Iron Man

I’m sitting here in Berkeley. It’s a gorgeous solstice/Father’s Day. About 1,000 miles to the north-northeast, my friend Pete is competing in his second Ironman Coeur d’Alene triathlon. I was there for the event last year, and it was extraordinary to see so many committed, focused athletes. And it was extraordinary to see Pete accomplish something he’d set out years ago to do, another in a long line of endurance feats (triathlons of various lengths, half-marathons, marathons, 50-kilometer and 50-mile running races) that I stand in awe of.

It’s 10:35 a.m. here in Berkeley. That means he’s about two hours into the second event of the day, the 112-mile bike segment that goes north out of the town of Coeur d’Alene and winds through the rolling hills near Hayden Lake. A year and a half ago or so, we went up there together to ride the course. Much of the route is characterized by short, sharp climbs and descents, with a more or less flat run into and out of the start/finish in CdA.

Anyway, I’ll be followng the race all day today. The mass start at the swim was at 7 a.m. If he’s close to the 12-hour time he expects–12 hours of really laying it out there!–he’ll finish around 7 tonight. If you want to check in on his progress, look for bib number 1615 on the race tracker page; and, hey, leave a comment on his race-training blog.

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