Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hermosa Beach IRONMAN 2012

 I was probably the only world record holder participating and deffinetly the only person with a beer a sponsorship. 
(since "Lance " isn't allowed to compete)
I had hoped  to spin you  a triumphant tail of how a scrawny runner dude  was able to to beat out the yoked masses of surfer, however, my ego was over inflated, and  confidence had become arrogance 
"You get what you get and you don't get upset."

President Obama had to wear a disguise in order to participate.  
The cowboy hat kind of gave him  away and I knew instantly it had to be him.

Every 4th of July for the passed 38 years Th South Bay Honors America with a tradition like know other. 

Welcome to the Hermosa Beach Iron Man.  Where contestants must run  a mile, paddle a mile and then drink a six pack of beer with out throwing up on their mom, priest,  or anybody else for 15 mins.

The event has one rule. 
 "And by the way  Michelob Ultra is not Beer."
It had been less than 72 hours after running 94 miles on the soft sand at the Hermosa 24 and I was back at the beach hoping to win another race.  My legs felt way better than I ever dreamed they would. I ran 2 miles on Monday the day after race and another  2 miles on Tuesday. The only thing really bugging me were my toes  I had about 6 deep blisters all of which had popped putting exposed flesh into sand while trying to grind out some miles inst the smartest of ideas but I've done a lot of thing stupider than this. 

Last year  I arrived late to the event after running another race earlier in the morning I was out of town for sign ups and my buddy Dilg who got me registered told me the event started an hour later than it actually did
Nice purse dude! :)
This year I dragged Dilg (also the custodian of my Surf Turd) with me extra early to be safe.The race use to start at 10 a.m. then last year they moved it to 9:30 a.m. and this year it started at 9 a.m.  The Marine layer was thick and it felt more like wintertime than the 4th July.

When I went to find my judge I found Chris Brown the 4 time defending champ (maybe more) carrying the clip board with my name on it.  Then upon further examination  I noticed his ankle was wrapped up in an ace Bandage.  It turns out he would not be racing.  This instantly increased my chances of winning but to be the best you got to beat the best and a win today would not be as meaningful.

 As usual the race officially began as soon as the National Athem was done being sang by the former mayor.  Unlike last year this time I was ready.  Surely I would leave everyone in the dust during the run? 
"Wake up dude your not that awesome!"

Although my legs felt good (not broken)  I had no speed what so ever.  It's just a mile in the sand but I could not keep up with the young blood in front of me.  When we got to the turn around point  about20 dudes were already  in front of me.

Then I made a bone head decision?

I U-turned to my right instead of my left meaning I would have to run the soft sand on the return. (I should know better) I thought maybe I could cross through the pack runners still heading out to the turn around but their was way to much testosterone to plow through

Compared to the field I was doing well but in regards to my expectations I was sucking. There was still plenty of race left and there is always a chance of puke! (the great equalizer)  In the few 100 yards of soft sand it takes to run up the beach (to pick up my  Surf turd) and back I made up a lot of ground .  

When I hit I hit the water there were only a few guys a head of me.  unfortunately for me I'm a runner and a drinker not a paddler This is my 5th time competing in the Ironman and surprise its my 5th time on surf board in the last decade. ( most of my real competition had probably been on board 5 times this week)

I may of the wimpiest arms in this whole competition (hard to believe huh) but I'm tenacious!  In an effort to conserve energy I took an inside route to the turnaround point (how'd I become smart all of sudden?).  This served me well on the paddle back avoiding the traffic heading out and kept me from paddling any extra distance.  I held my ground respectively only allowing less than 20 paddlers to pass me.  At this point I felt like I still had a chance to win.

Time to drink some Beer
In case your wondering did I drink Stone Ale?  I wish!.  Beer must come in a can and since Stone only uses Bottles I went with key"STONE" Light.  
When I got to my coral it seemed the party had started with out me there was about 6 people already drinking and the dude on the far right was on beer number 5.   It wasn't looking good for me.  I got my first 3 beers down in about minute  while dodging puke from the dude to my left.
Congrats Dude!!!
As I cracked beer four the winner Jeff Bellandi finished his sixth  Beer? (that's not beer)

At this point I began to struggle a bit as the foam in stomach rose up through my esophagus.  For the first time ever in the Iron man I thought I might puke.  It was hard but  kept it down.  In the mean time two other dudes also finished their  beers a few seconds before I was able to finish number 6.

There was still a chance that maybe a puke fest would develop?  One of the three guys in front of me had hurled a bit earlier (not enough though for disqualification)  But the other two dudes were in pretty good shape.

Each year there seems to be controversy about who the really winner is.  Did so so really finish all their beers? What exactly constitutes throwing up? Did he or she cut the course on the Paddle or Run?  And is it possible to win if your not  in the elite group?  There is a fine line between cheating  and being smart.

Add in the fact that everyone now is little tipsy and well who the real winner is,  
is anybodies guess?
As for the women
About a minute after I was done Andrea Bates the defending Champion blew away the competition.  Finishing easily in the top 10 out of all competitors. 
If you want to win the IRONMAN you need to finish in under 20 mins.  For most people it takes well over 30.
Dilg made himself useful by becoming a judge for another group. "Thanks for helping out dude."

As my adrenaline wore off and the alcohol entered the blood stream it was time watch the spectacle unfold around me.  
Traditional South Bay Music

IRONMAN's version of a Kick me sign.
Right of passage?
It wouldn't be the IRONMAN without Annie Seawright.  
During the commotion former mayer of Hermosa beach Bergie snuck off with his prize.
"We'll miss you Annie"
Gold old Stupid Fun and agreat day to be alive
Check Out my cool new shades I found buried in the sand.
I have now finished 7th, 2nd, 4th, 3rd, and 4th.  

I still have'nt figured out how to win this damn thing but I'll keep on trying till it happens.

Maybe next year I won't run 94 miles less than 3 days before?

Hopefully it will be more like 110

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