Tuesday, October 20, 2009

18 Days!

November 7, 2009


Dear Family and Friends,

I have had a few of you ask questions regarding what the Ironman experience will be for spectators and many thoughtful questions as to how I might be helped by you during this unbelievable experience. Therefore I thought it might help if I put together a document that you can print out and have to provide some direction and assist you in having a great experience too!

Amanda and I will arrive on Wednesday night late. I am going to put an itinerary below so that everyone has an idea of where I will be and when. Amanda will have the baby girl Melaina Kay and all we ask is that you come to her to see the baby since this is going to be a long week for Mommy and Baby.

Leading up to race day I welcome family and friends to visit with me for meals listed on itinerary and on the course rides where I just ride in the car and check out the course and make mental notes. This might be fun for you guys so you’ll know where I am and what I’m experiencing.

I really want to have everyone get together Sunday morning in Grayton Beach for breakfast. This is our favorite place and Amanda and I really want to see everyone together that glorious morning. The restaurant in on the way out of town for everyone headed back north or west so you won’t be going out of your way to get there.

The swim: First parking – You may be able to find something close, but I recommend you park at Wal-Mart and take the shuttle to race site. The shuttle will be running non-stop.

This is the most awesome part of the race besides the FINISH. Experiencing an Ironman start as a spectator is a true MUST DO. You will see me enter the water with thousands of other racers then you will see me when I make the first loop and again when I exit the water.

Swim to Bike Transition: Before the race I’d recommend that you locate where my bike is located so that you will know where to look for me, but more importantly – While I am going through transition I recommend that you fins a good spot by the bike ext to see me go out on the bike.

The Bike: You have two choices.

1. Hang out at the hotel and relax for the next 6 hours (which I say go for it since it will be a long day)

2. It would be much appreciated if a few folks would load up in the car about and hour after I leave out on the bike and head up HWY 77 to HWY 20 and park there while waiting for me to pass (it will take me about 2 hrs to get there). That is about the 35 mile mark. PLEASE BE MINDFUL that there is a race going on and only drive on HWY 77 NOT on the race course. Thank you.

Once I’ve past you there then drive a short distance back south on HWY 77 to HWY 388. On HWY 77 there are a few places to stop off and eat. I recommend that you do that and then go to the intersection of HWY 77 and 388. It will take me about 2.5 to 3 hours to cross HWY 77 and HWY 388. Also Bring folding chairs to sit in while waiting.

Once I’ve passed you there you should head back to the transition area driving back down HWY 77.

Bike to Run Transition This is where you can see me the most if you want. Again you have two choices.

1. Hang out at the hotel for the next 3 hours, relax and come out to the turn around to see me make the first loop and head back out for the last 13.1 miles. Then come back out again 3 hours or so later to see me finish.

2. Roddy and Cousin Boggs are going to have mountain bikes. They are going to ride to different points of the run course to see me pass and cheer me on (which I am VERY thankful for). You can do the same in your car. You can see me leave out on the run then drive out to the entrance of the State park at the end of Thomas Dr and see me go into the park and come back out. Then drive back to spinnakers to see me turn around (I would suggest stopping and eating at this point again). Then drive back to State Park Entrance and see me enter and leave the park again. Then drive back to FINISH LINE!!!!!!!!!

You all are very special to me and I think you very much for your support. I will need it and I will be forever grateful. We will have your T-Shirts with us for you to wear on Race day.

Lastly, I suggest you all exchange cell phone numbers on this email so that you can connect and share information on where you are and where I am etc.


Thank you and I love you all!


Florida Ironman: Christopher’s Itinerary

Wed Nov 4

8:00pm Arrive and Check in – Relax feet up

Thur Nov 5

10:00am Athlete Check-in (Spinnaker Parking Lot)

12:00pm Lunch – TBA

2:00pm Drive Bike Course (anyone welcome – will take a couple hours)

5:00pm Dinner–Borago


7:30pm Mandatory Athlete Meeting (Board Walk Resort Ballroom)

9:00pm Pack Transition Bags and Special Needs Bags

10:00pm Bed

Fri Nov 6

6:00am Bike 20 min then Run 10 min

8:00am Swim 10 minutes – (Boardwalk Beach Resort at beach)

10:00am Check-in Bike and Gear Bags (Spinnaker Parking Lot)

12:00pm Lunch – Sweet Basil’s http://sweet-basils.net/contact_us.html

2:00pm Drive Run Course (anyone welcome – will take about 1 hr)

3:00pm Rest and visualize

5:00pm Dinner – I’ll eat in hotel (You guys go have fun!)

7:00pm bed

Sat Nov 7 – THE DAY

4:00am Wake – Breakfast

5:00am Arrive at race site

7:00am RACE STARTS!!!!! 2.4 miles of swimming!

7:40am I should be making first loop lap

8:30am Exit swim – head to bike transition

8:40am Exit transition for 122 miles of biking

3:15-3:45pm Return from bike course

3:25-3:55pm Exit transition to begin 26.2 mile run

6:45-7:45pm I should be making 1st loop of run


Sunday Nov 8 – The Day After

9:00am Breakfast – Another Broken Egg (Grayton Beach on hwy 30A)

12:00pm Check Out of Hotel

1:00pm Ironman Merchandise tent to buy finishers gear!

2:00pm Depart for Orlando Fl for conference/Classes – anti climactic!

Directions to the Race

From the West:

Take HWY 10 to HWY 331-south.

Take HWY 331-south to HWY 20-east.

Travel down HWY 20-east turn right onto HWY 79-south.

Follow HWY 79-south to Front Beach Rd. and turn left.

Follow Front Beach Rd. to South Thomas Dr. turn right.

You will find the race site host hotel Boardwalk Beach Resort on the right.

From the North:

Follow HWY 231-south to HWY 98-west turn right.

Follow the directions for traveling from the east.

Or follow HWY 79-south to Front Beach Rd. turn left, follow the directions.

From the East:

Hwy 10 West to 231 South.

Follow Hwy 231 South to Hwy 98. 10

Right on Hwy 98 to Front Beach Road (left).

Turn left on South Thomas Drive (just past Wal-Mart).

You will find the race site host hotel Boardwalk Beach Resort on the right.


I will be sending an email out as soon as I know my race bib number – Then you can go to this website and track me throughout the day. The athlete tracker will tell you when I am out of the water, list every 10 miles on bike, and every mile on the run.


Race Day – Saturday, November 7, 2009

Start End Event Location

4:30 a.m. Transition Area Opens; Bodymarking Begins South Thomas Drive in

front of the Boardwalk

Beach Resort

6:50 a.m. Pro-Start

7:00 a.m. Age Group Start

7:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Ford Ironman Florida Expo Spinnaker Parking Lot

9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Ironman Merchandise Store Spinnaker Parking Lot

9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Ironman Bike Store Spinnaker Parking Lot

6:30 p.m. Bike & Gear Check-Out Boardwalk Beach Resort

East Parking Lot

12:00 a.m. Race Officially Ends

Spectator Information

Back to Top

What are the distances for the Ford Ironman events?

Ford Ironman events consist of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run.

Where can I find a schedule of events for race week?

A schedule of events is posted on the website. Go to Information > Schedule. It is also available in the Athlete Information Guide on the web site, posted roughly two months prior to the event.

What is the Ford Ironman Expo?

The Ford Ironman Expo features various booths- including a showcase of Ford vehicles, Ironman merchandise, Ironman retailers/bike services, the Janus Inspiration Station (spectators can create inspirational signs to line the course), and many other things. It provides a perfect gathering and meeting place for athletes and spectators.

Where is the best place to watch Ford Ironman Florida?

The beach is open for spectators to view the swim.
The bike couse is one loop, making it difficult for spectators to view due to traffic regulations. The best place to watch your athlete get on and off their bike is in the transition area.
The run course travels through PCB. Spectators can line the streets to watch their athlete run to the finish.

Is there anywhere to eat onsite at the events?

Yes, check out the Race Day Cafe at all of our events. It is always located near the transition area and the Ford Ironman Marketplace.
You can also help support the locals with plenty of local restaurants near the Athlete Village/transition area.

Will I be allowed to cross the finish line with my athlete?

Friends and/or family members will no longer be permitted to cross the finish line or enter the finish chute with participating athletes. This policy will allow each competitor adequate time to celebrate their accomplishment without interfering with other finishers and ensure the safety of all participants, volunteers and fans. Athletes who choose not to respect the new policy will receive an automatic disqualification (DQ).

Will I be allowed into the finish line area to greet my athlete?

Unfortunately, due to high congestion in the finish line area, no spectators will be allowed. Please do not try to gain access to this area, as it must remain clear for the safety of the athletes. Before the event, you and your athlete should decide on a meeting place for after they have finished.

Will I be allowed into the medical tent to look for my athlete if they have not arrived at our meeting destination?

The Medical Tent is highly congested and spectators will not be allowed in. There will be a Medical Information Tent next to the Medical Tent where medical updates will be available on athletes who enter the Medical Tent. Please, be patient with the Medical Information Volunteers, updates will be posted as soon as they are received.

Where should I park during race week?

Refer to the Athlete Information Guide on the web site, posted roughly two months prior to the event.

How should I get around on race day?

Refer to the Athlete Information Guide located on the web site, posted roughly two months prior to the event.

Personal Communication Plan

Prior to departing for Panama City Beach, be sure to establish a communications plan

with family and friends back home. Share the race day emergency contact listed

below with those who may need to reach you in an emergency. Even if you are in

Panama City Beach with family and friends, it is essential that you have a plan for

contacting or reuniting with your group following the race.

Race Day Emergency Contact

Ironman Athlete Services



Counting on you at our blogland party at Sunbird condos 203East from 7pm until..... on Wed. night. Many different bloggers going to be there with great advise.

IronMoe said...

Great blog entry! I emailed a link to my family, since my husband and I will also be arriving on Wednesday night. Good luck - hope to catch you there :)

Mommymeepa said...

Hey, just found your blog recently. I'm so excited for your journey. I'm on the same journey and can't wait to follow you on your IM day. I was 306 at the start of my journey. I just hit 244 pounds. That's 61 pounds down. I am on my way to my Ironman dream. I will be doing my first Ironman in 2012. I will be doing Ironman Wisconsin as my first. I was looking for your email to contact you. Mine is mommymeepa@aol.com my blog is www.mommymeepa.blogspot.com

Tri-ing Fat Man said...

I am going to try and be at the blogger party. Looking forward to it.

MOE! Kick butt! Hope to run into you - Look for the ugly shirt below!!!

Mommyeepea. I am so proud of you! You got this and I will be so excited to see you compete in 2012. I may do wisconsin now!!!!

Damie said...

Chris! Good luck to you! Hope you have a great day!!!

Anonymous said...


You continue to inspire and amaze me! I can't wait to watch you cross that finish line tomorrow. Have a great race, my friend. Let's do some mtb'ing this winter.


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