I Am IronFatty, Part III: The Run

05.5.2010 | 10:28 am

When I changed out of my wetsuit (and the swimsuit underneath) into my bike gear at the first transition, I was intentionally deliberate. Doing things like putting my socks on before my bike shorts (a good tip from a commenter on this blog). Thinking. I moved slow on purpose, not wanting to make mistakes that would cost me time.

At the transition from bike to run, on the other hand, I moved slowly just because I was pooped.

The change actually went quickly. I changed into running shorts — I didn’t want even a teeny-tiny chamois hampering me during the marathon — and my LiveStrong running shirt, and put on running shoes.

That took about three minutes, I’d guess.

Then I sat there for a while longer, just not really very interested in getting up. Eating the PBJ sandwich I had put in the bag the day before. Getting a drink of water. Using the restroom. Checking email and working on a Sudoku puzzle.

Okay, maybe I didn’t do the email and Sudoku part.

Eventually, I wandered outside, my PBJ still in hand, and started running.

And that’s when I discovered — and I’m sure I’m the first person to ever learn this — that when you’re dehydrated and breathing hard, it’s not easy to swallow a bite of PBJ sandwich.

I carried the PBJ sandwich, the same bite of dry bread and sticky peanut butter in my mouth, for the next half mile.

Which made it difficult to acknowledge the cheering throng.


As I went by, one woman yelled out, “Nice tan line!” I wonder what that was about.

Confession: My Original Running Plan

My left hip flexor has been bothering me since the Death Valley Marathon last February, so running has not been a very big part of my life for the past few months. Specifically, I have only run more than ten miles a few times since February.

And most of my runs have been more along the lines of six miles.

Every week or two.

So, I figured, I’d just try to use a combination of running, walking, and stubbornness to get me through the marathon.

Specifically, I hoped that I’d be able to run the first half of the marathon, then gracefully transition to a more leisurely “run a mile, walk a minute” technique.

Which would, I had to acknowledge, probably turn into a “run a half mile, walk a minute” technique after a while. Followed by a “run a quarter mile, walk a minute” strategy, which would, at long last merge into a “walk a minute, walk a minute” approach.

Plan A Quickly Gives Way to Plan B

I managed to more-or-less run for the first couple miles, for which I was proud. And about 2.5 miles into the run I crossed paths with the Runner; she was in the home stretch for the bike ride. Which meant I had about 40 minutes on her.

I did some quick math and knew that she’d for sure catch me before the end of the race. The only question was, would I be able to hold her off for enough of the run that when she caught me it wouldn’t seem like a shame to stay with me.

So my goal was to be fast enough that The Runner would catch me at mile 23.

Meanwhile, I began planning my two different speeches for when she caught me:

  • If she caught me before mile 23: “This is all I’ve got; why don’t you go finish strong and then wait for me at the finish line.”
  • If she caught me at or after mile 23: “How about you slow down just a hair and let’s cross the finish line together?”

The problem is, it was quickly becoming evident that I would not be exactly tearing up this part of the course. Before I began the fourth mile, I had my first unplanned walking break.

And many more would follow.

It was curious, really, to experience the sensation of total power loss. I’d be doing my best impression of running, moving along at a good solid five mph, when, without really meaning or wanting to, I’d fade into a walk.

So my new plan? Run when I could, walk when I had to.

And I had to walk a lot.

This Course Is Just Plain Mean

I’d like to make it clear that my slowness was not exclusively because I am not any kind of runner at all. Part of it’s because the run course is purely hilly. Check out the elevation profile:


This double-mirror image profile is because the course is a double out-and-back. You run up a hilly road with a couple hilly detours, then down the other side, then turn around and come back to the start. And then you do it again.

So you see the same 6.5 mile road four times.

A number of people have wrinkled up their noses when I tell them about this out-and-back-and-out-and-back course, but I liked the idea of it. 6.5 miles is something I can get my head around, and I was able to say to myself, “just get to the next turnaround,” over and over. 6.5 miles is a much more manageable distance to consider than a marathon.

Plus, with this kind of marathon, I was able to see the really fast guys finishing up their second laps as I started my first.

Not that that was demoralizing or anything.

I did, however, have one nice moment. As I got to the top of Red Hills Parkway the first time, I saw the back of Cory, who had finished the bike ride ten minutes or so ahead of me. He was stopped, talking with some volunteers at the aid station.

I picked up my pace so I was very nearly running again, and then smacked him on the butt as I went by.

Then I had a brief moment of panic as it occurred to me — after the fact — that maybe it wasn’t Cory after all, but maybe another guy with the same jersey.

But it was him. Whew. (Note to self: in the future, be sure to get a positive ID on people before smacking their butts.)

I Love the Volunteers And Their Dixie Cups Full of Heavenly Nectar

I think I’ve thoroughly established that this is a hard marathon.

Luckily, there was an aid station every single mile. And even more luckily, the volunteers at those aid stations were incredible. A line of fifteen or more people would be standing there, yelling themselves hoarse for you, and offering what they held in their hands to you as if it were very very very important to them that you take what they had.


“Gatorade! You need Gatorade!”

“Cold sponge! Get your cold wet sponge!”

“Want Coke? You want Coke!”

“Bananas? Oranges! Grapes!”

“Want some chicken broth?”

“Powergels! Powerbars!”

Like they were getting commission on it or something.

I felt a strange sensation as I went by people who had something I didn’t want:

I felt apologetic.

“Thanks, I’m good. Sorry,” I’d say, over and over, as I went by.

At first I went with Gatorade at each aid station, with a Powergel every two or three aid stations. But before long, I hit my threshold for how much Gatorade and Powergel I can consume in a day.

I switched to Coke. Then added broth. And then added oranges.

And that became my new aid station routine: a half-Dixie cup of broth, the same amount of Coke, and an orange wedge.

And that worked perfectly for me. No stomach problems, no hunger pangs, no more weakness than I had otherwise.

I Love My “Fans”

If there’s one thing that can bring a completely spent racer back to life, it’s a cheering crowd. Or a single cheering person, for that matter. The Runner’s brother and one of her sons had — unbeknownst to me — set up camp along the course. The first time I saw them, they held up a “Go Fatty” sign they had made.

It made a huge difference to me.

Then, as I took the last turn at a roundabout for the end of the first half of the race, there was a group of women cheering for me. At that particular moment, I wanted nothing more than to walk, but thanks to them, I found it within me to pick up the pace, at least for a little while.

I Love My Training Partner (aka Wife)

And then, of course, I ran into The Runner (not literally). The first time I saw her on the course, I was 7 miles into the run and on the way back to the starting area; she was on her way to the turnaround — so about 1.5 miles behind me.

“How are you doing?” I asked.

“My stomach is killing me,” she said.

“You’ll catch me soon,” I said.

The next time I saw her, I had just completed the final turnaround; she was just about to do the final turnaround.

“Slow up for me for a second and I’ll catch up,” she said, which was no problem, since she was running and I was walking pretty much everything by then.

Right at the mile 20 mark, she caught up. Her stomach was better, thanks to about a hundred Tums and Gas-X strips.

I was ready to give my “you go on ahead” speech, but she said, “Let’s finish this thing together.”

“Are you sure?” I asked. “You’re obviously faster than I am, and I can’t go any harder than I’m going right now.”

“I’m tired, too,” she replied.

Honestly, we both know that she could have finished the race ten or fifteen minutes ahead of me if she had wanted to.

And I love the fact that she preferred to finish it with me.

Here we are, tearing up the course together:


Home Stretch

The Runner and I struggled on for the final six miles together. We’d run when she could convince me to speed up; we’d walk when I could convince her to slow down (or, a couple of times, when I just dropped to a walk and said, “Go on ahead, I’m done.”)

Eventually, amazingly, we got into the finish chute.

And it was amazing.

Hundreds of people lined both sides of the road. Cheering, shouting.

The Runner and I took each other’s hands and broke into a run. I would not have believed I had it in me, but there it was.

We crossed together, arms raised (Thanks, Debbie M, for capturing and sending me that video!):

Thirteen hours, thirty-four minutes.

I’m going to call that awesome.


Right away, volunteers grabbed each of us, got blankets on us, gave us a bottle of water, and escorted us to a place where a pro photographer could get a shot of us.

Then Scott, the IT Guy, Kenny, and Heather (who had been mountain biking in St. George that day and came into town to see the finish) took care of us.


Scott and The IT Guy collected our bikes and other stuff, including my truck, and brought it back to the hotel for us.

And Kenny gave us a ride back to our hotel. In the back of his truck:


Back at the hotel, we sat and talked about the day. And then we asked The IT Guy to go to Del Taco to get us four fish tacos and a shake, each.

Which may have been the very best part of the day.

Would We Do It Again?

I am so glad I did an Ironman. The Runner is so glad she did an Ironman. It was an incredible experience.

And neither of us plan to do another one.

Here are the reasons why:

  1. In spite of my new respect for swimming, I just don’t love it. I never looked forward to a training swim. And I don’t think that will ever change.
  2. For your first Ironman, it’s all about just completing. If you’re going to do a second Ironman, it has to be with the objective of being faster. Which means we’d have to think about faster transitions, maybe getting TT bikes, and all of that kind of thing. And I’m not interested in that.
  3. We got lucky. There’s consensus that the St. George Ironman course is one of the hardest there is. And if we hadn’t gotten lucky with the weather — mild wind and cool temperatures — it would have been much, much harder. This was hard enough as it was. I don’t want to chance doing this race in 90-degree weather.

Besides, we had already said this was a one-time thing. Not that I’m opposed to reversing myself.

But I think this time I’ll stick to my guns.

Or so I claim.


  1. Comment by SuomiTri | 05.5.2010 | 10:35 am


  2. Comment by Todd | 05.5.2010 | 10:42 am

    Your readers are proud! I hope you’ll be fully recovered in time for this weekend’s 100 Miles of Nowhere!!

  3. Comment by Kristina | 05.5.2010 | 10:43 am

    Congratulations, IronFatty and IronRunner!! You guys are ROCK!!

  4. Comment by Daniel C. | 05.5.2010 | 10:50 am

    Congratualtions to you both. What a great story and thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. Comment by Daniel C. | 05.5.2010 | 10:52 am

    The real question is what is next for the two of you. Ironman, check; Leadville, both done it…so what is it going to be?

  6. Comment by bahama mama | 05.5.2010 | 10:52 am

    WOW! Very impressive! Both of you are inspirational. Kodos to The Runner for finishing the race with you – that’s class.

  7. Comment by Lisa | 05.5.2010 | 10:55 am

    WOW! What an amazing accomplishment! I am so impressed and humbled.

  8. Comment by Meredith | 05.5.2010 | 10:57 am

    Congrats Iron Fatty and Iron Runner! I will choose to live vicariously through you rather than attempt the feat myself! What’s next?

  9. Comment by GeorgeNotHincapie | 05.5.2010 | 10:58 am

    Excellent story, wonderful results. And now I know; it’s possible to have more than one soul mate. God Blessed You. I’m happy for you, Fatty.

  10. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.5.2010 | 10:59 am

    You said “pooped” again. Way to keep up the good writing!

    Seriously, IronElden, you and IronLisa deserve many many kudos. Enjoyable read, too.

  11. Comment by KeepYerBag | 05.5.2010 | 11:00 am

    Next: Skydiving.

  12. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.5.2010 | 11:00 am

    Question – have you been able to walk yet?

  13. Comment by buckythedonkey | 05.5.2010 | 11:00 am

    Isn’t it time you did the Etape du Tour?


  14. Comment by luggage | 05.5.2010 | 11:05 am


    First off, not much I can say about this past weekend that hasn’t been said already, so congratulations!

    Secondly, while I have only been a loyal follower your blog for the last two years or so, I am a big fan, or atleast I WAS a big fan until yesterday. See, that’s when I got the email, from my fiancee, with a link to a half ironman website. Written below the link were, “wouldn’t this be fun to do together?”….like Fatty and The Runner. Fatty do you realize the mess you have created? I hope I’m not alone on this one.

  15. Comment by bikegirl | 05.5.2010 | 11:17 am

    So inspiring! I teared up watching the video of you two crossing the finish.

  16. Comment by Megan (Best of Fates) | 05.5.2010 | 11:20 am

    My goodness you must be so proud of yourself and the Runner – and to me 13 1/2 hours sounds like an incredibly achievement!

  17. Comment by Kevin | 05.5.2010 | 11:20 am

    Fantastic accomplishment; fantastic story… loved the holding-hands finish line video. Perfect.

  18. Comment by T Foster | 05.5.2010 | 11:21 am

    Very shortly after delivering our first child, my wife said NEVER again…We have three children.

    I think you will do it again. Why? because it’s out there. And like golf, every course is different.

    Can’t you get a mega celebrity pass for Kona?

  19. Comment by KanyonKris | 05.5.2010 | 11:24 am

    I enjoyed the report so much I feel no need to do an ironman – so thanks for that.

  20. Comment by Robert H | 05.5.2010 | 11:26 am

    Congrats again IRONfatty and IRONlisa.

    Very awesome to read about you two finishing IMSG and finishing it together. That’s quite the accomplishment.

    Keep up the great work!

  21. Comment by randy | 05.5.2010 | 11:28 am

    Honestly, your swimming doesn’t have to get a whole lot better to go under 12 hours. Next time, just ramp up the running slowly so that you don’t get any weird injuries, and just run after each bike ride you do. You’ll be smokin’ fast!

  22. Comment by Donna | 05.5.2010 | 11:28 am

    Absolutely, without question, one of the NICEST pics I’ve seen, EVER……you, Ironman Fatty and your Bride, The IronWoman, The Runner……holding hands crossing the line together…
    I’m just a……little…chokedup….giggle….way to go you Ironanimals…… :)

  23. Comment by sllym | 05.5.2010 | 11:29 am

    Love the video!! That is awesome! Congrats!

  24. Comment by Wes | 05.5.2010 | 11:32 am

    Congratulations, Fatty! That’s faster than my first Ironman, on a flat course, and I trained for 8 months.


  25. Comment by Mandy | 05.5.2010 | 11:32 am

    When I was tracking you guys I was waiting for The Runner to catch you, hoping it was towards the end so you could finish together. When I saw the final split time I cheered for you guys (yeah, literally cried out, “YEAH, Cool.”, for finishing and for getting to finish together. As always, you are inspiring and funny.

  26. Comment by Greg | 05.5.2010 | 11:33 am

    Long time reader, second time poster – had to comment to say amazing work on this fella, loved the video as well. You two looked brill coming across the line!

  27. Comment by Noodle | 05.5.2010 | 11:41 am

    Sheesh. I got a little teary reading that. Congrats, Ironpeople!

  28. Comment by bikemike | 05.5.2010 | 11:42 am

    i wonder if they rent jet skis for the swim and go carts for the run, cause i’d be in for that. oh, and every station must be stocked with apple fritters and cheesburgers.

  29. Comment by Dill | 05.5.2010 | 11:45 am

    Allez, allez Mr./Mrs. Fatty.


  30. Comment by Robert | 05.5.2010 | 11:55 am

    What an accomplishment! I really enjoyed reading your exploits of each phase of the event. I look forward to seeing you in Philly for the LiveStong challenge.

  31. Comment by romy | 05.5.2010 | 11:55 am

    Awesome job, Fatty!!!! Congratulations, you did great! both of you!

    I love the “tearing up the course together” picture. you two are so cute!


  32. Comment by skippy | 05.5.2010 | 11:57 am

    Like others still wondering about the results if you were 13lb lighter? Use clampon bars to carry my luggage at the tours thus know they are useless for climbing, so your choice of normal bike was inspired.

    Volunteering at events will cause you to decide on other tougher challenges with “Fund Raising Potential” as by now there must be a queue of “Sponsors” looking for you to endorse their products and i would think you would get a better story/reception on larry king than jay leno(2nd to obama on joke material, i hear)!
    Iron Runner’s Story is going to be sensational material!Bring it ON!!

  33. Comment by Atomic | 05.5.2010 | 12:02 pm

    I have it on good authority that the next big thing is going to be RAAM. Let’s hope so :)

  34. Comment by Mikedaub | 05.5.2010 | 12:03 pm

    Congrats on being Ironpeople….it is one heck of an achievement.

    You say you will never do another one, that is fine, but remember, there are all kinds of 70.3s to be done out there… :)

  35. Comment by GJ Jackie | 05.5.2010 | 12:04 pm

    Only four fish tacos?! I eat that many after sitting on my butt all day.

  36. Comment by Shelley | 05.5.2010 | 12:09 pm

    Congrats Fatty and The Runner! I just started running and I can’t imagine doing a marathon (or wanting to) and especially after a long swim and longer bike ride. Great seeing the video of you guys crossing the finish line. The guy behind you made me laugh.

  37. Comment by Derron T | 05.5.2010 | 12:13 pm

    RAAM? Are you serious Atomic? We all know Fatty & Runner are going to do the TransRockies Race next.

  38. Comment by Turtle Mafia | 05.5.2010 | 12:14 pm

    Well did the Runner and you opt for the obligatory Ironman tattos?

  39. Comment by Richard | 05.5.2010 | 12:15 pm

    I learned a lesson a long time ago about knowing who you are swatting from behind. In Jr. High, at the NC State Fair, I saw up ahead of me, my friend Jeff D. As I ran forward, I popped him in the back of the head. This was easy because Jeff was of small stature. It was my misfortune, that “Jeff” turned out to be an 8 year old kid whose Dad took off after me through the midway.

  40. Comment by Turtle Mafia | 05.5.2010 | 12:15 pm

    (Edit) Did the Runner and you opt for the obligatory Ironman tattoos?

  41. Comment by KathyE | 05.5.2010 | 12:20 pm

    I’ve been following your story for a while now and I just want to say how happy I am for both of you.

    And altho’ sorry that there was no outhouse or last place daisy in this story but it sure had a wonderful happy ending. :)

    You are wonderful folk.

  42. Comment by Tracey | 05.5.2010 | 12:24 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this last installment hoping for a memory of you. My husband was in the changing tent at T2 helping the athletes get changed and I was one of the vounteers taking your bag and directing you out of the tent and toward the porta potties. I wish I could remember your face as you came through, but unfortunately I don’t. I do however, remember your PB&J. Congrats on a great race and an even better finishing time.

  43. Comment by Atomic | 05.5.2010 | 12:26 pm


    Who wants to race a mountain bike? And in the Great White North? You could wind up both cold and dirty! Insanity!

  44. Comment by fult23 | 05.5.2010 | 12:26 pm

    I look forward to every post you have, but nothing has compared to the anticipation I had for this one. Once again, you have outdone yourself. Sometimes I don’t know if your blog can get any better and then it does. Well done and congratulations IronCouple!

  45. Comment by Iron Oxide | 05.5.2010 | 12:33 pm

    How about taking up road racing, eh? Lots more fun. No shinsplints, no chlorine, all bike. Maybe do some Gran Fondos or something. That seems up your line.

  46. Comment by Jenn | 05.5.2010 | 12:36 pm

    I laughed…I cried. Awesome post, amazing accomplishment – congratulations, again. AND – that girl has got a MILLION watt smile…wow! Good on ya!!

  47. Comment by melicious | 05.5.2010 | 12:42 pm

    Fatty, great recap, and I loved how you turned up the suspense level and delayed our gratification by spreading it out over 3 days. Super results by you and The Runner! Wow, truly superb! I got a little damp-eyed at “Let’s finish this thing together” and when you mentioned The Runner’s son and family cheering you on. Way to go, both of you and your respective families should be proud. Ironman and Ironwoman! Thank you.

  48. Comment by VA Biker | 05.5.2010 | 12:44 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to write this up as only you can, Elden. The vicarious trip is done. I’m with KK, I don’t need to do one now. Congratulations to both you and Lisa again.

    Now put down that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup! (A six-pack in one day is at least one too many. Hey, most Utahn’s don’t have alcohol as a vice, but chocolate and peanut butter, that’s another story, esp. post-IM.)

  49. Comment by Courtney | 05.5.2010 | 12:46 pm

    What a beautiful love story!

  50. Comment by Spleen | 05.5.2010 | 12:46 pm

    Congratulations. I guess.

    Remember back in January when said you weren’t gonna do an Ironman and then made a comment that we could train to not do it together? Well, thanks for ruining that for me. Now I’m gonna do IMFL in 2011. I expect to train to not do it with me ’cause that’s what I ended up doing for you. Nice way to treat a pretend internet friend.

  51. Comment by GenghisKhan | 05.5.2010 | 12:49 pm

    Congrats, of course. I’m exhasuted just from reading about it. And, similar to you, will only need to read about one Ironman.

    Oh, can you explain how an orange wedgie makes the marathon part better/easier? Sounds kinda weird/awkward/uncomfortable–is it some sort of tri thingy? Maybe a first timers initiation rite?

  52. Comment by Kamala | 05.5.2010 | 12:58 pm

    Congrats again! I needed to read this for a swift kick in the pants on moving my training ahead.

  53. Comment by Jenn | 05.5.2010 | 12:58 pm

    OH! And @Bikemike – please make sure to let me know if you are able to seek out that particular IM, I will join you for sure!

  54. Comment by Chuck | 05.5.2010 | 1:16 pm

    once again Fatty, Congratulations!

    Hey, how does the Runnner like the Garmin 310xt? trying to talk the wife into getting me one for fathers day.

  55. Comment by Janet B | 05.5.2010 | 1:33 pm

    You made me laugh and cry.


  56. Comment by justin | 05.5.2010 | 1:35 pm

    Judging by the photos, you (IronFatty) and IronRunner were a little delerious after the finish line. Just curious what was your state of mind?

  57. Comment by Jenni | 05.5.2010 | 1:51 pm

    Seriously, if I read any more write ups like this I’m going to start thinking I’m capable to undertaking one.

    Please post something about eating too much mayo soon.

    p.s. we are gearing up for 100 MON this weekend!! Surlyrider and I are going to be in the middle of a velodrome on trainers! It’s going to be a hoot!!

  58. Comment by Shevonne | 05.5.2010 | 1:58 pm

    You might not do another again, but at least you can say that you did, which is more than many people can say. Congrats to you and The Runner!

  59. Comment by Dep820 | 05.5.2010 | 2:01 pm

    Awesome, inspirational

  60. Comment by Isela | 05.5.2010 | 2:03 pm

    Great job both of you! Inspirational and got me excited to one day be able to finish one too.

  61. Comment by Shawn | 05.5.2010 | 2:06 pm


    I ran a marathon the same day as your IM. And yes, I was thinking and praying for you and the runner as I myself was going through similar circumstances.

    Thanks for being one of many inspirations in my Ironman quest!

  62. Comment by Clydesdale | 05.5.2010 | 2:12 pm

    Congrats to you both.

    Is the runner taller than you? Just sayin”

  63. Comment by Shannon | 05.5.2010 | 2:12 pm

    Congratulations! It was so much fun to read all of your posts before/after and I had the satisfaction of seeing you guys out there at one of the turnarounds (you studs were ahead of me!) Good job!

  64. Comment by Chris | 05.5.2010 | 2:24 pm

    Nice job. Great finish pics. You guys look pretty fresh!

  65. Comment by axel in texas | 05.5.2010 | 2:35 pm

    congrats. a lot like my first and only IM experience, except I didn’t have the wife competing, too.

    I bet you’ll do an ironman again when you turn 50 and want to know if you still have “IT”. And you’ll do a half iron sometime, because they are pretty short.

  66. Comment by Paul | 05.5.2010 | 2:42 pm

    yay ironfatty!

  67. Comment by Azriel Abramovich | 05.5.2010 | 3:00 pm

    Wow…. I thought I respected you before…
    Just one flaw in your ‘never do an ironman again’ – to go faster you don’t need to think about transitions/TT bikes. Just run. Ok, that’s two things.

    IronFatty…. the greatest oxymoron out there… (right after Microsoft Works)


  68. Comment by Paulscarlett | 05.5.2010 | 3:42 pm

    Hey IronFatty, fantastic post… Again. Congrats on the amazing effort.
    IronRunner you are a top flight missus (in the local lingo) I am truely impressed with you both.
    I do find it a little interesting that the knockers from a few months ago have not appoligised and eaten crow…
    Well done again both of you

  69. Comment by Debbie in Memphis | 05.5.2010 | 3:47 pm

    I couldn’t be happier or more proud if I’d done this myself, which honestly, NEVER going to happen :-) Congratulations to you both!!

  70. Comment by dwb | 05.5.2010 | 3:55 pm


  71. Comment by LesleyG | 05.5.2010 | 4:04 pm

    Ahhh! This was fantastic. Congratulations to you and the Runner… and everyone that day…and pretty much anyone, any day that has even attempted an Ironman!

  72. Comment by Paula | 05.5.2010 | 4:07 pm

    You two are just amazing! What an inspiration.

  73. Comment by Jill2 | 05.5.2010 | 4:25 pm

    Thankful that I don’t know how to swim thus will never be tempted to do this.

  74. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 05.5.2010 | 4:26 pm


  75. Comment by mtb w | 05.5.2010 | 4:53 pm

    Congrats to you and the Runner! Awesome job. Loved the writeups. You should win a bloggie just for these posts.

    As one who lives through these incredible feats vicariously (like others on here), what’s next? I need to know so I (vicariously) train by eating massive amounts of burritos, cheese dip, chips and salsa. Well, it is Cinco de Mayo so mexican food is on the brain.

  76. Comment by vito | 05.5.2010 | 5:02 pm

    Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!! That is a wonderful accomplishment. Congrats to both of you. Now, could you please stop this running, and swimming nonsense and just get back on the bike?

  77. Comment by Mike from Melbourne | 05.5.2010 | 5:07 pm

    Great stuff !

    That settles it, I have been trying to decide whether I should go do an Ironman in New Zealand in January. I have done two (both in Australia) but the last one was 12 years ago. You have made up my mind and now it’s time to train!

  78. Comment by Celeste | 05.5.2010 | 5:17 pm

    Awesome indeed. Congrats again.

  79. Comment by monique | 05.5.2010 | 5:26 pm

    Hey E, congratulations on the IM finish! Thanks for sharing the joy and suffering.

  80. Comment by Neel Disciple | 05.5.2010 | 5:42 pm

    I don’t blame you. Once is enough…I always could swim and raced a bike and thought I could really do it, and it was fun in 1984 (seems so now), but you know, it wasn’t very much fun when I did it. Time brings a certain murkiness. It is good that you have the clarity now. I liked the walk a little, walk a lot part, seems very familiar.

  81. Comment by RJD | 05.5.2010 | 5:47 pm

    Great job! Thanks for the posts, they were wonderful and made me feel like I was there, even though I didn’t want to be… :-) But why chicken broth?

  82. Comment by Brian | 05.5.2010 | 6:59 pm

    Whoa–congratulations! Heck, it took me 11 hours 40 minutes to do a 200K bike ride last weekend. I’m impressed.

  83. Comment by Heather | 05.5.2010 | 7:02 pm

    ew. chicken broth? Yuke! Great Job ironFatty and ironRunner!

  84. Comment by Allison- S. Florida | 05.5.2010 | 7:41 pm

    Congratulatios to you and Lisa!!! I’ve really enjoyed your account of your race.
    Now that you got that out of your system, my husband and I think that you should and Lisa should do the Transalp Challenge together. It’s a 2-person, 8-day, mountain bike stage race through the Alps of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. It is spectacular!!! My husaband and I have done it 4 times… once as teammates, once as boyfriend/ girlfriend, once engaged, and lastly, as a married couple. You’ll love it, Fatty, especially since there is a lot of climbing… a lot! Check out http://www.bike-transalp.de. You ride all day then get to enjoy a new, charming European town every night. Just in case that’s too far, the same company puts on the Transrockies Challenge in Canada.
    Now is the time for basking in your success! Congrats again.

  85. Comment by t-can | 05.5.2010 | 7:57 pm

    You’ve inspired me to sign up for a half iron man. Thanks! (I think)

  86. Comment by Zed | 05.5.2010 | 9:12 pm

    Dude, I think Rick Reilly called you “Eddie Nielsen” the first time. Too funny.

    Congratulations, Elden. I can’t blame you for never wanting to do another. But hey, there’s always Xterra.

  87. Comment by AK Chick | 05.5.2010 | 9:51 pm

    Amazing! You both look so fresh! Not even tired at all! How do you do that?

    I’m still not inspired to do a triathlon of any length. I am really not a fan of swimming. Since I’ve started biking, I haven’t had very many bad days on the bike, even if it’s windy and raining (like it was tonight brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr). I LOVE riding my bike. I’m even getting better at climbing hills. Small ones. Without feeling like I’m going to die halfway up – partly from embarrassment that I’m moving so slowly and partly because my lungs, quads and hip joints feel like they are going to explode. I digress.

    I love The Swimmer/Biker/Runner’s legs. They are gorgeous. I want! :) Still hoping she might add a few words from her perspective…please, please, please. :)

    Can’t wait to see what your next adventure will be!

  88. Comment by AK Chick | 05.5.2010 | 9:53 pm

    I can answer the chicken broth question. It’s warm, it’s easy on the tummy, and it contains sodium which is really, really important in a race of that length and it’s a nice change from the usual water/sports drink/gel/bar combo. I think it sounds deliscious. :)

  89. Comment by Ian Thomson | 05.5.2010 | 11:49 pm

    Congratulations!!! I admire your courage for the swim and run. My wife wanted to do 70.3 in Nice, but I hate swimming and told her no way. Now you have inspired me and it would be wonderful crossing the finish line with her.

    Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful story, you are a natural story teller.

    One question, why a PBJ sandwich?

  90. Comment by Gomez | 05.6.2010 | 1:21 am

    Next challenge: the IDITAROD, where you and The Runner pull the sled with your snow-tired mountain bikes, while the doggies ride and eat snacks. Probably finish second to Lance, once he hears what you plan to do.

  91. Comment by bikesgonewild | 05.6.2010 | 2:07 am

    …through all three posts, i was both smiling & in awe but when “the runner” caught up to you @ mile 20 & said “Let’s finish this thing together.”, well, wow…

    …i was choked up thinking “on top of the daunting task of an ironman & everything fatty’s been through, what a beautiful & bonding expression of love from this woman”…

    …a simple, wonderful thing…major props to you both…

  92. Comment by Patrick | 05.6.2010 | 2:24 am

    Congratulations Fatty and The Runner, you are both an inspiration! I can’t wait to follow you’re next adventure.

  93. Comment by IanF | 05.6.2010 | 3:44 am

    Very, very, very well done to you both! I’ve loved reading all about the training, and your event write-up has been thoroughly entertaining.

    Very inspiring stuff :)

  94. Comment by gt | 05.6.2010 | 4:24 am

    You both should be so proud of what you accomplished together, congratulations
    from my husband and me.
    Last year we were part of the Jeantex Transalp in Europe, it was an incredible feeling to finish an event like this with a person that you care about.
    Anyway, great stories and I totally understand the reason why one and not one more.

  95. Comment by Jomo | 05.6.2010 | 5:06 am

    Love it! Congratulations.. You have me laughing out loud, excited and upgrading my goals all at the same time. No better combo than that.

    Thank you!

  96. Comment by Cardiac Kid | 05.6.2010 | 5:43 am

    Congratulations Fatty and Runner.

  97. Comment by Rob L | 05.6.2010 | 5:52 am

    Congrats Runner and Fatty on finishing the IM! Thats super awesome. I’d try but I suck and hate swimming other than splashing around in the ocean with a board of some sort.

  98. Comment by Steve | 05.6.2010 | 6:02 am

    I am so glad you did IMSG and so effectively captured the emotion of preparing for and competing in this race. I started reading your blog last year as I was training for Leadville, and have loved reading your blog this year as I’ve trained for IMSG. Just like Leadville, IM races get in your blood. I fully expect to read about your prep for another one in the future. Congrats to both of you!

  99. Comment by Kate | 05.6.2010 | 6:15 am

    I have a new mantra when a ride gets a little hard, or when I just don’t feel like riding at all. It’s “If Fatty can do a Tri, I can do this.” It makes the pain all that more bearable knowing you went through worse just to finish. Congrats! Glad I could just read about it and not do it myself.

  100. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 05.6.2010 | 6:51 am

    Really classy finish. Onya Iron Couple.

  101. Comment by bruno | 05.6.2010 | 6:58 am

    Congrats to you and the Runner!! I got goosebumps watching the finishing video (kinda like when you already know the result of a race but still get anxious when watching the finishing sprint)!

  102. Comment by Clancy | 05.6.2010 | 7:04 am

    I checked in several times during the race and watched the finish live – very inspirational, in so many ways!! I hate swimming more than I hate running, but have resolved to do a 70.3 now too…

  103. Comment by BKat | 05.6.2010 | 7:33 am

    Fatty, i am curious about your transition from biking to running. “they” talk about the TT bike makes it an easier switch than a standard road bike because of the geometry. Thoughts? I realize at that point you had been through a lot, but was it tough getting into the running groove? Great job. Be proud!

  104. Comment by Anna | 05.6.2010 | 7:55 am

    You both are awesome! I really enjoyed following you during the day! And not gonna lie..had a tear in my eye with your story! You rock!

    p.s. I will be rockin’ the “fatty” jersey this Saturday for the 100 miles of Nowhere! Can’t wait!!

  105. Comment by MOCougFan | 05.6.2010 | 7:56 am

    Props to both of you. Gives us 40+ folks some pride.

  106. Comment by Andy | 05.6.2010 | 8:00 am

    Woo! Not much more to say… :-)

  107. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 05.6.2010 | 8:50 am

    I’ve already said congratulations like three times, but seriously… You two finished a long, hard race. You are awesome and should be really proud! IronMan&Wife!

  108. Comment by Jodi | 05.6.2010 | 9:25 am

    So proud of you guys Elden! One day – I’ll catch up.


  109. Comment by Anthony | 05.6.2010 | 9:50 am

    Hey Fatty,
    Did you check to see how much weight you lost during the Ironman? Thanks!

  110. Comment by Heidi | 05.6.2010 | 10:05 am

    Seeing the video was even better than the still shot that was posted! Tears sprang to my eyes, I tell ya. Both times I played it.

    And I’m with Anthony – did you check your weight pre-Del Taco splurge? (Not likely in a hotel…) It’s hard to imagine how many calories you burned off. Amazing. Astonishing. Absurd.

  111. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 05.6.2010 | 10:17 am

    “Here we are, tearing up the course together.”

    Classic Fatty Humor.

    Classy finish. Congratulations.

  112. Comment by Dr. Brett | 05.6.2010 | 10:34 am

    “M-dot” tattoos for the both of you!

  113. Comment by Ryan in the Rock | 05.6.2010 | 11:51 am

    Hopefully this year will be my first ironman as well. I would to read an article from your perspective on “do’s” and “don’ts” for training and competing in an ironman.

  114. Comment by Carly | 05.6.2010 | 12:02 pm

    You two IRONpeeps rock!
    I was tracking you both on Saturday and let out a shriek of joy when I saw you ended up crossing the finish line together- way to go guys!

    I think that this could only be followed by using your mega-star blog status to get into Kona. At least the water will be warmer…

  115. Comment by XCTiger | 05.6.2010 | 12:22 pm

    Congratulations on finishing and being able to talk/write about it.

    You and the Runner are both lucky to have found a partner who would rather work through the journey together than go it alone and get a personal best.

  116. Comment by judi | 05.6.2010 | 12:25 pm

    just watching the finish makes me cry. you guys looked great! fatty, you are THIN! :)

    i finished the last 10k of my IM run with a girl i met on the course and will forever be friends with. we had so much in common. we ran that last 6.2 all EMO and everything. she is trying to get into leadville now. i hope she gets it.

    congrats again. take a week off. do nothing for 7 days. then get back to it. :)

  117. Comment by FliesOnly | 05.6.2010 | 12:37 pm

    Congratulations to both you and the runner. Crossing the finish line together was awesome…kudos to your wife for “suggesting” it.

    And thanks for making me feel perfectly OK with my plans to never, ever, under any circumstances, ever compete in a triathlon.

  118. Comment by Kirsten | 05.6.2010 | 12:45 pm

    Great job both to you, Fatty, and The Runner!!! I only hope I can do as good a job. I was supposed to do Ironman Coeur d’Alene (Idaho) last summer, but a broken ankle during a training run derailed me 5 months before it. At least I know from reading this that I won’t be iron-enough to do St. George when I do my first IM! I’m very impressed with you both!

  119. Comment by Rick D. | 05.6.2010 | 12:51 pm

    I just noticed that the runner is taller than Fatty! :)

  120. Comment by cyclingeurope | 05.6.2010 | 1:44 pm

    You are simply one of the most inspirational (and funny) people I know. Way to go both of you!

  121. Comment by Elizabeth | 05.6.2010 | 2:01 pm

    I’d like to marry both of you.

  122. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 05.6.2010 | 4:56 pm


    In past posts you had speculated that you could do an Iron Man without specifically training for one. I agreed and still do. (although, I know it would be brutal)

    After accomplishing this event, congratulations by the way, what are your thoughts now?

    If so, what kind of cyclist or runner would also be able to walk up without specifically training for it and finish it?


  123. Comment by guido | 05.6.2010 | 5:31 pm

    well done fatty “legend” !!!!!!

  124. Comment by Evelin B | 05.6.2010 | 7:49 pm

    Well done and congrats to you both on finishing that. Amazing just to be able to finish!!!! Really Awesome job!!!

  125. Comment by Jim Masters | 05.6.2010 | 7:53 pm

    Congratulations…Eddie Nielson??

  126. Comment by Slowdad | 05.6.2010 | 8:05 pm

    Fatty, you do all us slow guys proud. Keep on shaking it up.

  127. Comment by NU Triathlete | 05.6.2010 | 8:58 pm

    Congratulations IronFatty! As a cycling enthusiast turned collegiate Triathlete I hope you keep competing in Tri’s (Though maybe at a shorter distance). It was great inspiration reading about your training. I hope to be able to complete an Ironman myself one day. I almost burst out laughing in class one day reading your post. Once again, congrats to you and your wife!

  128. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 05.6.2010 | 11:37 pm

    You really pushed through that marathon! I hope you’re recovering ok – that’s pretty light on the training and your poor hip flexor is gonna be mad.

    Super happy you two finished together. That’s the coolest.

  129. Comment by Redbird | 05.7.2010 | 4:45 am

    Congrats Fatty and the Runner! Fatty and the Runner sounds like it should be some kind of 70s buddy-cop show, has a nice ring to it. I could see you two diving over the hood of a 1976 Chevy Impala or something. Nice job on the Ironman. Your posts were fantastic but in no way encourage me to ever even dream about thinking about doing one of these. Or any triathlon for that matter. Glad you made it.

    P.S. Hoping to be the first finisher of the worldwide 100 Miles of Nowhere tomorrow morning. Ride starts tonight, well tomorrow morning, at 2am. should wrap it up by 8:30 or so before the sun gets too unbearable here in the Gulf. I’ll let you know how it goes. Now to pack the cooler and load the iPod, it’s going to be a boring night. :)

  130. Comment by Chris R | 05.7.2010 | 6:11 am

    I see you are wear Sir Isaac Trainers- Newtons. AWESOME. Love my Newtons, I have 2 pairs. Congrats on your Ironman, IronFatty

  131. Comment by Kristi in Ohio | 05.7.2010 | 7:41 am

    I have been reading your blog for about a year or so now. You make me laugh most of the time, sometimes I really don’t know what you are talking about as I don’t ride nor run, though I still enjoy your writing so I keep reading. However, today, you made me cry. Maybe it is me, but really, I’m just so proud of you. And find that you are so very fortunate to have found 2 great women in your lives (not counting children). I find The Runner to have a great kind soul and huge heart. Thank you for your inspiration, your humor, drive, commitment, and the sharing of your stories. Congratulations on the Ironman to you and The Runner.

  132. Comment by Tina Z | 05.7.2010 | 8:58 am

    Del Taco as a post-race meal? Awesome. I always thought of the Del as a ‘on your way home from the bar’ late night meal. Or hangover lunch. Man, I miss Del Taco. And congrats on the race!

  133. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 05.7.2010 | 9:25 am

    Isn’t the 100 Miles of Nowhere this weekend? Good luck and have fun! That century will feel easy after the IronMan.

  134. Comment by jonni | 05.7.2010 | 10:36 am

    What a great read. You did a great job describing the whole event, I feel no need to partake in a Triathalon. smile As always, you give us a fantastic breakdown of your events.

  135. Comment by Freddy Freshlegs | 05.7.2010 | 11:46 am

    Well done, Elden… Well done.

  136. Comment by Drdave | 05.7.2010 | 12:23 pm

    You both did Fantastic!
    I just finished my 100 miles to Nowhere, yesterday. I’m pretty darn sure I would have been up for a marathon after finishing it. But, you have me thinking…..maybe some day.


  137. Comment by Idaho Sherpa | 05.9.2010 | 10:28 pm

    You make me laugh when no one else can!! Love you Fatty!!!!!

  138. Comment by Sara | 05.10.2010 | 7:14 pm

    Incredible story. I just did my first tri (a super sprint) and while I fell in love with doing triathlons, I said I’d never do an ironman. Reading this makes me think that just maybe I can :-) If only I can get over my dislike of running…

    Thanks for posting this!

  139. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Race Report: The American Fork Canyon Marathon | 06.28.2011 | 7:02 am

    [...] I reply, remembering the awesomeness of our Ironman finish. “We finish this holding [...]


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