WoW! I was not even planning on doing this race, at least not this year. Ultraman Canada ended up being a lot more than I thought it would be. As an event, as a proving ground, as a bonding experience, it exceeded all of my expectations.
I didn't really have this race on my radar, except as a "one day I'd like to", until my plans to Run2Boston with Charlie Engle got postponed (as explained in Runner's World). I needed something on my schedule that was big and new, and this fit the bill.
As I was preparing, some local triathletes that had done the race kept telling me, "Steve Brown [the Race Director] puts on the best event I've ever been to." I didn't really know what they meant by that, but it sounded good (and it really was several people).
I was faster than I thought (and more daunted by the challenges leading up to it, ie - a 10k swim, making the 12hour cutoff for the 173 mile bike) and my bike time straight blew me away. The exact line I'd been using was "Day 2 is going to be tough, it will take me more than 11 hours and I hope less than 12". I finished just a few ticks under 9hr30 (09:29:51). It was one of those days that just felt good and more importantly, opened up a new awareness, to something I have and I'm hopeful that I can tap into that again and again and again.
Outside of the performance, which is really not what draws me to these events, the connections with people were unforgettable. Steve fosters this family feel that truly makes you feel like every other athlete, every crew member, the entire circle of staff and ultra Ohana - is much more than just new friends. It is incredible.
Lastly, my crew was the best. It couldn't have been better from my perspective. I'll only single out my mom, purely to leave the others off my public website. I couldn't really understand why I ended up with my mom as a crew member. It is a bit of a risk, let's say ;) It was the best choice I could have made. She was massively helpful and I'm so glad to have this memory of us together - forever. Thanks Ma! 29th August 2014