Becoming an Ironman

It was Sunday night and I was tired. We’d travelled back from Bruny Island, unpacked, washed all the smelly running clothes, got dinner and all the while I had been checking on facebook for news (I’d been checking all day as we travelled).  I couldn’t take it any longer so I jumped on the live tracker.  Western Australia is three hours behind Tasmania in time but I was sure that my friend wouldn’t be too much longer.

I found the live tracker and discovered that she had been through the 27km mark of the marathon. She’d already done the 3.86 km swim, and the 180.25 km bicycle ride and was now passed the half way point of the 42.2 km run.  My friend was doing all this in that order AND without any stops.  She was on her way to becoming an Ironman.

After a little snoop (ok I’m a slow learner with technology sometimes) I found the live web cam of the finish line! It was like being there.  I poured a glass of bubbles in readiness to toast her as she crossed the finish line and became an Ironman.

I loved the commentary. The commentator announced as each athlete approached.  Then as they crossed the line he would say Well done David, John, Tracey, Amanda…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.  And even though I didn’t know anyone in this event apart from my friend I welled up with tears and toasted them with my bubbles!  I had to pour another glass.

Then she came around the corner. The commentator announced: Well done Sam, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN! I was cheering and clapping at my computer as I saw my lovely friend Sam cross the line.

The commentator just announced that Sam was about to come down the finishing chute

The commentator just announced that Sam was about to come down the finishing chute

Sam came across this blog a few years ago and one race in Hobart she spotted me and introduced herself to me; she is always encouraging with her comments and her support has been so appreciated. Since then we’ve seen each other a few times at different events.  She ran her first half marathon in November 2014 just last year, she chose Point to Pinnacle!  This choice says a lot about Sam, she loves a challenge.  Up until this point she’d been battling injury but managed to get on top of them.  In September this year (I think I have my dates correct) she did her first Half Ironman; she followed this up with the full Ironman last weekend. (Did I mention that her longest run before the Ironman was 25kms?  She became an Ironman AND a Marathoner in one event! And it was a great pace considering that she’d done the swim and bike ride before hand….)

Sam comes across as a humble sort of lady, I doubt she would think herself inspirational but she is. I don’t have the dream of being an Ironman but I know there are a few who follow this blog who do.  Sam only started swimming last year; she couldn’t do 25m without a break!  Sam is living proof that if you can dream it you can achieve it as long as you work really really really hard and don’t ever give up!  Some of us fly with all this sporty stuff and some of us plod.  The speed doesn’t matter, what matters is believing in ourselves, working hard and having a go.

Very well done Sam, you inspire me with all that you do but also in the way that you do it: with joy and happiness and dam hard work!

Happy running 🙂

17 thoughts on “Becoming an Ironman

  1. Pingback: Becoming an Ironman | WHOLEPERSONal

  2. This post made me tear up! I had a similar reaction when a friend of mine ran the Boston Marathon. I had tracked her online all morning, and when I say her time, I cheered and cried. It was amazing to just witness all of that greatness!

  3. Lovely blog post and well done to your friend Sam, totally inspiring!
    I love that you met through your blog.
    I hope that I get a chance to say hi to you when I come down to do the Hobart Marathon.

    • Thanks Megan, she is a real inspiration is Sam. It would be lovely to meet you in Hobart. I met another blogger out on the course last year – so special! I will be looking out for you! All the best with your training.

      • Thanks! I’m meant to do my long run this Saturday, but due to extreme heat, I’m going to wait until Monday. Otherwise though my training is going well. I’ll spbe sure to look out for you too. It should be a fun day, can’t wait to eat chocolate after the run 🙂

      • All the best for your long run. Glad to hear your training is going well. Moving your run to Monday sounds like the best thing to do. I did a parkrun this morning and nearly melted in a sweaty heap at the end and I just did a plod! Take care 🙂

  4. I’ve been to almost 20 Ironman events around the world … all Gilles’, some of them mine. I’ve cried at each and every one of them. The magnitude of the effort, training commitment, and pure tenacity is beyonI words … so I cry.

    I salute Sam. I don’t know her, but in a way, I kind of do know her based on what I know about the type of person it takes to get to the starting line … let alone the finish line.

    As the saying goes … the pain is temporary. The glory lasts forever.

  5. Annie! A whole page on your blog about me, I cannot express how that made me feel, thank you from the bottom of my heart 💕💕
    It was certainly a roller coaster of a day, the swim was horrific, rough sea conditions made it particularly tough and scary for the weaker swimmers like me, the bike leg was just tough and long with side winds and headwinds slowing me down with just the occasional tail wind to give me a breather and the run – every step over 25kms made me smile as due to my dodgy knees I have only been able to do 25kms in my training runs, so to run further than that was just amazing and I was so thankful it went ok. I was hindered by a very painful infected nail bed that had started the day before (talk about bad timing) but the support of the spectators, my family and all my friends back home who were thinking of me got me through that run. The finishing chute was surreal, I don’t think it has sunk in even now!
    Thank you for all your lovely comments and those above, it really does mean so much xx

    • You’re a star Sam and a true inspiration. I can’t imagine how tough it was out there, sounds terrible! And so many people pulling out but you just kept going – with a very sore toe too… ugh. Your hard work and dedication coupled with your mental toughness is something to aspire too xxx Very well done xxx

    • Wow sums her up Sue and such a lovely lady too. I ran part of Point to Pinnacle with Sam (she crossed the finish line just ahead of me). Her family were out on the course cheering her on, it was special to watch. I can only imagine the celebrations at home after the Ironman!

  6. Oh WOW! I’m new to your site, and what an awesome post and tribute to your friend. I don’t even know you or her, but I too got tears in my eyes reading this!! I’m a runner, but haven’t done the Iron Man or half yet. Thinking about a half. My sister just did her first. I drove out to the town where she was racing, and got to cheer for her in the running part. She was awesome!! And so is your friend Sam!
    Hope you have a chance to stop by my site sometime. My post for today is about a race that is inspiring!!

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