"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dad's Last Ironman

For Christmas, the kids all pitched in to help Dad enter his last Ironman 70.3 triathlon. I immediately made plans to be there to support. We headed down early in the week and were able to go to the lake for a few practice swims, bike check-in, athlete check in, see the pros, and enjoy good food with Dad to prep.
To accommodate Terran's sleeping schedule, the morning of we opted to not see Dad at the start, but rather go to the first bike aid station in Hurricane to see him on the road. As we waited and watched, the rain started, then began pouring. I was so worried about Dad being able to enjoy himself in that weather! Terran enjoyed looking for a yellow jacket, and we finally saw him. He came by with big smile and some joke about taking a long time! Both of those things relieved me that he wasn't suffering too bad! We drove up to another checkpoint to meet up with Mom, and ended up seeing him about 5 more times on the bike course! He always looked good and flashed us the "I love you" sign!
We missed him out by Snow Canyon, but headed back to T2 so we wouldn't miss him in transition.
While waiting, Terran got plowed over by a girl running with her sister, and it added worry about a concussion because he slammed into the ground really hard. We saw Dad shortly thereafter, and he was still doing well. I was impressed because we had seen several people quit after the bike (the rain would only let up momentarily) and a couple people got pulled from the course for signs of hypothermia. Mom headed up to the first half of the run, and I went to the second. Terran napped with Zach in the car. My spot was perfect with the new run course because I saw Dad four times on the run! He was always still moving, but that tired feeling seemed to come into his face about mile 7. Luckily, I knew he had Mom and me to look for and the end was near! We headed down to the finish and watched for him on the final stretch. Terran made me cheer for every runner that ran by, and once we saw Dad, Terran wanted to run with him. It was a funny sight I am sure. We ran by his side on the sidewalk for a minute as he headed to the finisher's chute. I started to slow, but Terran wanted to keep going! I ended up scooping him up and running all the way to the finish, preggo belly and all. We caught a few pics of Dad finishing, and I was so glad we ran down with him to seem him cross that line again!

He is truly an inspiration to me. His strength, dedication, and perseverance in those conditions all proved that he is my hero for a reason.

As we came around the chute to find him, I knew he would be with Mom. He had his arm around her and you could tell they were a team. She had done the training with him and then supported him everywhere and every way out on the course. Their relationship and teamwork are such a great example to me of what to work for in my own marriage!

Turns out the day after the race was Mother's Day, so we were able to celebrate with Mom and Dad before we headed home. It was such a great weekend full of love and good company!

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