Magic in Whistler (as a Sherpa)!!!

Less than a week after we flew home from Mont Tremblant, we were off on another IM-bound journey to Canada. Nasty weather detoured our flight and our journey ended up being more than 24 hours until we landed exhausted in our hotel in Whistler.

Did the usual pre-race ritual of expo (no, we don't need a $50 pair of compression socks) and packet pickup (oh, Bart, we have matching backpacks now!!!) and then a splurge meal because, hey, we needed our iron! 

A little meander to Green Lake 
A cool bit about Whistler: Mountain Biking! This lil' kid was doing his first off-road ride, according to Proud Dad. And the ski slopes of Whistler serve as mountain biking courses during the summer!

Saturday: Bart was in complete taper mode, which meant movies in the hotel. I have a very unsuccessful record of staying awake during movies, so I decided that I'd go out and explore these beautiful mountains rather than snore and slobber.

During my entire 3-hour hike to Singing Pass in the Garibaldi Province, I saw only four people. It was fantastic!!! 

Love getting above the tree line!!

Little Mountain was empty except for some empty bottles! 

Snow in August!?!?!

Glacier-tipped ranges and lakes

It was quite windy and cold up here!

When I showed Bart this picture, he said, "I've never seen a penis mountain before."

Summit of Whistler Mountain

Cheakamus Lake in the background

Cheakamus Lake - highlight of Saturday!

Red mountains - reminded me of Colorado 
Symphony Lake 
Harmony Ridge Lake 
Got home late from the hike and proceeded to shovel down chicken and rice, popcorn, trail mix, and leftover bagels. Bart kept asking when I was going to stop eating, but I was so hungry! Maybe altitude affects your appetite, too?

We hit the sack early, and the next morning we woke up at 5AM. I snuck onto the athlete's shuttle bus to take to-be-Ironmen to Alta Lake, where green and pink caps adorned the entire beach.

I couldn't pick out Bart from the thousands in matching wetsuits and swim caps, so I stood in the front row of spectators, shivering and sporadically yelling, "Go, Bart! Good luck, Bart! I love you, Bart!" 
Tip to Sherpas: when the athletes are all clumped together and you have no idea who is who, just scream your athlete's name. Bart later told me that he heard someone cheering from him before the swim start - I took the credit ;) 

Bart out of T1
An hour and change later, Bart emerged from the swim and into the change tent. I pushed through strollers, dogs, and lumbering spectators to rush to the bike exit, and got to see him before he set off for the rollercoaster roads of Whistler.
Looking strong on the bike at 60K!

Bart passing the traffic jam that lined Highway 99! 
Cheering for Bart on the bike was a bit of a pain, since Whistler is a one-loop course. I managed to see him twice on the bike before he set off for the run, which was good enough for me. He was quickly gaining ground on the stronger swimmers, and I lost track of what AG place he was in because there were just too many compression socks covering people's calves!

Bart looking happy at Mile 1 of the run! 
Still happy during the first loop! 
Yeah, kid, I know, my boyfriend's a STUD.
I took a quick trip to Whistler's Farmer's Market while Bart did a very long loop on the run course...

Happy to see that he had passed two people in his AG! 
Cloud cover...the guy behind Bart didn't look too cheerful! 
"That's him! That's Bart!" I exclaimed to the ladies next to me as we stood near the finisher's chute.
Each time I saw Bart on the run, I was so thrilled with how strong and steady his pace was. I constantly asked fellow cheerleaders to "check 196 on" since I wanted to have reliable stats to yell at him.

I had no idea how many Kona slots would be given to his age group of 35-39, but hoped for the best. When I saw Bart come down the finisher's chute, I started to cry. Just a little, not enough to embarrass myself. I (correctly) thought that he had finished 7th in his AG and (incorrectly) thought that there were only 4 or 5 Kona slots in his AG. I crossed my fingers that I had somehow misread some calves and he had finished 5th or higher. I thought to myself that somehow, maybe, we could go to Rolldown and Bart could get a slot to the coveted World Championships.

Official finish time 9:41

Exhausted and ecstatic (the ecstatic doesn't quite show in this pic...) 
Three minutes later, I was hugging a sweat-soaked Bart. And then I started crying again when he told me that he thought there were 7 Kona slots in his AG. This time, it was the embarrassing kind of crying. 

Although Bart didn't take his Kona slot, the race was a BLAST and it was a huge accomplishment to finish in the front of such a tough field! And, during Rolldown, I got to meet the guy who got a M35-39 Rolldown slot. He was from Salt Lake City!!!! Such a small world :) 

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