On September 25th, I plan on participating and FINISHING my 4th Ironman! The first three years I laughed, cried, and sweated my way through Ironman Louisville. The race in Louisville is amazing, but I was drawn to participate in a different location this year, and Chattanooga seemed perfect. For those of you unfamiliar with the Ironman, it is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 (116 in Chattanooga!) mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run/walk/limp/crawl.
Everyone has their own Ironman story.
“Why do you do that?” is a question I get almost daily. Who knows what drew me to the first race. A culmination of competitive drive that is somewhere deep in me that started with a 5K, lead to a sprint triathlon, and ultimately an Ironman. The first year was a spiritual journey. You learn a lot about yourself in 17 hours. The two years after that…well I’m still trying to figure that out. This year, I knew from the moment I registered that I wanted to do Ironman for more than just Noel. I pondered it for a while, and in late winter/early spring I knew.
Friends come in and out of your life for many reasons, some we may never know. In the past few years I have gotten to know some very special friends who I will carry in my heart the rest of my life. They are amazing, caring, compassionate, driven, spiritual, among countless other qualities that make them people I am beyond honored and humbled to “hang with.” They also share something that most of us only dream of as a nightmare, and that is the loss of a child. On Maeve’s birthday, I started to feel strongly that I wanted to race for Miles With Maeve, and on the same day, without asking, I learned that Ironman Chattanooga fell of Evelyn’s birthday. I instantly knew at that moment that now this was direction that I was lead.
While racing to raise money for Miles With Maeve, I will race in memory of two angels that have touched my heart in ways I could have never imagined. Maeve, daughter to Christine and Garrett McAlister, and Evelyn, daughter to Melissa and Jerry. While enduring a full day of self inflicted pain (joy) during an Ironman is a personal journey that many can only imagine, enduring the journey of grief after the loss of a child is far more arduous than you could NEVER imagine.
Please feel free to explore my fundraising page to learn more about Miles With Maeve! My goal is to raise $3,000 by race day! Any donation is not too small, and does amazing things for an amazing non-profit organization.