The Swedberg/Adams family went to Waco Texas to take on the Waco Ironman events this past weekend. It was fantastic.
Our son, Benny, and I were on for Saturday’s Iron distance and our daughter, Emily, and Benny’s wife, Emma, raced the 70.3 on Sunday. It was the first long course triathlon for the younger generation and a return to Iron distance after a long 14 years for me.
We swam in the river together a couple of days before the races and discovered the shortest distance was not to follow the buoys so we swam a little shorter and ended up with great swims!
Saturday was hot (95+) and very windy - there were 554 athletes that started and only 381 that finished - a 29% dnf rate which is apparently an Ironman record. Great. The bike was brutal - 110 people dnf’d on the bike course alone. It was hard to decode the right equation of fuel/hydration/salt/heart rate/whining/rallying….but we both got through the bike course, though much slower than we'd each hoped for.
The run course felt a little better and geez it’s fun to be at those events no matter how gross you feel. The volunteers and spectators ooze energy and you can’t help but keep moving. There was more shade on the run - at least by the time I got there! I never intended to run the whole marathon and did a ton of fast walking along with jogging the downhills for awhile. Benny ended up finishing like a champ in 11:55. I had my slowest IM finish by more than an hour with a 14:47. Maybe I'll take another swing at it someday.
Emily and Emma had completely different weather - it was a much cooler day and less windy.
The lined up with the 37-40 minute swim group and it was the perfect spot for them. They had steady, strong swims. It was point-to-point in a river and we could walk along and see them the entire time. They came out all smiles.
There was a massive downpour from the end of the swim through the first part of the bike which made for a crazy muddy T1. They did GREAT!! They rode within a mile or so of each other for most of the bike course and then Emma ended up with 2 flats ….ugh….which was a big hiccup and added a lot of time to her day. Emily had better luck and just kept smiling and moving along. Their runs were strong steady - we were able to see them often on the run course and I loved soaking up their enthusiasm and big beautiful smiles and cheering them across the finish line with Bill, Benny, Michael, and Emma's parents. Your first Ironman finish (and every one after that come to think of it) is such a special moment . To be able to share those with family members was very special.
I think there will be more races in the future for all of us. Triathlon has been part of our family’s experience for 36 years and it’s definitely one of our playgrounds to encourage and celebrate each other. We are blessed!
If you like, you could find some fun videos on instagram @teeter_totter_mom, @emmagswedberg, and @rtbevents (when I get around to it).
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