I want to have part 2 of this race report be about fellow athletes out there racing. As a coach I feel a strong connection to those I coach or have coached. Being able to actually race with them makes the race special on a different level. It can be challenging to be present and available to those I’m coaching because I also need to attend to my own preparation. Thankfully, Linda was also here to support not only me but all our athletes.
When you are part of a team or group of people, racing the event becomes a shared experience with the athletes you know personally, not just with the thousands of participants, volunteers, and supporters. For me it allows me to have a special glimpse into each athlete’s personal journey, challenges, and successes. If I’m their as their coach then I am invested in their success and feel responsible if they fall short of their goals or expectations.
This was my 9th Ironman and going into this I felt as excited and enthused as ever. This wasn’t just because of my performance and outcome goals but also because of the shared experience with friends and being with athletes doing their first Ironman. The concerns, questions, emotions, and enthusiasm that they have (or will have) help remind me of my own first Ironman Arizona.
Seeing and sharing in the successes of so many brings emotions that wouldn’t be there otherwise. Being at the finish line and feeling the joy, gratitude, pride, disbelief, and happiness that they are feeling gives me so much satisfaction and joy. I definitely cried more than once in all our celebrations.
All of you who achieved (or repeated your) Ironman status made this IM so very special. I wish congratulations and more to Bev Hess, Chris Holcroft, John Sheridan, Sally Roberts, Dave Borys, Stephanie DeSanti, Chris Holly, Kellen Arno, Hermie Banaga, Crystal Cavanagh, and Jennifer Berk (sorry to anyone I missed listing here!)