Thursday, November 28, 2019

Run to Stock the Closet 5K-Ariel-2019

11/28/19, Auburn, CA

27:08 (Unofficial)





10K: Bailey Cossantine, Jim Kepfer, Martin Sengo, Libby & Jason Shykowski, Robin Soares, Troy Soares & Oscar the Dog

5K: Anna Soares, Boatwright Family, Ashley & Hunter Glass and HEIDT Family & MANY OTHER AUBURN FRIENDS

We are praying when they are saying 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I only leave 2 seconds late though. I run up a hill. I see Mr.Kepfer and run with him. We run a little and then Mommy catches up and runs with us. Mr.Kepfer and Mom start getting farther and farther away from me. I do my best to stay with them but it’s too hard.

I know that a friend from Cross Country is racing. So, I go faster. I think I see them in the distance, I not sure but I'm pretty sure. I go faster trying to catch up. I run faster and go downhill. I see a girl and think if this was a race with results passing her would help, but it's not.

I start again picking up speed and get closer and closer to her. I finally pass her. I run down a hill I go pass Ashley and Hunter’s house. I see my Cross-Country friends. It feel weird being close because usually they are way ahead. I cross the railroad tracks and I pass them.

I don't stop running. I keep going fast. I pass Railhead Park. I look behind me and I see Uncle Mate. He's going fast and he might catch me. I run faster. I think I'm close. I run past 7-11 and then I have to cross the street. I run a little bit and I have to cross another street. I see a turkey sign and then I know I'm on track.

I run by a busy road and then my Uncle Matt passes me. I try to stay with him but it's hard to. I run up a hill and down to the finish, I start to go faster as I run to the finish line. I finished!

Run To Stock the Closet 10k (Troy)

11/28/19, Auburn, CA

46:33 (Unofficial)





10K: Bailey Cossantine, Jim Kepfer, Martin Sengo, Libby & Jason Shykowski, Robin Soares

5K: Ariel Soares, Boatwright Family, Ashley & Hunter Glass and HEIDT Family & MANY OTHER AUBURN FRIENDS

This is so much fun, Robin’s family is visiting and her brother and mom are participating.  Oscar is super excited about all the dogs here.  We’ve worked hard to train him to “heal” and not run ahead.  But with a lot of runners it is still a challenge.

We pray before the start.  I always desire to remain focused on the Lord during a race because I know without Jesus in my life, I wouldn’t have the great memories I do.  Of course it’s easier to do that when everything is going well..

Everybody is running!  We missed the start.. even though we were standing on the start line.  That’s ok, it’s just for fun anyway, but Oscar is beside himself.  As we run along with the crowd up Lincoln St by Victory Velo and the other great shops of downtown, I have to keep calling Oscar to “heal” and stopping him from going ahead.  Perhaps it’s because he’s never seen so many running ahead.  Now we’re going up downtown’s steepest hill, Cherry Ave, and I’m still on Oscar constantly.  Needless to say this is stressful and kind of embarassing because everyone is having a great time and I’m disciplining my dog.  I was hoping to be encouraging others and spreading Christmas cheer rather than yelling “heal” over and over.  I’m reminded how important it is to look to God constantly or even silly things can take me, and my attitude, by surprise.

I catch up to Ariel and I’m excited to run with her for a bit.  But then Oscar runs in front almost tripping Ariel!  Even this short moment of joy is cut short.

Mile 1. 8:10.  Up Pleasant Ave hill, I’m determined to push the pace and try to catch up to Anna and Hunter.  I pass some of the same people over and over (since I stop for Oscar multiple times).  But at the top, where it levels out, and now farther ahead with fewer people, Oscar gets calmer and I’m reminded to enjoy this really “fun” time Smile.

I catch Robin and Jim Kepfer.  We see Hunter and Anna ahead.  We all comment how it’s becoming impossible to catch the “kids”.  But I’m determined to try and pull ahead.

Mile 2. 7:36. A long downhill, maybe I can catch up.  I do catch Hunter but remain 200 yds behind Anna.  Up along the gov’t buildings back to the Town Square starting line, I know it’s Oscar and it’s the last chance to catch her before we start our 2nd lap.  I’m surprised she’s going so fast even with another 5k ahead.

Mile 3. 7:13.  We come through the Square, heart racing, and my nephew gives me a high-5 at the same time I see Anna finished.  I’m winded and can barely say “Good Job”.  I didn’t realize she was doing the 5k, but it makes sense now.  Oscar and I now have a goal to catch a girl way up ahead.  I also feel like I want to make up for the all the stopping early on.  We push hard up Cherry Ave.  And come fast down by the High School. However, we’re now passing 5k walkers and Oscar thinks we’re behind again so I still need to be on him, otherwise all the training might be undone.

Mile 4. 7:27. Back up Pleasant and around the Overlook Park.  I see the Boatwright family all walking together and having a good time.  It’s a great reminder of the family moments and memories being made all around us.  I see Tony Lewindowski, and many other friends.

Mile 5. 7:32. Down Sacramento St, walkers on the right and cars on the left, I’m careful to keep Oscar out of the way of each.  Every once and a while a dog or person will move out and there’s a close call.  Thank you, Lord, for preventing any collisions.  “Hi Troy!”  It’s Robin’s mom, Jan, doing great in the 5k!  We push as hard as we can by the gov’t buildings again but can’t catch the girl ahead.

Mile 6. 6:44. Whew!  A great push and we’re done!  Sorry, Lord, I didn’t rely on you more.  Lesson is to go into even easy events with as much reliance on God as the hard events. 

It was great to see a lot of wonderful Auburnites, push hard, and be fortunate enough to have a wonderful family.. and a wonderful dog Smile

Run to Stock the Closet 5K-Anna-2019

11/28/19, Auburn, CA

48:23 (Unofficial)


1st Female Overall?



10K: Bailey Cossantine, Jim Kepfer, Martin Sengo, Libby & Jason Shykowski, Robin Soares, Troy Soares & Oscar the Dog

5K: Ariel Soares, Boatwright Family, Ashley & Hunter Glass and HEIDT Family & MANY OTHER AUBURN FRIENDS

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start to run through downtown winding through all the people. Up ahead I see young kids going all out. I know that there are going to burn out, but it's fun to watch them run. I was just going at a fun pace because I had gone hard during a race not too long ago.

I start to climb up a steep hill and try not to let my excitement make me go faster, which would waste my energy. I get to the top and begin to run down the hill. I run past the high school and through the neighborhoods. I turn onto the main road in downtown and see some of the kids that were ahead walking or sitting on the sidewalk. I was right when I said they might blow up from running so fast.

I then turn and begin to run towards Railhead Park. I pass my friend’s house and begin to run around the park. After a while, I look behind me and see Dad running with his friends. I tell him that I will beat him in the 5k. I didn’t hear what he said and kept running. I look back again and he seems closer to me. I start to speed up.

I am running on Auburn Folsom road now and I know I’m close to the finish. As I’m speeding up I pass a few people. I cross an intersection and keep running on the sidewalk. Dad isn’t getting close to me now but I keep up this pace.

I turn the corner and see a girl in white up ahead. I push to get closer to beat her. I pass her at the top of the hill and run down towards the finish.

I finish and thank God. My Dad actually is doing the 10k. He thought I was doing the 10k as well and that he would catch me after I burn out. I encourage my Dad as he runs past for his 2nd lap. It was fun to enjoy the race, but it got hard towards the end.

Praise The Lord For He Is Good, His Love Endures Forever!

Run to Stock the Closet 10K-Robin-2019

11/28/19, Auburn, CA

48:23 (Unofficial)


2nd Female Overall?



10K: Bailey Cossantine, Jim Kepfer, Martin Sengo, Libby & Jason Shykowski, Troy Soares & Oscar the Dog

5K: Anna & Ariel Soares, Boatwright Family, Ashley & Hunter Glass and HEIDT Family & MANY OTHER AUBURN FRIENDS

It’s great to be home for Thanksgiving and hosting my family!  We head down to Main Square Auburn and donate our canned goods to the local food bank putting on the race. There are no bib numbers, race results or awards but just a bunch of folks coming out to run (easy or hard) on Thanksgiving morning.  It’s like a mini reunion with many of our local friends.  Thanking the Lord that the rain storm has subsided!  It is still cold and cloudy.

Troy, Anna, Ariel and I say a prayer and just as we are finishing up, the race starts!  We quickly jump into race mode and take off. 

True Auburn style, we start running uphill into Downtown Auburn.  Then up behind downtown and past Placer High School.  The football team is practicing on their wet, new field for the playoff game coming up this Saturday.  Dedication!  I’m running with Jim Kepfer, Anna’s coach, and Martin Sengo.  Up ahead are Libby and Jason Shykowski.  Troy is behind us with Oscar and I can tell Oscar is not on his best behavior.  The excitement of all the runners to chase down is probably the issue.

MIle 1 is 7:55.  Glad to see that I’m able to run under 8 min pace.  Jim and I catch up to the Shykowski’s and pull ahead of Martin.

Up another hill along the Fairgrounds.  I see one of Ariel’s cross country teammates running with his cousins.  I tell him good job.  I’m surprised to see Anna and Hunter ahead.  They are cruzing along comfortable and not at a blistering pace today.

We run past Railhead park where a morning pick-up football game is starting. 

Mile 2 is 7:49.  Great!  Troy and Oscar catch up to us and go by.  Anna looks back and sees them coming and takes off.  Up another hill past the Courthouse building and then a bit more up to the police station.  I pull ahead of Jim. 

MIle 3 is 7:29 and my average is 7:42.  I hope I can maintain this when I repeat the loop!    

I pass the starting line and start the 2nd lap.  Troy and Oscar have pulled ahead by quite a bit.

Mile 4 is 7:52.  My average pace has creeped up after climbing up through Downtown.  I hope to make up for it later. 

Martin catches up to me and we chat for a bit.  He then pulls away after the climb past the fairgrounds.  There are a lot of walkers and dogs doing the first loop.  I see familiar families like the Boatwrigthts from our church and Life Group.  I keep my eyes open for my mom.  I hope to see her along the way!

Mile 5 is 7:43.  My average is getting close to 7:42 again.  Just got to keep trying.  I push to try to catch up to Martin.  Just then I hear my mom say “Rob!”.  I was focused ahead at that moment,  I wasn’t looking for my mom.  I wave over my shoulder and say “good job Mom!”

MIle 6 is 7:08 and my average is under 7:41.  Yay!  Thank you Lord!  Once past the police station it’s all downhill!  I push hard and finish across an imaginary finish line.  Done!  Thank you Lord!  That was a fun start to the morning.  Time to regroup with the family!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Run For the Mandarins 10K-Anna-2019

11/24/19, Auburn, CA



1st Female Overall, 2nd Overall



10K:  Hunter Glass

5K: Ariel Soares & Ashley Glass

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO! I start running downhill towards the exit of the fairgrounds. I am running with a friend, Hunter, for the 10k. At the exit, I turn up the hill. I try to keep a good pace. I am hoping to get an 7:20 or a faster pace. My pace right now is around 7 min. I feel slow, but I know itÅ› just from the excitement from the beginning of the race. At the top of the hill, I see my Dad with Oscar. This morning Oscar had escaped and decided to walk himself. It was good to see that my Dad found him.

I run around Placer and see my Mom. She cheers me on and I keep running. There are about three grown-ups ahead of me. We turn up another hill and I pass a grown-up. I’m in 4th right now with Hunter ahead of me. We get to the bridge and a train comes around the corner. It is cool to run across the bridge when the train is going to go under. I then run through the neighborhoods. I turn left down a road I have never been down before. A band member from school was directing the runners cheered me on. It’s flat but then there is a hill. The hill first looks short, but it ends up being long. We make some detours through the neighborhood. It is cool to be in a new neighborhood. I then run down a hill towards the train tracks. I see an aid station worked by kids at my school. I grab water and start to run towards Railhead.


I pass Hunter at the aid station. I have energy, but I am tired. The arrows on the ground change to green it seems. I run around Railhead and the green chalk says 3 miles. Halfway finally! After running around Railhead, the arrows point  right. I turn right and see the lead biker biking back with the grown-up ahead of me. I thought we were going to do an out and back, but the biker told me to turn around (wrong way). I run back and have lost some time. Hunter has gotten closer to me. I try to regain my distance but it’s hard. We turn up a steep hill and my legs start to hurt. I am content though if Hunter passes me.


At the top of the hill, I turn and see my dad. He cheers me on. I keep running up some hills and I see that the course starts to head back to the finish. It is flat and I see an aid station up ahead. I know the person working there and ask for water. He is trying to fill up water but I pass him before he finishes filling up the cup. I turn on a road and it’s flat. My legs start to feel heavier. I run down a steep hill and my legs hurt but at least I’m not using much energy.


I turn and start to run around Railhead again. All I have to do is run around Railhead, into the fairgrounds and I’m done. My legs get heavier as I run. I start going uphill and I use the momentum of the downhill to get me up. At the top of the hill, it’s hard to move my legs. I use the downhill to regain my strength. There are two hills to go. On the next hill, my legs are getting harder to move. My goal is not to walk and run the whole way. I finally get to the top and coast down. At the bottom of the downhill, I see Leah, my BFF. She cheers me on and it gives me energy. I tell her thanks and run up the last hill. I run into the fairgrounds and all I have to do is coast all the way to the finish. I run in and point to God. HE kept my legs moving. I collapse after I finish and rest. I made it!  Thank the Lord. I got 1st woman and 2nd overall. The leader went the wrong way so I moved up to 2nd.

Praise The Lord For He Is Good, His Love Endures Forever!

Run For the Mandarins 5K-Ariel-2019

11/24/19, Auburn, CA



2nd Female Overall



10K: Anna Soares & Hunter Glass

5K: Ashley Glass

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start to sprint and then I slow down quickly remembering that this is a long race. I go at a fast pace that feels good. There are just three people (all kids) ahead of me. A grown-up passes me. I try to stay with him. It's hard but I stay with him for a while.

I’m breathing hard. I run up a hill and turn. It’s getting hard to stay with the guy and I am falling behind. I am running pretty fast I go up a hill and then cross the bridge. I go down a hill. I keep running I see Mommy. She encourages me. I run harder. I see our friends Laurel and Ruby they also encourage me. IMG_20191124_084151285IMG_20191124_084324950

I go down a very big hill. I pass the guy who passed me earlier. I try to catch up with the rest of the group. I am 5th right now. I can see the first girl (who is a kid). I start to run faster, but it's very hard. She seems to run faster.

We go up a path and down. We run to the train tracks and I see Leah's brother, Emerson. I see Mom and Dad. They cheer me on. I’m almost to the finish line. I run faster. I know that I won’t be able to beat the girl but I still try. I sprint as fast as I can down the hill and into transition. I got 5th place and 25:09.


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Good Dog/Dirty Dog 10K–Robin-2019

8/25/19, Granite Bay, CA



2nd Overall, 1st w/No Dog



10K: Oscar the Dog & Troy Soares

5K: Ashley & Hunter Glass

Anna was going to race this morning but she has rolled her ankle and will need a few more days of healing.  She’s got cross country meets on the horizon so we’ve got to keep her healthy.  Bill at Total Body Fitness has graciously allowed me to take her spot in the 10K in the no dog category at the last minute.  So appreciated!  I haven’t been training a whole lot lately so not looking forward to the discomfort that comes from racing.  I’ve been busy supporting Troy through his Ironman, Troy/Anna through their recent 1/2 Marathon (Anna’s first) and getting settled into the school year schedule.  It’s good to have something get me out and going.  I thank God that I can even jump into a race last minute! 

Our friend Chad Glass is doing the 10K with us.  His kids, Hunter and Ashley, are doing the 5K.  He brought his mom along to watch.  It’s great to hang out before!

We pray and then line up for the 10K.  We are running the 10K course twice.  Oscar and Troy are teaming up for the second weekend in a row.  This dog LOVES to run so no prob for him!

Mark from Total Body Fitness starts us off.  It’s a quick ready, set and go!  In the first stretch Troy and Oscar pull up to front.  I’m following a few non dog runners like me and a girl with a border collie.  Within a half mile we are on sand.  It’s tough but I’m able to power through.


Mile 1 is 7:42.  I’ve been able to pass the non dog runners.  I just have the border collie team and Troy/Oscar ahead.  We get to the levee and I can see the aid station and the girls.  I grab some water and wave.


Mile 2 is 7:28.  Feels like a sufferfest already but I’m gaining on the border collie team.  It motivates me to keep pushing.  Pretty soon I’m able to pass them up.  Thank you Lord for helping me persevere!


Mile 3 is 7:52.  I see Ariel and she tells me Chad hurt himself and is in the medical tent.  I say a prayer for him. 

Mile 4 is 8:02. I’m all alone now…and trying to stay motivated to push!  I’m redoing the same miles which is tough mentally as well.

I’ve made it back to the levee.  I’m catching up to the walkers in the 5K.  It’s no problem until I hit the single track.  It’s hard to pass folks with their dogs which is totally understandable.  A few times I have to slow to walk briefly. 

Mile 5 is 7:58. Tired but almost done!  I see a young girl with a dog and I realize it’s Ashley!  I catch up and tell her good job. 


Mile 6 is 8:01. Ok, the finish is right around the corner.  I here my family cheering for me.  Just a bit more!  I cross the finish line.  Thank you Jesus!


Troy and I find Chad in the medical tent with a severly rolled ankle.  We pray for him.  We send him off with his mom to get some care.  We wait with Hunter and Ashley for awards!  Then we all head off to our house for a quick change before church.  I love being able to race and still get to church!


Good Dog/Dirty Dog 10K-Troy & Oscar-2019

8/25/19, Granite Bay, CA



1st Overall



10K: Robin Soares

5K: Ashley & Hunter Glass

We always have fun running the dog races that TBF puts on at Granite Beach.

Oscar and I are coming off the 1/2 marathon so this shouldn’t be too hard.

As always, I really what to race to glorify Christ in some way.  It’s hard running a 10k, but I know God always gives me a little more energy to be concerned for others, cheer for them, and be prepared to help if needed.

Today is extra special because the Glass Family (Chad, Hunter and Ashley) are all racing!  Anna isn’t because of a hurt ankle.


We take off and Oscar is, as usual, too excited for the 1st mile

Mile 1. 7:31. We are out in front and he calms down.  He’s getting better all the time and now I feel I can really run normal and focus on people and aid stations better.

I work on form.  It’s a warm day and I prepare for the first aid station.  I tell Oscar, “Water” and he runs ahead right for the doggy pool.


Mile 2. 7:06.  A fast mile.  We’ve done this course before so I’m better prepared for where the water stations are.

We’re running well and keeping a good pace.


Mile 3. 7:26. When we come through for lap #2, Anna tells me that Chad fell and may have broken his ankle!  I’m saddened to hear that because he’s training for a big race and had been looking forward to it for years.  I pray immediately that it won’t be bad.  It’s hard running when you just want to find out more about an injured friend.


Fortunately Hunter and Anna keep me posted. 

Mile 4. 7:28.

Mile 5. 7:15. I pass his daughter Ashley doing the 5k but I don’t tell her so not to scare her.

Oscar and I push the last mile hard and finish well.


Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with being able to run.

We immediately find Chad and help him get transported home.

Everyday is a blessing and we never know when things will suddenly change.  Thank you, Lord, for having a plan even when our plans have to change.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Running with the Bears 1/2 Marathon-Anna-2019

8/1819, Greenville, CA
1/2 Marathon



1st, 15 and Under


TeamMates/Friends: Oscar the Dog, Troy Soares

IMG_20190817_065102135_HDR10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go! I start running downhill and then onto a flat road. My pace is too fast so I slow down. My dad runs ahead because he is doing a faster pace.

Mile 1IMG_20190817_070932802_HDR. 8:19. My goal is to do an 8:20 min pace. It feels really easy right now like I'm going 10 min pace. As I’m running I start to talk to a guy. We have a good conversation and after I’m done talking to him I pick up the pace because I’m now a little behind. We start to run in a small looking forest. It’s nice and cool and I enjoy running. I can see my dad running up ahead with Oscar. A lady with her dog is not too far behind. I don’t see any other dogs running. After running for a bit we turn onto another road.

Mile 2. 8:11.  I am catching up to a girl and a boy. They look like brother and sister, I’m not sure. We run along a winding road and a sheepdog barks at me.  We are running around a huge valley and there are a lot of farms.

Mile 3. 8:15. Around the corner, I see an aid station. The theme of the aid station is the 80’s. Before we started, the race director told us that at the end of the race you get to vote on the best aid station. The aid station that wins will get a lot of money. The people at the 80’s aid station are all dressed up and playing music not too loud. I grab water and continue on.

Mile 4. 8:17. The roads are winding and go uphill and downhill slightly. It’s cool to see all the houses, farmland, and tractors. Feels like the old times.

Mile 5. 8:11.  My left Achilles starts to hurt but I just trust that God will get me through. I’m thankful though that it isn’t my right foot because I had just recently twisted it and I am glad it is holding up.

I make sure to check my pace. I’m at 8:14, so I try to take it easier. I check my watch again and it’s at 8:16 so I keep the pace. My time shows I will be done in about an hour. It’s a long time but I know I will finish.

Mile 6. 8:09. After a while, I come to another aid station.  I grab water and take a gel. I run across a bridge and am now on a straight road. I check my time and pace. I’m ahead of pace at 8:16 and have about 40 min left.

I feel good and just stay at the pace and try not to go faster so I don’t get tired out. I just hit 6 ½ miles and am halfway done. Even though it’s half way it seems like the race will be done very soon.

Mile 7. 8:20. After running a while I see a girl with her dog up ahead. I remember seeing her running with dad in the beginning. She has fallen behind. I catch up to her and we talk and run together. I now see the other road that leads to the out and back spot. I turn onto it and continue running with the gal. I see the top runner in the half coming back. She is really fast and I start to count the places to tell dad what place he’s in. I see dad and tell him he’s 5th overall and 2nd man. He says ok and I keep running.

Mile 8. 8:22. . . I see the turn around up ahead with an aid station. The theme is beach, and it’s really big and beachy. They ask us to nod our head if we’re doing the half because the marathon was also going on. I nod my head and go around the turn. I ask for water and drink. The girl running with me stops and lets her dog go in the dog pool they have. I guess that's how she fell behind Dad. I start heading back. I pass the long straightaway road where I caught up to the girl and head towards the finish. I am about 4 ½ miles to go and I already feel myself picking up the pace.

IMG_20190817_090142358Mile 9. 7:57. My foot pain starts to go away and I thank God for the help. I am going a little faster and don’t worry about my pace. I notice that my Garmin beeps about .1  miles before the mile sign. I start to cut corners as best as I can so my Garmin will line up with the mile markers.

Mile 10. 8:04. There is a steep hill. I remember the man I talked to in the beginning said there would be a big hill at mile 10. It is steep but I don't mind. I get to the top and there's an aid station. I take my gel and drink water. The gel isn't that tasty. It’s a new flavor and it’s too thick. There’s yummy looking fruit at the aid station but I’m almost done.

Mile 11. 7:44. As I run around the mountain I have 2 miles left. I think I see the finish far in the distance but I’m not sure. After I round the corner I see another little valley to go around. I’m not sure anymore if that was the finish. I start to go around and hit another aid station. It is a cute “under the sea” looking station but a little small. I grab water and continue on. I am running around the valley and am now sure that the place I thought was the finish is the finish.

Mile 12. 7:28. I hit one mile to go and push on. I am going faster now and feel I’m getting closer. I remember a 13-mile sign around the corner when I had taken the bus to the start. After a half mile I know I’m close. I start to go around a mountain and know that the last turn should have the 13-mile sign. I continue to run around the mountain. It is a long turn, but then right around the corner is the 13-mile sign.

Mile 13. 7:45. I can now see the finish up ahead. I can also hear my family cheering me on. I start to run up to the finish line and the race director encourages me. I run in and point to God. Everything hurts afterward, so I go put my legs in a huge bucket of ice and water. It was so cold but I knew it would help my legs.

Praise The Lord For He Is Good, His Love Endures Forever.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Running with the Bears 1/2 Marathon (Troy)

8/18/19, Greenville, CA
1/2 Marathon



1st, 50-59; 3rd Overall


TeamMates/Friends: Oscar the Dog, AnnaSoares

Not only Anna’s big day today to run her longest race, but Oscar’s big day to see if he can run 8min pace for a 1/2 marathon!  Already have run 18mi with him during marathon training, but that was much slower.

IMG_20190817_064952943_HDRSlept good last night in a cabin at Copper Creek Camp.  It was totally quiet!  Although I did have a nightmare that Oscar was wreaking havoc with other dogs at the race because I wasn’t watching him.

We drive to the shuttle pick-up in a pasture in Greenville and get attacked by mosquittos.  Anna & I get on the bus, almost forgetting our bibs.  Oscar has to wear a muzzle due to race liability rules, but he’s getting comfortable with it after traIMG_20190817_065127410ining him yesterday.

It’ll be perfect temperature, perfect course (small rolling hills counter-clockwise around Indian Valley), and perfect for Oscar with Doggie water and treats along the way.

Robin & Ariel are supporting us and pray together before we start.  I still have the Achilles injury and hope it won’t hurt much.  Anna is coming off a sprained ankle injury.  Nothing wrong with Oscar.

During our warm-up my Achilles hurts.  Anna seems good.  Plan is 8:00 pace for me and 8:20 for Anna.

National Anthem.  Trust God.  Hear we go!

Starting, Oscar is super excited of course and pulling too much.  I get him under control and now we’re rolling better.  Anna slightly behind me says, “8:20 feels really easy”.  I’m glad to hear that.  I won’t be able to coach her through it so I hope she keeps it easy for a few miles.

My heel is hurting.  I focus on the Lord and remember the walk-run form that helped at Lake Placid.

There are a few other dogs but only one is challenging us.. Bax, a Burmadoodle, and his owner, Angela.  But Bax was too nervous to do his business before the race but now’s he ready and suddenly stops.  Oscar and I move ahead.

Mile 1. 8:08. Bax is back!  And now leading.  His owner dumps the doggie bag in a conveniently placed garbage bin along the road.  At the first turn a few volunteers greet us and cheer.  Otherwise it’s just us, the beautiful hills on our right and the peaceful valley on our left.  Bax and Angela running well.  Oscar is eager to catch them so we push a little..

Mile 2. 7:44. We catch them and do introductions.  They are both nice runners.. but Oscar is quickly focused back on the road ahead and doesn’t look back.

Mile 3. 7:33. Aid station!  60’s theme. Cool music, lot’s of enthusiasm.  Supposedly they’re giving $1000 to the best aid stations so I remember this one well.  I drink a lot of water since I didn’t before the start.  Oscar doesn’t need anything yet so we lose little time.  Bax, however, takes a stop and we gain another 20 sec gap.  There’s about 6 runners ahead spread far apart.  The road is so pleasant.  I have good energy but try to keep near the plan.  Oscar runs smooth and true.  I point out some “working dogs” to him that are hearding cows on a farm to the left.  He’s interested for 1 sec and then back to the big race.

Mile 4. 7:52. We pass a runner taking walking breaks.  If I look back I can sometimes see Anna’s yellow FCA shirt.  I pray that she’s doing well and the ankle is holding up.

Mile 5. 7:50. I don’t feel any pressure for myself and would be fine going easy.  But Oscar’s been looking forward to this day and we’ve also been wondering just how fast he can go.  For that reason I know I must run the best that I can today!

Mile 6. 7:46. There’s the aid station ahead.  I take a gel and then tell Oscar, “Water!” and give him leash as he heads for the doggie pool.  I down a couple cups of water.  He drinks, cools his paws, lays down real quick, shakes and he’s ready to go!  On the main road. Pushing harder to make up lost time.  I look back and see Anna running with Bax and Angela about 2 min back.  I’m glad she’s made friends.

Mile 7. 8:14. We see a helicopter fly overhead and wonder if it’s headed to the race finish.  I’m really looking forward to this short out-n-back because it’s only 4 miles after that!  Plus Oscar and I can see competition ahead and get status on Anna behind.  A woman is leading the race.  Then a guy who yells to us, “The Canine record is 1:45.  Don’t beat it because it’s mine!”.  I tell him thanks for letting us know and immediately things just got really interesting to Oscar..

Mile 8. 7:31.  Fastest mile yet.  “Beach theme” Aid station is awesome.  I get water but Oscar ignores the treats and water and is anxious to head back.  There’s Anna, Angela and Bax.  Oscar tries to run over and greet them.  I ask Anna how’s she feeling but she’s excitingly telling me we’re 4th place.  I figure that’s a good sign she’s feeling fine and thank the Lord for answered prayers.

Mile 9. 7:18. Even faster. But I start planning our next pit stop.  I see a small non-doggie-pool aid station and verify there’s another up ahead.  We’re definitely on pace to break the record but we both want to see by how much.  We’re gaining on a woman ahead.  Going up a slight hill, 2 white dogs suddenly jump out from a property and startle her.  Then the big one comes at us.  I sternly tell him to “Go home!” and he leaves us alone.  Oscar isn’t phased, he’s got a race to run.

IMG_20190817_085731574_HDRMile 10. 7:32.  A significant climb.  Only one on the course.  It’s warming up but this side of the valley is shaded.  Nice!  Yes, at the top is the aid station.  I say, “Water!” and Oscar runs for the doggie pool.  The volunteers think I’m demanding water and run at me with cups.  I do take a couple and tighten my shoe as Oscar does his routine.  Drink, bathe, shake and go.  I feel good that Oscar is refreshed for the last 3 miles.  No more stops till the finish!

Mile 11. 8:09.  Great split even with the stop!  We pass another runner.  We stay on the left side, even though the road is winding, so Oscar can choose the dirt shoulder when he wants.  He’s running so well.  He pulls ahead a little but when I say “heel” he eases back alongside so I can give him a pet.

Mile 12. 7:19.  I’m tired, both feet are hurting, but Oscar is still eager, running slightly ahead.  I thought he might show signs of slowing by now.  I thank the Lord we are about done and the great pace He alowed us to have.

Mile 13. 7:24. Up ahead I see Ariel, and then Robin.  And the helicopter we saw now landed by the finish.  I thank God, turn up the gravel and we break the tape for first Canine Runner! 

Finished at 1:42:10, 7:48 pace.  Oscar got to stand on the podium. 


And he was fine the rest of the day and showed no soreness.  But his dog-naps were longer.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

TBF Tri for Kids #3-Ariel-2019

8/11/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
50m S – 4mi B – 1mi R

26:50 New PR for 11+ Course


5th Female (11 +), 2nd in Age Group (11);

Winner for 11 year Girls Tri Series


TeamMates/Friends: Ruth Boatwright


5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go! I start swimming as fast as I can. This is my first-time swimming the long course with the older kids. It feels like but I should be ahead of everyone because I'm swimming super-duper fast, but I'm not. I am in the back. The sun is so bright I can hardly see the first buoy. I finally see the first buoy when I am 10 feet away from it. I go around it and keep swimming. I'm still not in the front, but I am in the back with a lot of other kids. I can't see the next buoy, it's the last one. I swim as fast as I go around it and keep it up until my knuckles touch the ground. Then I start to run out when to transition. I get on my bike helmet, my socks and my shoes. I get my bike and go out.



I run out of transition and get on my bike. We go up and down up over speed bumps. I do not like them. I try to bike around the bumps, but some you can't so I have to bike on them. I bike across the bridge. I can see the first person in the distance, but I can't tell who it is. I'm pretty sure it's a girl that I know named Shantelle, but I'm not sure. I keep biking trying to get as close as I can. Usually, when I was in the younger group, I would have started five minutes later and the first person would be coming back already, but now I'm in the older group so I'm closer to the first person. I bike my best trying to get close to Shantelle. I keep biking and biking finally, I see kids turning around at the turnaround. I go around it and start biking back. I look for Ruth but she must of already past because I couldn't see her. I keep biking and looking for Ruth. I go over the bumps and up and down the hills. I keep biking. Then I see the transition. I dismount off my bike take off my helmet and start the run.



I start running. I run to the first aid station. I can see Shantelle coming back. I grab some water from the aid station. I figure out its not water but its electrolytes which tasted like sugar. I throw it the to the ground. I keep on running the right onto some gravel and then onto the dirt. I run straight then turn. I go up a hill and cross a tiny bridge.

I go around the turnaround at the top of the hill. There's a kid behind me and I don't want him to pass me so I keep trying to run fast. I run back down the hill over the little bridge and on the flat dirt. I get back to the gravel. I see Ruth going out on the with her water bottle that my mom made with juice in it. I get back on the gravel and start running. I see the finish line. I go back by aid station. I'm not taking any water just in case I get that electrolytes water. I run across the grass. I finished at the finish line.



TBF Tri For Real #3–Robin-2019

8/11/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
1.5km S – 40km B – 10km R

2:36:37 (26:16 – 1:22:21 – 48:01)


3rd, F 45-49


TeamMates/Friends: Anna Soares(Aquabike), Ariel (Kids Tri),  Dave Campbell, Keith Hansen,

Up early with the girls, their friend Ruth and Troy. It’s so nice that the girls are old enough now to get chores done and ready to go.  They are in the car ontime!  At the last minute this morning Troy gets Anna’s bike ready to go.  She was going to do the Aquathon (Swim-Run) again but a sprained ankle has caused us to change her to the AquaBike (Swim-Bike). 

We get to the race transistion in time for Ariel and Ruth to set up and head down to the water.  I’m having a hard time with being joyful.  It seems like little things annoy me like my aero bottle not going on right and having to keep returning to my transistion site for gear/things I keep forgetting. 

I am able to catch Ariel finishing up her swim and transistion to the bike.  She looks strong even though she’s further back since she aged up to the big kids 100m swim.  I am able to see Ruth come out the her swim wave.  Though there are a lot more kids, she holds her own and is in the top 1/3.

I get to the water and realize I forgot to bring my spray (to help make wetsuit come off) and Sportslick (to help prevent chaffing).  I run back to transistion and make it back when the last men’s wave is about to go.  I get in the water and decide to adjust my goggles.  The strap comes undone and I hear “one minute to go”!  I see Anna on the shore.  I know her wave starts about 10 minutes after mine.  I can grab her goggles and give mine to Troy to fix for her to wear.  I run up to Troy and put the mess in his hands and ask Anna if I can take hers.  Without hestitation she gives them to me and tells me that I’m really going to enjoy them.  I jump back in the water just in time!  “Go!”

I get a good start and fall in behind the top 3 girls.  I start thinking about Anna and I am concerned that I have messed up her swim start.  Maybe I should have gone without goggles.  I pray and ask the Lord to let my goggles be fixed in time and for them to work on her face. 

At the first turn buoy our group has dropped by one.  The two remaining girls split off and I stick with the one that seems to be swimming a nice straight line towards the next buoy.  I have a nice draft for a bit until she drifts over to the right a bit far.  I go it alone and try to see if I can get ahead.  The other girl is to my left and back.  I seem to remain in the same position for a while and realize it’s best to have a draft.  I veer right and get back in the top girl’s draft.  It seems like the next buoy is still way out there.  My mind wanders back to Anna and I wonder again if she’s doing ok with my goggles.  I like her goggles and find them very comfortable.

Finally the turn buoy is here and we are swimming around it.  I am right with the top girl and accidentally touch her foot.  I know how annoying that is so I pull off to the left a bit.  I try to pass again but she’s swimming strong and I notice the fatigue setting in.  The shore is close!  She’s out and I’m right behind.  I pause to hand off my swim tag to a volunteer and then I take off my wetsuit.  I’ve been struggling for many races now to get the wetsuit off from around my ankles.  Finally, it’s off and I’m off!

Once I get to my transistion area, I struggle to know what to do first.  I pick up my arm warmers.  I do feel chilled but are they needed?  I put them down and put on my helmet, shoes and glasses.  I pick up the arm warmers again and attempt to put them on.  Forget it, too hard!  I grab my bike and go! 


Right away, there is a series of speed bumps and Bott Dots. It’s hard to get into a rhythm.  As I’m about to leave the park and get on the main road, I start to notice that my pedal stroke is not smooth and there is jerking on the chain.  This often happens when I’m in an easy gear on a flat road. I shift to a harder gear.  Same thing.  I shift up again and again but no change.  This is weird.  Something is wrong!  It feels too hard pedaling.  Troy had replaced a chain wheel on my bike yesterday.  It must not be compatiable with my set up.  I’m so frustrated that I consider turning around to show him and basically demand him to fix it.  I think back to his Ironman race story where he recalled quitting mentally in the past and didn’t want to do that again.  I don’t want to “quit” and show our girls and Ruth that when things go wrong, just stop.  I decide to live with it and continue on.  So on with the next 24 miles!

I turn and head out the long stretch to the turnaround.  The jerking continues and I try to focus on pedaling smoothly.  Cyclists seem to just be flying by me and I am so frustrated with this situation and Troy.  I know Troy didn’t do this on purpose   I should have rode my bike yesterday to test it.  I just feel mad and I don’t feel like cheering anyone on. I know this is simply selfish behavior.  Lord, I’m having a bad attitude and I’m sorry.  Please help me get through this.

I get passed by several women and I fight each time not to let them get far ahead.  It takes so much effort to maintain this pedaling!  I wonder if Anna will be able to catch me.

I finally make the turn around and head back. I’m looking for Anna.  I’m still getting passed by other riders and just keep on praying for my attitude. 

There’s Anna!  I wave and I hear her call out my name.  She looks great!


Further down the road another rider comes by.  He actually tells me good job and smiles.  It wakes me out of my selfish stupor a bit and reminds me it’s about Jesus, not me!  Thank you Lord for using that man to help me!

Finally I can see the nuclear stacks.  I am almost done!  I start thinking about what I’ll say to Troy about the bike.  I want him to know there is a problem so he can look at it but it’s too hard to explain it all.  I’ll have to wait until after the run.

I turn back into the park.  Once again Bott dots and speed bumps. 

I pull my feet out of my bike shoes as I pull into transition.  I see Troy and blurt out “Something is wrong. The pedalling is a doozy!”  Suddenly a wave of negativity comes over me.  I get to my spot and I feel unmotivated to run.  I make myself get ready and head out.  I see Troy again and say the bike didn’t go well.  I hear him say “Have a great run!  Try to go 43 min.”  I give a thumbs-down.  Immediately I feel convicted.  What a bad example!  Here I am wearing an FCA jersey and here I’m not being an ambassador for Christ.  I am sorry Lord!  That was wrong.

I regroup over the first mile.  I pass that nice guy from the bike and he says “there she is!”.  It is another encouraging boost.


Mile 1 is 8:22.  I start to feel relaxed and am able to pick up the pace.  I was expecting my legs to be trashed from the bike so this is a gift.  I starting to pass more folks but few are women.  I can see runners coming back on the trail along the lake.  I see Keith Hansen and cheer.

Mile 2 is 7:40.  I grab water and electrolytes from the next aid station.  I can see runners coming back from the out and back on the road.  I see four women in row.  Three look hard to catch and one looks like a possiblity.  I say good job even though part of me is envious of their position.  Natural human nature is not nice but selfish.  Today is not really a battle with my body but really with my attitude.  The physical challenges just help to fan the flames of my bad attitude.

I hit the road with one guy in front of me, Vern Holthouse.  He’s 79!  It takes me almost the entire out and back on the road to catch him!

Mile 3 is 7:28.  I’m surprised with that split since there is a slight incline.  I can hear another runner behind me.  I saw him on the way back.  I try to keep up the pace. This curvy trail is a fun part of the race but it’s hard because I’m getting tired. I can see the one girl I thought I can catch in the distance. 

Mile 4 is 7:35.  That guy passes me and I tell him good job.  I try to keep up.  I pass the girl.  I’m geting worn down by the winding trail.  I just want to be back on the main fire road.  I start to notice there are large rocks painted orange all along the trail.  It’s a nice distraction looking for the next rock!  Finally, I can see the entry back to the fire road!

Mile 5 is 7:25.  Great!  Just one more mile. I try to keep as close as possible to the guy.  I grab water at the last aid station.  Getting close!

MIle 6 is 7:42.  I can see Troy and I wave.  He tells me to push it to the end.  I dig a bit deeper and find a little speed.  I see the finish!  I am so glad to be done!  I cross the line and look up to God!  Thank you!


I spent the rest of the day continuing to fight my flesh.  Without Jesus I would be just a selfish mess and lost.  Lord forgive me and help me to overcome these challenges. I love you!

(follow-up from Troy: “After the race I tried to spin Robin’s pedal by hand and was shocked how hard it was.  The chain had wedged between the hangar and the jockey pulley!  It was literally scrapping metal off of the hangar on each pedal stroke!  As the mechanic I felt so bad, but hopefully won’t happen again “)

TBF Tri for Real AquaBike#3–Anna-2019

8/11/19, Rancho Seco Park, Herald, CA
1.5km S – 40km B

1:55:03 (32:08 S – 1:21:55 B)


2nd overall women


TeamMates/Friends: Robin Soares, Ariel (Kids Tri),  Dave Campbell

Tri For Real Aquabike

I get to the race and get set up. I was originally going to do the swim-run distance but I hurt my ankle and switched over to the swim-bike (Aquabike). After I set up, I start to walk down to the swim start to watch my mom. I see my mom running up because she forgot her spray, which helps you out of your wetsuit. I’m a little worried because her race is starting very soon. I get down to the beach and start putting on my wetsuit. My mom comes back and gets in the water with barely time to spare. She now runs out again because her goggles are broken.  She asks to use mine. I give her mine and tell her not to worry and that she’ll like them. She gets in the water just as the announcer is counting down. After she takes off my dad fixes her goggles for me to wear. The announcer says we're starting soon, but I thought it would be later. My dad finally finishes the goggles and starts to help me finish with my wetsuit. The announcer says “40 seconds!”  I get my wetsuit zipped, my dad sprays my ankles and I run down to the water as the announcer counts down, 6,5,4,3,2.. splash!. I dive into the water right as it’s time to go.

I had no time to be nervous or worry about the temperature. My dad said to get water in my wetsuit, but since I didn't have time I get water in it as I am swimming. I feel great and I feel the wetsuit somewhat lifting me on top of the water. I find someone who is going my speed and draft behind them. I make sure not to hit her feet because it can be annoying. After a while, she sort of drifts to the side. I stay in the same spot and see if she will come back. She doesn't come back but stays in the same spot aiming towards the buoy. We are going the same speed so I decide to drift over to her and draft and save energy.

I continue to draft and after a while, we get to the buoy. The buoy came faster than I thought. I go around and continue drafting off her. After a while, we start to drift but we correct ourselves. She starts to drift, but this time I don't follow her. She drifts pretty far out. I am swimming and see mountains of seaweed. Sometimes I notice it and sometimes not. I keep looking up but then I start to drift the other way. I aim towards the next buoy and try to stay straight. There's a guy who is drifted very far out. I feel bad for him. I see a man up ahead and I make it my goal to catch him. I catch up to him and pass him. By now I am closer to the buoy.

I get closer and turn around it and head back to shore. The sunlight is shining down into the water. It is very pretty. I try to grab the sunbeam in the water, but I can't grab it. I continue swimming and get closer to shore. Sometimes I am scared in the water but I feel confident because I have God. I draft a little bit, but I mostly swim on my own. As I get closer to shore I see my dad waiting for me. He doesn't seem to see me yet. As I get closer I see some seaweed, then it suddenly stops and turns to sand. I stand up and start running. At shore I stop to take off my wetsuit. It is hard to stand still and pull it off. A guy comes over and grabs my tag on my wetsuit and I then take off. I run up to transition with my dad cheering me on. He says I'm in 2nd. I throw my wetsuit down and put my helmet and glasses on. I run out of transition and hop onto my bike.

I bike out fast. I slow down a little bit when I come to the speedbumps. I bike across a bridge and look at the water. I keep biking and a girl passes me.  I try to stay up with her but can’t. She bikes ahead. There is a turn up ahead and I start to go wide and forget to look back. A friend had just come up on my side when I started to go wide. I said sorry and moved more in. I bike onto a flat road and it goes for a while. The road is bumpy and isn't smooth. The road curves and continues. A red bike passes me and I then pass it back. After a while, a girl in a green jersey passes me and I then pass her back. I try to stay ahead of both of them.


Later the green jersey bike and the red bike pass me back. I pass the red bike but I can't pass the green jersey back. Up ahead we turn again and there is some downhill. The land is all yellow and dry, while the trees are all green. I'm starting to think that I should see the first people doing the Olympic coming back. Sure enough, I see them. I continue biking and after a while the road gets smooth. I start to bike faster. Up ahead now see the green jersey girl. I continue biking and trying to gain ground. I get closer and closer and finally I pass her. I continue ahead thanking God for being with me.

Up ahead I see railroad tracks. As I get closer I take it wide and go parallel across the tracks. After I go over I realize I should have looked behind. I check behind and there is a biker and then a motorcycle behind me, but not close. I thank God for keeping me safe and remind myself to always look behind. I continue biking and sometimes go over too far and hit the bumpy part in the road that is for cars who go over to far. I start to go down a hill and see mom coming up it. I wave to her, but I don't know if she saw me. I bike down the hill and keep up my pace. I see the friend up ahead that is biking back. I know the turn around must be close. Sure enough I see the turnaround. I slow down and make a turn. I see the green jersey girl not too far behind and keep up the pace. I pull out my gel and try to go the same pace while eating it. I put the gel in my mouth and use my teeth to rip the top off it. With one hand I put the gel in my mouth, put the top piece in my pocket, and steer with the other hand. When I'm done I put the gel in my pocket and continue biking. I bike back up a hill that I saw my mom go up. A different girl passes me from behind and I try to stay up with her but can't. I watch her and keep biking.

I have a few hills which I stand up a little bit. I see a sign up ahead that says something about the line between Sacramento and the county. After that sign, the road gets bumpy again. I keep biking and the road curves again. I guess I'm about 5 miles away from the finish. I don't have my Garmin because it died. I'm biking along and see the girl that passed me up ahead. I try to start gaining on her. There's a headwind but I feel God pushing me and giving me energy. I know I'm racing for Him. I slowly get closer to her and when I get 6 bike lanes away, another girl passes me. I wonder how many more girls I have to pass. The girl that passed me passes the other girl and continues on. I pass the other girl and try to stay up with the new girl. She gets ahead a little bit but I can still see her. The road curves and I know that soon we will turn back into the park and I'll be done.


I’m not letting her get farther ahead. I make the turn and gain a little bit on her. It's uphill but I don't notice. I slowly gain and get closer. I see runners now on the side of the road for the Olympic and swim-run distance. I get closer and pass her and say good job. I get to the bridge and push it. There is a speed bump and I slow down but the girl behind me didn't slow down. I decide that I won't slow down either. I keep going and make it across the bridge. I get to the road and slip my feet out of my bike shoes and keep biking. The girl behind me pulls ahead. I don't worry because I know I can pass her in transition. The girl then pulls off by a campsite and I wonder if she is even in the race. Later I found out she was in the Olympic and probably was going to use the restroom. I keep biking and get ready to dismount. I get off my bike and try to find my rack. We bike in differently so I have no idea where my stuff is. I put my bike on a different bike rack that doesn’t have any stuff. I then find my stuff and run over and put my bib number on. I run out of transition with no shoes, because I don't need them, and run into the finish. I point to God and am happy it is done.

The funny part is all the people who passed me and then later I passed back were all doing the Olympic distance. All though it was good to have them push me. I got 2nd overall because one lady was far out there and I never saw her.

Praise The Lord For He Is Good, His Love Endures Forever!


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Ironman Lake Placid (Troy)

Date/Location: 7/28/19 – Lake Placid, NY
Distances: 2.4m S – 112m B – 26.2m R
Time: 13:12:00 (1:11:18 – 9:27 – 6:52:18 – 6:05 – 4:52:51)
Place: 71st/224 (50-54 age group)
Teammates: FCA – Robert Palmer

Much concern going into this race.  Learned a lot from June Lake Triathlon 2 weeks ago – to have faith and a better attitude. So even though I have Achilles bursitis on my right heal which has impeded running for months, I’m having a good attitude and trusting God for this race.

My family has been very helpful and supportive in training and the week leading to the race.  Robin got us a great suite near the race site and continues cooking us great healthy meals.

Lake Placid is a great venue!  Ice rink where the 1980 “Miracle” hockey team played.  Oldest (since 1999) Ironman other than Hawaii.  Easy single-transition staging near the lake.  And beautiful dense green forested hills.

Race plan is (physically) relax and conserve until the run, (spiritually) remember “It’s not my race” and trust God that it will get better even when it looks bad (ministry) look for opportunities to share my hope with others, (nutritionally) drink, fuel and salt a lot to prevent energy loss.  The key is to focus on the Lord which ensures everything will work out for good, this is His will for me (Prov 3:6 “in all your ways submit to Him and he will make your paths straight”, Rom 8:28 “..all things work for good for those who love God..” , 1 Thes 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will..”)

Last run: 2mi with Anna out-n-back on the steepest climb into town.  My heel hurts.  I use my speed-walking technique.  It’s tough but June Lake was steeper and, as a result, very encouraging.

Last ride: 10mi to Goldie Locks and the 3 bears hills. At first, I get lost and end up on a golf course and then on a mtn bike trail.  Resist getting frustrated and remember God’s good plan.

Swim.  1.2mi swim with Robin & Anna.  Very relaxed and it goes great!  There is a cable which is wonderful and relaxing to follow.

FCA Iron Prayer:  I get the honor to speak, along with 3 others.  Because I know an Ironman can be full of dark, disheartening moments of wanting to quit, my encouragement was to faithfully give the race to God so you can be assured it will work out for good.  This has played out for me multiple times.  When I give up.. I regret it.  When I continue to have hope in the Lord, surprising wonderful things happen, like feeling better, running faster, or seeing the reason behind something that didn’t seem good at the moment.

Race morning: I spend time reading the Bible. My reading plan, Luke 1, is about the Lord’s instruction for the births of John the Baptist and Jesus the Christ and the angel says to Mary, “Anything is possible with God.” – which is posted on the Ironman signs at the start.. except for key part about God. 

Robin walks with me to the start.  I’m not as clear race-minded as past Ironmans.  I forget what goes in which bags and some things I’m going to need.  But I do remember an emergency trash bag for rain & cold, I feel comfortable with the arm-warmers plan for the ride (water temp about 67 and same for air temp when starting the ride), and I have lots of Vitargo for the bike and run.


Goals: 1:12 s – 8:00 t1 - 6:22 b – 7:00 t2 - 4:58 r – 12:47 total


The Swim (goal 1:12 and relaxed)

I spot Ariel in pink in the crowd before the start! My goggles are fogged up even though I got a complimentary treatment from a vendor sporting the best anti-fog on the market.


I’m in the 1:10 wave and looking forward to a relaxing swim.  However, with 2,500 athletes, I soon find that it is crowded throughout the swim!  I try to get near the cable but everyone wants to be there and it’s crazy.  Despite arms flying on both sides, feet kicking in front and hands hitting me from behind, I try to relax to the turn. 

1100yds.  At the turn I start to think, “this isn’t so bad, It’ll be easier now..” and bam! someone hits my inflamed achilles bursa.  Ow!  The pain lasts for about 5 minutes.  And then bam!  hit in the goggles, but  fortunately they didn’t fill with water.  I have to laugh and stay on guard.  I’m remembering to focus on God and trust that this is HIS race, not mine (because anything God does turns out well).  Looking at my watch I’m right on my 1:12 goal pace.

I’ve been relaxed and conserving.  But on the way back I want to swim the cable so make a push ahead of a group and get there. Yes!  Near the cable and don’t have to sight.  It’s beautiful and relaxing.. the best way to swim.

2200yds. 1st lap done.  The turn around the dock is super congested.  This is where we run (I walk.. my foot hurts plus staying relaxed) across the beach and start the 2nd lap.  Surely I can get near the cable now.  Sometimes I get it but I guess 1:12 pace is just a popular goal.  So many swimmers and it seems none are satisfied where they are at.


With the rash guard on I’m a little warm.  I let in some cool water periodically.  I continue to keep my legs high, relaxed arms, and take calculated breathes when the coast is clear (so not to get punched).  I follow drafts, which haven’t been hard to find in this crowd. 

3300yds. 15 min to go and I assess: I’ve stayed relaxed, my hands don’t feel strained like the last Ironman, and heart rate is lower.  I’m still getting pushed around by other swimmers.  Suddenly my Garmin watch is feeling loose.  Under the water I look to see the strap is 1/2 way broken!  It had broken in 2 places a couple days ago and I super-glued it.  Now an expensive part of my race is 1 glue joint away from sinking to the bottom of the lake.  Immediately I stroke gingerly with my left arm while pulling harder with my right.  Trying to keep away from the many flailing arms around me… one blow to my wrist is all it would take.  I pray.  I feel content with it.  I’m trying and I feel the Lord will take care of me.  Now just a few more yards to… the Garmin is still there…


4400yds, Finish. (1:11:18, 49th plc, 500th overall) I’m standing on sand! 

T1 (goal 8:00)

I pull my wetsuit sleeve carefully off and wetsuit strippers yank all the neoprene off of me.  Thank you, Lord for a nice swim.  Many are running but I walk.  My foot does hurt but I’m fine with fast-walking.  A few others do, too.  I lube up, arm-warmers, fuel, sunscreen and take my bike to the mount line.. (9:27 T1)

The Bike (goal 6:22 and fuel and stay limber)

It’s a fast, zig-zag route down out of town.  Pretty technical and exhilirating.  I see my family on the way out.


Soon we’re climbing and it’s longer than I imagined.  Robin rode the course yesterday and really liked it.  I feel slow but I remember the same feeling at Boulder.  There will be faster sections later.  Just trust and take it easy.

Mile 7. (63rd plc) I see Winter Olympics sights like the long jump ramp, the biathlon shooting range, and many flags.  Pretty cool. 


Mile 9.  flying down a descent (270ft) followed by breathtaking views of dark lakes shadowed by lush-green forests shooting straight up alongside granite cliffs.  Beautiful.


Mile 11.  An even better (1100 ft) descent!   4 miles of 39 mph surrounded by beauty.  Staying relaxed and not trying to maximize speed, just enjoying the ride.  It’s an easy gradual descent along a scenic river to mile 25.  My rt hamstring feeling a little tight but by rocking my hips to the rt more it feels better. 

Mile 26.  (67th plc) As we climb Hwy 86 I’m feeling optimistic about my new riding position.  Suddenly my rt knee starts to hurt!  This happened during a training ride last month and got bad enough where the rt leg was useless. Climbing speed was cut in half.  I pray and remember to trust God.  Having an injury that could flare up any moment and cause misery is a sure way to keep me relying on God!


Mile 29. The 8 mile out-n-back on Hazelton Rd is cool!  Along a river on smooth rollercoaster-like roads, sandwiched by dense dark forests, with endless bikes speeding in both directions!  The only thing not great is my knee getting a little worse.

Mile 40.  We go through the town of Wilmington.  People out cheering.  I’m supposed to be going easy but am now standing.. that’s because I need a porta-potty and can’t find one.  Good news is I’m drinking a lot of fluids!  Temperature is great, when it gets too warm, a dark cloud comes over or a cool breeze. 

Mile 43. (84th plc) I get my break at an aid station and also stretch both legs.  Now for the 12 mile climb back to town.  The highway is beautiful, along the West Branch Ausabie River.  Wind is picking up in our face, trying to bring thunder clouds with it.

Mile 51. Goldie Locks and the 3 bears (4 little climbs to town).  On Momma Bear I comment that I’m glad there’s only Pappa Bear left.  The guy next to me blows it off, “Momma Bear, Pappa Bear, they aint nothing”.

Spectators are crowding the top of Pappa Bear, it’s a tunnel of encouragement!  Soon after I see Robin and the girls cheering.  I ask them to pray for my knee.  They hold up signs with verses reminding be to focus on the Lord and be lifted up on wings like eagles.  Amen.



Mile 56. 1/2 way.  (3:13, 85th plc).  A couple minutes behind schedule.  I re-fill with special needs and then zoom down out of town.  I see Robin and the girls again just before leaving town. 


Ok, the knee is a problem but trusting the Lord and knowing that everything could get better the next loop.  I’m optimistic and envision pushing a little harder along the descents and flats to make that big climb at the finish doable.  But the knee is really slowing me down. 

Mile 61. (92nd plc) I stop to stretch on a guardrail.  A woman I’ve ridden most of the course with today says hi and goes by.  She’s same age as I but makes the bike look so easy.  I see her a few more times but she gets farther ahead as my bike ride gets really uncomfortable now..  the scenic hills aren’t so appealing anymore, the easy pedalling of the first loop is now a struggle, and the little hills are now punishing.


My attitude remains good. I tell the Lord that it is His race and I trust Him.  Even if my leg completely goes or I crash right now for some reason… I will still praise You and be glad for the opportunity to persevere.  It is hard to say but I mean it.  Nothing can ruin the Lord’s race.

Mile 85.  I start the cool out-n-back and imagine how much fun it would be to fly through it.. but I’m just struggling to keep some kind of pace.  And now the bottom of my left foot hurts - a “hot” spot – perhaps caused by the extra pressure compensating for the knee pain.  While coasting I try to massage the bottom of my foot.  All the while calculating how much off the pace I am.. 10 min, 20min, …

Back through Wilmington and along the river.  Suddenly, the thunder clouds open up and dump a few hundred yards ahead of me.  I bike right through what feels like a car wash.  Then it happens again.  After a while the heat comes back, the headwind stops and the roads are steaming with rising mist.  Crazy. 

Mile 98. On the final 12 mile climb, I have to stop a couple times to stretch.  I also notice my brakes rubbing a bit.  Picking up grit during the rain made the rub noticable.  And I can’t adjust this type of brakes on this bike.  I try to ride very still because a little rocking makes these carbon wheels flex and rub.  But God has a reason and I will press on!

Mile 110.  I see my family again!  I’m so glad to be almost done with the bike, they ask how the knee is doing and I say it’s fine. 


I finally coast into T2 and dismount. 6:52:18, 113th plc (60 passed me), 31min behind schedule.


T2 (goal 7:00)

Before they take my bike they ask, “Do you need anything from it?”  My mind is foggy and I come up with “No”.  My legs are painfully stiff and I can’t even jog!  I walk through the long transition.  The hope was to finish limber, but with 1 leg hurt and the other doing more work, I’m really tight.  Volunteers are great!  They put sunscreen on me as I secure my shoes. (6:05 T2.)

The Run (goal 4:58, drink, walk aid stations and hills, and remember “it can get better”)

This is one of the most daunting things for me.. to be starting a 26.2 mi run, at the hottest part of the day, when it’s already uncomfortable walking. But the Lord has shown me before that He can get me through it.  On top of that, I realize I put my bottle of Vitargo drink in the wrong bag and didn’t grab a bottle from my bike when the volunteers asked me.   So I have no special drink until 13 miles.  I speed walk.. then I jog. it’s downhill.. the easiest mile.  People are cheering loudly.


Following the plan, I don’t think about how far to go, just the next aid station. Most importantly, I focus on the Lord and the song, “Crown Him King of Glory”, which I modified with, “it’s not my race to win.. it’s all His”

I don’t even look at my watch (which is still hanging on by a thread).  My run feels like only a shuffle but that’s not the point, the point is to keep trying… and be a light, a help to others if I can.  I see the 4th and 5th pl men getting near the finish.  An age group woman is running ahead of me.  She drops her nutrition.  In my condition, stooping could pull a hamstring, but I feel it’s good and pick it up for her as she starts running back.  I’m ok, God is faithful.

Mile 2.2.  10:17 pace. we turn onto River Rd.  No cars or bikes.  Along a river.  Plenty of shady spots.  I’m happy I’m able to appreciate the great course that it is, even in the discomfort.  I’m grateful that my rt heel isn’t hurting at this pace, but my other achilles heal, my left calf and my hamstrings are bothering me.  If I try to run faster, then I feel my rt heel as well.   I check my pace for the first time and am pleasantly surprised that it is 10:30.  Even with the walking every mile.  I don’t want to see 17 and 18 minutes splits like I had at Tahoe 4 yrs ago!

Mile 3.  9:53 pace. I hear, “I know that guy!” and see that it is Pastor Jim Koenig from Lake Placid Baptist Church which held the Iron Prayer 2 days ago.  It’s uplifting to see many of the church out serving so happily like they do every year I’ve heard


Mile 5.  10:57 pace. The church has 2 aid stations!  This one is decorated more and has signs of “Love, Peace, Prayer”.  I see some of the missionaries I had met, an FCA gal from New Jersey and Spanky & Melinda from Maryland.  I fill them in that the Lord is getting me through the run and for them to pray for my hamstrings.

I make the turn-around and continue running for each aid station, then walking, celebrating to the Lord that He got me there, fueling (salt, water, and a Hammer gel, orange or grape) and then running off in search of the next aid station.

All day I’ve gotten periodic shout-outs from other racers that see my FCA “competing for Christ” jersey.  It’s a reminder of another goal, to represent Christ which means to love others.  I’ve see other athletes hurting and have prayed quietly for a few of them, but I haven’t gotten a chance to really talk to someone.  I make an effort to talk to a guy running my same pace.  He sees the FCA and figures out what it is but says he’s never heard of it.  I wait for an opportunity to talk about how important it is to me.. but then an aid station comes and I lose him.  Hmm, that didn’t work.

Mile 8.  11:12 pace. We running towards the Olympic ski jumps.  These things are magnificent and crazy at the same time.  Rising high above a nearby mountain peak, the 90m and 120m towers make me glad I’m doing an Ironman rather than having to ski down one of those!


Mile 9.  11:59. (90th plc, moved up 22 plcs) A big hill.  Actually looking forward to it because I get to walk!  I use my power-walk and make pretty good time (14min/mi).  At the top is waiting the best prize… my family!  I tell them God is keeping me going and the foot is ok.


Mile 10.8. 12:00.  The bigger hill.  Another power-walking section (14min/mi).  There’s crowds of spectators yelling loudly and kids giving high-5’s. 

Mile 11.4. Needs bag.  Bottle of Vitargo.  I ignore the 2nd bottle which was supposed to be in my run gear bag.  Vitargo is very easy to digest and never gives me stomach problems.  It’s plain but I flavor it with Hammer Fizz electrolyte tablets.  And this time I froze it before the race to help keep it fresh.  Taking my first gulp I realize freezing was a mistake!  It must have crystalized and turned into a disgusting warm slush.   I force it down anyway because to fuel with anything else is a risk..

Mile 13.4. 11:21. (84th plc) Ah!  So glad to be going downhill out of town.  On the flat section, it’s hot.  There are spray stations set up on the other side of the road.  I refrain from crossing the road and interfering with athletes coming the other way. 

Soon I hear the wonderful Superman theme from a trumpet down the road.  It’s Anna!  It really lifts me. 


Robin checks in with me.  Ariel runs along effortlessly getting me on video.  And now the 2nd, and last, descent for me to River Rd.

Mile 15.2.  11:57. (82nd plc)  At the bottom I stretch on the guard rail before starting on the scenic road.  “This race is not mine to win…. all that I have is His…Crown Him King of Glory”  Everything hurts but I’m focusing on the Lord and know, for that reason, that “All things will work for good” Rom 8:28.  To be realistic, I consider the worst.. a calf or hamstring pull forcing me to limp along, or an upset stomach and vomiting, or twist an ankle and collapse.. I pray and commit to God that even if that happens, I will praise Him for I trust it will still work out.  In fact, I’m doing pretty well in the run and possibly because the rt knee pain which slowed my bike, but then disappeared for the run, saved the strength I needed for this leg.

Mile 16.  12:25. I say hi to Pastor Jim and others.  I also pass FCA TeamMate, Robert Palmer on his first lap.  He is encouraging to see.  I’m also encouraged to see big numbers on the mile markers.  On each out-n-back I’ll suddenly hear, “Hey’s 50’s guy!” and look up to see the 50-54 woman who biked so well, now miles ahead on the run.  It’s helpful.

Mile 18.  10:54. I say hi to those at the LP Baptist Church aid station and tell them prayers are working.  I make the turn and come back to the same aid station. 

Running is very difficult now which makes the celebration even greater when I see an aid station. I put my arms out a bit and just worship each time, thanking God for another mile done and the chance to walk soon and fuel up. 

In this moment I hear a voice next to me, “I like the verse on your shirt”.  Without even looking I reply, “I’m thanking the Lord for getting me to another aid station, I couldn’t do it without Him.” I feel prompted, get her name (Logan) and then ask her if she’s dealing with any pain or difficulty that I could pray for her about.  Still running, she looks at me and just stares for a while.  Right when I’m thinking I was too forward and offended her, she says sincerely, “that would be so wonderful”.  Her expression is so full of appreciation.

She goes on to say that the difficulty she deals with is mental illness of anxiety and depression.  This makes the typical ailments of calf strains and nausea, which I expected her to say, seem childish.  Without mental illness I know how dark the moments can be on an Ironman run.  My thoughts prior to the race of this run section haunted me with bad memories of Tahoe 4 years ago.  I can only imagine how much more disheartening it would be if I was already battling depression every day.  I pray that God will calm all her anxieties and give her peace.  And that she can be sure that God’s in charge now and promises joyful moments ahead. “Hope does not disappoint..” Rom 5:5

Mile 20. 11:00. Her pace is a little faster and helps me.  I tell her about FCA and the Iron Prayer and how I’m trusting God with my race so that whatever happens I know will work for good.  She enjoys the conversation and the miles go by faster which is a huge blessing for me.

Mile 21. 10:21.  A big hill is coming.  I’m looking forward to it because it means I get to walk!  As we turn onto hwy 73 we see the climb.  Logan walks the hills, too, but says, “we walk at the sign”.  The sign is part way up the hill. 

Mile 22. 11:29.  At the sign I power-walk the rest and, as I crest the hill, I hear the trumpet playing!  There’s my great family.  I’m so glad to see Robin and tell her God is holding everything together for me.


Mile 23. 11:21.  Walking the hill doesn’t change my pace much.  As we anticipate the coming descent which begins the climb into town, Logan says, “I can’t get my head around the fact that we’re going to be done soon!”  Such an exciting thought.

Mile 23.7. The final climb!  I walk strong.  Surprisingly it looks more and more like I can break 5hrs for the marathon.  This makes me go faster but I feel I owe a lot (like an extra 10min) to my running partner and I feel the Lord leading me to ignore the time goal and be a support to her.  Logan sees her loved ones cheering and says for me to go ahead.  I feel released to go now and try to push.. but the feet both complain when I go too hard. 

Mile 25.  10:37. I can’t believe it, only a mile left!  I make the turn-around and am excited that the final stretch is not a mile like I thought.  Thank you, Lord!  I’m really going to finish this thing which loomed over me for months.  Not just finishing, but accomplishing the goal of truly giving the race to God and trusting Him.  It’s a great feeling.  The crowd is loud. 

Mile 26. 9:56.  As I round the speed-skating oval track, Logan taps me on the shoulder and runs by.  I’m so glad she stayed strong and caught me so she can finish proud.


Finish!  (4:52:51 run, 13:12 total, 72nd plc) Ah, the finish, compliments of the Lord.  A joy that reminds me more and more how faithful God is despite the momentary struggles.  All the hardships during the race just made this extra special.

202_3rd-2560503-FT-2962_159296-30897466 **

Robin and the girls take care of EVERYTHING for me and I lie down on the grass recalling Ps 23 “The Lord is my sheppard, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures..”