Read Ironman Lake Placid Race Report – Swim HERE
Read Ironman Lake Placid Race Report – Bike HERE
Run ~ 26.2 miles ~ 5:36:44
I have run 5 marathons, and I totally respect the distance. I wasn’t sure where this one was going to take me, and I was a little nervous about it to be honest.
I walked out of transition and I wasn’t feeling great. My legs were tight, I had a little headache, and I probably needed some nutrition.
But my friends and family were right there cheering like crazy as I came out of the tent. They had been there all day waiting for me and cheering me on, I didn’t want them to think I wasn’t having fun so I flashed them a smile, gave a thumbs up, and started running.
The hot afternoon sun beat down on me as I ran down IGA hill, keeping my eye out for those running up the hill, looking for friends who were running up. The crowds were wild, all calling out your name and cheering as you went by. I kept smiling, but I wasn’t feeling great at all, I just had no pick-up, and I think I kind of mentally had screwed myself by joking around about walking most of the marathon.
I kept moving along, smiling at people, encouraging those I passed and that passed me, knowing at some point it would turn around and I would feel good again. I had to pee and the chafing from my torn shorts was hurting, I was thinking peeing on that would really make it sting.
So I stopped at a porta potty to pee. I have never done this before, I usually just pee, but the chaffing was pretty deep and sore, and it made sense to me to stop. I get in, and the door hardly locked.
Whatever. I drop my shorts, pee, stand up, struggling with the shorts because of the stupid tape I had on them to keep them together when the door flys open and this guy is staring at me, mouth agape.
Yup, he totally got flashed. “Sorry. Sorry. So Sorry.” I heard him muttering outside the door. I got my pants pulled up and got out. “I am so sorry.” He said again, obviously embarrassed. I put my hand on his shoulder, flashed him a smile, and told him not to worry about it because “I was a stripper in college.”
The whole porta potty incident screwed up my tape patch job. Either that or my shorts were ripping more. So wrapped more tape around my leg, hoping the shorts didn’t just disintegrate.
I made the turn onto River Road (officially the longest road I have ever run on) and started walking. I decided that I would run the downhill and flats and walk uphill for the rest of the race.
I made the mistake of taking some warm chicken broth on the run. The salty sounded good, but it just wasn’t. My stomach churned after the second cup, my perfectly executed nutrition plan shot. Why the heck did I do that? Ange told me not to try anything new, I should have just taken a salt pill if I wanted salty. I took water at the next few aid stations, knowing it was way too early for Coke.
The nausea passed eventually, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up or not for a solid 3 miles.
I was running and talking to this girl who was walking as fast as I was running (talk about depressing), so I started walking too. She was awesome, totally positive and we hit it off right away. We talked about potato chips, pizza, and beer, about the bike and swim, and about the sweet, sweet finish line.
That first 6 miles really killed my time, I walked a lot more than I should have. I didn’t really NEED to walk, I just did.
Then I saw Jon. I was returning to town from the turnaround, he was heading to the turnaround. He said he would catch up to me.
He did, and he and I walked together and talked about the race. He was on mile 20, finding that dark place that can hit you in those miles. I was on mile 6, just coming out of my bad place. We ran together and then walked up the ski jump hill. He looked great, and I decided to run on ahead, we wished each other luck and just like that, I was back to running and feeling good.
I got into town and saw Jon’s girlfriend Kelly, and told her he was coming. She has some video of that, and now that I watch it, I realize I did not sound as cool and mellow as I thought when I hollered to her. I thought I was all cool and calm, “Yo, Kelly, what’s up chika! Your man Jon is behind me!” I was more like a screaming banshee, “JON. BEEEEHIIIIIND. MEEE!” Here it is:
The hardest part of running down Mirror Lake Drive was all the people telling me I was only a mile from the finish. In reality, I was 14 miles from the finish.
This super fun group of guys were really cheering everyone on, one guy said, “You are almost done 312!” I smiled and said, “I wish!” He laughed, held up his beer, and said, “OK good, you have another loop. We wanted to see you again anyway. We will be here when you get back! GO GO GO.“
I kept running and saw my crew at some point, hugged them and said, “I feel OK, but it might be a midnight finish.” They laughed and said “No! You are doing great, just keep moving!”
So I did, running pretty much all the way to the River Road. It is here I got stronger, the chicken broth finally settled I guess.
It is in this place, the back of the pack, that some amazing stories are told. I don’t mean that there are not great stories everywhere in the field. I just think that back here, we learn a little more about them during the race, and take a piece of them with us to the finish.
It is this part of the marathon that I love, the place where I thrive and am at my strongest.
There was the guy with 70 on the back of his leg, who grunted loudly in pain with each step, making relentless forward progress.
The other guy whose knee quit working but his heart and drive wouldn’t quit.
The two girls who were best friends, running an walking together, blaming each other for this crazy idea of Ironman.
The man who fell off his bike 2 weeks ago, separating his shoulder, stepping up to the start line anyway. He told me, “I have no business being here, but damn it, I am going to finish this thing.”
There are the people you encourage, you smile at, joke around with. There are the people you leave alone as they work through their darkness.
I passed one guy who was walking and I as I passed and said “good job” he just said, “This is the stupidest thing I have ever done. I had no idea it would be this hard.” I encouraged him and told him telephone pole by telephone pole, he would get there.
Then I moved on, counting my own telephone poles.
I passed this guy who told me as I ran past, “Nice run! Where did you get that energy?” I hollered back to him that I only run downhill. He burst out laughing and said, “Still, you look strong!”
As I neared the end of River Road, I looked up at the ski jumps and smiled. I was getting close. 4 miles to go.
I saw my friend Jay, heading out toward the turn around. “Is that my friend Jay?” I called.
“MANDY!” We hugged, I told him, “You are doing awesome Jay, just keep moving!”
I quickly walked up the steep ski jump hill and started running again.
Darkness had settled in, a volunteer on a 4-wheeler handed me a glow stick. I hate carrying things, so I stuck it in my visor. I had started drinking cola at around mile 20, and it was really like crack.
As I got into town, I started getting into people again. It was awesome. A man started running with me, he asked if it was OK and I said, “Sure!” He wasn’t racing, he was a spectator. He asked how I was feeling and I told him good. He said, “You look good, keep up this pace. No more walking, you can do it!” I mentioned walking up the IGA hill and he said, “OK maybe that one, but just bring it home.” He touched my shoulder and said, “Do it for Bailey.”
I almost stopped dead in my tracks, but kept running. I asked, “Do I know you?” He said, “I just know you, Mandy. Good luck.” It was my coaches father, and it was such a sweet thing to say because he does understand how hard it has been for me, losing Bailey. And in truth, I had thought about Bailey so many times that day, and this was just a really nice moment for me.
And I kept running.
I continued to run into town, and at the bottom of IGA hill, my friends Cindy and Beth were there waiting for me. They started screaming and ran towards me.
They ran with me up the hill, both hollering and cheering. They got the whole crowd cheering for me (They were hollering “Caratunk Girl Rocks!”) as they ran with me up the hill, around the corner, and to Mirror Lake Drive.
It. Was. Awesome. I tear up just writing about this.
They told me they would meet me at the finish.
I ran down Mirror Lake Drive, and the guys who I had talked to on the first loop started hollering. “There’s my girl!! 312, Mandy! You are looking good!! Keep that smile!”
The crowds and volunteers were all so amazing. I ran by a little girl who said, “You are my hero!” to all the athletes passing by. A little boy was jumping up and down saying, “You’re gonna be an Ironman! You’re gonna be an Ironman!”
I am sure the parents were not thrilled with all their energy, but I loved it. I made the turn around and headed back towards the finish.
Entering the Olympic Oval is like nothing I have ever experienced. There were people everywhere hollering my name, just saying the most amazing things.
I saw the finish and I was so stoked. I ran it in and heard Mike Reilly say, “Mandy Farrar you are an Ironman!” just before I crossed the line.
I gave a little fist pump when I heard it, but I can’t describe how happy I was at that moment.
I came across and the volunteers were immediately wrapping me in a space blanket, taking off my chip, handing me my medal and shirt. They said, “Congratulations!! You need anything? You want some pizza?”
I found Cindy, Beth, and Mom…well they found me and they were so excited for me. We all were laughing and crying as I told them about me exposing myself multiple times on the course. I found out then that Ironman.com had crashed and all kinds of friends and family were worried about me, not sure what happened.
I asked Cindy to call John to post on Facebook that I was good, and Kevin tracked me down and posted my finish video on Twitter. I can’t figure out how to embed that video, but the link is HERE. That was really awesome, it helped get the word out that all was well – thank you so much Kevin!
I am not sure how to end this exactly.
I am so thankful. This was my best day ever. I loved the experience, the volunteers were amazing, this day would not be possible without their help, thoughtfulness, and kindness.
Most of all I want to thank my friends and family who supported me, through training and through the race, with a special thanks to those who came to Lake Placid to cheer me on in person. That is one thing that makes a huge difference, and I am so appreciative, I can’t describe it. I am one lucky girl to have such amazing friends, family (including my blog family!), and supporters.