So, I rolled over around 9:00am on Sunday morning (before you call me a big fat slacker, I worked out this evening, okay!), and met a dear friend, Melanie, for brunch on Hargett Street in Raleigh. It was prime position for us to watch our Ironmen (and women!) compete in Raleigh’s inaugural Half Ironman Triathlon.
I’m no triathlete. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. So when we heard that a Half Ironman was coming to Raleigh, I was blown away. I mean, I didn’t even know what it entailed, but it sounded hard. So I did what every Masters-educated woman. I Wikipedia-ed it. Duh. (Seriously, tell me I’m not the only one who can waste hours on Wikipedia). So a Half Ironman Triathlon consists of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run. And cool as it is, they picked my city to host it! I mean, Raleigh is up-and-coming. But it’s so cool to think that people were traveling from far and wide to my city to get their Ironman on.
If you can’t wrap your noodle around how incredible of an athletic feat that is, think about this. All my marathoners and half marathoners, close your eyes. Remember that relief you felt at the end of your first half marathon? Like “yay girl! I’m done!”. These folks swam. Weren’t done. Biked. Still weren’t done. And then went for a jaunty 13.1 miles through downtown Raleigh in blazing heat. That is an athlete. Here I am, feeling myself because I ran a rinky-dink little marathon, and these guys are killing it in four hours?
So anyhoo, after we finished brunch, we made our way over to the finisher’s chute. We saw a few of the guys finish, and they were cruising like it was a Sunday jog. Like they didn’t look stinky, sweaty, or stressed about finishing.
And then we saw her.
Laura Bennett, a 38-year-old woman from Colorado came down the chute. She was cruising, again, looking like her 13.1 mile run was an effortless jaunt. She smiled as Mel and I screamed variations on “You go, girl,” at the gazelle that was making her way down the chute. She was gorgeous. She was inspiring. And I’m in love.
I may never run an Ironman. I mean I’d like to, but who knows. But if nothing else, Laura Bennett, 38, inspired me to sport it UP and get my tail in gear. If she can kick that much butt on a blazing Sunday, what the heck am I capable of? Congrats girl. You totally blew me away.