There hasn’t been a day in the last thirty weeks that I didn’t think of this moment. During every workout my mind would drift to this single image, this moment in time. This was it, the culmination of a a 4000 mile/30 week journey.
Sore muscles and blistered feet were forgotten. The stomach settled. All of my senses were alive and in the moment.
The finish arch was in sight. The floodlights were all around me. The chute was lined with spectators, all cheering, all for me. I look around, and I was the only one in the chute. This was my moment.
I started to run down this final carpeted stretch. People were yelling my name. I must have given a hundred high fives. The flashbulbs were going off. I could hear Mike Riley announcing other peoples names as they crossed the finish line. For once, I was paying attention to this detail. After all the training and sacrifices for the last 30 weeks, after the physical and emotional roller coster of the last 15+ hours. After all the doubt and insecurities, I wanted to hear the announcement.
The finishers arch was almost upon me. More flashbulbs. More cheers.
And then, a few yards from the finish line, I hear it…
“Raymond Marier, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”
I vaguely remember pumping my fist as a wave of every emotion flooded my senses. I was drowning in them. It is a feeling that I cannot put into words, but it was completely overwhelming.
A few more steps and I crossed the finish line.
I was an Ironman.
Run Split: 6:09:35.
Finish Time: 15:42:11.