I am an Ironman! It took two years of training and I had the most fun doing anything that I have ever done. Hearing Mike Riley say “Andrew Haas YOU are and IRONMAN” was the pinnacle of my achievement. There are very few times during the day that I stopped smiling. At no point during the day did I think I cannot do this, it was always “I cannot believe I am doing this, this is awesome!”
The week leading up to Ironman I was nervous, I was anxious and I had not slept much the whole week. I would lay in bed thinking about all the possibilities of what could happen, did I train enough, did I put the right things in my transition bags, in my special needs bags, is my bike ready, a whole host of things go through your mind as the race is approaching. I woke up race morning feeling surprisingly rested on three hours of sleep, I was ready!
Standing at the start line, looking out at the water I could see it was a little choppy, though nothing too bad. When the cannon went off and I was ready, I got in the water and everything was going pretty well until about half way to the first turn buoy, the first big wave hit. At first I thought it was boat wake but it didn’t stop. Being new to triathlon and open water swimming, I never had a chance to swim in conditions with two foot waves. I had to adjust, I couldn’t think about how much further I had to go, just make to the next buoy, then the next. I made it! Only 8 minutes slower than my goal time, I swam strong! Felt pretty good and I saw some of my family at the bottom of the helix cheering, they were happy, I was happy. Today is going to be a good day!
Coach Steve and I had a plan for the bike, no on course nutrition, drink one bottle per hour, intake 200 calories of gels per hour, but it was cold. One third of my calories were in my fluids, I knew race morning I would not be able to drink that much. So I added a little extra nutrition to my T1 bank to supplement the fluid calories. It worked perfectly. The first 15 miles I did have a small thought of this is going to be a really long day, my heart rate was elevated and my breathing seemed a bit labored. The swim rocked me, but after 15 miles, I settled in and felt great! I executed the bike without over drinking, I did not stop once to pee. No stomach issues and a huge smile on my face the whole ride! Today is a great day!
I didn’t have an exact plan for the run other than walk the aid stations. My running the last two years has been riddled with injuries. I knew it was going to be a long day on the course. My goal, have fun and enjoy every moment. I knew I would run as much as I could and walk every aid station, I did just that and walked the big hills and some slight inclines on the second loop. My legs and feet hurt for most of the run but today was a great day, I couldn’t let the pain wipe the smile off my face. Somewhere between mile 15 and 17 I had to pee and when I came out of the porta potty I saw my teammate and friend Courtney. We stuck together for the rest of the run, it was great having someone to share this experience with, and this is her 6th Ironman so she had quite a bit of good advice for me. Coming up to the Capital Square I saw a large contingent of my family, they were hooting and hollering. Holy cow, I am going to do this!! I couldn’t contain myself, I started running harder and faster. High fiving fans running down the finisher shoot, I am doing it! Then “Andrew Haas YOU are an IRONMAN” I did it! Today is the greatest, most amazing day ever! To top it off, my good friends Kim and Katie were there to catch me at the finish line!
Huge thanks to all my family and friends that came from near and far to watch me on my big day.
Thanks to my Madison Multisport teammates, you have all been so helpful on my journey. Your support, guidance, and advice from your experience from my first half to my first full today has been amazing. Thank you!
Thanks Coaches Cindi and Steve for pushing me the last two years and keeping me on target. I could not have done it without your help and great coaching!
Most of all to my wife Sam, thanks for all you did to help me get here! I couldn’t have done it without your help and support.
I did it, I am an Ironman!