COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho--Anyone married to an Ironman knew it took a team effort to maintain a marriage while their spouse trained for the competition. One fan at the Coeur d’Alene Ironman decided that the best way to watch her Ironman husband was to volunteer.
Tyra Wahl started as a spectator, but realized she hardly caught a glimpse of her husband.
"It was like, 'Oh hey there you are!’ and ‘there you go again’ And then I'd practically knit a scarf,” said Wahl.
Wahl eventually decided to volunteer and has since volunteered for every one of her husband’s Ironman races since.
"This little bracelet, that says transition that way I can see him from the transition from swim to bike and bike to run,” said Wahl.
Wahl said she learned to treasure every minute she gets with her husband. She said he was gone a lot on active duty in the U.S. Marines.
Major Armin Wahl had gone on six deployments in ten-years. He rained for triathlons in his downtime.
"It doesn't matter if he's in Japan or if he's in Iraq, you know, he can always run, he can always ride. Swimming - not as easy but usually he can do that, too,” said Wahl.
Wahl said her husband scheduled one to two races every time he was home.
"I haven't had a real vacation in five years. Everything has been a vacation related to racing but this year, after Ironman Florida this fall, we're gonna actually take a cruise,” said Wahl.
Wahl said her husband would retire from 21 and a half years of service in November of 2014. He planned to cross the finish line at the Coeur d’Alene Ironman with a Marine Corps flag to honor that service.
Wahl was volunteering at the finish line on Sunday so that she could see her husband finish. She said she usually knew exactly when to expect him by following a simple note he hands off to her moments before the race.
"Right before he leaves on the swim he gives me this little piece of paper and it has his swim split his bike split and his run split,” said Wahl.