Where were you last Sunday?  Unless you were living on the couch all day celebrating the first full day of NFL football (which, don’t get me wrong, is equally as exciting!), you most likely crossed paths with one of the most exciting events in Madison (in my opinion)…the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon!  This was what inspired me to join the UW Triathlon team back in 2002 and remains one of the most inspiring and motivating events for me.  I still remember staying at the square until midnight watching people cross the finish line and thinking ‘Wow, maybe I could do this someday’.

This year, we had one of our own competing – board member Paul Stich, who is a teacher at Whitehorse Middle School, and was responsible for getting a team of over 30 kids to our Waunakee triathlon in May.  He also happens to be my uncle, which makes it even more special.  Paul was competing in his 16th Ironman!  He had a great race and finished in 11:38.  He even earned an unofficial “Husband of the Year” award for unraveling a sign with “I love you Judy” (his wife) as he crossed the finish line.  How sweet!  Anyone who has ever had a family member compete in the Ironman knows it is a huge time investment and requires plenty of sacrifice from those around you, so it’s great to see so many people acknowledge those who helped them get to the start and/or finish line.

Uncle Paul even had our logo on his tri gear!  Did you see him out on the course?

I also had one of my very good friends competing for the second year in a row.  Micah (racer #1287) had a great day as well, especially on the run course.  Last year I remember seeing him walking the majority of the run course, and this year he was running every time I saw him!  He really put in the hours this year, and it paid off: he improved his overall time by 30 minutes with a finishing time of 12:45.  Here he is wrapped up like a baked potato. 🙂

Congratulations to both of you and to everyone who participated in the Ironman this year.  As my uncle told me before my first Ironman – the victory is in the journey!