Yes, that's right. 2009. Eeegads I'm a procrastinator.
Spectating is a bit of a sport (and an art) as I learned while watching Ironman Arizona in 2009. Some thoughts, then a great story and some cool photos. The story is most excellent, if I do say so.
First: Arizona can be COLD in the pre-dawn hours. Really, really cold. Two shirts, two jackets, jeans and knee-high compression socks (I know, I know, I'm a dork), hat and gloves don't do enough to keep you toasty while waiting for your Sugar to start his (or her) race.
Second: Ironman racers are super cool people, full stop. I spent all day yelling and screaming for people that I didn't know -- and all day I heard their messages of thanks (sometimes spoken, other times not -- particularly late in the race). If you haven't gone to spectate and Ironman, you really should -- it was eye-opening for me, and I felt like I could really help people have a better moment by encouraging them.
Third: Ironman AZ is great for spectators on the bike and the run. I lost SJV before the swim (so I never got to see him get in) but I was able to see him go into T1, come out of T1, during each of the three loops on the bike both coming and going (total of 6), during each loop on the run both coming and going (total of 6) and the finish. Not bad! I had good positioning, but the key was to find a good spot and stay put.