Fans Cheer For Ironman Triathletes

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — If you asked most Ironman triathletes what keeps them going on the race course, a few might say the drive to compete. But others reference the fans and supporters as giving them that extra motivation at just the right time.

The always watchful eye of a mother is even found at the Coeur d’Alene Ironman.

“I’m here to support my daughter,” said Arlena Gardiner.

Even wives are keeping track of their husbands while on the course.

“My husband just got back from deployment, he was in the navy,” said Tempe Conway.

Everyone here has someone to root for, someone that inspires them.

“It’s overwhelming; the amount of people and energy it’s really exciting,” said Sandra Paul, who is watching her boyfriend compete in this years Ironman.

Team Conway has traveled from across the country to support their Ironman, Brian Conway. He just returned from Iraq where he managed to do the bulk of his training.

“He’s put 4,000 miles on his body getting ready for this,” said Tempe.

During the twelve plus hours Brian will be on the course, his family will only see him for mere seconds, but his mother says those seconds are precious.

“It’s exciting, its hard to put into words, truly, it’s just one of those ultimate moments in life,” said Beverly Conway.

The inscription on a T-shirt of one supporter said it best, “The power of one, fueled by the love of many.”

Arlena Gardiner was wearing the shirt, she was watching her granddaughter Kathi race on Sunday. There are 65 people in red shirts along the route, all cheering for Kathi.

“She couldn’t do it without the power and energy of her friends and family,” said Arlena.

Ironman officials say as many as 10,000 fans lined the course along Coeur d’Alene today. All of them giving a little extra support when it’s needed most.