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Most Emotional Moment
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Was reading some race reports and it got me thinking about the most emotional moments people have in endurance sports.

Mine was an odd moment during the last 3 or 4 miles of my 1 and only 100 mile run. I realized the music from my headphones couldn't take the pain off my feat and then also realized that my multi-month journey was going to be over. That was satisfying and crushing at the same time. I'll never forget that.

So many reasons that drive us to go for the extreme. What were those thoughts going through your head when you were in the grips of what would become some proud moments. Please share your thoughts:
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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My wife completely melted down when she qualified for Kona. But the meltdown was ten times worse leaving the energy lab...
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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I generally push pretty hard on IM runs, so the end is generally emotional. It also gets me a bit when I set an unexpectedly big PR. First race was 12:43 where I was hoping to finish in 14hrs. In the following years I took off 1hr 11mins, 30 mins, 30 mins, 47 mins. Every time I hit a PR like that I thought "this is it, my greatest feat," thinking it was a fluke or perfect day and that I'd never be able to replicate it. But out of all of those, my last one was the most emotional. In my mind, 10hrs was a magical barrier that I wouldn't be able to hit with my body. With a PR of 10:30, perhaps in the next few years I could hit 10hrs. At 28, with consistent training, maybe one day in my 30s when I'm at my peak I could hit 9:45. Well at my last race when I was on the run, I knew I was in the 10hr range if I can get close to a run PR but didn't keep track of transition times and didn't remember my exact swim time so I didn't know how close. Dug deep and matched my run PR (within 3 seconds). Looked at the finish time board and saw 9:45:xx. I lost it then and there. Good day.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [Piche] [ In reply to ]
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I was emotional when I finished my only half last year. It was 134 days after I had a crash and broke my shoulder (clavicle and coracoid). I was so greatful to my surgeon, PT, and everyone that had helped me get to that point relatively quickly. It was not the time that I had wanted (but pretty much the time that I expected), but it was fantastic and overwhelming that I was able to do it at all.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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SwiftRunner wrote:
Was reading some race reports and it got me thinking about the most emotional moments people have in endurance sports.

Mine was an odd moment during the last 3 or 4 miles of my 1 and only 100 mile run. I realized the music from my headphones couldn't take the pain off my feat and then also realized that my multi-month journey was going to be over. That was satisfying and crushing at the same time. I'll never forget that.

So many reasons that drive us to go for the extreme. What were those thoughts going through your head when you were in the grips of what would become some proud moments. Please share your thoughts:

A whole bunch in 1 race. It was my 1'st ever win and my older son's 1'st adult duathlon.

Before the race I was questioning whether I should have let him race.

The bike was out and back with rolling uphills going out with some steep sections and then the opposite coming back. On my way out I kept thinking - "I shouldn't have let him race" and after the turn the thoughts kept getting worse until we cross each other on the steepest climb (for him) and decent for me and he is smiling ear to ear. Terrible feeling to awesome feeling. The rest of the race I was on cloud nine knowing I made the right decision letting him race. Crossing the line 1'st made it that much nicer.

A bit later, I was talking with one of the race volunteers and we hear "We need support - we have a young racer who crashed on the bike". All I could think was it was my son and the volunteer noticed the look on my face and said "don't worry - its not your son, he passed the section a little while ago." Needless to say, those 30 seconds where the extreme low and high of my racing. The "crash" turned out to be very minor and the young racer was not really that young.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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First time qualifying for Boston after narrowly missing on a few previous attempts (this was a few years back when you just had to hit the time threshold in order to get in).

Last IM where I had recovered from multiple injuries/surgery after a major bike crash 9 months prior. Completely lost it in the finish chute, some poor volunteer must have thought I was a basket case.



"You can never win or lose if you don't run the race." - Richard Butler

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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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1996 Day 10, Florida phase
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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When I swam my first NQT (National Qualifying Time) in Masters Swimming. It was the culmination of a relentless year long process that saw me go from 232 to 172 lbs, and go from getting winded walking a flight of stairs to being able to break 6:00 in the 500y free and 2:10 in the 200y free.

From there, I hammered myself in the pool for another 5 months with the goal of finishing top 10 in AG in the 400m free at Summer Nationals. I missed by 0.49 seconds :o. Injuries and illness hampered my ability to work as hard for the next couple seasons, but 3 years later I finally parlayed a perfect 9 months of health and a well executed training plan into a 5th place in the 1000y free at Spring Nationals. That was a close second.

"They're made of latex, not nitroglycerin"
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [mike s] [ In reply to ]
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mike s wrote:
1996 Day 10, Florida phase

I haven't been there, but I know guys who have and understand exactly what you're talking about.

"They're made of latex, not nitroglycerin"
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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On the couch staring at the ceiling in the hours after finishing my first triathlon in 1983, thinking what am I going to do with my life now? I'd graduated from college two months earlier. I've done a lot of races and training since that have been filled with emotion, but that's the moment that sticks in my head.
Last edited by: Mark Lemmon: Apr 11, 19 6:47
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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First IM finish last October in Louisville. I was overwhelmed with joy that I was finished and that all the work I put in paid off. I saw my wife and shed a few tears. I didn't shed a tear at our wedding though haha.

https://www.strava.com/athletes/4391866

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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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Climbing up past the brewery on Lap 1 of the run at Ironman Lake Placid 2017. My wife and I had fundraised over $12,000 for the Adirondack Medical Center's New Life Center in the name of my late son, and the weight of all of that, missing him terribly (he would've been just short of two on race day), and just seeing a friendly face finally, I bawled for the next mile and change. Close second would be at the finish of that race.

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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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Not mine, but the first thing to pop to mind: Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig just after the Tour of Flanders.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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Vineman IM 2001, the bike course was 2 loops, had to go up Chalk Hill twice. To this day I don't know how big that hill really is, but the second time up (around mile 92 or so) I was all alone, not another rider or spectator in sight, and the hill felt just so fucking enormous and I really had to piss, but I knew in my soul that if I got off the bike to pee I would never get back on it because I was hurting worse than I ever had in an athletic endeavor before and there was nobody there to encourage me to saddle up again, and the depth of my self-pity was bottomless knowing I had to find the will to ride another 20 miles by myself with wasted legs and a full bladder and then run a goddamn marathon.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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Got off the couch with no fitness in my mid 30's and started training/racing. It quite literally changed my life. It changed how I felt, how I spent my time and to a large degree who my friends were. I did my first Ironman in 2001. At that time they handed out race recap videos on VHS tapes. I will always associate the songs they used in that video with that first IM. One of those songs was Right Here, Right Now by Jesus Jones.

Fast forward 15 years and I'm in Kona on a lottery slot. About 30 minutes before the race I was ready and found a place to sit and collect my thoughts. I started thinking about where I started and everything I had been through to get to that point. Then, Right Here, Right Now starts playing on the PA system. I kind of lost it. Here I am a grown ass man in his 50s sitting against a fence with tears streaming down my face. Some guy walked by and saw me and seemed to recognize the moment. He held out his hand and wished me luck. I will never forget that moment.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [Thom] [ In reply to ]
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That's freaking awesome. Thank you for sharing.

Instagram | floathammerholdon
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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Mine was at the finish line of my 13th Ironman, which was also the first time I've ever cried or even gotten emotional during a race. Number 13 was special because it was my first time returning to the sport after a forced break due to a serious illness during which I thought I might never be able to finish an IM again. I had a tough day with lots of setbacks due to my illness, but the fact that I was able to finish made me feel like I had returned to my "normal."
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [Iron Dukie] [ In reply to ]
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First, great thread idea!
I decided one season to kind of go all in for mountain biking, had just moved up to elite (locally) was training super hard, faster than I had ever been, lighter, the whole bit. And yet it just never came together on race day. ALL YEAR. Broken chains, flats, crashes, illness, you name it. 2 weeks before the last race of the season, the team I rode closed down and asked for all our bikes and gear back. Went out and bought a bike on Wednesday, built till 2 am with my best friend, pre-rode on Thursday and then the race was Saturday. There was this big climb, and every time I went up it he was screaming this opening song lyric to one of favorite songs at the time. I ended up passing for the lead with about 3 miles left in the race and holding on for my first "big" win. I crossed the line and dropped my bike and was instantly in the air. My friend must have sprinted the mile or so from the climb he was at, to the finish line and picked me up like I had one the World Series.
Over 10 years later we are still best friends, and even though we are 3k miles apart, still text each other that song lyric before, IMs, job interviews, births of children, it was the closing line of best man speeches ETC.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [Piche] [ In reply to ]
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Piche wrote:
My wife completely melted down when she qualified for Kona. But the meltdown was ten times worse leaving the energy lab...


hahaha didnt see the second part of this coming. +1 points


The 1996, Day 10, Florida phase...sounds like the army ranger training school....?
Last edited by: Twinkie: Apr 12, 19 13:25
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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i find that my emotions seem to be heightened when im racing. not quite sure why.

my emotions always tend to come out around the kids cheering on their parents. the first time it hit me hard was my first 5K that i won my age group. there was a mom and small kid (maybe 4 or 5) waiting on their husband / dad to come. i could tell they were looking down the road at about mile 1. the poster the kid was holding said "we love you dad / we're so proud of you".

still kinda gets me in the feels when i think about it.

2019 Schedule: Ironman 70.3 Texas April 7...
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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I had gotten quite sick with HIV, but with a second chance at life through medications, I committed to changing my life to one of healthy habits and meaningful work.

I started working with a medical humanitarian organization to bring the same medications that saved my life, to people living with HIV in Malawi. I taught myself to swim, and aimed for an Ironman as the epitome of representing my transformation. I invested a lot of emotion in getting to that race. It represented a re-birth physically and to my identity.

A yet-to-be-diagnosed parasite infection in the days before the Ironman meant I couldn't consume liquids or calories during the race. I felt too sick, it wouldn't go down, I just gagged - I made it to about 90km on the bike on a very hot day before I had to lay down in the ditch, in the fetal position, in the shade of a road sign.

I knew I was too sick, too dehydrated, too over heated to finish, but I distinctly remember saying to myself 'you don't know until you try' and climbed back on my bike - I made it about a half mile down the road before blackness engulfed me.

In the ambulance when I regained coherent consciousness and realized my dream had died, I was crushed and I wept.

(A year later I returned and finished the Ironman. Not nearly as an intense emotional experience.)

Advocating for research & treatment for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
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"Suck it up, Buttercup"
(me, to myself, every day)
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [Scotttriguy] [ In reply to ]
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I'm a space nerd. So when 30 seconds before my wave started in Rocketman Triathlon (it took place on the grounds of Kennedy Space Center) someone started playing this over the PA that was pretty neat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7MMYg6piIw
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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Crossing the finish line at my first Ironman was pretty emotional. But what takes the cake for me, was having a close to perfect race and finishing 7th OA and finally punching my ticket to kona. I lost it at the finish line. I always dedicate my races to my late dad, and it felt so good to have a great race. There are probably other ways to honour my dad, but racing is the only way I know how
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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Winning a road race several years back. I had been the heavy sprinter that couldn't make it over legitimate climbs in road races but had put the work in training. First time over the main climb, I barely hang on gritting my teeth and giving it my all. Second time up the main climb, I chase back on during the descent including having to put my foot down cause someone crashed in front of me. After getting back on to the group, I felt so crappy and demoralized that I almost pulled out of the race. Got my head together and realized that I had spent the last few months focused on winning a race like this, and I had to see what I could do. Made it over with the reduced group the last time up the climb and smoked the sprint by a couple bike lengths. Nothing has ever felt as exciting or satisfying as winning that race. It was small fries compared to other people's experiences, but it was my biggest personal confirmation of hard work and mental persistence that sticks with me to this day.
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Re: Most Emotional Moment [SwiftRunner] [ In reply to ]
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The default, of course, finishing my first Ironman. Actually, realizing the moment that I KNEW knew I was going to become an Ironman was the real emotional full-send. It was hard to lock that ish up on the run course. I'm pretty sure my feet didn't touch the ground for those last four miles.

A very close second was making the podium for the first time. It was my third season in triathlon, and I executed a race almost flawlessly, and knew with my time that I had an outside chance at making top ten. Seeing my name in the top three sent shockwaves through me. I walked from the results board back to where my husband was sitting, and my knees just buckled and I put my head in my hands and started sobbing. "How did you do?" he asked, and I couldn't respond. "You made it, didn't you?" and it was all I could do to shake my head yes.

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