First off HUGE CONGRATS!! to the Brothers Pearson. They both put a smashing to themselves and earned their Ironman status in fine fashion.
The weekend started off with a potentially ominous sign. While out for a quick last ride, Chris nearly T-boned a car that made a quick left turn in front of us. After about a 10ft rear wheel slide, I think its safe to say his heart rate probably doubled his "last ride" max.
Saturday we hit the swim course and to be quite honest I was shocked at how cold the water was. Not wanting to get in the Brothers' heads, Brandon and I waited to discuss this till after breakfast. Brandon said he thought it was much colder than last year. We got a late start on our ride but still managed about 75mi out on the course. The newly paved roads must have been nice for the IMers. That night I finally met the Sister Pearson who was in charge of dinner venue selection. We all headed out to Scottsdale to a very "New York" Italian food place, got harassed by the waiter, ate, drank and were mary. She made a good selection. I gotta say its nice the night before an IM to be able to drink a beer and some wine at dinner without a care in the world. The Brothers were calm and collected and seemed primed to have good races.
On Sunday we couldn't get through all the discombobulated racers & fans to see the Brothers before the start but I got onto the wall in a prime seat along with Maggs and Brandon.
Chris was out of the water first in 1:06 and Ryan 2 minutes later. Off onto the bike and they both looked good. As the laps progressed it was great to see them both looking good and riding smart. Watching the race with the Parents & Sister Pearson was rad. They are an awesome family and spirited supporters. It was the first Ironman for the whole family and getting to watch it with them added to the experience.
Onto the run Ryan had about 13mins on Chris and looked stoked to be off his bike seat. Chris had a determined look on his face as he set out on what he knew would be the toughest leg for him. Brandon and I were able to make it all over the course to see the Brothers in different spots. The rest of the support crew camped out at the tent and supported all day from there. Pops Pearson has control of the music at a local half in Irvine every year, and while the system wasn't quite the same, he brought his ipod and a stereo and had tunes going for the runners all day. He was thanked on several occasions.
I gotta say I was very impressed with both the Brothers' performances for different reasons. Before the race I had stressed the importance of pacing and nutrition. Both followed that plan to a "T" on the bike. But this being Ironman, I knew anything could happen. Ryan was a machine. He pretty much even split the run. I swear I never saw him pushing it too hard or taking it too easy. Dude was the picture of poise and determination at mile 1, and 23. I would bet there are very few who can say they ran such a smart, deliberate and fast race in their first IM. Awesome and inspirational.
Ryan comin down the chute
Brandon, Ryan, me, Brynn and Sister Pearson (aka Catherine)
Chris' performance was no less impressive. Knowing he didn't have the run training that his brother did, Chris was able to refrain from taking the "get as much as I can" approach on the bike, and conserve for what he thought would be his toughest leg. He thought right, and the grit and determination he displayed was remarkable. Going out I wasn't sure if the look he had was one of agony or singular focus. He proved it was the latter. Struck with stomach problems, he refused to succumb and walk, and continued to RUN the entire marathon. He battled through some long rough patches and came through strong. An equally awesome performance to that of his brother.
Chris getting some motivation from Ryan's GF Brynn. She was an enthusiastic supporter
Finish times: Ryan 10:01:12; Chris 11:02:25
Sister Pearson greeted the newly minted Ironman in style, with a brown-bagged PBR 24oz. and Slim Jim. Classic!
The Pearson Clan. See the brown bag. Keep it classy
Watching from the other side was motivating for next year and I am hoping to toe the line with the Brothers on many more occasions.