Ironman Wisconsin 2011 {Photo Recap}

A week ago I was waking up at 4am to venture over to Madison to cheer on my friends as they completed Ironman Wisconsin. Luckily I had my partner in crime and fellow photographer, Gena, to help me navigate my first Ironman.

Here is the photo recap of my morning…

Arrive in Madison around 5am. Park off of Carroll St in a ramp. Walk up State Street and around the Capitol to the Monona Terrace.

Be in awe of the sheer number of bikes in T1. And this is only half of them! {The week prior my manager stayed at the hotel to the left and we parked in that lot. My how it was transformed in a few short days!}

View of the Wisconsin Capitol from Monona Terrace. Approximately 5:45 am.Looking at the Monona Terrace. Note the stars still in the sky.5:45 am and look at how many people are awake at the Hilton Monona Terrace. I feel sorry for anyone who WASN’T in Madison for Ironman.Scoping out our photoshoot location. So glad Gena knew what she was doing! ๐Ÿ™‚About 6am. Almost sunrise…an hour to the start.Gena working the angles and getting the shot.Kayakers on Lake Monona…nearly sunrise.Paddle board rescue volunteers.Self portrait of myself & Gena. Yes, we could be sisters…it’s the Norwegian in us. ๐Ÿ™‚6:27am – The pros start entering the water and warming up.6:35am – More of the pros and age group competitors get in Lake Monona.6:36am- Sunrise over Lake Monona.6:48am- 2 minutes until the pros start.6:50am- And the pros are off!6:58am – I can only imagine how much urine is warming up the lake at this point. 2 minutes to the age group start.7:00am- Cannon goes off! Age group competitors are off. 2,000+ people mass start. And without realizing I was going to catch it on video…{I had my iPhone in one hand and camera in the other.}

One of the most surreal experiences of my life. From our vantage point (literally on a rock in Lake Monona), it felt like the swimmers were coming right at us. Gives me goosebumps!

7:21am – The spectators filling up the Monona Terrace Helix.7:40am – The first pro is out of the water coming into T1.First male…

First female…8:20am – My fellow Tahoe TNT teammate, NIKKI! So proud of my lil fish.8:26am – By far the most enthusiastic exit from the water…of course, DANO!Jazz hands!

8:34am – My cycling coach, Grant! Ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy, oi oi oi!8:46am – And then it was over to watch the bikers come out of T1.

And then it was time for an amazing breakfast {and mimosa} that felt like it should be lunch at Graze, off Capitol Square. Seriously…one of the best breakfast restaurants I’ve ever been to. So spacious, airy, bright, and relaxing. And food from local pastures. Love love love.

So even though I had to get up “stupid early” ;)…it was totally worth it. To see the smiles on my friends’ faces, and see their dedication pay off…it made my lack of sleep entirely worth it. And who am I to complain? They’re the ones who woke up at 3am, started swimming at 7am, then biked for 112 miles, and then ran a marathon. I certainly have nothing to complain about.

Way to go IRONMEN!

Dano - September 20, 2011 - 7:05 am

Thanks for being there and shooting the day – what a spectacle, all those people in the water! Glad to relive the morning through these beautiful images.

Birkie Weekend 2012 » Driftless Living Photography | Southwestern Wisconsin Lifestyle Photography | Annika Swenson - February 29, 2012 - 8:39 am

[…] weren’t competitors, we decided to do the next best thing–be the spectating elite. From Ironman Wisconsin to here, I think I’ve perfected my cowbell-ringing, cheering and photo taking all into one. […]