Tuesday, July 28, 2009

“We will call him the Ironman.”

“At a ceremony in Honolulu in 1977, a group of local athletes discussed the idea of an endurance triathlon that combined three events that already took place on the island.  John Collins came up with the idea that it would take place in a single day.  Collins later went on to say, “whoever finishes first, we will call him the ironman.”

Ironman.  What?!  The closest I’ve ever come to this race was knowing a girl in high school who actually qualified to compete.  Running 26.2 miles 2 years ago simply made me marvel that there are bodies that can complete that task after swimming for 2.4 miles, and biking 112 miles.  Unbelievable.  I began thinking about this life changing race again last weekend when watching the coverage of the 2008 Ironman on NBC Sports.  I was spellbound.  Literally.  Poor Abi, she had a momma who was trying to be engaging, but couldn’t peel her eyes from the television!  The stories were nothing short of amazing.  Identical twins finishing the race with locked arms, a woman being the oldest starter and finisher at 72, a man winning the 65-69 age group three years in a row, people crossing the finish line way into the wee hours of the night; but still to the same thunderous applause as the first finisher.  I think these races show a beautiful side of humanity.  It stirs something inside of me.  Now, I don’t think that I’ll ever run that Ironman.  I do hope to compete in a triathlon someday soon – but something that I can complete in closer to a few hours!  For those of you who are runners (I loosely associate myself with this group!) – you will agree that there is something uniquely spiritual and individual to this sport that both lifts up and tears down your body.  It makes sense only to another runner, I think.  My dear friend, Sarah, wrote these words recently after finishing a triathlon: be encouraged.

1 comment:

Jen W. said...

Love the journaling Angela. I am doing my second triathlon on Sunday in Denver. I'll post pics on the blog next week. Did they talk about the story of John Blaise? He did the Ironman after being diagnosed with ALS and passed away a few years ago. His story really touched my heart b/c of Grandpa. The best part was he rolled over the finish line and now each year, people do it in his honor. Very cool!