It took 11-hours, 37-minutes, and seven seconds, but I finished! On
May 19th, 2001 at Camp Pendelton, I completed my first Ironman Triathlon. It
was truly exhilarating and a memory I will cherish for a lifetime.
SWIM 1,800 of my closest friend in the water at the
same time this was a bar fight! My key here was to relax. While a triathlon is
three events, the swim wasnt much more than 1-hour of a day that would run more than
11-hours. As you can see from the picture, Ive never been photogenic out of the
BIKE The hills of Camp Pendelton proved to me as challenging
as tying your shoe with one hand. 20-miles into this 112-mile beast, I got a flat tire!
Losing 7-minutes to change it proved to be the first mental hurdle of the day. I thought
seize the moment. I cant change the past and deal with the present.
They say the race starts at 80 miles on the bike. Now I know what they mean! 95 miles in,
I was fatigued and ready to get off this thing. Six hours on a bike is worse than a trip
to the dentist Ok, not that bad! Those last 17 miles nearly an hour into a
head wind set me up for an incredible test on the run.
RUN With all due respect to my colleagues at CBS, this was
the true survivor course. I was fine for the first couple of miles, but then, with
every step I was crossing mental hurdles. I remember at 5-miles, I was spent yet I
still had 21 miles to run! Keeping hydrated was key but I also used the positive
support of family and friends at the race as fuel. Making the final turn for the last 100
yards was Euphoric. When I heard the PA announcer Mike Riley say my name, I
jumped through the tape at the finish line.
CAF In the process of finishing Ironman California, I raised
over 4-thousand dollars for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Rudy Garcia-Tolson, the
spokesman for the CAF, greeted me in the transition area. His 10-second "pep
talk" helped carry me during the Marathon. I know someday, Rudy will compete in an
Ironman and I hope Im there as support to return the favor.