Last Sunday afternoon, my foot landed across the finish line at the Ironman 70.3 Galveston.
6 hours and 28 minutes earlier, I entered the 62 degree ocean to begin a 1.2 mile swim. My training season had been riddled with illness, injury and a minor surgery in late-January. Life had crowded out over half of my training time. I was unprepared and having a little pity party right there in ocean. A lesson was coming my way.
When the the race started, I remembered that I was committed. I was going to finish this race or die trying. There were two things I was depending on to carry me across the finish line. The first was God. The other was the chance to see my wife, kids and family at the finish.
Twenty minutes into the swim, both of my calves cramped up. I pressed on.
Thirty miles into the 56 mile bike, I started having GI issues. I pressed on.
A couple miles from the bike finish, my back tire went flat. I pressed on.
Six miles into the 13.1 mile run, my legs were giving out. Then, I witnessed the most amazing thing.
I saw two men tethered to each other with a chord as they ran. I wondered what was going on. In mile 7, I saw them again. Then I figured it out.
It was a blind man competing in an Ironman 70.3 while a sighted man guided him through the grueling course. Try to imagine it for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine swimming over a mile, riding 56 miles and running a half-marathon all without sight and completely dependent on a guide. This is rich on so many levels…
Is there really anything left to say?
PS. I beat my 2010 time by 3 minutes. God has a sense of humor 🙂