Gregg Gordon, You Are An Ironman

Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Training

This was my fourth Ironman finish, but in the other three, the announcer never formally said these six words.  This time, Mike Reilly, the long-time announcer for the Ironman, did.  I have a bit of captured video from my finish line experience but will need to figure out how to get it on this blog.  For now, the memory is mine to savor, but only after what wound up being a horrific day in more ways than I can describe.  I feel like a broken man, and as I described it to Roya, it feels like someone reached into my body and pulled out my soul.  Sounds melodramatic I know, but it’s simply just reflective of how hard a day it was, and how much suffering I endured.

So many things went wrong yesterday.  SOOOO many things.  I’ll write about them in greater detail when I write my formal race report.  The saving grace throughout however was the most incredible support team I could have imagined.  With Roya and 9 other friends wearing matching orange Team GG t-shirts, and with so much energy and enthusiasm, even Mike Reilly had to give a shout-out to them.  I was in the dungeon emotionally and physically several times when I saw them, but couldn’t help but smile ear-to-ear over how crazy and amazing they were.

I wound up finishing in 14 hour, 14 minutes, and 22 seconds.  I really believed that I would do so in 13 hours and 30 minutes, or better, so I am terribly disappointed.  When it became apparent that I’d not get a personal Ironman record this day, I next set my sights on beating my time from Ironman Brazil, which was 14:25.  For a while, my math suggested that I’d be crossing at 14 hours and 18 minutes, but with so much walking intertwined into what was supposed to be a “run” segment, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it.  But, I found the courage to press on despite horribly sore feet, despite a disruptive GI system, and deeply-affected lethargy.   In the end, I found it hard to really enjoy the final run along Ali’i Drive, but everyone was so supportive, and the dozens of compliments and well wishes felt great to hear.  Crossing the finish line was glorious, I have to admit, but immediately afterwards, I became a bit of a zombie.  I could not communicate well with Roya, or my handler, and it took a good 20 minutes before I essentially came to.

Now that it’s the next morning, I look back and feel good that it’s over, and while I should feel good about this accomplishment, I really only have relief.  That might change, but I expect so much more of myself in this and most capacities.  It was what it was, and I’ll revel in the fact that I’ve now completed my 4th Ironman, my 88th triathlon, and my 175th endurance event.  For the next week, it’ll be 100% about enjoying time with my wife and having fun.

Again, for everyone, and there are so many, who offered me support and love, thank you so much.  As promised, I did my roll call and thought of all of you, and it was a powerful and therapeutic energy.  Thank you so much.



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