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<p>I am doing Ironman Arizona in November (my first Ironman) and even though the race is still a ways off, I have been thinking about the race day logistics.  My question isn't so much about me, but more for my wife and my family.  I am going to have a pretty good sized contingent out in Arizona cheering for me - wife, two daughters, 'rents, sisters family (incl. 3 young 'uns), Aunt & Uncle - which is awesome, but this is going to be the first Ironman that any of them will be spectating at.  I am wondering if anyone out there could give me (and my family) some insight into how one spends a day supporting and cheering for someone competing in an Ironman.  I should note also that I have two young daughters (7 & 5 years old) who will most definitely get bored (and cold) standing around waiting for me to pass by them once every hour or so.</p>
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<p>For those of you who have done them or spectated, how did you and your supporters manage the day?  Any info would be great!</p>
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<p>Thanks!</p>
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<p><span style="color:#0000ff;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="http://projectarizona.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Jamie</a></span></span></p>
 

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<p>I would say simple is best. Don't "expect" to see them and tell them they might not see you. Find a place that they can be - somewhere they can see you multiple times, maybe, and figure out estimates of when you'll be there. If they want to go to the swim, have them get up and then go take a nap after or get breakfast or something. Once you're on the bike, I'd say seeing you is almost out the window so they don't need to hang around.  Beyond that, I can't offer much as I don't know IMAZ at all. </p>
 

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<p>I have spectated at IMKY - and I'll be there again this year. - It is a 2 loop bike course and a 2 loop run course.</p>
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<p>I hung out at the bike in/ run out for a bit - I can see a lot from there!</p>
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<p>Then I went over to where the event finishes - runners also come by there on lap one of the run. - I can see peeps twice more there.</p>
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<p>Also, I would say for the little ones....Nintendo DS's are awesome for this sort of thing!  If they have them.  They could also plan lunch while you're out on the bike, and dinner while you're out on the run.</p>
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<p>See if there's a playground or something nearby where they can run off some antsy-ness too.</p>
 

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<p>I would never expect my family to be standing around cheering for me at a long race like that.  Your wife will need to provide child care for a long day while you are out racing, she needs to go do stuff that's fund for the kids and stopping by for an hour at the race might be part of it, but beyond that you are on your own buddy.</p>
 

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<p>IMAZ is actually a great place for your family to spectate.  You'll move through one particular location quite a few times- on the bike and run.</p>
<p>There is a park (of sorts) right outside of the transition area with restaurants and bathrooms nearby.  I saw plenty of people with coolers, chairs, blankets and umbrellas. </p>
 

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<p>Where are you staying?  I've been there a few times.  If its the Mission Tempe, or the Courtyard, they can just go there and check in on you every now and then.  Or hang out downtown or something, nice place downtown. </p>
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<p>If they go to the swim, they can watch you and even walk with you all the way down and back, though the kids may not want to walk 2.<img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4"> miles, but maybe a parent.  Granted they can keep an eye on you.  Or just wait at swim exit which is where my family waited.  Hows that damn?  fixed?</p>
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<p>Then you have 3 loops, take 1.75-2 hours a loop or so.  If they really want to see you on the bike they can wait near the downtown start.  Though not that exciting for kids, but maybe a parent wants to.  Have them track you on a iphone or bb also, hopefully its working and they'll have an idea of when you are coming in as there are 3 timed segments.  Or you probably have a good idea when you might be there.</p>
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<p>Now for the run, look at the run course, its probably the best spectated run course for family as it goes by the transistion so many times.  The key, unlike other ironmans, is they don't really need to move a lot to see you, just need to try and time it. </p>
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<p>I have an 8 year old that I've been dragging along since she was <img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4"> or 5.  Typically now I may or may not see them at swim exit, never on the bike, they just go off and swim at the hotel pool or eat or whatever for 6 hours, but usually they catch me out of T2, which is where you need it the most and half way mark of course the finish.  They don't have to really do much in other words until 6-8 hours after you start.  By then they may be bored and want to come out.   </p>
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<p>IMAZ is a great spectator even because of all the loops. Having said that though, it would be a very long day for little ones.</p>
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<p>When I did it, my mom was volunteering all day, and my dh wanted to be there all day, so they came to the start with me while my dad stayed back at the house we were borrowing with the kids. My mom volunteered everywhere, so I saw her a number of times. My dh had it all figured out. He waited at the swim exit for me and then saw me go off on my bike. For spectating on the bike he stood at the hot corner and saw me go around both times, and then waited by the bike finish for me. He had it pretty well figured out when I would be coming by, so he left in between and went for lunch etc. On the run, I still don't know how he did it, but he seemed to be everywhere. The run course is kind of a big figure 8 that you go around 3 times, so there are lots of opportunities for your family to see you.</p>
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<p>My dad brought the kids down in the late afternoon. I was already running by the time they came (they actually drove by me a couple of times trying to get to the parking area). Anyway, they spectated for a bit, then went to a restaurant and had dinner, then went to the finish line bleachers with their cow bells to cheer the finishers in, which they loved btw. They spent most of the day swimming and playing at the house, and still had enough time to soak up a bit of the race. It worked very well.</p>
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<p>Moving forward ti IMC in a couple of weeks, I expect it to be much the same, only there is much less opportunity for spectating as it is one big loop on the bike and one out and back on the run. Our condo is right at the run turnaround though, and we are staying much closer to the race venue than we did in AZ, but honestly, I would never expect any of them to be out there all day waiting around for me.</p>
 

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<p>As far as stuff to do on the course, how about setting up a cheering station along the route?  Cowbells, posters, made -up cheers for the participants?  You could also play games such as each kid could pick a color then count how many blue bikes, red bikes etc and see who wins. All of this is coming from someone with no kids <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/blush.gif" style="width:18px;height:18px;" title=""></p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<p><span>First off, thank you everyone for you thoughts and ideas.  Second, I should point out that I am not making anyone come out and cheer for me; my wife, parents, and extended family have all made the decision on their own to head out to Arizona to support me.  My wife, kids and parents have seen me at Sprint/Olympic distance events, at marathons, etc. and they know that any sight of me will be a quick one.  I am just trying to get them some perspective and ideas for race day. </span></p>
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<p><span>Quote:</span></p>
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>niemsco</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1932922"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p>Where are you staying?  I've been there a few times.  If its the Mission Tempe, or the Courtyard, they can just go there and check in on you every now and then.  Or hang out downtown or something, nice place downtown. </p>
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<p>If they go to the swim, they can watch you and even walk with you all the way down and back, though the kids may not want to walk 2." class="bbcode_smiley" height="1" src="smileys/<img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4">" title="<img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4">" width="1" /> miles, but maybe a parent.  Granted they can keep an eye on you.  Or just wait at swim exit which is where my family waited.  Hows that damn?  fixed?</p>
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<p>I have an 8 year old that I've been dragging along since she was " class="bbcode_smiley" height="1" src="smileys/<img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4">" title="<img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4">" width="1" /> or 5.  Typically now I may or may not see them at swim exit, never on the bike, they just go off and swim at the hotel pool or eat or whatever for 6 hours, but usually they catch me out of T2, which is where you need it the most and half way mark of course the finish.  They don't have to really do much in other words until 6-8 hours after you start.  By then they may be bored and want to come out.   </p>
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We are going to be staying in Mesa, at my parents house.  It isn't too far from the Bee Line Hwy, so maybe they can catch a glimpse of me there when I am flying by (I hope to be flying by).  My father will probably be down at the swim exit, but I don't anticipate seeing my wife and kids until sometime on the bike course and then hopefully during the run and at the finish. </p>
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<p>Ah, the dam.  The repairs seem moving along rather well...I am following the progress closely. <br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AdCo</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1932842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p>I would say simple is best. Don't "expect" to see them and tell them they might not see you. Find a place that they can be - somewhere they can see you multiple times, maybe, and figure out estimates of when you'll be there. If they want to go to the swim, have them get up and then go take a nap after or get breakfast or something. Once you're on the bike, I'd say seeing you is almost out the window so they don't need to hang around.  Beyond that, I can't offer much as I don't know IMAZ at all. </p>
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<p><br>
From what I have been told, IMAZ is very spectator friendly.  I agree that I probably won't notice anyone on the bike, but the run is a three loop course so there should be good opportunities to see them (and them to see me).<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mrscoby78</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1932885"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p>Also, I would say for the little ones....Nintendo DS's are awesome for this sort of thing!  If they have them.  They could also plan lunch while you're out on the bike, and dinner while you're out on the run.</p>
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<p>See if there's a playground or something nearby where they can run off some antsy-ness too.</p>
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Good idea with the Nintendo DS, my 7 yr old has been begging us for one...she just might get her wish. <br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jroden</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1932886"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p>I would never expect my family to be standing around cheering for me at a long race like that.  Your wife will need to provide child care for a long day while you are out racing, she needs to go do stuff that's fund for the kids and stopping by for an hour at the race might be part of it, but beyond that you are on your own buddy.</p>
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I don't "expect" my family to be standing around cheering.  They have all chosen to go all the way out to Arizona (from NJ, PA, UT and CA) to support me.  I am just trying to get perspective from others who have experienced IM and how they handled it from a spectator perspective, so that I can relay that to my family.  I don't "expect" to see my kids much at all, hopefull at the finish though.<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>slow_n_steady</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1932935"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p>IMAZ is a great spectator even because of all the loops. Having said that though, it would be a very long day for little ones.</p>
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<p>My dad brought the kids down in the late afternoon. I was already running by the time they came (they actually drove by me a couple of times trying to get to the parking area). Anyway, they spectated for a bit, then went to a restaurant and had dinner, then went to the finish line bleachers with their cow bells to cheer the finishers in, which they loved btw. They spent most of the day swimming and playing at the house, and still had enough time to soak up a bit of the race. It worked very well.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Moving forward ti IMC in a couple of weeks, I expect it to be much the same, only there is much less opportunity for spectating as it is one big loop on the bike and one out and back on the run. Our condo is right at the run turnaround though, and we are staying much closer to the race venue than we did in AZ, but honestly, I would never expect any of them to be out there all day waiting around for me.</p>
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All great info.  I agree that it would be too much to expect my kids to be out there for 11 - 17 hours (who knows how I'll do).  I think that my father will be the one chasing me around trying to catch sight of me and my wife and mother will be doing what your father did for you and your kids.  Good luck at IMC!!!<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MountainGirl</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1933055"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p>As far as stuff to do on the course, how about setting up a cheering station along the route?  Cowbells, posters, made -up cheers for the participants?  You could also play games such as each kid could pick a color then count how many blue bikes, red bikes etc and see who wins. All of this is coming from someone with no kids <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/blush.gif" style="width:18px;height:18px;" title=""></p>
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Thanks for the ideas, all good and with two young ones, any game is a good game.  Plus the chance to make posters, i.e. draw with markers on giant pieces of paper,  well that would be a good thing for them.</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
My son (now turning 10) begged for one last year.  He got one for his birthday, and 2 weeks later, my grandfather passed away.  Of course, everyone we knew was at the funeral/viewing, so we had to take him with us.  He brought his DS and sat for <img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4"> hours solid without making a peep.  That thing was a lifesaver!</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>miles99999</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1933093"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
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Good idea with the Nintendo DS, my 7 yr old has been begging us for one...she just might get her wish. <br>
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<p>It also makes for great punishment too! <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/lol.gif" style="width:15px;height:15px;" title=""><br><br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mrscoby78</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69436/ironman-spouse-race-day-plans-need-insight#post_1933183"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br><br>
My son (now turning 10) begged for one last year.  He got one for his birthday, and 2 weeks later, my grandfather passed away.  Of course, everyone we knew was at the funeral/viewing, so we had to take him with us.  He brought his DS and sat for " class="bbcode_smiley" height="1" src="smileys/<img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4">" title="<img alt="4" class="bbcode_smiley" src="smileys/4" title="4">" width="1" /> hours solid without making a peep.  That thing was a lifesaver!</p>
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