After 6 months of training – before work, on his lunch hour, on the weekends – Kevin crossed the finish line of the Sylvan Lake Half Ironman this weekend. That’s a 2 km swim, a 90 km bike and a 20 km run – and he did it in 5 hours 38 minutes (twenty minutes faster than his anticipated time of just under 6 hours). Needless to say, we were pretty proud of him!
We spent the weekend camping at Gull Lake – about 15 minutes away from where the race was. That was a bit of an adventure all on its own. We took Friday off and left late Thursday afternoon to find a campsite. We didn’t have a site booked, but figured it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to find a first-come-first-serve site on a Thursday. No such luck. We tried three different provincial parks in the area (with a combined capacity of well over 500 sites), and all just had a few “one night only” sites left. We finally took a site on Gull Lake, and were told if we wanted a weekend site we should be at the gate “before 8” when the park opened to put our names on a waiting list for the few spots that might open up. Well, the girls prayed that we would get a site, and Kevin planned to wake up at seven-ish to get in line. Well, the girls must have prayed extra hard – I woke up at 6 the next morning and couldn’t fall back asleep (those of you who know me well know how much of a miracle that is!). I told Kevin I’d grab a book and head to the gate – I may as well read there as in the trailer. I fully expected to be the first one there. Not a chance! I was fourth in line – the first lady had arrived at 20 to 5!! We chatted and waited the two hours for the registration to open (and watched the line grow longer.). But we got our site! Five sites had been confirmed vacant – we got the second-last one (I’m not sure if any others opened up later). It wasn’t a terrific camp site – but it was just two rows from the beach! We could go swimming or whatever and not have to pack snacks or lunch – we felt very spoiled, and had a great time.
Our last night there, we packed almost everything up, as we needed to be in Sylvan Lake just after 6 to get Kevin’s bike into transition – and we needed to pull the trailer with us, since checkout was before the race would be done. We woke up in the wee hours of the morning to thunder and lightening and lots of rain (it didn’t help that the campsite next to us had a tarp fastened on just two corners – it made an already bad storm sound even worse!). It was still lightening as we packed up the last bits of the campsite (how I wished I had taken in the clothes I had left drying on the picnic table!) and drove to Sylvan Lake. It looked like the race being cancelled was a definite possibility.
At Sylvan, we found out that the race was to be delayed by half an hour, and the swim course was going to be turned into a looped course further in for the participants’ safety (in fact, part of the new course included running around a bouy, since the water was too shallow to swim right there). And, lo and behold, by 8:30 the lightening was gone and the white caps had subsided just enough for the race to start. The weather was a bit cooler during the swim and bike portions – definitely a blessing, as the day before had been 30+, and I was afraid Kevin would just melt in the heat. By the run portion of the race, the sun was definitely back out again, though the temperatures never reached as high as the day before. The girls and I cheered Kevin on, and in between enjoyed the beach and the playground, and even did a couple geocaches.
That evening we headed back into Calgary for an eMi function – the summer interns are leaving this week, and it was time to say our good-byes. We got home after that, parked the trailer, and fell into bed (hey, running a half-ironman is hard work, but so is cheering 😉 )
This week, the girls have swimming lessons. It’s amazing how tiring a 45-minute lesson can be. Kaisa had a friend over on Monday, and we had a playdate with Talia’s friend yesterday, and we had planned to see a friend today, but this morning the girls asked if they could just have a “quiet day”. When my social butterfly kids ask for a quiet day, I’d better listen. We cancelled plans, and spent the afternoon laying low, only venturing out to head to the library and the grocery store. And I agree with the kids – it was just what we needed!