I had done it! I had crossed the finish line. I had accomplished my goal of finishing an Ironman before aging up to the big girls league. I can’t help but to smile when I think about it even now, a month after the fact.
….After crossing the finish line, a volunteer immediately grabbed ahold of me to walk me through the finishers chute. She kept asking “Are you alright?! Are you alright?!” All I could think to say was “Yes, can someone please take my shoes off??” I was tired and hungry but thankfully all that hurt on me was my extremely swollen feet. I guess I looked worse than I felt?! Regardless, I made it through the line, had a medal put around my neck, was given a finishers shirt, and someone eventually helped me take my shoes off. Then it was time for pizza and pepsi.
My family met me just outside of the finishers area for hugs and pictures. Y’all they must really love me to hug me at this point… I was gross! Pretty sure my hair could have stood straight up without any products!!
Once the pictures were done and Dad had taken care of getting all my gear to the right places, mainly Stanley back to TriBike Transport we grabbed a cab to head back to the hotel so I could have my much deserved beer! Priorities right?! Before the race that was what I had told my brother I wanted at the finish line.
Upon arriving back at the hotel, having about three sips of my beer, half a hot dog, and maybe half a margarita, I was done for the night. Unfortunately I was too restless to get much sleep but it sure did feel good to lay down and be clean.
The next day, for as good as I felt at the finish line, I was exhausted so naturally drinks and naps on the beach were most of the day’s work.
By evening, it was time to pack our bags and check out of the hotel before heading to the slot allocation and the awards ceremony. Going into this race, my age group was slotted for two Ironman World Championships slots, aka two slots to Kona, Hawaii!!
Upon arriving at the very disorganized slot allocation, we got the pleasure of standing on line with some of my previous day’s competitors. It was interesting to hear everyone talk about their race experience; everyone had very different thoughts and experiences on the race course. Finally the doors were opened and we took our seats in a big open air pavilion.
I had finished 2nd in my age group so I knew there was a chance I was headed to Kona. I also knew that only a few people from my age group toed the line the previous day so there was also a chance that I may not be. Regardless, I was ready if the opportunity came my way!
Lucky for me, being the youngest age group, I quickly got my answer to the lingering question….
Unfortunately it wasn’t the answer I was looking for, I wasn’t going to be packing my bags for Hawaii this coming October as the final slot allocation only gave the 18-24 year old females one. However, I couldn’t be mad, the girl that edged me out absolutely killed it and I did get to step up on the podium and was handed a huge m-dot trophy. That was pretty awesome!
Worst part of this trophy was that it weighed about 10lbs and I had to carry it for the remainder of that evening on the ferry and in the long cab ride to the hotel in Cancun by the airport. Then after a quick nights sleep, it was time to continue the travel the rest of the way back to Charlotte. Lots of congratulations came my way while carrying it which made the trophy a little more fun to be carrying the large piece of wood all day long.