We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to give some mad respect to my pals, Nathan and Mike.  We go way back to middle/high school and Nathan and I were roommates all through college (still not quite sure how we survived that).  Post college, we all ended up back in town and have stayed close.  We have common bonds in many things, one of which is exercise (remember this?).  There's just something nice about getting outside with friends and riding/running/training for something.  These guys are pretty much family, which is why I can comfortably say that they are certifiably insane.

Exhibit A, a dramatization:

(this is hilarious for anyone that knows anything about endurance training regimens)

Yes, in less than two weeks, these guys will be heading down to Wilmington to take a shot at the Beach To Battleship Ironman Triathlon.  As much as Team Timmons would like to be there to support them firsthand, I'm not sure that Avett will be ready for a weekend away, so I have to give a preemptive blog post to show my solidarity in case we're not there in person.  And call them out for being nuts.

Now I'm not gonna lie, I enjoy an occasional endurance challenge and the idea and feeling of accomplishment of completing an Ironman seems pretty awesome to me, but I just absolutely can't wrap my head, heart or lungs around what it would take to do it.  That, and I tend to be more of an underwater, frogleg swimmer, and my foray into the freestyle stroke was not very successful.  But this post isn't about me...

For those not in the know, the Ironman is pretty much the pinnacle of triathlons.  By pinnacle, I mean distances farther than anyone should ever, ever complete.  We're talking about a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a 26.2 mile marathon, in case you missed the video clip above.  If you're an elite athlete, you might finish this undertaking in 8 hours (for reference, it took me almost 5 hours to run the Big Sur Marathon alone), but the absolute time cut-off is 17 hours (I can't even imagine doing something I love for 17 hours IN A ROW).

Mike and Nathan decided on this event, did some research and have been training for what seems like eternity to prepare.  The training load has progressively increased and just from the bits and pieces I've heard, sounds pretty intense.  Training "just" for a marathon was plenty for me, but this is a whole other level of nuts.  While I've enjoyed weekend mornings at home sipping my coffee, these guys have been hitting the pool and/or trails and/or pavement for long training days.  And while their dedication is impressive, let's not forget the unsung heroes here: their significant others.  Sara and Stephanie keep normal life going and support the guys' efforts in crazytown.  I'm pretty sure everybody will be glad when they cross the finish line.

I couldn't be prouder of these fellas.  Just being ready to start one of these events is an accomplishment, and I know they'll do great.  And after you do great, you'll come back from the dark side, right?  I miss my riding buddies...

This friggin' did it!  Congrats fellas, I'm in awe of your massive accomplishment!