I’ve been a fan of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, HI for many years, and always loved watching the race on television.
The personal journeys of the competitors are particularly inspiring to me. So many of the athletes racing, both the professionals and non-professionals, have overcome incredible obstacles in their lives, from physical challenges to personal tragedies. But, somehow, they find a way to train and compete in one of the most physically and mentally challenging sports. I’ve heard so many moving stories about the people out on the course, and I’ve always hoped to someday have a chance to try and test myself at Kona.
I raced my first IRONMAN last year in Louisville, and it was an exhilarating experience. I was overwhelmed by the community and the camaraderie amongst the athletes, their families and friends, and the people of Louisville. There’s a special energy you feel from people who are undertaking an endeavor together and I felt it completely in Louisville. When I finished the race, I started to think about the next one. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to race in Kona and expect it will be a day I remember for the rest of my life.
I’ve chosen to race in support of the American Cancer Society. My family is my priority and the most important part of my life. The two people who were my biggest support system, my parents, were both taken by this horrible disease. I’ve also lost several aunts and uncles to cancer. Beating this disease is a cause that is near to my heart and supporting the American Cancer Society is a way for me to honor my parents, who will always be my personal heroes. I look forward to the day when people no longer see their loved ones suffer from this disease.