A Sideline Report from Ironman Texas

Race reports are usually quite easy to write because you can recall a day you spent going through the emotional roller coaster from start line to finish line. We write them to share our experience, our memories and perhaps to remember what we did well/ not so well for the next one.

Ironman Texas was not my race to report on — I went down to cheer for my best friends, with our rad coach. I went down to be on the sidelines of a race that kicked me in the proverbial patoot only 2 years ago.

My partner in crime, Philly and I sat at the start line with equal amounts of nerve + patience. #irontribing is NO joke! Spectating is as much of an endurance sport as racing, I’m certain of it. We waited anxiously, we cheered with our whole hearts, we got nervous and excited and nervous and excited…and couldn’t hit refresh fast enough on ironman live updates. What a day! Texas does not disappoint – it was hot as heck and then there was thunder and then the finish line stories. I’m tucking the guts of Team Vancouver’s performances into my heart. Watching Fawn prance through that marathon; watching Victoria gut it out really in a solo effort without anyone around her; cheering for Steve as he was motoring along before his calf unleashed fury and had him stopped dead in his tracks; and Britni of course, who always races on a tank of grit, is actually the inspiration behind my back-to-back 70.3 race weekends. Near and dear, Philly’s man Trav knows how to race with heart, right on the edge — to think it was only a year ago he was walking in 5min intervals around the seawall with his neck brace on?! And for the love of Mikey P, thank you for being the happiest lil Ironman there ever was! Mikey reminds me to nevereverever take yo’self too seriously, work really friggen hard every day and never mutters an excuse outta his lips. I just love that guy!

To witness 100’s of people, running or shuffling — heck, simply moving — their way thru a marathon is so mighty inspiring. It was the real life example of doing whatever it takes to get across the line. Ironman Texas 2014 was the race that Jasper informed me “I wasn’t in the postal code of being competitive”. He was right. And heartbreak. ‘Cause I wanted to qualify for Kona and 12th place wasn’t gonna get me there. To think 2 years later, I’m coming back a stronger and an all-round-better Stephy than I was before makes me feel like…PROGRESS (!) is being made. And a start line tomorrow morning will be one for the memory books!

There are a few goals and a few lil secrets. I’ll save them for the other side of the finish line. For now, I’d like a mai tai in hand before noon please — I’m gonna run for it!

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