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Augusta 70.3 Race Recap

by Meghann on September 26, 2011

This is my proof.

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My proof that at exactly 8:52am I swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles, and ran 13.1 miles.

My proof that I have the best brother and sister in the whole world.

My proof that if you set your mind to something, you can achieve anything.

My proof that I AM a Half Ironman.

This is my proof.

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And I’m never taking if off. ;)

Wow! Words can not describe how incredible today was. I was on cloud 9 right from the start and still haven’t come down.

Our alarms were set for 4:30 this morning. We packed up the hotel room and headed to the race site where we (thankfully) had no problems finding a parking spot by the swim start – love that.

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Unfortunately the swim start was a 1.2 mile walk from the transition area. There were buses running each way, but we didn’t realize that until after we already made the walk there. Luckily we were able to hop the bus back to the swim start after we set up.

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The transition area was FULL of nervous triathletes setting up their transition site ‘just so.’

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Transitions are my weakness. I never practice them during training and am still not sure what the ‘perfect’ way to set up my area is. I always sort of wing it and hope it works.

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Our bikes were set up and ready to go by 6:30. We had PLENTY of time to relax and eat our pre-race fuel before the start.

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Un-toasted bagel + almond butter = makes me want to gag, but it’s the easiest, quickest thing to fuel up with.

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Making our way to the swim start really made it feel real. I wasn’t feeling any crazy nerves – just a rush of adrenaline and excitement! I felt like I was about to burst with anticipation of starting!

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There were a total of 25 waves for the swim. The pros kicked off wave 1 at 7:30 and there was a wave every 4 minutes after that. Ben was wave 4 at 7:44 and Kelly and I were wave 21 at 8:52.

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When I first realized Kelly and I wouldn’t be starting until close to 9, I started freaking out a little. When you’re planning a 7 hour race, starting at 9 just seems way too late. However, once we were on site, the late start didn’t seem as bad.

For starters, while Kelly and I were able to relax a little, Ben had to start suiting up.

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Don’t forget to lube!

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And he’s ready to go!

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We watched Ben line up with his coordinating swim cap and make his final descent to the water.

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Ready…. Set….

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GO!

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See ya at the finish Ben!

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Then we waited

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The hour wait wasn’t bad at all. We used the restrooms, made new tri-friends, and discussed our goals for the day. Before we knew it, it was time to start suiting up!

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My plan was to use the plastic baggie on the feet suggestion (like Kelly and Ben did), but I didn’t remember until the suit was half way up. Oh well. It actually wasn’t as bad putting the wetsuit on as I was expecting. Just a few good tug and we were in business.

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Lube was my friend.

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I slathered my legs with vaseline and applied a generous layer of Body Glide on my neck and around where the sleevless suit would cut into my arms.

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No chafing here!

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This was it! We said our final good byes to the amazing Danielle and headed to the start!

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The Swim

Spotting our wave start wasn’t difficult – just look for the big group of blue caps! Kelly and I located our friend Cat (who had the same wave start) and tried to calm down our excitement by taking deep breaths, mixed with a little people watching.

Those final 15 minutes before the start flew by and before we knew it, we were walking down the ramp and onto the dock. The dock was a floating platform specifically set up for the race and I got oddly giddy with excitement stepping onto it. Kelly and I kept looking at each other going ‘This is it!”

There was no easing into the water. We both took a giant leap and headed straight in. I thought I would be shocked by the water, but it wasn’t terribly cold. It was more refreshing than anything else.

We waded for 2 minutes, then a gun was fired to signal our start.

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I lost Kelly immediately. There was NO swimming side-by-side in this race – it was each woman for herself. I was kicked and grabbed, but still intent on making my way out of the huge pack as swiftly as possible.

Within a few minutes the group had dispersed and I spent the remainder of the swim clinging to the far buoys, since that’s where someone had told me yesterday would be the fast current. I’m not sure how true that statement was, but I felt fast right off the bat. I was told you could float the swim and finish in 45 minutes, and I 100% agree with that.

The current felt fast, but the conditions in the water were only subpar. The visibility in the water was awful – I could only see a few inches ahead of me at a time – and the seaweed got caught in my watch, wrist, and around my armpit.

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Because the swim was so fast, I felt really strong with my stroke. I counted out three strokes at a time and tried my best to sight with each breath. However, my sighting skills are terrible and I’m sure I was zigzagging the majority of the swim.

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My thoughts on the swim ranged anywhere from “I wonder what the girl next to me does for a living” to “Man, I’m too spoiled here – there’s no way I’m going to be able to do a full ironman on a real swim course that doesn’t have a current.” I have big dreams of doing an ironman one day, but a 2.4 mile swim? Not so much.

The end point came quickly and – before I knew it – I was fighting fellow competitors for a spot on the narrow ramp for my run to transition 1!

Final Swim Time: 31:22 (1.2mi) Pace: 1:39/ 100M <– wowza!

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Transition 1

Right out of the water I unzipped my suit and began pulling my arms out during my run up the path. At the top I was greeted by wetsuit strippers who instructed me to lay on my back with my toes in the air. Before I could say ‘strip me’ they had my suit completely off. I’m still in awe how quickly that happened!

My entire time in transition 1 was spent wondering how Kelly did. I looked near her rack, but couldn’t see her or tell if her bike was there or not. I stalled a little putting my gear on to see if Kelly was still coming up from the swim, but I never saw her so I figured she left for the bike.

Transition 1 was pretty simple. Since the run was on a paved sidewalk, my feet were pretty clean and just needed a dry rub with the towel, instead of a full dunk in water. I easily slipped my socks and cycling shoes on, stuffed a a few Chewy Bars in each of my tri pockets, put my helmet, Garmin, and racebelt on, and was good to go.

Transition 1 time: 5:35

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The Bike

I came into the bike prepared for the worst – sharp hills, steep climbs, and being passed every minute of the ride. Luckily, it wasn’t that bad at all. The hills were more of rolling hills and only required minimum gear changes. The bike is my weakest event (especially those darn hills), but I was proud when I discovered I could hold my own. Sure, I was passed A LOT, but I did some passing too. It was an even trade.

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Not even 2 miles into the ride we entered South Carolina and spent the remainder of the 56 miles there. I loved the wide country roads and beautiful green scenery. I also appreciated that it was a giant loop, instead of a double out and back.

There were plenty of helpful volunteers blocking the roads along the way and an aide station every 15 miles or so. I skipped the first one, grabbed a water to replace the bottle in my cage on the second, and grabbed a Ironman Powerade on the third, but only took a few sips before tossing it.

Fueling for the bike went better than I thought it would. I was scared I wouldn’t have enough calories, but it ended up being great. I took a Chewy Bar every 45 minutes (4 in total) and knocked back a 20 oz bottle of gatorade through the course of the ride. I was a little nervous when it came time to take the last Chewy Bar and my stomach wanted to reject it, but it ended up being fine.

At mile 16 I overheard a radio dispatcher say the last cyclist was at mile 5. That meant he was 11 miles behind me. Must. Pedal. Faster.

Mile 40 was when my rear end really began to reject the bike. Those last 16 miles couldn’t come fast enough! We passed a guy holding a sign ‘Go home. Get off our roads.’ which I thought was a joke at first. Basically he was standing in front of his front yard letting us know how much of a nuisance the cyclists are. Ummm… we’re in his way one morning of the year and bring a ton of business to the local economy. Get over it.

Once I hit mile 50 – I did a little happy dance for a PDR. I also did a happy dance for 6 miles left! Let me tell you, 6 miles left on a bike is a heck of a lot different than 6 miles left in a marathon!

We made it back to Georgia at mile 3 and took a series of downhills to the bike dismount. I finished knowing I couldn’t have asked for a better bike portion. No flat tires, no broken bike parts, and no crashes. Woo hoo!!!

Bike time: 3:38:47 (56 mi) Pace: 15.36 mph

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Transition 2

I dismounted my bike and raced as fast I could to my rack. The bike shoes came off, the running shoes came on, and I flipped my bib to the front. Once the helmet was removed (not sure why I did this last?) I was good to go!

Transition 2 Time: 2:56

The Run

The majority of the bike ride I was day dreaming about the run. This was my strength, this was what I did well, and I couldn’t wait to get my feet on the pavement and just go.

And go I did. My first mile was 8:28. Too fast.

I couldn’t help it. The run was a double loop around downtown Augusta and – where I was coming in – a lot of the male racers ahead of me were on their second loop and struggling. It felt so good to pass someone (anyone!) that I just took advantage and zoomed by.

Of course, it didn’t take long for it to catch up with me. By mile 2 I began to feel weaker and slowed down my speed a bit. I forgot to grab my Gu Chomps during transition (doh!) and decided to rely on aide stations for fuel. I took two water cups, one Powerade, and a couple of orange slices from each station. If I ever felt like that wasn’t enough, my plan was to go for the Powerade Gus being offered. Luckily, the Powerade and orange slices seemed to do the trick in fueling me for all 13.1 miles.

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By mile 3-ish the sun was beating down hard. I was hot, weak, and decided to implement the Galloway method if I was going to finish this race. I started running 3 minutes, walking 30 seconds, and somehow managed to keep up a 10 min/mile pace.

Just passed mile 4 I saw Ben on the other side of the street. He was on his second loop, a mile away from the finish, and still looking strong. Seeing him gave me a burst of energy I was desperately in need of.

At mile 6 – I saw Danielle.

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Finally someone to ask questions to! I was racking my brain about Kelly all day and wanted to know how she was doing. Danielle informed me she was a mile ahead and Ben was crossing the finish line. Yay!

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After that, it was a quick turn around the corner and I was passing the finish line (ugh!) and heading for my final loop around the course.

The streets that seemed so full on the first lap, now seemed empty and sad. Where did all the spectators go?! The clouds also moved in, creating a nice coverage of about 10 degree cooler temps. It rained a little, but that only added to the appeal of the clouds and the coolness they brought with them.

Just before mile 9 I saw something that looked like a mirage – I spotted Kelly. I was so excited that I began to gun it to her. The lady to the right was like ‘Dang girl, where is this energy coming from?!”

“That’s my sister up ahead, she’s my rabbit!”

My rabbit that pushes me like no other – I couldn’t believe I found her! We gave each other big hugs and immediately got all emotional over it. Kelly is BIG with motivational mantras and immediately started rattling off why we deserved to finish this strong – I love her.

I told her how my running 3 minutes and walking 30 seconds was working for me and she immediately agreed to give it a try. We decided to finish this race together – just like we started it.

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Running with Kelly was great! We pushed each other through each running segment and filled each other in on our own experience with the race thus far during the walking breaks. It was nice to play catch up before the race was even over.

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The last half of the race flew by thanks to my sister. I’m not sure I would have finished without her! At one point Kelly told me we could get sub-6:30 if we kept at the same pace we were doing – I didn’t want to get my hopes up by believing her!

Once we got to mile 1.5 it became this big countdown. Kelly and I kept trading back and forth ‘We’re going to do this! We’re going to become half ironmen!’ It was very emotional pushing it through to the end.

With a half a mile left, we gave it all we had in us. The finish line was in our eyesight and we could taste it!

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We gave it everything we had and SPRINTED to the end.

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We. Are. Half. Ironman.

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Run time: 2:11:17 (13.1 mi)

RUN SPLIT 1: 6.55 mi 6.55 mi (1:00:24) 9:13/mi
RUN SPLIT 2: 13.1 mi 6.55 mi (1:10:53) 10:49/mi

Total time: 6:27:57 <—!!!!!!!!

Note the face when I realized we hit sub – 6:30;)

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I didn’t know whether to cry, laugh, or scream when we finished. It was an incredible rush of emotion from training for so long and wanting this so bad – it was a runner’s high like no other! Finishing with my sister was just icing on the cake!

If Ben hadn’t challenged Kelly and I to this back in January, I’m not sure I would have done it, but I’m so happy I did. I freakin’ did a HALF IRONMAN today!! How crazy is that?!

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The pain didn’t set in until I started standing still and then it was just my legs cramping. My goal was to keep moving and not stand in one place for too long. Honestly, the pain after finishing a marathon is much worse. This was very mild in comparison.

We worked our way through the food tent and grabbed a cold pizza to share.

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I had a slice straight from the box.

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I also grabbed a Mix1 for the road. (they were handing them out for free in the finish line recovery area)

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We had zero problems getting back to our car, but -since the race was still going on – we had to walk the 1.2 miles back to the transition area to grab out stuff, then ride out bikes back to the car with all our gear. Not cool.

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The walk there wasn’t bad, but the ride back was filled with rain. We were also all starving and in need of a real meal before hitting the road.

I ran by Nacho Mama’s twice today and it was the only thing I was craving at the moment.

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The table split a ginormous thing of cheesy nachos (yum!)

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And I had a pork and roasted potato taco (also, yum!)

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The bummer part came when we had to immediately jump back in the car and drive the 6 hour ride home following dinner. It sucks, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

And I’m pretty sure none of us will have any problems catching some Zzzzs in the back.

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Good Night, Ben!

Can I just wrap this post up by sending a huge shout of THANKS to Danielle?!

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This weekend she was our cheerleader, our photographer, our tweeter, and our number on best friend. She rocks and I can’t wait to cheer her on at her own 70.3 in the very near future!! ;)

Thank you Danielle! We all heart you!!!

{ 179 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate September 26, 2011 at 3:04 am

Congratulations Meghann- great race and great race report. You made me remember how much I LOVE the half ironman distance (even though I sometimes hate it). I found myself reading over some of my old half posts after I saw your tweets today, and now I’m really looking forward to racing again post-baby!

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2 Kate September 26, 2011 at 3:05 am

Also- WOO! First comment. That never happens! Sometimes it’s a plus living on the other side of the world!

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3 Khushboo September 26, 2011 at 3:08 am

WOW NO WORDS! You kicked some serious ass (i love that poster ha)! What an inspiration you 3 are! I bet you’re still on cloud 9! Love the relationship you and your sister share, reminds me of myself and my own sister :)! Go relish in those endorphins, you deserve it!

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4 Grace September 26, 2011 at 3:17 am

Wow I was blown away reading your race recap!
You rock :D
Congrats!!

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5 Rachel September 26, 2011 at 3:33 am

Awesome race recap! What a great accomplishment!!

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6 michelle September 26, 2011 at 3:34 am

Congrats!!!!!!!!! You did awesome!

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7 Chuck September 26, 2011 at 4:00 am

Congratulations again!

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8 ITri September 26, 2011 at 4:08 am

Great job! LOVE the pics of you and your sister approaching the finish line together!

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9 erica September 26, 2011 at 4:20 am

congratulations!!!!! what an accomplishment and i love that all 3 of you did this iron man together and that you and kelly were able to cross the finish line together! that’s just awesome :) if i did that, i wouldn’t take my medal off either!

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10 Carol September 26, 2011 at 4:28 am

You are my hero! What an amazing experience:) So glad you were able to find Kelly and finish strong!

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11 Jeff September 26, 2011 at 4:40 am

Great Race Recap!! – Congrats!!! – I will be running my first marathon in a few weeks and have this next on my list. Reading this recap makes me want to do it more!!!

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12 ~Jessica~ September 26, 2011 at 4:56 am

WOW! You’re amazing. End of story. I can only aspire to such greatness, and your recap is one of the most thorough I have ever read. It really does give a great snapshot of your experience and the rigors that a half ironman can entail. You totally have it in you to do a Full Ironman.

Quick question: are those run stats right? I’m probably reading it wrongly, it’s just it says 1:11:17 for the 13.1 miles. I think even Kenyan elites struggle to run that kind of time ;)

xxx

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13 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:18 am

ahh! Hit publish at 3:00am! Sorry, the run was 2:11! Thanks for pointing that out!

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14 rebecca September 26, 2011 at 5:36 am

Congratulations meghann! You look great. It is funny how connected readers can feelto bloggers: all day on sunday, I was thinking, “its meghann’s half-ironman. I hope she’s doing well.” Congratulations.

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15 Marisa E September 26, 2011 at 9:48 am

I was thinking the same thing- even mentioned something to my husband about it and he was like “Who??”- hahahaha!!!

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16 Dina September 26, 2011 at 5:47 am

Congrats! So amazing to see all of your hard work paying off. I love that you finished the race with your sister, it’s so sweat and you can tell how close you are as a family.

I think ending a race by eating Mexican food sounds heavenly.

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17 Tess September 26, 2011 at 5:49 am

CONGRATULATIONS!! I am SO excited for you! You are incredible and inspiring…I’m about to head off on a ten mile run (seems like nothing in comparison to the huge feat you just accomplished!) and this was JUST the motivation I needed to get myself out the door! You’re a champ!

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18 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance September 26, 2011 at 5:57 am

What an amazing and inspiring accomplishment! I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now (before I even had one of my own) and am truly motivated each and every time I see you complete another race. You are SO strong! Keep it up, girl :)

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19 Jen September 26, 2011 at 6:02 am

Congrats! You trained well and proved it during the race. Next stop, full IRONMAN!

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20 Kristin September 26, 2011 at 6:21 am

Wow, congratulations to all three of you! This was such an inspiring and emotional recap. Thank you so much for sharing!

Hope you enjoy your first week as an Iron-woman :) woohoo!

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21 alison September 26, 2011 at 6:33 am

Congratulations, Meghann! What an awesome recap!

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22 Lauren September 26, 2011 at 6:50 am

THIS IS AWESOME!! Just got chills reading this recap. You seriously rocked it! Congrats to you all. :)

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23 Emily@SavoryandSavage September 26, 2011 at 6:52 am

Congrats to all of you!!

I am so glad to see how well all your training paid off! I can’t imagine a better first half ironman.

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24 Erika - The Teenage Taste September 26, 2011 at 6:54 am

Congrats on an excellent race! You are awesome, Meghann!

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25 tracey September 26, 2011 at 7:05 am

Congratulations to all of you for completing the race!!! You guys all rock. Great recap.

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26 Chrissy (The New Me) September 26, 2011 at 7:13 am

Congratulations! I am so impressed with your performance (and how quickly you got the recap up!). Very exciting to follow your training and then see you succeed. I hope you ride this high for a while!

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27 LEM September 26, 2011 at 7:15 am

Way to go!!! I got choked up reading your post about seeing Kelly. So great that you could finish together. :)

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28 Marty September 26, 2011 at 7:16 am

You must feel invincible! Congrats on your huge accomplishment. You didn’t only accomplish it, you ROCKED it! It makes it even more special with your siblings there with you. Get some rest and enjoy what you just finished achieving.

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29 Christena September 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

Totally impressed!

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30 miss posy September 26, 2011 at 7:24 am

Oh jeez. *I* got all emotional reading about you finding Kelly and then finishing the race together. You are so amazing – not only did you finish a half ironman, you completely freaking SMASHED IT!

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31 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 26, 2011 at 7:24 am

Absolutely incredible. You make me feel like I could even do one of these!!! You did an awesome job, Meghann!

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32 Eric September 26, 2011 at 7:25 am

Congrats on finishing the half ironman. It is great that you were able to finish the race with Kelly. I envey your fast swim time. That 2.4 miles swim for a full ironman is going to be tough.

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33 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:20 am

The swim time was totally the current, it would have been a different story otherwise. ;)

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34 SkinnyRunner September 26, 2011 at 7:26 am

congratulations! what a great recap – you almost made me want to do one after reading it.

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35 CaitlinHTP September 26, 2011 at 7:34 am

Way to go. I am so impressed. CLEARLY your training was spot-on. You did a great job!

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36 Beth @ 990 Square September 26, 2011 at 7:35 am

Congratulations! What an awesome journey. I hope you’re relishing in your accomplishment today!

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37 Ashley September 26, 2011 at 7:39 am

I’m nearly in tears reading this. I’m so happy for you, you are amazing woman! Congratulations.

You’re tempting me to try a triathlon (I’m pretty sure I couldn’t convince myself to do a half ironman, that sounds so intense). But I’m terrified of biking and suck at swimming… hmmm…

But again, congrats, this was so great to read and I can’t imagine how proud you are. Way to kick some serious butt.

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38 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:21 am

Trust me, if I can bike and swim – then anyone can! It just takes a little practice and motivation!

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39 Fallon September 26, 2011 at 7:47 am

Wow amazing! SO glad you guys had a great time and accomplished what you set out to do!

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40 Jaclyn @realhealthwife September 26, 2011 at 7:49 am

Meghann this is incredible!! Congratulations on such an amazing accomplishment!! I’m currently training for a marathon and you are a HUGE inspiration, thank you!!

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41 Britt @ Run with Britt September 26, 2011 at 7:50 am

Congrats! I love how you and your sister crossed the finish line together. Y’all kicked some serious butt running sub 6:30. Your recap made me want to be a half Iron(Wo)man!

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42 Sara @ RunnerWife September 26, 2011 at 7:52 am

Congrats! That is such an accomplishment and so a wonderful finsih with your sister! You should be so proud!!

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43 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers September 26, 2011 at 7:53 am

meghann this is so, so amazing! i felt like III was full of adrenaline and anticipation as i was reading this recap. i am so excited for you and proud of your amazing accomplishment. congratulations to you, ben and kelly!

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44 Coco September 26, 2011 at 7:53 am

Congratulations to you all!!! I’m so glad things went smoothly for you- and it seems like you really had a great time :) So inspirational!

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45 Vegan Ali September 26, 2011 at 7:55 am

Awesome job, girl! So amazing! I love seeing people finish with smiles on their faces!

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46 Katie September 26, 2011 at 7:55 am

Yay!! Congratulations :-) I couldn’t believe I spotted you and how strong you were looking considering the heat! Any plans for a full….? I’ll ask you again when the pain wears off!

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47 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:24 am

I couldn’t believe we found each other too!!! I’m about to head over to your blog to see how your Dad did! I saw you right after I saw my friend Danielle, so the strength was just the burst of adrenaline after seeing you guys!!! I’ll do a full one day, I’m just not sure when that 1 day is. The 2.4 mile swim scares the heck out of me!!

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48 Hillary September 26, 2011 at 8:01 am

I have to tell you, Meghann, this totally blew me away. The thought of swimming a mile, biking 50, and then running a half marathon makes me want to die a little, but I cannot imagine how incredible it felt to cross that finish line (with your sister, no less!)

Hearing how excited you were, I was reminded how awesome I felt when I crossed the finish line at my first half marathon last fall. I’m kind of thinking I want to start training for another race soon—just to replicate that high.

Congrats to you all. What an insane accomplishment!

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49 Patrice @ A New Sweetness September 26, 2011 at 8:02 am

Congrats to you all!! What a wonderful accomplishment!! This reminds me of how much I would love to take part in a big race someday.

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50 Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run September 26, 2011 at 8:02 am

Congrats! Fun to read the race recap. :-)
I’m pretty sure you meant your half marathon time to be 2:11 and not 1:11. I swear I looked at that time in disbelief for like 2 minutes. Hee.

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51 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:25 am

Definitely 2:11! I hit publish at 3:00am I think my eyes were mentally skipping things while editing just so i would press publish faster and go to bed ;)

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52 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 26, 2011 at 8:02 am

OMG Meghann, this is the best race recap ever!! I’ve got chills running down my spine in excitement for you!! What an amazing day, and you did awesome!! You should be so unbelievably proud of yourself. You’re so inspirational, strong, and dedicated. I hope you are enjoying your well-deserved recovery!

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53 Biz September 26, 2011 at 8:10 am

Congrats Meghann! Great job! I had no doubt you would lick some ass!

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54 Brittany September 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

Congratulations you are awesome!!!!

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55 KatieMoo September 26, 2011 at 8:19 am

Congrats, Meghann! You so deserve this. I was crying by the end of the recap, especially since you and Kelly crossed the line holding hands. Too awesome!

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56 Army Amy* September 26, 2011 at 8:26 am

Way to go! It sounds like an amazing experience!*

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57 Katy (The Singing Runner) September 26, 2011 at 8:33 am

Congratulations to all of you! I am so incredibly proud! It definitely goes to show that you can achieve anything you put your mind to! :D

Enjoy your week! Bask in the glory of being a half-ironman!!!

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58 chris September 26, 2011 at 8:33 am

Nice Post!! Great details. Felt like I was there….wait a minute I was! Congrats fellow finisher.

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59 Katy Widrick September 26, 2011 at 8:36 am

I was holding my breath all day on Sunday waiting for the recap — I’m so glad that you had no issues on the bike or during the swim, and I hope you know how proud I am of all of you!

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60 Jen September 26, 2011 at 8:42 am

Congrats!!!!

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61 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday September 26, 2011 at 8:43 am

Wow! I’m so impressed by your race! You did an amazing job and should be so proud of yourself!

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62 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 26, 2011 at 8:48 am

Congratulations to all 3 of you! What an awesome recap and experience.

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63 Anne P September 26, 2011 at 8:49 am

Girl. I am SO PROUD OF YOU GUYS!!! Congratulations – you’re amazing.

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64 Karolina September 26, 2011 at 8:52 am

Congratulations on finishing so strong! I’m so impressed that you were able to do this- I loved following the tweets yesterday:)

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65 Hope September 26, 2011 at 8:57 am

Congrats! What an incredibly amazing accomplishment! You should be so proud of yourself! :) I really enjoyed your recap!

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66 Dori September 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

Meghann!!!! I am so proud of you, congrats! I LOVE that you found Kelly and finished together, that is so amazing. And even after swimming and biking insane distances (I cannot imagine for being on a bike for that long at all) you still ran a really fast 13.1. AMAZING.

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67 Lisa Fine September 26, 2011 at 9:04 am

Woohoo! Amazing!

I love that you and your sister started and ended together, and as a big follower of Jeff Galloway, I also live that the walk breaks worked so well. You rock!

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68 Michelle September 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

Freaking amazing Meghann! Congrats to the Anderson family!!!!!!!

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69 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 26, 2011 at 9:09 am

CONGRATS girl!!! What a HUGE accomplishment! Because of you, I set my own goal to do one next year. WHeeee!: )

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70 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

I got so giddy reading that. You did awesome! So proud!

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71 Clare @ Fitting It All In September 26, 2011 at 9:18 am

Congratulations Meghann! An amazing recap and it is SO inspiring that you could do that. It’d be such a dream for me – maybe I should start with a sprint tri:)

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72 Jennifer Cook September 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

I was so excited for you all day yesterday, and I loved following Danielle on twitter and hearing how everyone was doing. Congrats! I have very big Ironman dreams, but the thought of it scares the crap out of me. You have made me feel like I can do it!

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73 Laurie September 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

CONRATS to all of you!!!!

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74 Laurie September 26, 2011 at 9:23 am

I meant ‘CONGRATS’ :)

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75 Deirdre September 26, 2011 at 9:24 am

Congrats! You guys rock! The fact you were able to finish with your sister almost had me choking up at my desk. So happy for you.

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76 Casey September 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

Great recap! You are truly inspiring ~ you looked so happy at the end!!! I can’t wait to read about your next big race. :)

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77 Heather September 26, 2011 at 9:34 am

congrats! I am so proud of you! YOU DID IT GIRL! reading your recap was so exciting!

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78 Cait's Plate September 26, 2011 at 9:35 am

This is so incredible. CONGRATS!!! Love the last photo of you and Kelly crossing holding hands. No better way to end it!

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79 Cat @Breakfast to Bed September 26, 2011 at 9:38 am

First thing: Why am IIII crying at your race recap? I better go pee on a stick or buy tampons or something.
second thing: and you thought the only person who could take off your clothing that quickly was your boyfriend. :)

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80 jodie September 26, 2011 at 9:39 am

Wow!!!! What an accomplishment. I was smiling reading the entire post and the pictures of you, your brother and sister together shows the bond you all have. Just fantastic. Congrats to all of you. :) Have a great day today.

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81 Kate September 26, 2011 at 9:40 am

What an amazing story! I have to admit, I teared up a bit at the end seeing the pictures of you and your sister crossing the finish line holding hands. How amazing for you both. Congratulations!

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82 Marisa E September 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

Reading your recap at 5:30 this morning made me:
1) Cry
2) Late to work!….I was too busy carefully reading through it all instead of showering- whoops!! ;-)

Seriously amazing!!! Congrats!!!!!!!

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83 Cate September 26, 2011 at 9:50 am

Wow, wow, wow! You three are amazing! Major congrats on completing a Half Ironman! Really inspirational and I love that you got to share it with your siblings.
Awesome recap too, thanks for sharing! :)

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84 Kristen September 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

Congratulations to you and your siblings!!! No doubt about it…you are a tri-athlete!! You have shown us tat we can be whoever we want to be when it comes to giving ourselves a “title”….and to say it with pride!!!

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85 Bri September 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

This is probably the coolest race recap I’ve ever read. Congrats! Very, very impressive!

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86 wymberley September 26, 2011 at 10:02 am

Im crying. i love this! amazing!! way to go!

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87 Christine September 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

OMG amazing. congrats!!!!!!!!

now i want to do one. :)

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88 Sarah AJ September 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

Great race report! Congratulations on an awesome race!

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89 Donna September 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

Nice race report. Fantastic race! And that swim time? Amazing! Nice bike and of course a great run to boot! Way to finish strong!

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90 Daniella September 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

Congrats! That is such a huge accomplishment!

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91 Rae September 26, 2011 at 10:06 am

freaking. awesome. way to go, half Ironwoman!! And if 140.6 is on your radar, maybe Beach to Battleship? Its in NC and with the current :-D

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92 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 10:11 am

Thanks for letting me know! I’ll check it out. ;)

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93 Corey @ Learning Patience September 26, 2011 at 10:09 am

I am so happy for you – sounds like an amazing day! A HUGE congrats!
xoxo from Trinidad

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94 Danielle B September 26, 2011 at 10:15 am

I love your race recaps, and this one it the best so far! Congratulations to you and your family – you are amazing!

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95 Devon @FastFoodie September 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

I was on a flight home from a race I did Saturday yesterday, and I checked on your race a couple times and was pulling for you from the sky. Congrats on a great first half ironman. You should be very proud! Great job! Enjoy your recovery!

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96 Nikki September 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

Wow, this is so freaking inspiring! You are amazing in strength, mind, body. Definitely an amazing experience I bet! I was pretty much tearing up with excitement when reading about your conncection with your sister and how you finished together. How awesome! Congratulations!!!!

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97 Bronwyn September 26, 2011 at 10:34 am

Congrats on such an amazing race! Really inspirational to see someone become a half-ironwoman!

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98 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 26, 2011 at 10:34 am

Congratulations! You guys all kicked ass. So… when is the full Ironman? :)

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99 Jen September 26, 2011 at 10:36 am

Congrats Meghann! You (and Kelly and Ben) are awesome! I cannot imagine the high you’re on right now. So happy for you, girl!

And thanks for being so honest about the fast swim course. My goal next Fall is to do a HIM and I was debating between Augusta and one in Anderson, SC. Augusta definitely wins now. I’ll take all the help on the swim I can get ;)

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100 Christa September 26, 2011 at 10:47 am

Big congratulations Meghann. Such a beautiful recap of your big day. The emotion came through in your words…so inspiring. I absolutely love that you and your sis crossed the finish line together. You, your sis and brother should all be so proud!!

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101 Lauren September 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

You= ROCK STAR! I am so impressed and so inspired.

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102 Laura September 26, 2011 at 10:54 am

Meghann!!! Congratulations you are such an inspiration!! I teared up at the pictures of you and Kelly finishing together…amazing!!!

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103 RunEatRepeat September 26, 2011 at 10:54 am

Meghann!!! You are amazing and inspiring!!! Love you :) I have a bike I bought for a tri a few years back and ended up stopping training because of school. You remind me I need to get back on it!

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104 mary September 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

I’m SO proud of you!!! You did a GREAT job!!

you’re a half Iron WOman!! :D

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105 Erin September 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

This is an amazingly awesome and inspirational post to read early on a Monday morning!! My ultimate racing goal is to do a half ironman. I’ve done a bunch of half marathons and am training on the bike now and up to 40 miles and this completely inspired me. You rock. I hope you are fully enjoying your medal (after I ran the Boston Marathon I wore mine for a week!).

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106 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio September 26, 2011 at 11:02 am

Congratulations!!! That is so incredibly fantastic!

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107 Reenie September 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

WOW!!! I seriously started tearing up when you found Kelly…. I’m soooo proud of all 3 of you ~ you guys ROCK!! And to do it together as a family ~ and finish with Kelly ~ AWESOME!

~ congrats ~

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108 mi-an d. September 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

hey girlee!! i couldn’t wait to read up on your recap!! and congrats!!! like the other commenter above, i started to get all teary when you found your sister. that’s the best!! awww!! awesome!!!

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109 Liz September 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

What an awesome race for you! Congratulations, Half Ironman! I almost got choked up when you found Kelly :) and when I saw yesterday that you finished with the same time, I was in awe!

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110 Alaina September 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

this is amazing! you are a beast and this race recap was amazing!

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111 Kenny Adams September 26, 2011 at 11:24 am

hey there! I’m from Augusta and run a website called Augusta’s Choice! I happened on this post via twitter and I have to say I LOVE your write up. I was there Sunday and had planned to film the event as I did last year but alas, it wasn’t in the cards (my camera decided to completely die once I got out to the Swim Start). I just want to say thank you SO much for coming out to Augusta and second, I want to say disregard the ignorance of the guy with the sign. We’re not all like that. Congrats on your accomplishment! You should be VERY proud and this has to be one of the best write ups I’ve seen. Great job!!!

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112 Sarah @ The Strength of Faith September 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

Did anyone else almost cry just reading the recap?

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113 wendy sue September 26, 2011 at 11:28 am

congratulations! what an amazing accomplishment!

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114 Page September 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

Ahhh! I am so happy for you! Congrats on the amazing race and YOU ARE A HALF IRONMAN!!!!

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115 Alison (Fueling for Fitness) September 26, 2011 at 11:34 am

Congratulations! Great race recap and I especially love the look of delight on your face as you’re about to cross the finish line. :)

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116 Theodora September 26, 2011 at 11:43 am

congrats!!!! You did a great job, and I love that you and Kelly finish races together!

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117 Shaun @ snackasaurusrex September 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

Loved your race recap…I may have cried when you found your sister. Congrats to you ALL!!!

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118 chatelaine September 26, 2011 at 11:50 am

BIG HUGE congratulations!! So proud of you. I even teared a little for your excitement and accomplishment.

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119 Christie September 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

WOW, congratulations!!! That’s so awesome. I couldn’t imagine how good you feel. You should be so proud of yourself!!

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120 emily September 26, 2011 at 11:59 am

You’re amazing!!!

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121 Kelly September 26, 2011 at 11:59 am

Congratulations! You are an inspiration. I hope to be an Ironman one day too, but I have a long way to go.

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122 Amanda September 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm

TOTAL ROCKSTAR!! Sending you the biggest CONGRATS ever!!!!

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123 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Congratulations!!!!! That’s so amazing! You should be so proud!!! You make me want to do a half ironman! Haha, building up. Finished a 10K this weekend, 10 miles in Nov. And half marathon in March. Maybe in a couple years! You are very inspirational!

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124 Hilary September 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Congrats!!! What an amazing accomplishment!

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125 Tiffany September 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Congratulations!! Long time reader, first time commenter……

I almost started to cry when I got to the picture of you and your sister crossing the finish line! I have my first half marathon in just under 3 weeks, and I can wait to get that feeling of “Oh my god, I actually did it!”

you actually have me wanting to try a triathalon, and maybe…..just maybe, one day doing the longer, ironman distances. You showed me that even though one particular event is not your strong suit, you can still complete the entire event, and live to tell your story. For me, it will be the swimming…..

Enjoy your recovery!!

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126 Dynamics September 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Congrats Meghann! You are an amazing writer. I feel like I was there with you and just want to cry with excitement for you both, and Ben too.

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127 Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs September 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I love your race recaps :)

CONGRATS!!!! I am so excited for you. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be a full on Ironman someday :)

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128 Amanda @ the beauty notebooks September 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm

You three are amazing! I was on an emotional high just reading this :) The entire blog community is SO PROUD of you!

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129 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas September 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Congrats Meghann and Anderson siblings!! You made it sound so fun! :D

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130 Ari @ Ari's Menu September 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Congratulations Meghann!! You are an inspiration!!

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131 Lauren @ Running Examiner September 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm

A huge congratulations to you, Kelly, and Ben! You all did a fantastic job, and should be incredibly proud of your accomplishment!

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132 Jess September 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I have never done a tri – and have no designs on an IM, but reading your recap was an adrenaline rush! You actually made me consider it for a moment…okay, I still think it would be cool. But that’s a long way off.

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133 elizabeth September 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I know you don’t know me, but I read your blog all the time, and I seriously teared up at the end when you found your sister! How awesome for you both! A huge congratulations to you!!!

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134 Freya September 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Meghann – I’m not a big swearer, but this recap deserves one heck of a big HOLY F!*% GIRL you did amazing!!!!!! You are friggin incredible, and I have no idea how you managed to keep going for 6.5hours…just, WOW.
Now go sleep for the next century or two, cos you sure deserve it :-)

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135 sarah (the SHU box) September 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm

this post just made me so happy!!! you + ben + kelly = cutest family ever. congratulations – bask in it for a little while b/c you should be SO proud!

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136 Jane @ Broccolini + Cheese September 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm

You must feel AMAZING! Congratulations! You deserve all the good that has come to you!

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137 Jess@atasteofconfidence September 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Congrats!!!

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138 Gwen September 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

SO Inspiring! Thank you to the Anderson fam for being so motivational! <3 Great work guys!

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139 Amelia September 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm

This is amazing Meghann! Congratulations to you and your siblings! Your story about seeing your sister and wanting to run with her had me almost in tears (in a good way). It’s so great to see such a close, active family that supports one another. You guys seriously rock!

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140 Lara @ TresLaLa September 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm

So amazing! What a great race recap! So, when’s the next one?!? Have to get some more use out of that wetsuit!

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141 SaraRM September 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm

HOW STINKIN AWESOME!! Finishing with your sister makes it even better! Congrats!!!

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142 Shanna, like Banana September 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Wow, just wow! You and your siblings rock hard core. I am so impressed. I need to read this again because it’s so inspirational. Well done!

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143 Nicole September 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Congratulations again!! What a fantastic recap! So motivating. :)

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144 Krissy September 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I actually cried reading this!!! Is that weird?! CONGRATS!!! Very inspiring race recap. You seriously have me looking for future 70.3s! Added to the bucket list! Enjoy your high! I am sure it is like nothing else. You earned it!

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145 KatieG. @ Just Roll With It September 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

WOW! CONGRATS Meghann!!!! So awesome that you did a half Ironman, and did it with both your brother and sister together!! I did my first sprint triathlon this past August and it was the best feeling ever! Maybe I will build up my training for a half Ironman in the future!!
You go girl!!!!

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146 Erica September 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm

This is an absolutely awesome recap!!!!! What an accomplishment you guys!! I can’t even imagine the major swimmer’s/biker’s/runner’s high you no doubt STILL have going on. Way to go, Meghann!!! You Ironman, you!!

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147 melissa September 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm

amazing, great job girl!!!

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148 Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep September 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Congratulations! I loved reading your recap and following along with you yesterday. You’re such an inspiration! Keep up the awesome work!

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149 Gina @ Will Run for Cupcakes September 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm

That is AMAZING!!!!! I hope one day I can be as brave as you and conquer 70.3! Up first is 26.2….I hope I don’t die!
Congratulations Anderson Crew! You earned every minute of your celebration!!!

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150 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm

You won’t die – you’ll do great!!! :)

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151 Cat Melnyk September 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

You guys kicked butt. And definitely a huge thanks to Danielle from me too…it was nice to have another familiar face at the finish line to get excited/cry to. When’s the next one??

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152 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Ha! I’m signed up for the Savannah Marathon and then…. who knows?!? I need to work on my bike skills first!

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153 Carissa September 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

You’re amazing! I had goosebumps reading your post…like I was there running/swimming/biking too! What an accomplishment! So are you gonna di ti again? What was the hardest part?

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154 Meghann September 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

The hardest part was the bike! Just because I’m not very fast on the bike and it’s very frustrating to be passed so much. :) However, I would still do it again in a heartbeat!

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155 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner September 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I have been dying to read this all day! So freaking amazing! Congrats on becoming a (half) ironman!

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156 Brittney September 26, 2011 at 6:06 pm

You did AMAZING!!! You are so inspiring. I could not imagine doing what you did… :) I am so completely excited for you! Half ironman!!! :)

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157 Mary September 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Meghann, you ROCK!!! I couldn’t wait to get home from work today and read this post. I think your readers were looking forward to it as much as you were. I need to do a HIM. Maybe next summer…btw your half marathon time and mine from Saturday were the exact same (only I didn’t swim and bike before mine – great job!).

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158 Megan @ On the Road Again September 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Congrats on your finish!

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159 Stefanie September 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Congratulations Meghann!!! What a great recap. It felt like I was right there with you guys. And how great that you were able to meet your sister again on the course. What are the chances! So proud of you!

By the way, did you see anyone swim breaststroke?

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160 Brittany September 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm

What a great race, Meghann! Very inspiring, and i have tears in my eyes! I want to do triathalons someday soon-ish, and hopefully a half-Ironman too!

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161 Marie September 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Wow, congratulations doesn’t even seem substantial! I loved reading your recap; you did awesome! I teared up reading/seeing you be able to finish it off with your sister! ;)

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162 Casey @ Insatiably Healthy September 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm

What an amazing post. I felt like I was riding along with you!
Congrats, congrats, congrats! Sounds like the perfect finish to an inspiring race.

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163 Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted September 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm

This was so fun to read! Congrats to you and the rest of the Anderson clan!

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164 kristen (inspiredbydooce) September 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm

What a great race report. Congratulations! And I love that you and Kelly were able to finish it up together. That must have been so special :)

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165 Sammi D. September 27, 2011 at 12:30 am

Congratulations girl! My eyes were seriously tearing up by the end of your post–what an amazing journey. I am so impressed. You success is definitely getting me excited for my next big race! http://www.menshealthurbanathlon.com/!

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166 Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete September 27, 2011 at 12:58 am

I read 1/2 of this at work then got paranoid that my work might be monitoring my internet usage. Finally finished the recap. So proud of you!! I told you your training was enough!! Great job!! I want to do a HIM where they have a current!! That is freaking awesome!

Girl, you are so inspiring AND ready for an IM. I don’t want to pressure you though, IM’s (as I’m learning) are a little different than training from a HIM. They literally take over your life! haha. You are ready though. ;)

I love that you got to finish with your sis. My sis and I are really close too, and I would LOVE to race with her. She keeps getting pregnant though. Oh well. At least she is coming to my IM to cheer me on 7 month preggers.

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167 Meghann September 27, 2011 at 7:20 am

Thanks nicole! You are my inspiration! I can’t wait to follow you kick ass at your IM! I’ll get there one day, I promise!

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168 Ali @ Ali Runs September 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

Congrats Meghann! I read this yesterday but didn’t have time to comment. I was out on my long run when you guys were in the process of running. Knowing that you were running 13.1 after swimming and biking that far motivated me to finish my (sucky) long run! You guys are awesome! Can’t wait to see what’s next! :)

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169 chuck oehrlein September 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Great race report! I finished in 8:09:10. Your runs were awesome! I am always jealous of people who can run. The guy with the get off our roads sign was awesome, everyone laughs at him :-) Congrats on such a great race and great time!

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170 Heather @ Better With Veggies September 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I can’t believe I missed this post yesterday – GREAT race report! You had such a positive attitude!

When I read this: ‘Go home. Get off our roads.’ – I got seriously mad – I get so frustrated with ignorant people! He’s the kind of person that makes people nervous to go out for a ride on the roads, why does he have to be so rude?!

Okay – off my soapbox: Congrats again! And about the Ironman swim….you absolutely can do it! The swim is my weakest link too and I thought I could never work up to that distance, but you absolutely can. It’s not even as hard as you think (I was nervous about it up to the race – I actually woke up in the middle of the night before the race thinking about it).

So will you do another 70.3? :)

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171 Allie {a teaspoon of LIFE} September 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I love that you held hands! I want to hold hands with someone!! Haha

And no- don’t EVER take it off :)

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172 Alaina September 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Congratulations Meghann!!!! I’m sure the emotions were surging through at the end; I felt it after just reading your recap!! :-)

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173 Jen September 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Ahhh! You made me cry! So awesome and I’m so proud of you!

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174 Sophie September 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Congratulations Meghann! It’s taken me a few days to get around to reading this recap but you’ve really done it justice. A HIM sounds so exciting now! It’s such a great achievement and you should be very proud of yourself. Well done!!!!

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175 CK September 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I’m on the local organizing committee for Augusta and stumbled across your blog as I was Googling for articles about the event. I was handing out medals at the finish line on Sunday and remember seeing you and your sister crossing the line together. As a race organizer, I love seeing that kind of excitement and enthusiasm at the finish. Great job!!

Nice race report, too. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in our city! Come back next year!

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176 Kimberly July 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I found your blog when searching for Ironman 70.3 Augusta recaps (I’m doing it this year) and I’ve been reading it for a few months. I just found a short video from Georgia Public Broadcasting about the race, and I think you and your sister are in it around 5:37! http://www.gpb.org/georgia-traveler/season-5/segment/ironman-augusta

How cool! and random that i just stumbled upon both!

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177 B.o.B. July 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I just came over to read this report since this will be my first 1/2 this year. I’m stoked! I would love at sub 6:30. You did amazing. I can’t wait for your first full. You are going to kick ass.

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178 dave smith September 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm

doing the race this year, awesome race report! thanks!!!

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179 David September 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hi…I am doing Augusta this year and I have to say this was the best race report I think I have EVER read…..GREAT JOB….!

-David

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