This year I was fortunate to have five C2SkyMultisport athletes challenge themselves to complete the Canadian Ironman on Aug. 28, 2011. On this very hot day, 35 + degrees, four athletes crossed the finish line and one ended up recieving medical attention. The journey to the start line of an ironman can be a long one. Most athletes sign up a year in advance just to get a spot and then the hard work starts. Hours of training, not only the swim bike and run but all the maintenace of strength building in the gym, core muscle training, stretching and prevention and all the extras of physiotherpay and massage. Your life must change to accomodate all of this and these 5 athletes did exactly that. They embraced their challenge, modified their lives, relationships and work to be able to put in the hours of hard work to reach their goals. As someone who has competed in numerous ironmans, good, bad and ugly, it is even more rewarding to know that you helped someone else reach this lofty goal of becoming an Ironman. Getting to the start line uninjured is the first goal achieved on race day, after that an athlete must rely on their own inner strength to help them get through the day. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Liz Cullen on completing her first Ironman in a time of 11hours and 11 seconds, 9th in her age group and 31st women over all!! I saw Liz out on the run and she still had 8 miles to go- she looked over at me said,” I can do anything for 8 miles”, and off she went, looking at her watch, knowing her pace and with the utmost of confidence. Then there was Fero, this was his second Ironman, his goal was to complete it and feel strong. Considering he was running backwards while talking to me on the run and passing people, I think he was doing very well. We have yet to see the full potential of Fero! Patrick Whelan, who is new to the sport of triathlon did amazing. Patrick kept me amused all year long with his post workout reports about getting chased by dogs while swimming, stopping to help out people lost while out on his bike rides and spooked by bears while running and picking the wrong trail to run on which was full of horse poop. I have never seen someone run the last 10km of the marathon as fast as Patrick did. I really think he wanted the day to be over and it was when he crossed the finish line as an Ironman!! Then there is Maridee who 3 years previously could not swim a length of a 25m pool without having a panick attack- Never say never and Anything is possible- comes to mind when I think of Maridee. She knew she was going to have a long hard day of work infront of her but I never doubted that this determined women would dig as deep as she needed to to cross the finish line and so she did in just over 16hours running right to the end. Unfortunately for Munro the day ended up with an ambulance ride to the hospital and a few IV’S to help rehydrate him. On a tough day like this anything can happen. It can even motivate you to get back up and try again next year- good luck in 2012 Munro!!
I am so proud of everyone for challenging themselves to something many people only dream about doing. Thanks for taking me on this amazing journey with you. I look forward to seeing what challenges you think up for next year!