The logistics of a 5k can be daunting, let alone a half Ironman in a beach location. But, the power brokers and city planners of Wilmington, along with the race event staff of Ironman teams, they did this city proud and pulled off a stellar event with the three disciplines of swimming, biking, and running for almost 2100 participants.
Olivia, excited about the race this (very) early morning, held her ground and did amazingly well the entire race despite a spill on her bike at mile 34! For 5 hours and 35 minutes, she swam like a dolphin, cycled like a banshee, and ran like the wind to finish strong, placing 13th out of 69 competitors in her age group (30-34). We could not be more proud of her efforts!
When we asked Olivia (her first 1/2 Ironman) which event was her favorite, she said the swimming portion —1.2 miles. She added that the water felt warm to her, and she loved how fast the current was helping her stroke along with the buoyancy of her wetsuit. Since this first part of the race was in the river and in a residential area, spectators were severely limited. We used our efforts to cheer her on in the bike portion of the race and at the finish line.
Beau Bo, Olivia’s boyfriend, was named the spectator of logistics extraordinaire (at least by our family). He studied the courses and built an amazing spreadsheet to predict the times Olivia would be crossing checkpoints (within 30 seconds to a minute). He made it easy for us to zoom around town to cheer for Olivia and many other athletes!
Olivia, the City of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, Ironman Inc., all the other triathletes, volunteers, medical staff, and fire and police can give themselves a huge pat on their backs for a successful race day. They all manufactured sunshine to help over 2000 athletes cross the finish of 70.3 miles - a Half Ironman!