Congratulations to Nate and Geron at completing the Syracuse Half Ironman this past weekend (June 22)! They are my dear friends, training buddies and Half Ironman Inspiration. I have them to thank for introducing me to this great (and crazy) sport of Triathlon. This weekend was truly inspiring as I went down to Syracuse with Nate; I was able to support and cheer on my friends.
Syracuse Half Ironman was a huge race (2200 participants) – fit, muscular people everywhere – the setting for the race was gorgeous. It was a spectacular race to watch. In the early morning hour, waves of swimmers were set out, by age group, in their colour-coded swim caps, across the serene reservoir lake. The swim was 1.9km square route.
After the long swim, the athletes ran up on shore, had their wet suits stripped by volunteers and ran to their bikes with determination and grit. Both Geron and Nate had excellent swims. These athletes do not stop; this is intense and suddenly they were off again – this time on wheels. The ride was 90 km through the rolling countryside.
Two and a half hours later Shelley (Geron’s wife) and I were ready to watch Geron as he jumped from his bike and headed off into the run. A short while later, Nate was also off on her run. Both of them looked strong and in good spirits. They both blessed us with quick smiles before the focused look of determination returned and they were off on the half marathon distance run of 21.1km.
The run was grueling, with steep hills that were repeated twice, as it was a double loop course. It was impressive to see athletes digging deep to use all their strength to keep going. Geron finished strong with a time of 5:03:40 and Nate had an incredible finish of 5:24:37 – a personal best by 24 min. Check out all the race results at Sportstats.
It was a privilege to go down to Syracuse with Nate and cheer her on. She is a determined athlete and she manages to balance her family life with her three kids, her job and her triathlon training. She is an inspiration to me and a real encouragement as I venture into this new sport.
Being a spectator was a change for me from racing. It gave me a great appreciation for all that my family does when they support me and cheer for me at racing events. Kudos to all the supportive friends and families who are there for the athletes!