Tragedy in The Woodlands
The Woodlands, April 22 – This morning tragedy struck the IronMan Texas. A 54-year-old male competitor was near the swim portion finish line when he disappeared underwater. Two spectators dove into the water and pulled him up after a one-minute struggle with the triathlete in distress. Precinct 3 Constable’s deputies quickly arrived at the scene where they attempted to resuscitate the man. Cypress Creek EMS arrived at the scene, initiated CPR on The Woodlands resident, and transported him to Memorial Herman Hospital – The Woodlands where the staff pronounced him deceased. This brave competitor had participated in multiple IronMan events previously.
The tragic event reminds us how fortunate we are to have our lives and to have each other. IronMan events promote numerous charities. More importantly, the IronMan triathletes receive an impetus to improve themselves in a big way.
The story of renowned triathlete and exercise physiologist Julie Moss is one of the most inspiring tales of dedication. In 1982, she competed in the IronMan World Championships at Kona, Hawai’i. Moss was leading the event with two miles to go in the marathon when, suddenly, she felt as though her body just shut down. She couldn’t stand up let alone run.
Moss crawled to the finish line in 1982. She didn’t win that year, although, amazingly, she came in second place.
Moss continued to compete as a triathlete and to inspire others. She married Mark Allen, one of the greatest male triathletes in history, who gained inspiration from watching Moss cross the finish line before he had ever met her.
IronMan Events require iron
IronMan events require iron will. The physical hardship one endures is astronomical. Nevertheless, IronMan triathlons are more of a mental challenge. Not only must the triathlete spend many months and years preparing but he or she must excel in three very difficult events – a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride, and a full marathon of 26.2 miles at the end. Contestants have 17 hours to complete all three feats.
Many people fail to make the time splits. If one fails to meet the 2 hour and 20 minutes deadline for the 2.4 miles of swimming in Lake Woodlands, the contestant is disqualified. (Both times the Publisher of The Golden Hammer attempted to compete in the IronMan Texas in 2012 and 2013, he was DQ’d for failing to make the swimming time split. He completed the 2013 IronMan Texas 70.3 – half of each of the full IronMan distances – by beating the swim time split by 1 minute.)
Do you need a true source of inspiration?
Nothing is more inspiring that watching the triathletes complete an IronMan competition during the final two hours of the race from 10 p.m. to 12 midnight. By then, the truly outstanding athletes have completed their efforts. Anyone who completes an IronMan in less than 15 hours is gifted. Anyone who complete an IronMan at all is amazing.
The most fun for spectators occurs in the final two hours, because that time period is when the people enduring the greatest challenges are trying to cross the finish line. The Golden Hammer strongly recommends that anyone who wants some inspiration, entertainment, or sports at its absolute finest should go to Market Street in The Woodlands this evening after around 9:30 p.m. and stand along the final quarter mile of the 2017 IronMan Texas. You’ll be happy you did.
The sad events of this morning mark what a great feat completing an IronMan triathlon truly is. Our thoughts and prayers go to the man and his family. At the same time, he should serve as a source of inspiration for all of us.