It was October 9th 2012. 4 days before Ironman Worldchampionship.
I was riding over Queen K. Highway in Kona. It was a usual training day on taper week. I was crossing an intersection with my green light when all of a sudden a car started a left turn into my path. I got a few seconds to react but the crash was inevitable. I just managed to turn sideways to avoid a direct hit. The next moment I was laying in the middle of the highway helpless with my ankle swollen. My bike was a mess. Front wheel broken, seat completely twisted and the frame had 2 big tears.
My friends took me to Kona Hospital where they took me an X-ray. The doctor said there was no fracture, just soft tissue damage. The pain was huge. I couldn’t walk without crutches. I knew racing on Saturday was almost impossible. One of my friends who was racing in Kona is a Kinesiologist. He suggested me to keep the ankle moving. The nex day I went to Kona Aquatic Center to test my foot. It felt ok if I didn’t kick. After the practice I noticed “Crowie” was training in the same pool. He noticed my crutches and asked what happened. We shared a picture and he gave me some words encouragement. That was it, I knew I had to race and finish, no matter what.
I came to race supporting a fundraising organization called Endure to Cure, which raises funds to help research and treatment for Pediatric Cancer. I couldn’t let down all the people who stood behind me. If I could just ride my bike from start to finish I knew I could limp the Marathon. By Friday I got my bike fixed and borrowed a front training wheel.
The big day came. From start It was a nasty swim, punching and kicking until halfway. Out of the water and limping into T1. I took my time on the bike. It felt fine if I didn’t stand on the pedals. I came out of T2 ready for the marathon. I managed to jog for 8 miles, then walk and limp til the finish line. I will never forget the last half mile. My friends came running in front me screaming and supporting me all the way to the carpet. I started to cry helpessly. I did it !
I know I couldn’t pull it off without the help of my friends and a beautiful cause as source of inspiration. The are no limits. There’s no question about it.