Last fall, Patrick’s brother, James, and his Uncle KC participated in the Austin Half Ironman which consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike trek and a 13.1 half marathon run, which totals 70.3 miles! Can you believe that is only the HALF Ironman?! We couldn’t go to the race, but were glued to our computers live feed! His Uncle KC finished in the top 10 for his age group which was really exciting! Seeing KC and James race of course made Patrick want to compete…!
Patrick found out that a few friends from school also compete in the Ironman Races, so I reached out to one of them to get an idea of what race to sign Patrick up for as his Christmas gift. His friends talked me into signing him up for a local Ironman Endurance race instead, to help give him a feel for it first. It consisted of a 1 mile swim, a 38 mile bike and a 15 K (Just under 10 miles) – you know, just dipping your foot into the water of triathalons 😉
The race was the day before we left for Europe, and it was a memorable one. Patrick competed as a Clydesdale, which means he is over 220 pounds. There were only 2 other Clydesdales in the race, so we knew he was going to place no matter what 😉 I felt really confident that he could win the division after seeing his swim time! He finished the swim in 28:26 when he expected nothing under 30 minutes! He lead the group after that part of the competition.
We got to the race while he was biking. We managed to catch him as he was coming in which was exciting! To keep Beau involved, I kept asking “Is that Dada?” and he would yell “NO!”…I didn’t know how much longer that game would be fun so it was a huge relief to finally see Dada come in! I didn’t notice it initially, but when I looked at the photo, I saw blood on both of Patrick’s elbows and figured he must have taken a fall…
I assumed it couldn’t have been that bad of a fall for him to continue on…was I shocked when he finished the race and lifted his shirt and shorts!
I’m confident that if Beau grows up to be half as strong and adventurous as his Daddy, he will cite this photo as his inspiration!
Patrick fell off his bike going into the 2nd mile at about 40 miles per hour according to his watch. He got pretty scraped up, but only needed 2 stitches in his elbow.
He credits his football skill of “knowing how to fall” as to why he wasn’t injured more. After the race he jokingly said “It isn’t a sport unless somethings being tackled, so I tackled my bike!” Another classic quote from my ever optimistic hubby 🙂
This guy is seriously the strongest man I know! I asked if he wanted to change our plans of traveling to Europe the next day and he said “No.” So we went home, packed ourselves, and tied up all of our loose ends. We got about 2 hours sleep before we had to wake up and drive to Atlanta to catch our flight. 2 out of our 3 flights were pure hell, which included crying kids kicking his wounds, but he continued to help me with them while flinching in pain. When we got to Vienna, I asked him to please get an automatic car so I could help with driving but he insisted on the manual, which meant he would do all the driving. Upon arrival, we set out on a 3.5 hour drive to Hallstatt, Austria. We stuck to the plans of exploring the town despite his wounds and pain. I don’t know how he continued to keep going, but he did it! I’m continually amazed by his strength and endurance in every single thing he puts his mind to!
I have to brag for him for a minute because he won’t do it himself…despite his fall, he still managed to finish in 2nd place in the Clydesdale division, and was only 11:18 behind the first place finisher. I think that is pretty good considering the injuries he was racing with!
In 2 weeks time, he has pretty much healed up which is kind of amazing. The only wound that is still giving him some trouble is the burn on his upper thigh. I had to play nurse and remove his stitches from him since we don’t have access to a hospital…that was…interesting.
At this time, Patrick is still unsure if he will compete in another triathlon. Fall aside, it was a lot of work to train for, and he says he’s not sure he will be up for that once he is working full time. I guess time will tell! Either way, we are so proud of him for finishing this race. When others would have tossed in the towel, he refused, which is the definition of an Ironman in my eyes!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I look forward to bringing you all the info on our trip to Europe soon!
Be Blessed + Be A Blessing