Race day was calling for the weather to be very warm and humid, my worst conditions. I tried not to focus on this as I made my way down to transition to check my tires and put last minute food into the special needs bags. After the tires were filled and the bike was in order I made my way down to the swim area (after waiting 20 minutes for a porta-potty, they wouldn’t let us use the empty ones in the transition zone as these were for the elite athletes). I made it to the beach just in time for a quick dip in the water and wait for my heat to march under the archway towards the water. I stayed at the front of the heat with hopes of not getting too jostled once the gun went off. I could barely see the first buoy because the fog was quite thick. Once the gun went off I found a good space and rhythm in the water but had a tough time sighting due to the fog. I kept in line with the majority of the arms in front and hoped they were going in the right direction. I found that when I was in close proximity to a buoy then it was visible so I just followed the crowd and headed for the buoys when I could see them. Once I veered quite a bit to the left so from then on I tried to stay close to the inside. In the middle of the lake before the first turn, the water seemed to swell quite a bit and waves became prominent for a while. It felt a bit like Lake Simcoe, no big deal. I felt quite good on the swim and exited the water with a 1:05 showing on my watch. Let the wet suit strippers pull off the bottom half off and I jogged happily to the transition to change into the bike clothes. When I got to my bike I was alarmed to find that I could not get the bike out of the rack! The bike to the left had their handle bars firmly tangled inside my spokes. This is not how I left my bike this morning. After several minutes of jostling, I finally freed the bike and I was off. Luckily the clouds had still not cleared so the temperature was comfortable for the first part of the bike course. I actually took off my sunglasses and settled into a comfortable ride. By the time I hit about 60km the temperature was climbing and when I hit the hills on at 70km I was starting to feel like I was cooking from the inside. The first loop was good, I stopped at special needs to replenish the liquids and get more food, but somehow my Garmin got jostled and it was not working once I left this stop. After 4km of the garmin was still not showing any progress so I turned it off and started it again, luckily it worked but now my times were off. The second loop really got hot and I stopped a couple of times to grab ice from their buckets that they kept the gatorade and water. Shoved ice down the bra top, poured water over the helmet and back and continued until the next stop to repeat. Finally hit the hills again, lots of people walking at the side some lying on the side of the road due to the heat. I was hot but could still keep a reasonable pace. Finished the bike in 6:36, changed into running clothes and started off for the run. By the time I hit the first water station my GI tract was starting to show signs of distress, stopped in a potty. Got some water, ice and continued. This trend was the norm for the first 14km of the run! I could not pass a porta-potty without stopping! Finally the stomach settled, I finished the first loop and was feeling better. I decided that if I did NOT stop at every potty and just continue to move forward ( I would not call what I was doing a run) then I could do a negative split! This is just what happened. I felt stronger now and continued to move, not even walking the hills at the end which most people were. The finish line was a welcome sight and seeing David, Pat and Don was so nice. They were my cheering section and had bright orange T-shirts on that said “Judy Snider’s fan club”. It was a great day overall, I loved every minute and cannot wait to do another Ironman next summer.