The Ironman Wisconsin happened a few weeks ago in Madison, and it is hands down my favorite sporting event ever. A few thousand athletes and their tireless supporters descend on Madison to swim, bike a run a combined 140.6 miles. In case you are wondering, that is only 6 miles less than the distance from Madison to Chicago in one direction.
On Sunday morning, the swim starts off right in front of the Monona Terrace. Hearing the noise of all of those swimmers in the water is breathtaking, and the number of volunteers in the water is incredible. An hour or so later, when people start coming out of the water, they are stripped of their wetsuits by another group of volunteers, and the water gets sprayed everywhere!
Then everyone takes off towards the suburbs for the incredibly long bike. As a spectator, this is a bit of a lull, but you know that those athletes are pretty much biking from Madison to Chicago, so it is hard to justify a beer. Later, the run part begins at the capital and then moves down State Street and out around the Union Terrace and Camp Randal then back for another loop. Cheering people along on the run is so fun! Everyone is so excited and most people are still smiling despite having exercised for ~10hours at that point!
Last but not least, if you want chills, go to the finish line. “[Insert name here] you are an Ironman!” is heard as each person crosses the finish line. Every once in a while, they tell you how old they are or where the Ironperson is from, and holy bananas is it intimidating to see 70year olds crossing the finish line. Good for them!
The Ironman is so much fun to watch, and if there is one near you, go out and cheer on the Ironpeople!