The Inspiration Dinner was Saturday night - after we got to take a practice swim in the lovely - chilly Potomac River and hear Dave Scott speak - giving us some race tips. I will say this about our teams coaches - we are well advised and prepared - at least based on some of the questions that were being asked during Dave's talk.
For those not in the "world of Triathlons" - and admittedly I didn't know this much about him....Dave Scott is a 6 time Ironman world Champion (Kona - the big one) and the first inductee into the Ironman Hall of Fame. He knows his stuff. and was remarkably personable and down to earth.
During the dinner we learned quite a bit about TnT, Triathlon and the LLS.
While the LLS has been around for 60 years, Team in Training is only 21 years old and triathlons have only been a part of the program for 10 years. Triathlons have raised over $200 million for the LLS. Over the 21 years of TnT nearly 390 thousand athletes have been trained to complete a marathon or half marathon, century ride, hike or triathlon (of varying distances). These athletes have raised nearly $1 Billion over the 21 years....Are you one of them? Do you want to be? there are a lot of great events coming up....
For the Nations Tri - with 6000 registered participants, there were 585 TnT athletes competing This years Nation's Tri TnT athletes raised $2.4 mm for the LLS. The top 3 fundraisers raised $45k
Some of the advice given to us was sound... Stop and take in scenery Lincoln memorial as you make the first turn in the swim...Arlington cemetery at the next turn, Washington memorial, WW II memorial as you ride and run - from vantage points often not allowed or available
Additional advice that pertains to triathlons, marathons, cycling events....
Manage what you can in the moment
Keep the faith in your self and the work done
Remember what you have done through the course of your training
Our Honored Patient Hero speaker was Jake Sulberg from the NJ chapter - at 22 he held the room and audience in his words and battle...
In 2007 after hiking with his family he felt sick, was treated for his symptoms. Later on he and his family went to Italy - after feeling sick once again - a mass was found between his lungs and he saw great sights in Italy only from a small window in a small room for 25 days.
He was diagnosed with Burkitts lymphoma. Throughout his chemo he and his family battled and focused on "getting through this"
Once the first rounds of treatment were completed - he and his family took a 14 hour flight from Italy stopping in Scotland, Iceland, Canada - along the way - he had his first meal of solid food in months, kfc in Iceland...reportedly delicious.
His humor and strength were pervasive throughout the discussion. He recognized what he had encountered and dealt with - and honored so many more who were not able to win this battle.
He also told us as "we were "getting through" our race that when we think we're at the end or going to stop, remember that 48 people will be diagnosed with a blood cancer during the time it takes on average to finish the race.
His words, the humor end energy he filled the room with - kept me going through a challenging but fun event on Sunday...
That and the fact that the 40 in 40 and our work to make it a success was recognized during the dinner. In front of the 585 athletes, their families, friends and coaches Jake, Dave Scott, and Chuck Brodsky - founder of the Nation's Tri - I was honored to be recognized and inspired to persevere. And I hate being in the spotlight....so - a little out of my confort zone there...
More on the race - coming shortly.