Last May my husband ran the Iron Man St. George, and as a good wife I went along for support and to drink beer on the sidelines. The St. George Iron Man is one of (if not THE) hardest in the country apparently, although due to low participation 2012 was the last year for the full Iron Man in St. George; they are bumping it down to a half.
This particular race was a doozy. 25 minutes into the swim the wind picked up creating 3 foot chop. They pulled about 400 people out of the water, some of them against their will. Those that did finish the swim had a strong head wind to look forward to on the first part of the bike course, a good chunk of which was uphill. Those poor bastards.
Cut to me on the sidelines, waiting patiently for my husband to finish. I waited over three hours due to the grueling conditions causing him to finish much later than anticipated. As I was watching all the finishers cross the line, I really started to notice the looks on all their faces. It’s pretty difficult to keep your emotions at bay while in the throws of that level of fatigue. Hats off to all these finishers. We can see it all in your face. In case you’ve never been to an Iron Man before, this is what people look like after a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a full marathon.