Thursday, September 14, 2006

Arrival in Madison IMW '06

My wife, Mother and I arrived on Thursday before the race. It was a great day and I was excited to finally be there. Only a few days before the big event.

I was lucky enough to meet Sara during check in. We both arrived earlier than expected and the hotel put us across the hall from each other. She mentioned something about going for a bike ride so within 1/2 hour of arriving I was out on the roads of Wisconsin with a new IronFriend.

During the ride I mentioned Simply Stu's website and asked if she'd seen it. Turns out she was going to meet Stu that night at his round table discussion. I read about this Thursday dinner meeting but never pursued it. I thought about going but decided to hang out and have supper with the family.

Friday morning rolls around and I decide to head to Lake Menona for a swim. I see about 4 people hanging around the ski jump so I swim there rather than fight the other swimmers coming in from the actual course. My plan was to go from the ski jump, join the actual course, and be done with the swim for the day. I get to the ski jump, say a basic hello to those already bobbing there and find out it is Sara. The funniest part is the next guy to swim up is Simply Stu. What a small world. He invites me and my family to dinner Friday night at his house! In the matter of a day I have a handful of new friends and we're going to dinner at Stu's house.

Dinner was great, met some great people and had relaxing conversation about Ironman in general. We managed to talk about Ironman but not get into heavy Ironman discussion. Instead of attending the pre race meeting we let Stu and another guy tell us about their IMW experiences and what to expect.

First day and half were a blast...more to come about Saturday and Race Day!

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