Doesn’t the word aftermath have a terrible ring to it? I’m going to have to think of something nicer to say. Afterglow?
Ironman Canada came to whistler – Veni, Vidi, Vici. But in this case, it wasn’t a hostile takeover by any means – I truly believe the towns, both Whistler and Pemberton, got won over by this event, in the best way possible.
Were there first year ‘birthing’ pains? Sure there were. Are there things that need to be fixed to make it better/safer/more convenient/easier to navigate? Absolutely. Were there grumblers and mumblers who, no matter how hard you tried, you’d never make happy? Yes. But I think that will be the case because, as I’m learning to accept, you really can’t make everyone happy.
There’s no doubt I’m biased here. I’ve raced Ironman, so I felt pretty confident going into this weekend that folks who come ’round after watching it. I was working for the organization so I had a front row seat to the goings-on, but I was also able to use my “local’s knowledge” (condescending as that sounds) to help organizers with weird tasks, answer athlete’s quirky questions and help volunteers as best I could.
I was easy to spot: “Go ask the girl in the sling”.
- Hearing Suzanne sing the National Anthem on Friday night and thinking, “Holy shit. This is really happening.”
- Walking to the swim start and realizing that we had greatly under-estimated how many people would come down to watch in person. And it was so, so worth it. Fog, sunrise, nervous energy and a cannon-shot to kick off the day
- Taking 30m out of my day, ignoring my phone and sitting on the trail with Gabi to cheer on friends and strangers alike. This may have been my favourite part of the day.
- Seeing John finish was great – but seeing how proud of him his mother was was pretty special. It reminded me of how proud my mum had been of me after my first Ironman and the teary phone call we had.
- The late night or early morning tired giggles with colleagues. Those are the best.
- Watching the 2 drunk guys on a bench outside of the coffee shop make fun of triathletes and their compression socks. C’mon – that’s pretty funny.
- Working with a tremendous crew of hard-working, generous and genuinely nice people; you’re all welcome back anytime (except for the guy who stood there and watched me struggle to load boxes on a dolly with one arm, and didn’t lift a finger. You can stay home next year.)
On Tuesday night, I attended the Pemberton info session and was blown away by the fact that I’d say 90% of the comments were positive and those that were not were constructive, not petty or vindictive. It was really refreshing.
I’m already looking forward to next year.
And no, I didn’t sign up.
On a more personal note, on my final day with Ironman I got a called that left me shaken and more than a little heartbroken; Macy had died unexpectedly that morning.
I’m so glad that this has been the summer of Macy. She went where she pleased, slept on all the furniture and got more than her fair share of treats. Her final breakfast included prawns…
I’ll miss you, you silly girl.