Ironman Victoria, B.C. weekened
Another successful trip in the books! Victoria, B.C. is the cutest place. It's so quaint, quiet and peaceful. We definitely want to visit again. We brought our English bulldog, Milo, on this trip with us. It was our first official family vacation (not including the times we drove to California). I researched the many ways to get to Victoria from Seattle and decided to go with the ferry option. It was easy to reserve and it was my first time ever driving a car onto the ferry. It was such a fun experience and a BEAUTIFUL ride.
We stayed at an Airbnb near Beacon Hill Park. I highly recommend if you ever decide to visit, stay in this area! There's a gorgeous park that leads to the water. There was so many people out walking their dogs. On Saturday, we decided to go out for a shake out run. We were not disappointed with the views!
We also stumbled upon the Christ Church Cathedral. The front of the cathedral caught our eyes since it resembled Norte Dame. We decided to take a look inside. Again, we were not disappointed!
Our weekend had a tight schedule due to our race. So I made sure we visited one place. From researching Victoria, I learned that the School in X-Men was filmed at the Hatley Castle (20 min drive from Victoria.) This Castle is actually located on a beautiful college campus, tucked away in the trees. We visited just after they closed, which wasn't a bad idea since there was barely anyone there so it was a great opportunity to take some fun photos.
We had friends, Mia & Michael, who were also racing along with Uncle Len. We met my teammate Allison, who's a seasoned Ironman-er. She gave us some pointers and even some parking tips. I was so glad she was there to guide us. And also so glad we had friends participating with us. It was all our first time dipping our toes into the Ironman world.
I've experienced many race expos and I was surprised at how small Ironman was! I want to say there was under 1,000 men and under 900 women along with a few relay teams. We decided to sit in during the athlete briefing since we had no idea how the transitions worked. We did our best to listen attentively and it was so helpful. We checked in our bikes and ate a heavy dinner (pasta and tacos) and got lots of sleep.
Race day came so quickly! We checked into transition (where you leave your bike and bag with everything you need). We got our body marking where volunteers mark your arms and calf with your race number. Then the day started! I was actually so surprised how friendly and supportive everyone was. The triathlon community can come off a bit intimidating but no! The support and love is so real!!! Literally everyone who passed me on the bike (and yes, I got passed up a lot! ) was so encouraging. Some even rode next to me and chit chatted, asking if it was my first time and told me I was doing great. The course was hilly (3000ft elevation) but I was happy I did not give up! Overall, it turned out to be an awesome day. I finished with a time of 8 hours. Can you imagine moving your body for 8 hours nonstop!? Michael also finished with a time of 6 hours and 52 minutes. It was a great experience. I don't know if I will ever do this again. It took a lot out of me that day, but two days later, I'm feeling just fine!