Paul and I just had a weekend away together in Taupo to watch the ironman that my brother Jon and Rachel's brother-in-law-to-be Josh were in.
Jon was hoping to finish in under 12hours (his last one took just over 13 hours) and did easily
Josh is a 28 year old fire fighter doing his first iron man and finished eighth in his age group in 9 3/4 hours - a fantastic achievement
I high-fived Jon just as he approached the finish line and he then got terrible cramp in his legs and could only stagger forward so I felt rather guilty! It was quite good for him though as it meant he was really singled out by the commentator and got huge applause as the commentator said "Keep going Jonathan and in a few steps you will be an ironman!"
It poured with rain the whole day and meant Paul got a new pair of shoes - waterproof asics sneakers - he had to buy a pair of socks first and wring out the others.
I have decided I am as far from an ironman as it is possible to be and have renamed myself 'marshmallow woman" as I remarked to Jon I noticed nobody did the over a mile swim wearing a giraffe patterned swimsuit like mine or doing breast stroke with their head well out of the water, also they all used 4 kg racing bikes not a trike like I have.
It is hard to believe that there are over 1000 people who think it is worth while driving their body to the limit and swimming in lake Taupo for over a mile, then cycling for over 100miles (that's longer than the round Taupo race) then running a marathon.
For that they got a T-shirt and a towel, but if you took over 17 hours you didn't even get that or hear "You are an ironman"
It was a great w/e though, in spite of the weather and lovely to meet up with Rachel, meet Adam's family and see Jon and my nephews Jack and James. Time away without children is always wonderful, sitting in a restaurant without anyone knocking anything over, not having to stop children going onto the ironman course, recovering very fast when tired as there were no grouchy children to pacify.
It was good to get a warm greeting from them as we returned home - Isaac trying to say "mum" and "dad" and hugging us tightly. Noah proudly telling us he had made 100 photocopies of a page from his book (the printer now says out of toner). Hannah racing to leave as she'd had the kids all weekend. I appreciate the family much more after a little break!