporting goods store like no other, one that I’d heard a lot about. For instance, there is an enormous arched aquarium that greets you at the front entrance. And a FERRIS WHEEL in the center of the building! Plus, talking presidents on the second floor. Of course, this doesn’t discount the sheer volume and selection of products available. Or the fact that it was a good 25 degrees cooler inside than outside.
We were expecting the Cyclist to arrive around 12.30, so we went out to meet him at 12.20, only to see he’d finished early! Clearly both he and I had not realized that the act of racing would encourage us to go faster than anticipated.
The Runner quickly took his chip and began the marathon leg of the race. The first half was along the Truckee River Trail, and the second half was a loop around the Sparks Marina, a small man-made lake. This was important, because it was hot, and any breeze from the water would be helpful. Unlike the bike course, which went from point A to point B, the run course allowed us to see the Runner a number of times as she looped through. She was clearly feeling the heat, but amazingly enough managed to maintain around an 8 minute mile for the entire run. #badass
The timing clock showed a little over 9 hours when she came through the finish line. Realizing that I had started 20 minutes after the race clock started, we deduced that we had come in under nine hours, though we wouldn’t know the splits until Monday.
It turns out that not only did we win our age group relay, but we won the overall relay! That’s a huge ego boost for me, considering it was my first time, and I was a wee bit panicked the days leading up to it. Overall, we were all pleased with our efforts, especially considering the heat later in the race.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever do a full one on my own, but it’s nice to know I can finish a 2.4 mile open water swim. Plus I can now say that I’ve done an Ironman. Sort of.