Last weekend I raced Ironman Texas for the 3rd time, finishing 4th overall. I will keep it simple.
It was Hot.
I am sure you have heard as much if you followed the race at all. While the swim and bike proved to be somewhat normal, the run was more about out-surviving one another in such extreme heat. I started the run in 4th, moved to 3rd for quite some time, spent some time in 2nd for a good chunk, fell back to 3rd for another long stretch, and ultimately finished 4th after James Cunnama ran by and on his way to 2nd place late in the race. My good friend, Ian Mickelson, and I did the whole run with a standard deviation of about 30 seconds to one another, but he stayed on the better side of that range in the end and closed out a hard fought third place.
I did all I could to try and put myself in a position to win. I left it all out there and tried to close it out, but I'll have to return next year to give it another try.
However, what I really want to write is a Thank You note. Some time last offseason, I mentioned to Brooke that I wanted to start a fundraising campaign for the Wounded Warrior Project in conjunction with Ironman Texas. My father is a disabled veteran who was severely injured in Vietnam at the age of 22. When I was growing up, my father was always an adult in my mind, but as I sit here at 32 I can see how young 22 is and I'm sure that will only increase as I grow older.
I found myself empathizing with a mind of a 22 year old and what the world must have looked like to someone that would be ever changed by the devastation of war. I am sure that fear, sadness, anger and other emotions would overwhelm me, while optimism and hope might fall by the wayside. However, history has proven this to not be the case for my father as he has gone on to achieve countless successes in a variety of ways and I want that same hope to reside in today's wounded heroes.
When I started the campaign, I was not really sure what to expect. Brooke and I put together a goal of $1967 to begin with, but we found ourselves nearly meeting that goal in the first week. To our pleasant surprise, by the time we reached race day we had $5625.20 to hand over to the WWP.
What was so gratifying was seeing the names that came up on the list of donors. I saw family, friends, people I've worked with, trained with, coached, and some I have yet to meet.
And as I saw all these names I became grateful for the all the wonderful people that have come into my life. All of your kindness and support is what has led to this being such a successful campaign.
So with all my heart: