Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anything Is Possible – Ford Ironman World Championships

Ironman competition is consecutive back to back to back events starting with a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and finishing with a 26.2 mile run. It is grueling and not for the faint of heart.

The Louisville Ironman competition this past September is a qualifying event (there are about 30 qualifying races per year) for the Ironman World Championship competition in Kona, Hawaii. Approximately 1,800 competitors from all over the world qualified and would be racing in the World Championship race in Kona.

There were 4 competitors this year that qualified to go to the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii from Louisville, Kentucky; Andy Rumsey, Jo Ann Jessie, Chad Holloway, and our daughter, Monica Murphy.

In Kona the environment was great. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was terrific. We met people from all over the world. There were 47 countries represented plus 48 of our 50 states for the Ironman competition.

We arrived as “Team Murphy” a week early. As the days progressed, Monica made final preparations as the town of Kona transformed with people, bleachers, banners and broadcast structures. The excitement was building.

Race Day! We were up at 5:00 am for the final check in. Race numbers are painted on the participating athletes. The sun comes up and the competitors enter the water. A C-130 cargo plane circles above the bay as the crowd gathers. 5 Navy Seals parachute from the plane into the bay as part of a ceremonial pre-start for the race.

A few minutes later, at 6:45 am, a cannon blast signals the start of the swim for the professional triathlete's that number about 120. At 7:00 am the remaining “non professional triathlete’s” begin to swim to the start line for position. A second canon blast echoes off the surrounding coast and crowd.

It is 7:00 am and the beginning of a long arduous journey for these 1,800 competitors. Only the most committed and determined will finish sometime in the next 17 hours.

The support group of Team Murphy is in place to give cheers and words of encouragement plus offer prayers of safe passage for our daughter and the other participants.

The professional triathlete’s exit the water in a steady pace and take off on their bikes. They will be followed by the “age groupers” who are non professionals. The swim cut off is 2 hours and 20 minutes. The first pros out of the water (both men & women) are magnificent athletes that have trained for upwards of 50 hours per week to compete in this event.

Team Murphy cheers Monica as she passes us and heads off on the bike. It is going to be a very hot day. The temperatures would eventually top out at 105 degrees. Taking fluids and staying hydrated is literally a lifeline.

On the lava fields of Kona, it is long, hot, boring and windy. The trade winds are a steady 30 to 35 miles per hour with gusts to over 60 miles per hour. There is no way to get out to this portion of the course to lend encouragement. The athletes are alone with their thoughts and physical pain. It now becomes as much a mental challenge as a physical challenge. We won’t be able to see them for about 100 of the 112 miles.

We can check on the internet to see if loved ones have passed quarter points. However the website is down. We wait. It grows hotter. The professionals return and start their run. We worry. We pray. Finally we see Monica and explode with relief and enthusiasm. We try to find out how she is feeling as she whizzes by us on her bike. Thumbs up!

Team Murphy quickly scrambles to the next vantage point to cheer our daughter as she comes out of the transition area onto the run. We decided to split up so that we can give encouragement at multiple locations on the course.

I am at the last vantage point before the athletes head back out the road to the lava fields. We stay in touch be cell phone. I get the call that she is on the way. There is a blur of people passing. Finally Monica arrives. She looks strong. I tell her that we are so proud and that we love her. She smiles and heads into the peak heat of the day. As Monica fades in the distance, I yell “See you at the finish line!”

Hours later, darkness has fallen and we wait. Team Murphy is now all together; Mom, Dad, our son Sean and daughter-in-law Katie. We have picked up friends along the way. We still wait.

Monica arrives and passes us. She has a mile to go. Thank goodness she looks good. Monica wants us to run in with her at the finish line. We take a short cut diagonally across a parking lot. We all join hand in hand to cross the finish line.

The announcer calls Monica Murphy’s name amongst all the lights, cheers and music. “Monica…YOU…ARE…AN…IRONMAN!”

Monica finished in 12 hours & 9 minutes. She insisted on staying until midnight, the final cut off. Monica knew how important our support was for the others that were struggling to the finish within the allotted 17 hours.

I am glad we stayed. We saw friends finish, plus a 76 year old man completed the course. A young lady with one leg completed the event. Another man that had been in a terrible car accident and died 8 times on the operating table 4 years earlier finished the race.

Now time was short. It was 11:30 pm. Just a few people left on the course somewhere out in the darkness. We saw a blind man finish with his assistant. But yet we waited for one more person.

This person was seeking to achieve something never done before in an Ironman. This man had no legs below either knee. How absolutely courageous.

We got word that he was coming down a long hill about a mile out. We looked at our watches and at the official timer. It was going to be close. The crowd waits in anticipation of history being made.

The young man appears out of the darkness and finishes to thunderous applause and cheers at 11:50 pm. Yes, he is an Ironman too.

I came away from Hawaii with a new view of the world. Never had I experienced such dedication, inspiration and example. We are very proud of our daughter, but then again, we always were and we always will be.

Monica and all of the other athletes have shown us that Anything Is Possible!


By Pat Murphy (my dad!)

12 comments:

fengfk2008 said...

中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿

宜蘭民宿 said...

中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿

宜蘭民宿 said...

CB
批發

seo

網路行銷

宜蘭民宿 said...

YK
情趣用品

提供上千種成人商品線上購物服務--專營情趣商品、男女自慰用品、性感睡衣、情趣用品批發、自慰套、SM商品、逼真情趣娃娃、跳蛋、按摩棒、同志用品、TENGA飛機杯..,可線上刷卡及貨到付款。 ... 收到的東西會有情趣用品的字樣嗎? 轉帳之後,如何通知這筆款項是我付的
導航

a片
a片
a片
a片
a片
a片

fengfk2008 said...

MOTEL
seo
居家看護
法拍屋
白蟻
seo
隔熱紙
高雄縣旅遊
墾丁旅遊
網路行銷

fengfk2008 said...

簡善琳瑜珈補習班創辦人簡善琳老師,在三十幾年前瑜珈風氣尚未盛行的少女時代即對它產生濃厚興趣少時體質贏弱敏感也因瑜伽而獲得顯著改善,所以立志貢獻所學,藉由瑜珈來達成幫助國人身體健康的願望。高雄瑜珈中簡善琳瑜伽養生會館除了硬體設備在會館環境上建立最精緻、最優質的多功能複式場所外,為避免其他瑜珈教室之師資情況(即投入教學工作則無力再學習進修之窘境),對於師資的培訓與要求更是不遺餘力,所有師資不分資深資淺每個月都要接受新的瑜伽課程訓練,期盼與國際接軌,隨時給予學員最新的資訊與知識。針對初學者教授九大關節操、拜日式、基本功法、淨脈呼吸法等,溫和而緩慢的瑜珈,透過簡單的延展動作及呼吸按摩身體各部位的經脈,奠定初學者學習瑜伽的基礎。會館裡有初級瑜伽、整體瑜伽、哈達瑜伽、養生瑜伽、有氧瑜伽、塑身瑜伽、氣功瑜伽、瑜伽提斯、Ashtanga、孕婦瑜伽、進階瑜伽、體位法瑜伽…等數十項豐富瑜伽課程提供選擇。

fengfk2008 said...

網路行銷
網路行銷
網路行銷
seo
seo
seo

fengfk2008 said...

潘朵拉日韓服飾購物商城-日韓服飾、服飾批發、流行服飾、韓國服飾、日系服飾、精品服飾、日韓服飾批發、雜誌款服飾批發、女裝服飾批發、時尚服飾批發、少女服飾批發、衣服批發

心安居家看護中心提供:醫院看護、居家看護、家庭看護、看護中心、外籍看護、私家看護、外勞申請、居家看護、家庭幫傭、外勞直聘、人力仲介

禾雅堂經典乳酪蛋糕提供精緻乳酪蛋糕、彌月蛋糕、巧克力、chocolate、cheese cake、原味乳酪蛋糕、日式抹乳酪蛋糕、松子黑糖乳酪蛋糕、密釀蔓越莓乳酪蛋糕、印度野芒果乳酪蛋糕、巧克力乳酪蛋糕、頂級圭那亞乳酪蛋糕等多種口味,歡迎參觀與選購。

fengfk2008 said...

I wish you health and happiness every day!
Ich wunsche Ihnen Gluck und Gesundheit jeden Tag!
Je vous souhaite sante et bonheur chaque jour!

網路行銷
seo
網路行銷
seo

優質行動網 said...

在婚禮上,新娘秘書可是擔當隔熱紙很重要的角色的喔~因為新娘秘書的職責就是把新娘旅遊打扮得漂漂亮亮的,讓新娘子在食品婚禮那天成為超美的Superstar。
新娘秘書會根據你選擇的禮服法拍給你做造型,也會提供汽車一些造型供你選擇蛋糕的喔~所以不需要擔心新娘秘書服飾的問題。而且現在網路這麼便捷,找行動新娘秘書多了許多途徑。你可以去一些專門的網路新娘秘書網站找自己中意的新娘秘書喔~
專門的達人新娘秘書網站,點這裡→意美朵彩旅遊資訊妝造型網 裏面有很多新娘秘書可供你選擇,也有新娘秘書花園的作品可以欣賞得到,一定能讓你找到一個雙眼皮滿意的新娘秘書喔~。這個網站的天地功能也非常小蝸牛方便,除了有1000多個新娘日韓秘書外,網站上流行新娘秘書的資料也都有公開而且很不孕症詳細,哪個新娘秘書設計比較符合自己的需求一看優質網就清楚啦~~還有還有,裏面會有當期表,用紅色標記的,讓你整形快速看到新娘建築秘書的空檔有哪些唷~ 找新娘秘書超婦產科方便的。

jessithompson said...

Wow... great story written by your dad. Congratulations on an amazing season. We were in Kona and just love the whole atmosphere there. It is magical!

-Jessi Thompson (Team Trakkers)

kizzy said...

I simply admire your post! Thanks for the share...



"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."
-Oprah Winfrey ~mountain hardwear