Coeur d’Alene: Half Ironman, Full Spirit

This past Sunday proffered a picturesque scene and weather for the Coeur d’Alene half Ironman. The triathlon is halved only in name; the full Ironman spirit remains strong.

Temperatures for the day hovered between the high 70s and low 80s. There was a slight breeze for relief and swaths of clouds that sometimes blocked a good mile of the sun. Triathletes all over the nation gathered in the Lake City, perhaps for the first time in their life.

Jen Annett who placed fourth in the women’s category, therefore just missing the opportunity to take the podium, said the area reminded her of home. From the course to the lake and even the climate, it all reflected a bit of Penticton, British Columbia to the triathlete.

Annett along with others was sad to see the full Coeur d’Alene Ironman shorten to the half Ironman. However, they still drove hundreds of miles to make the triathlon. 70.3 miles worth of biking, swimming, and running along Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The Coeur d’Alene Half Ironman 70.3 Route and Its Unexpected Surprise

The athletes began their race at 6 a.m. with a swim in the lake for a looped 1.2-mile lap. The athletes then rode 56 miles on bike along U.S. Highway 95. To finish it off, they ran 13.1 miles through streets both residential and city. The finish line had a crowd cheering the runners on to the end near City Park.

While most of the crowd held to tried and true methods of cheering, via signs or T-shirts for their loved ones, there was one onlooker that had a unique approach.

One spectator came decked out in an inflatable T. rex costume. Kelsey Mathison found a spot at the front of the crowd, keeping out a hand for high-fives to the passing runners.

The 28-year-old went to support her father. However, her costume presence seemed to encourage more than she intended. Children were intrigued by the towering, soft Jurassic monster cheering on the runners. She waved at them when she caught them looking and even took photos with some of them.

As most of the contestants crossed the line, live music began and the runners went to get food in the Ironman Village under a shady awning in the park.

Some stayed in the shade to cool off while others decided to take to the large lake just yards away for a chance to cool off.