My Ironman

It's been a year now since Phil completed his first half ironman triathlon in Wanaka, New Zealand.  It was such an amazing feeling when he finally crossed the finish line that day - the winds were incredibly brutal and made what was an already difficult feat even tougher.  Since then he's finished many more races, and in March he will compete in the most trying triathlon possible, the Ironman. 

It has been fun to watch his journey, from duathlon, to his first triathlon, to making a trip across the world to complete the half ironman.  I remember standing with him at that first duathlon watching other competitors start the swim portion of their race.  It was so inspiring, and I think he caught the bug that day.  Heck, it was so cool to watch that I even contemplated taking the sport up.  For about 10 seconds.  And then I realized that I can't float, hate swimming, and didn't have a bike.  For his first race we drove to San Luis Obispo and the swim was in a pool.  This meant I got to watch every painful stroke as he thrashed his way back and forth through the water.  He soon thereafter realized that if he didn't want to drown it was time to invest in a wetsuit, and probably some swim lessons.

Next he tried an olympic distance race in San Diego bay.  The swim was along a channel leading into the bay, so Maybe and I got to walk along side him while he swam.  Walk might be the wrong word here, more like slowly meander.  He kept drifting towards shore, and at one point got so close that he stood up and had to turn around.  The race volunteers on paddle boards kept yelling at him to keep right.  Maybe tried jumping in the water and helping him swim.  He finally made it past the halfway point (there were three people left swimming at this point) and a volunteer followed him back on a kayak to make sure he got in ok. 

Since then he has undertaken the task of relearning how to swim.  The bike has always been his strong suit and the running is manageable, but he has really had to work for the swim.   It was awesome watching him swim in the Brighton triathlon yesterday.  He was actually swimming!  He even passed a few people.  He's come such a long way since he first started up with this sport.  He's going to keep getting better too.  He is competing in the Gateraide series of eight triathlons around Melbourne throughout the summer.  Yesterday's race was the third of the series, and he did his best times in each of the three legs by far.  In March he's doing a 32 km run on King Island (between here and Tasmania) and then just two weeks later is the big race.  The athletes start at 7 am and have until midnight to finish.  It is going to be very hard watching him race, going through such a trial both physically and mentally.  But I'm sure it will be even harder on him.  I am really looking forward to him crossing that finish line, it will be such an accomplishment.


  1. What a journey it has been for both of you. I'm so glad that we were able to cheer him on in Kansas City as a family. Keep working hard Phil and soon maybe you will even like the swimming! So proud of you!


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