Saturday, November 29, 2014

Evening Before "Ironman Cozumel" Day

Logo for Ironman Cozumel

November 29 

Here we are, already Saturday, race day tomorrow, Jeff and Kari are kibitzing about  their prep for the final few hours before the starting gun goes off tomorrow morning - at 6:52am for Jeff in the “all men over 50” age group, and Kari at 6:55am for “all women over 50.”  I asked Jeff how he and Kari could swim together if he starts three minutes earlier.  “Maybe I’ll just tread water until she gets going in the swim.”  As I’ve shared before, the impetus for this adventure has always been “to do this together.”

Both "kids" are strong swimmers; however, they don’t consider themselves at the top of their respective categories, having a substantially energetic style with endurance to spare.  I've been watching them swim together these last few days - their stroke-style is very similar and they look beautiful in the water (mom speaking!). Their objective is to swim the 2.4-mile distance in somewhere around an hour and a half.  Each group “wave” will walk into the water and walk/swim out about a hundred yards from the shore in anticipation of the starting gun.  Having done my share of open-water competition, I know the start can be intimidating, what with the crush of over-anxious athletes all vying for a great position without interference from other over-zealous swimmers.  [My parents were not swimmers, but were conscientious about making sure that my brother, Jim, and I had lots of swimming lessons very early in life; so, as parents, my husband and I were steadfast in teaching our three kids to be substantially water-safe - before they could walk!]

In a previous post I indicated that the swim course would be out-and-back; I’ve been told it won’t be - it’ll be a point-to-point swim along the coast for the 2 ½ miles.  The logistics are carefully planned to decrease bottle-necks as much as possible.  Our Chief Cheering Team (CCT- comprised of Alice, David, Mimi, Avery, Tate, Spencer, Malia, and Samantha) has decided we may have to forego the swim start in order to be present for the location where the swimmers will exit the water and transition to the bike race.  I do know the bike race will be three laps around the circumference of the island, each lap over 37-miles.  The plan of the CCT is to maintain a position fairly close to our condo complex, outside of the “all roads closed” center of town population crush.  We’ll see Jeff, Kari and other EPIC Tri athletes three times as the whiz past us, hopefully with a big high five, a smile and a strong continence.  I think we can expect them to be riding at a pace of around 15 mph, for a total time for the112-mile distance of around 7 ½ hours.  The end of the bike segment will be right in the most touristy part of town.  And, as the transition from bike to run gets accomplished, they'll head out to run a marathon (26.2 miles).  The running course will be three out and back loops, finally finishing right in the heart of town by the convention center.  There can be lots of variation in time for the run; Jeff and Kari plan to stay together and cross the finish line hand-in-hand somewhere in the neighborhood of 9pm.  

We'll be there to cheer them on those last few feet, during which time, as they near the finish line, the announcer will identify each contestant, announcing in a loud voice, "Jeff Sherman, you are an IRONMAN!"  "Kari Duane, you are an IRONMAN."  You can bet Jeff and Kari have heard those words over and over during this year of extreme training, especially on those difficult days when it might have been easier to head back to bed in the early morning, rather than hit the road, pool, lake, bike path, etc.  

They've done the work, managed their diets, stayed as healthy as they could.  They're ready.  It looks like the weather is going to cooperate:  high of 77F, partly cloudy, only a slight chance of sprinkles, light breeze.  Bikes have been delivered to the transition spot where they'll get to them and their gear from the water at the completion of the swim.  Also, gear has been delivered to the area for the bike-to-run transition.  All areas are under heavy guard to ensure that bikes and gear are not tampered with or stolen.  That would be disastrous.

Here are a few catch-up pix; I think tomorrow is going to be too busy to do much posting.  But, I hope to get some good pix with my new iPhone 6+.
Her parents think Avery looks the most like Mimi

Deck outside living and dining rooms and kitchen

View of one of the pools and out to the Caribbean's warm and lovely water

Pool right directly below our condo

Another view of the larger pool.  In the foreground is mangrove swamps.  It appears that the whole island
was originally mangrove forests with millions of iguanas that very little fear of people.  They also have very little
interest in what we're doing here in their territory

David rented a dune buggy for a few thrill rides for the kids yesterday afternoon
L to R:  Tate, Malia, Avery, Spencer, and Samantha

More beach volleyball.  This is Samantha and Avery playing
against employees - they tied
Jeff and Kari heading out for one last swim this morning, before the big day tomorrow
This pix was taken from our deck three stories up before the three of us went to the beach
for a swim a few mornings ago

This is the traditional Ironman logo.  The 140.6 is the total number of miles
accomplished in the three events!!!


  1. I can't imagine even doing a part of this competition. Good luck to them tomorrow!

  2. My very special absolute complete BEST to Kari and Jeff tomorrow. It's going to be grueling, of course, but they look to be in great shape and their determination will carry them through. Here's to a happy finish and smiles all around. Can't wait to hear how it went. :)

  3. Good luck to Jeff and Kari! Even if I was fit enough I could never do the swim part, I completely freak out in ocean water.

  4. Going to be a very exciting day, good luck to them both.

  5. Good luck to them both! It sounds like they are both ready and up for the challenge.

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