Tri Latta, as mentioned before is the first TnT event I did. 2 years ago, after 5+ months of training, going from not being able to swim 1/5th the required distance, I completed the event with my TnT teammates, many of whom I am still friends with today and my wife Sheila. While there were other events along the way that inspired me to take on and create the 40 in 40 challenge, this clearly was the starting point.
This too was a weekend full of events. I took some commentary/feedback, and broke it into manageable pieces, Part 1: The Lead In, Part 2: Swim to T1, Part 3: Bike to T2, Part 4: Run to Finish
Saturday June 13 Inspiration dinner
While I was busy training for Tahoe, my 34 other teammates and I raised nearly $80,000 for the LLS for this event.
Our honored speaker was Matt Torkildsen. Matt recounted his story about his battle with Leukemia, being diagnosed at 18, a few months before he was to graduate high school and go to college on a basketball scholarship. His life, as so many others, changed drastically that day. Went to the Hutchinson center in WA. Like TnT, Leukemia can create families out of strangers due to the bond that exists and grows stronger with each passing day. When Matt checked into Hutchinson, there were 8 other families there. While there he received a bone marrow transplant, from his brother, and after 100 days "post-transplant", he was able to leave. His family and one other left. The rest had lost their battle with Leukemia. Matt's story is a positive one. One that got better, as when he left, he returned home and married his high school sweetheart.
After the inspiration dinner, Sheila and I went to the Man and Woman of the year fundraising grand finale for the LLS. This is a fundraising competition amongst candidates designated by the LLS and / or nominated by friends and families. While I do not have all the specifics, this year, while a difficult one, had 8 stellar candidates who raised substantial funds to help the fight against blood cancers. I will post more details on this, once I get them.
Sunday June 14 RACE DAY
The race officially stars at 6:30 AM. Sheila and I - as well as Maggie and Dobhen, were up at 4 AM, to get things together and get to the race course. I finished by multiple bag checks the night before. Now, the race course is only 12 miles from our house, but, Sheila offered to volunteer for the event, and I still had to pick up my timing chip (they don't give you those until race day in case you lose it...like THAT would ever happen), get set up in transition, get body marked and chill out a bit.
We arrive in darkness. Not a little darkness, but it is just plain dark. The stars are out, and yet there are a lot of people milling around. I run into John McLean, fellow TnT'er who is also doing Latta today, and is training for a Full IronMan in the fall. John and I did Latta together 2 years ago as well. We set up our stuff in transition, actually John's is already set up, four spaces down from me, apparently he got there REALLY early, and go pick up our chips and go get body marked. Sheila has been assigned body marking as one of her volunteer duties, so I not only got to have her write my numbers on my arms and legs, but I also got a good luck kiss...the volunteer coordinator raised an eyebrow at that one as she was standing right next to us at the time. Sheila limited the good luck kisses to me (I think - either that or she had the most popular body marking line EVER! kidding). Also - was pleasantly surprised to see my Tahoe cycle-mate Cheryl Ryan there - she came up to watch - even though she had to be there by 6 AM..wow. Also saw Laurie Pryor, who did Latta with us 2 years ago as well. It's like a reunion tour :-)
Anywho, so it's all of 5:30 now. An hour + to go.