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April 13, 2008
The Kids Do Tempe
|A great day in Tempe, Arizona, as eight of the Exceeding Expectations kids watched The Coach compete. It was a brutal day: 18% of the field didn't make it to the finish line because of the heat, the third highest dropout rate in Ironman history. Didn't seem to bother the kids, though, as you'll see. Or Cherie, either: She was the only competitor in the race to break a course record (which she'd set last year), turning in the fastest female grandmaster time for any Ironman since 2006.|
Cherie had a book signing the day before the race.
Race morning: A bit of quiet time before the madness
Suiting up for the swim. That's Jose, Miguel, Josh and super-volunteer Kylie.
While Cherie was in the water, the kids prepared signs to cheer her on.
Waiting at the swim exit
|And then something went horribly wrong. They were supposed to be traveling around the course chasing Cherie all day, with a quick stop at aid station #2 to see what it was like to be a volunteer. Seems it was pretty cool, because they stayed there for five hours. (Cherie still got plenty of encouragement, though, because the cyclists pass this station six time on the three-loop course.)|
Helping out wherever it was needed.
This came vie email a few days later:
Hope I was smart enough to get around your publishers. If not this will bounce and you won't ever read it! First, introduction. My name is Bob Rieden and I was captain of bike aid station 2. I had talked to the kids working the station and they had told me they were cheering on a friend of theirs but little did I know it was the Champion of Champions. Please pass along my thanks to the kids for working so hard. Also to your wife for an awesome performance on a ugly day (ok it was a nice day but not one to be doing 140 miles in). After the kids left I realized I had no way of getting in touch with them and was disappointed but hopefully this email won't bounce and you will be able to a pass it along. The station wouldn't have been the same without them! Also, tell them that Bike aid station 2 won best aid station honors. They definitely contributed to this as well. We had a photograph out for a while and caught some photos. They can be found at [here]. If they want copies I can pull and send them as well.
Fan club from the desert
photo by Kylie
Jose jumps in to help break the finish line tape.
Vianey and Ariceli drinking in the excitement.
Next morning at the awards banquet
The whole gang, l to r:
Miguel, Marlene, Ariceli, Vianey, Stephanie in front of
Josh, Jose, Jacque (EE co-founder and Josh & Damien's mom),
Damien, Ironman pro racer Hillary Biscay and Craig.
|The real heroes of the day, and the kind of people who
make it all possible: triathletes Craig Huendorf and Kylie Evans came to
Tempe to shepherd the kids around town and around the course. Without
these two EE angels, the whole experience would not have been possible.
You can read Kylie's wonderful blog on the race here.
A splendid time was had by all!
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