Race Report: Ironman Wisconsin
Well, this is certainly not one of the easiest race reports that I’ve ever written. By now many of you have heard some, if not all, of the events that unfolded in the closing miles of Ironman Wisconsin 2006. While Mike, Chad, Barry, and Jerry were putting the finishing touches on incredibly strong finishes despite some of the worst weather conditions in Ironman history, yours truly apparently ran himself unconscious due to severe hyponatremia just four miles shy of the finish line and woke up in the University of Wisconsin intensive care unit nearly 48 hours later. Needless to say that the ensuing confusion and chaos at the end of the race and the subsequent days in the hospital put my family and friends through an incredibly trying time. We’re all very grateful that subsequent tests showed no residual damage, aside from a broken rib and a bruised ego, and everybody is happy to be back home in KC and re-adjusting to normal life.
I can’t express my thanks enough for all of the supporting calls and emails; your words and thoughts mean a lot. I also must thank the other racers, Ironman staff, volunteers, spectators, and professionals that jumped in to help when I went down. I received a very surreal call a few nights ago from the first person that saw me collapse in the race so I was able to thank him and get some additional detail as to what actually did happen. From the time that he saw me collapse to the time that I was released from the hospital, I was treated with nothing but care and concern by everyone involved in the situation so my eternal thanks go out to each and every person that came to my rescue.
Despite not finishing this particular race, it is for those of you that have been asking to hear the full story for whom I write this report. Perhaps one small tidbit from my personal lessons-learned will help you in your own Ironman-distance training someday. Further, I know that my condition threw a wet blanket on the post-race celebration in Madison for my friends, so as not to put their impressive achievements on the back burner for my own personal race report, please join me in congratulating Mike, Chad, Barry, and Jerry for their incredible performances at Ironman Wisconsin 2006!
Congratulations IM Wisconsin 2006 Finishers!
Chad Babcock – 13:51:40
Barry Ogden – 11:50:02
Jerry Pullins, Jr. – 11:09:04
Mike Roberts – 12:37:19
Given the outcome of the race you’ll have to forgive my even more long-winded than usual race report. And I mean really long-winded – you might want to print it out for your next long flight. For those that need to skip to the chase – it was a wonderful event – the course is spectacular, Ironman North America puts on one heck of an event, the city welcomed us with open arms, the athletes, volunteers, and spectators endured the coldest, wettest, weather in Ironman history with an unavering smile and words of support, and I’m out of the hospital, feeling much better, and looking forward to getting back in the saddle. For the full story, read on.
Chad, Mike, and I used Thursday to make the trek to Madison to give us time to get settled in and registered before the excitement of the weekend. My family would follow behind by a day while Mike’s wife and mom flew in on Saturday which is also when we expected Chad’s mom and step-dad, as well as my sister-in-law, Emily, and her husband Matt who were driving in from Chicago to watch the event. I was also lucky enough to already have family in Madison: my cousin Jeff who recently completed his PhD at the