The marathon would take at least four hours so I had more down time. We were planning to leave later that night, and this would be my only opportunity to explore Madison. One of my favorite television shows is Saturday Night Live and I was a big fan of Madison’s Chris Farley in the early 90s. Yes, I actually watch every episode of SNL, as opposed to those who tune in once a year and blurt out “It’s not funny anymore!” Since I was in Madison, I wanted to pay respect to Chris Farley, however I am aware that he did not exactly live the life of an Ironman. My only idea with the limited time I had was to visit his final resting place three miles away. I took off on my bike, made a few wrong turns and received information from a local that I knew to be false. Ultimately, I reached my destination only to find out that the Saturday Night Live star’s tomb was inside the Mausoleum which was closed. Well, I tried. My phone battery was running low so I sweated it out on my bike through what appeared to be the “Little Italy” of Madison.
When I arrived on State Street, I called my Dad because I needed my computer that was in his truck. I had some Ironman footage to capture, and was on the verge of inadvertently sabotaging my own project. Dad stayed calm as I repeated “Are you between the Capitol and Tutto Pasta? Tutto Pasta and the Capitol? F!” Dusty was about to pass by on mile 12, and I threw some ‘bows to secure a decent position. I hit record on my iPhone and captured a surprised Dusty as made his way around the corner to the Capitol.
Paige was out and about on GrannyTron 3000 while I walked a few blocks to our hotel and quickly transferred my video to my laptop. After a couple 13-14 minutes, I returned to State Street where my Dad was waiting for Dusty to wrap back around. The last time I walked around the downtown area of a large city with a computer bag was a little over a year ago in Athens, Greece. Robbed. I wasn’t too worried of anyone snatching my goods in friendly Madison, but my clutch was firm on the bag. Repeat, clutch was firm. Dusty was now on the final half of the 26.2-mile marathon, and we accidentally missed him. We only realized our mistake when Paige sent a text and said that she saw Dusty at mile 17. My sister continued to track him on her gran-gran, and ended up briefly running with the beast around mile 23.
We made our way to the finish line, and there was Mom waiting patiently with a big smile on her face (just like Dusty had all day). Luckily, we were able to get as close as possible and counted down the minutes as competitors crossed the finish line. Their facial expressions varied from extreme intensity to comedy. It was an unforgettable experience to see people of all ages, male and female, come to a stop and process what they had just accomplished.
I knew that Dusty would be coming down the final stretch at any moment, and as we waited an electrician planted an enormous light right in front of us. I had a bad feeling that this would distract my mother somehow, and sure enough the bad man asked Mom to help with something just as my brother appeared. It was a close call, but Mom was able to see her oldest son who still had a smile on his face. Marathon time: 4:16:30 (49th in division). Ironman Wisconsin time (no breaks): 11 hours, 29 minutes, 52 seconds with no breaks!
Read the conclusion tomorrow on Manolith.