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Ironman Kalmar - Part three - The Run

Race report of IM Kalmar's Marathon

Off the bike and only (???) a marathon to run. I gladly hopped off the bike, racked it (still number 400 blocking my space - partially from the opposing side  - I had to squeeze in) took off my bike shoes for the run into the changing tent. No change necessary, but into running shoes - my old, trusty brooks race flats, which don't change my stance at all but give some cushion to the asphalt. The shoes I had won for Martin at Ironman Louisville, and he liked them so much he had me try them on - thus then ordering a second pair for me... (Nice to have the same shoe size like ones husband)

I left my run-Dumbo-feather in the bag - the running water bottle (handheld) ha have been carrying at every single IM race. Dumbo feather - meaning, some kind of item, ritual, etc, without one can't imagine to do something - like Dumbo the elephant in the movie, who though he only could fly when he held this feather in his trunk. Turned out in the movie, he also could fly without. So I flew without my water bottle. I flet like a run/walk-combo. This really went pretty well for the first of three rounds. People cheering all over. Literally - all over the course. Some 50th birthday party - also cheers from there. The ourse really is flat, one or two bridges or underpasses, nothing serious. Moving on. The bike leg, as tough as the end of it was, had not left me sick in my stomach. So I could move, run, walk, only drink coke and water (they really had shaken the bubbles off the coke - one of the best stale coke I had in a long race - I really can't take bubbles in drinks while running) I discovered pickles they offered at each station. Chips in homeopathic dosage were fine, as well. After on the South part of Oeland my bike speedometer had told me something about 27 degrees temperature (about 84F), it was cooler now. Actually, it was ideal running weather. Not too much bright Sun, not too cold, not too warm. First round down, I had myself carried through the city of Kalmar by how many thousands of spectators. All cheering me with my name (which is written on the bib) Wow! The last street through town was directly in direction of the finish. My wish to get there got stronger. The wish to race through the masses of people high-five-ing hands of kids.Martin and the boys were there. In the middle of things. But despite of all the loud cheering I could hear them ;) Anyway, I could also hear the announcer at the finish, doing a tremendous job of getting the audience to cheer every fresh-made ironman into the finish.

But - my path went by next to the finish for a second and third round. A lot of walking in those two rounds. They had marked every other km and I made a pace of 17Min per 2km. Which is good for walking with a bit of running. Somebody I was playing tag with (him running fast and walking slowly)  told me to go into racewalking. Well, that's not my thing... Anyway, a couple of guys I played tag with, me passing them while they walked, they passing me while they ran. I had a coke at every single water station, sometimes also some water.

It slowly got dark - even up North here. Some put candles on the streets to light the way.I put the sunglasses into my jersey (they are changin with the sunlight, so they actuallly weren't really dark, but it became lighter without them). but kept the hat on. I ate some of my peanuts for salt.

The volunteers were amazing - not only standing there all day, but also cheering, and being really attentive until late in the evening. Nobody actually dismantled an aid station while I was running by. All was in full business each time I passed.Not like Regensburg, where they started minimal service for the latecomers. Service, yes, but a clear signal that one was one of the slowpokes...

I don't need this signal, I know that I'm not fast :)

Second round - then through town - again - crowded sidelines. Picking up a second lap-marker-bracelet. Third time's the charm and I made my way back out. Still parties going on all over. There were really very few who had left their cheering positions and went home, for dinner, whatever. Also the volunteers patiently stood and directed, passed out liquids and foods, one town - one party. I don't think, there was a single kid's hand asking for a high five, which I missed (and hoped that their parents advised them to wash their hands after the race)

Finally I came back into town. With my two bracelets one could see, that I was done and bound to finish. This was one giant sound wave, carrying me on that last street into finish. I got tears into my eyes, started to run. It was surfing on that Cheer  wave. This was is. I had worked all day for this moment and there it was. I saw myself on the big screen, heard the announcer shouting "Sylvia Zinser, you are an " and him and the whole audience "Ironman!".



to be continued ;)