The coverage of IMH done by NBC and Peter Henning is very good every year. If you have ever been in Kona and seen the week...how do you take the week, the race and 1700 incredible journeys and cobble them into 70 minutes of Emmy worthy material? Somehow...Peter does it annually.
In this year's race, I had several athletes and friends in the race and no...sadly, none of them made the NBC coverage. In 2000, IMH my big toe made the coverage right behind Lori Bowden from Canada. My own mother didn't recognize my toe but I shot up from the couch. "THAT'S ME!" I screamed. I was right behind Lori (and who wouldn't want to be) for a lot of the swim. She had actually surged ahead of us (my German friend Mathias and I who swam the entire way about 8" apart) to get through T1 faster - I wouldn't want to follow me either.
Jay - won the US Lottery; about 17 days after his first child was born (a son)...Jay went off to conquer IMH. He had a picture on the stem of his bike with his wife Kate and young son for inspiration. Jay posted an Ironman PR in Kona over 2 hours in the low 12 hr mark. Jay busted his tail all summer for this moment. His finish line was genuine excitement and raw emotion flowed as I watched from 8,300 miles away - my phone rang shortly afterward. It was one of the most rewarding moments of being involved in Ironman for me because I had returned the help I received in 2000 to Jay...and now Jay must pass it along to another. I'm looking forward to working our with Jay in the future.
Nicole - qualified at Ironman Wisconsin 2006 via a DQ of a woman who cheated to steal a Kona slot. Nicole found out she was going to Kona on Tuesday after the race - robbed of the joy knowing you are going to Kona at the awards. Nicole is a great runner and very solid cyclist. She put up with my "beatings" in the pool which helped her get there. In Kona, she was 11:30 and change. Smiling all the way across the line. Her 18 month old daughter handed to her as they put the lei around her neck! Her smile at that moment will remain with me for a long time.
Bree - your picture with your son at the finish says it all. Hard work pays off.
Liz & Chris - your stories and determination have reminded me from where I was and inspire me to get on with it and get back. You have helped put plans in motion that you understand all too well.
From a motivation standpoint, Scott Rigsby...what can you say? The man has TWO artificial limbs and makes the cut off. DUDE! If that didn't give you the chills you need to check your pulse! OUTSTANDING! Charlie Plaskon - what is more motivational? a) Charlie finishing Kona b) Charlie doing Ironman Florida a few weeks later in 12:46? Remember...the man has no sight!
Charile's interviews and opinions were priceless! If I see him at a race, I'll tell him as much.
This is a guy I'd like to get to know.
Time to hit the gym!
PS: 3rd Annual ALS Spin-a-thon (Palatine, IL) will be on 2/9/08