Ryan rocked his first ultra distance triathlon. Why have I come to this conclusion? For many reasons…

but mainly because he ended his race looking like this:

If you can be smiling that well at the end of a race that long (14h43m) then you have done something right.

Also included in why he rocked it are:

1. He finished. 1/3 of the folks who started the race did not finish it.

2. He did not require an IV with fluid resuscitation or ER visit after his race, unlike a fair few other competitors. Translated: his planning and preparation and pacing through the day was really well done. This is Florida after-all and the temperatures still peaked 91 during the day with full on sun.

3. Throughout the entire event (per his report) and every time that I saw him, he had an upbeat attitude. He always had a ready smile. This held true even when in the middle of the marathon portion of the event he said as he was speed-walking past me, “I don’t know if I can run anymore.” (Which ended up not being true but you know, with 14 miles left on the run that was a big statement.)

4. His swim was absolutely awesome and in that portion of the event his training really paid off. He finished the 2.4 mile swim in 1h15m, and he had plenty of energy for the rest of the day. That is a fairly decent time even for folks who do this event regularly.

5. Many a person will acknowledge that the Clermont course is one of the tougher ultra-distances you can do. (Go big or go home, Mr. Ryan?) The course is hilly through out the bike and has multiple hills on the run. Despite being held in October, it is consistently hot. (So much so this year that for the second time in their 30 year history of hosting the event the water couldn’t cool down enough to be wet suit legal. Thank goodness he didn’t buy a wetsuit for an event he couldn’t wear it in!)

One of the great surprises for him before the race was the adorable video posted to Facebook of his niece and nephews cheering him on from Kentucky. Dang if his face didn’t have the biggest grin on it.

So onto the fun part…pictures. I met an extremely nice woman with an awesome camera. We had a similar cheering philosophy which is simple: cheer for everyone because that is a long race and every competitor deserves a cheering section. She took a lot of shots (of which she made sure to catch us in them together) and she emailed me a portion of them. A cd is “in the mail” but I think this is a good sampling of the day.

Ryan exiting the swim. If you look towards the horizon on the right you can see partly how far out the swim went into the lake.

I did the sprint race which only took me 1h27m. (Ie my distances were way shorter!)

The woman with the camera, her husband (who has completed 22 ultra distance triathlons) and their very friendly dog…

The trialthon community at this event was very friendly, very supportive and that made the whole day very nice. I don’t know that we are “addicted” just yet, but we are surely catching a low-grade fever.