Monday, July 27, 2009

Not worthy: Matt Long and other Ironmen

So, I'm a marathoner and I spent a few hours watching the finishers at Lake Placid Ironman. That's 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike AND a marathon. I don't pretend to even understand what they go through. Swim? Me? Nah. No way. Or not yet.

It's physical and mental, for sure. I was watching cause someone I know -- and have been chatting with for a whole year -- was doing it for the first time and we knew he'd go down to the wire. I was very happy to see with 8 minutes left that he crossed the line, wearing an unmistakable top with a Canadian flag.

Then I heard that Matt Long, NYC firefighter who got hit by a bus and almost died a few years ago, was doing the Ironman. Wow. And then he crossed the finish line with a few mere minutes left. If you haven't read about him, do yourself a favour and read this.

He said he did his last Ironman in 11:18. Today, 16:58:01. "Three years ago, I was dead," he told the announcer at the finish line. "Now I'm an Ironman." Here are some pictures of his finish.

Inspiring. Then the last finisher was urged past the finish line with a massive crowd cheering on. He made it a second before midnight.

If only I can bring a fraction of that passion and determination to my marathoning, I'd be very fortunate on race day.


Saskia'sMama said...

I hear ya!
i thought marathons were tough.
without any of the stuff matt's been through.
you're right
us mere mortals - are
not worthy.
what a champion.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

It was so incredible to watch... the inspiration that these people provide is outstanding. I've heard people's stories that embark on a journey to a HM or a marathon, but an Ironman seems to require so much of that "something special". I sat there watching the coverage yesterday wondering what it really takes. Congrats to your friend!

Marlene said...

Awesome. I am nothing short of blown away by these athletes. Matt Long is amazing. They all are! Congrats to your friend.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend do this last summer about a month after he got married - I had no idea what the distances were until then. CRAZY!!! Very cool that you got to watch the end

Arcane said...

wow that story is inspirational! Not yet, eh? Thinking of joing the dark side?

Amy Reinink said...

Wow, wow, wow. That gave me the chills, just like the story about him in Runner's World did. That guy's amazing!