Dear Duncan and Mark,
At some point in your life you heard of the MARATHON. You learned what it entailed; running 42.2km. You probably thought how could someone run that far? And when you saw how fast some ran it in, you questioned how do they run that fast for that long? Back in 2004 I tried running just 1 mile at the pace I would require to qualify for Boston and asked how is that possible? But only 5 years later, when I look back to my first marathon, Boston 2009, I can’t help thinking of how excited I was to compete and how I would feel crossing that finish line. After all, it’s a marathon! 42.2km. It’s an endurance feat that few will ever experience and it’s an emotional, spiritual experience that will change your life forever. At that time, I had the support of my local running club, the Highland City Striders in Hudson, Massachusetts, and I was raising money for the Esplanade Association (which is the only way that I was able to get into Boson as a non-qualifier). The atmosphere was electric and our practice runs along the Esplanade and from the starting location in Hopkinton to the legendary Heart Break Hill helped me realize how special it was, what I was doing, and about to achieve. When I turned that final corner onto Boylston St. where thousands of runners had come before me (on that day and in the many years prior) shivers ran up my spine, goosebumps dimpling my body. This was it, this was Boston, I had achieved and conquered. I was a marathoner.
At some point in your life you then heard of the IRONMAN. You learned what it entailed, a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride, and a 42.2km marathon run. You, like I probably thought, how is that possible? Maybe you saw an NBC Recap like I did in the 90’s but then came back to it years later when you were motivated by a friend to conquer the distance in the most gruelling single day endurance event in the world. And at some point over the last year you committed yourself to this day by spending nearly $1,000 on the entry fee, with no chance of winning any money but a guarantee in experiencing a journey that even few will ever be able to fully comprehend. It’s different for everyone and for our team here of four. We know that Fi is secured into her 8-5 job but as few other obligations. And while I have flexibility with work, nearly every day is eat, train, work, eat, train, eat, sleep, repeat. For Mark, we know that you have a family with obligations to them and work. And Duncan we know how busy you are with the responsibilities of being an entrepreneur, business owner, and the greatest uncle a sister could ask for. I hope that the training that you have put in will help you have the utmost respect for what you are about to achieve. We all have different values, goals, and desires. Your goals of just finishing are honourable ones, certainly with your commitments. And when you make that left hand turn down the finishers chute embrace all your senses and listen to Mike Reilly, call in you, call You an IRONMAN.
In less than 4 weeks from now, you’re life is going to change. You are going to realize that our experiences are bigger than ourselves; that you are in a state of transcending yourself. You are going to realize that when you thought you couldn’t, you did. You are going to realize that if there’s anything in life you want, you can have it. And of course you are going to realize that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
So while there is still time to train, taper, and come into your race form make sure you put all of your value and respect into this IRONMAN because if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. For accomplishment does not come from doing what is easy. A true accomplishment and the effects you will feel both in mind, body, and spirit come by acknowledging the doubt and beating the shit out of it with your confidence and with your mental attitude.
Friends, I believe in you and extend my blessings to you in the coming weeks. Focus on the moment and embrace all that is good.