I had been looking forward to the test of a Half-Ironman since we signed up for NOLA. We went to registration only to find out the swim was canceled. We decided not to let the news affect us and instead focused on what we could control and that was to have our day. With some time to spare, we went out for a quick check of the equipment with our Dynamo
teammates to shake everything out one last time.
|Which way, Haley? |
When we arrived at the race, we set up for our first run of the day. With the announcement of the swim cancellation, they switched the race to a 2 mile run, 52 mile bike then another 13.1 mile run. The goal was to finish the day that we started, but we both like to do well, so why not start strong? With the Newton's
laced tightly, we tore off quick to a screaming crowd of 1,200. We finished the first two miles pretty quickly and got into transition to switch into the bike for the long road ahead.
|Coming in from the first run.|
We knew the bike was going to be tough even with our Freedom Concepts
tandem cycle and the most recent round of improvements. We tore off pretty quick but as soon as we hit the first flat it was wind in our face all the way.
|Tearing out of the gates for a long day ahead!|
Around mile 25 Kyle's voice was getting weaker and he struggled to let me know what he needed. We had eaten plenty of food and were going through water bottles like crazy. But when we saw our dad, JD, Amy and the rest of our sherpa crew he let me know how badly his legs hurt. We had forgotten one of his pads and it was wearing on him. We stopped for some help and realized just how cold Kyle had gotten in the wind. We wrapped his legs in shirts from the Boy Scout troop manning the aide station and gave him some extra jackets. They were going to have to drag us off the course today. As we neared the finish we both relaxed a little.
I cannot begin to describe what a warrior Kyle was that day. He fought harder than anyone on the course and was determined to finish under some tough conditions. This was a team effort and it was showing as we both pushed each other onwards.
|The run heated up just a tad.|
As we went out on the run, things shifted for us. We felt that with as many races that we had been in this spring we had it in us to bring it home. The volunteers were just amazing that day. They made sure to let us know as we hit each passing mile how close we were to the finish. Kyle and I continued to push each other. As we neared the finish, we let up just enough to enjoy what had been an amazing day. Sharing the finish line with Kyle...as brothers...is what the day was all about. We started this together and we finished the day together. We both worked hard and earned our finisher medals as we crossed the line together. I look forward to continuing our progress forward and cannot wait to see what the future will bring.
Many thanks to our amazing sponsors
for helping to make this all possible and getting us on the line well-equipped and prepared for all our challenges. To my coach and teammates, thank you for believing in what we are doing and pushing us to greater heights.
To my wife, I thank you for being a constant supporter in everything I do and letting me chase my goals and dreams.
We are all brothers
Driving into New Orleans, I realized what a big weekend this was and how
important this accomplishment would be. The house atmosphere was
fantastic and we all had a great time.
|Me and some of the Dynamo Crew|
The day before the race with the swim in question we went out to test
the equipment one last time. What a fun chance it was to train with the Dynamo crew. We headed out to register and prepared a fun
meal to wrap up the day.
We woke up at 4:45 AM to a house full of people and slipped on my new TYR
carbon dynamo kit. I couldn't believe the swim was not going to happen
and I was going to have to wait to use our new Advance Elements
kayak. We cannot control the weather though and the show must go on.
The first run was awesome, starting right behind the professionals and
even 81-year-old Sister Madonna Buder
came by to wish me luck.
|Off on run #1|
The transition to
bike went smooth and we set off on my longest bike ride yet. The bike
was long and grueling; the wind was sometimes gusting up to 30 mph and
it felt like we were in quick sand. My body began to ache all over and
|Just a long ride with Brent|
Brent kept telling me to focus on small goals; just two miles
at a time then the next goal. We were here to finish and I refused to
accept defeat. We finally completed the bike and took our time prepping
for the run. The run was a blur as we both fought hard to finish strong.
Sometimes Brent would push me and other times I made sure he kept up
|Staying hydrated was important as the temp went up|
We saw our Sherpa crew all over. They were amazing. That's
it, just amazing. Helping us and driving us to finish.
finish line was the most amazing thing I felt in awhile.
Brent made it even more special and it embodied what this is all about.
Together, as brothers, to help motivate others to join us. I think the
announcer said it best when we crossed the line as he said, "brothers
from Atlanta, and BROTHERS across the finish line"
We are all brothers and we cannot wait for the next adventure.