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Uncle Ironman

Posted on Dec 4, 2013 in Health, The Fam, Travel

We got to gather with my in-loves last month.  While there, we had the privilege of watching some of Uncle Jason’s Ironman Triathlon.  Tyler went and took pictures throughout the whole event and we joined him for a few hours in the middle of the day.  If you’ve never seen an Ironman let me tell you…it is amazing.  First of all, it starts before sunrise and finishes hours after sundown.  Secondly, there are thousands upon thousands of people there – a few thousand competing and then thousands of t-shirt clad teams of (incredibly fit looking) fans cheering them on.  The competitors were in many shapes and sizes and ages (surprisingly more diverse than I would think would be able to do this feat).  I never in my life want to do one, but I sure would enjoy cheering on my brother-in-law again.

Pre-race full moon above the bridge – nice shot, Tyler!

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Not only do I never like to be up before the sun…I can think of few things less-repellent than the thought of jumping into a freezing cold concrete river-ditch with thousands of strangers willing to swim on top of you to shave off a few seconds from their time.  Nevertheless, I think these folks who train for months to do this are amazing.  They jump in and swim out to a “start line” marked by boats and then tread water until the starting gun fires.

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After swimming 2.4 miles, athletes climb out of the water, do a quick outfit change and hop on the bike for 112 miles.

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Look at that sea of bikes!  The logistics are pretty intense, there is so much gear-swapping that goes on and tons of volunteers manning organized grids of stuff to keep things running smoothly.

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The man. Looking like it’s a walk in the park, early in the 26.2 mile run (after the bike and swim warm-up of course)….and then still going strong, outlasting the sun, closer to the finish.

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The setting was beautiful.

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And he did great!  Truly inspiring.

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I’m proud of Jason and glad the kids got to see their Uncle Ironman.

…what’s amazing is that they have another iron-spirited uncle.  Uncle Nick.  He’s been in an unrelenting challenge with lymphoma for a 2.5 year marathon (and counting).  His strength is much more subtle and likely incomprehensible to them, but it’s so apparent to me and even more inspiring.  He is possibly the most selfless person I know, and in the midst of huge trials has stalwart faith and gentle grace about him.  It’s not always as clear how to best cheer him on but the whole family has been racing with him the best we know how.  I’m proud of Nick and hope the kids grow into his ironman character and spirit as well.

The visit with family was sweet.  The kids hadn’t seen (Great) Grandmama in almost 18 months and it had been a while for everyone else, too, so it was especially fun to see how much more engaging they are.  They loved playing with everyone, soliciting snacks and stories and rousing games of Ring Around the Rosie.  Family is such a gift.

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Dylan LOVED playing outside with his Grandado, too bad it always ended abruptly with him throwing the ball in the pool.

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Somehow Tyler always unearths new (old) toys from deep within his childhood closet.  Here they’re playing with a rocket of some sort.  Also, it’s a given there will be batches and batches of delicious popcorn, and it just wouldn’t be a visit if I didn’t gain 5 lbs.

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Whitney has a new affinity for bags – undiscriminating between leather, paper, purses or for groceries.  Dylan grew fond of the bottomless bowl of peanut butter pretzels (which he kept calling “beanbags”).

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Miss Whitney can entertain herself for hours with books…finding a cozy spot to sit and turn the pages while babbling away.

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Get Dylan to pose for a photo one minute (note, still moving) and he’ll find the way to climb up and jump off something the next.

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I love this family.

 

 

 

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