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Ironman Canada 2011 – “It’s not whether you got knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” (Vince Lombardi)

September 6, 2011

IM Canada was the toughest of my seven Ironmans, but the most rewarding. IM is a metaphor for life – all the ups and downs; and how you choose to deal with adversity.

This race threw everything at me; bloody nose (kicked in the swim), bee sting on the bike, 3 aid stations on the bike not having water, including the first station (I knew this would come back to haunt me on the run as it was 94 degrees) and other assorted issues with the bike aid stations. I was fortunate, though, that I did not have to deal with a flat. I have never seen so many flats in my life. Subsequently, I learned that someone threw tacks on the course.

A quarter of a mile into the run, my right hamstring cramped – I knew I was in trouble! At mile 9 on the run, I really did not think I could finish. It was at that point that it went from being a race to somehow getting to the finish line (I refused to have a DNF after my name). I was totally dehydrated. I don’t know if it was because of being dehydrated or the bee sting, but my stomach was doing summersaults; I was afraid to eat. So, it all culminated with a 90 minute visit to the medical tent after the race.

Not just the fact the aid stations ran out of water, but the bike aid stations at this IM were the worst I have ever seen. After bike aid station #4, my strategy went from proactive hydration to conserving liquids. Stunning for a race that has been around for 30 years. I never expected this. This is unfortunate because this is such an incredible venue and great community support. Lauren and I fell in love with Penticton and surrounding area; BC is gorgeous!

FYI, this was the largest IM ever – 2841 started. This made for a very interesting swim! Who said swimming is not a contact sport?!

Life is not a Spectator Sport,

Tom

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