Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thank You, Nation's Triathlon Team!

On Sunday, September 13, Team Virginia and TNT teams from many other chapters will converge on Washington D.C. to participate in the Nation’s Triathlon. If you are part of this, helped coach or mentor a team, or participated in some other way, I want to thank you on behalf of cancer survivors and people with cancer everywhere. I hope that if you are on a team for this race and see this post, you will share it, along with my thanks, with your teammates.

It sounds like a great course: 1.5K swimming in the Potomac River, 40K biking, and 10K running – including a run past my favorite Washington sight – the Jefferson Memorial. As much fun as I had running the Country Music Half Marathon last April, part of me wishes I was on your team for this race, doing my first triathlon. I know several great people that did this event last year and had a blast!

Of course, the only way you are getting this boy to swim nearly a mile in the Potomac any time soon is if I have a dive mask. And SCUBA gear. And I am being towed by one of those torpedo-looking things you see in the movies where the (pick one) terrorists or elite special forces troops are moving in for a surprise attack. But maybe in 2010, if I can get my act together, I will do this race or one like it. The idea appeals to me, and I really admire all of you for doing this tough race, and for raising so much money to help cancer patients and, ultimately, to defeat cancers.

When you think about it, many cancer patients also do a triathlon of sorts, except their events are not swimming, biking, and running. Their events have names like surgery. Chemotherapy. Radiation. Or maybe instead of one of these "events", the substitute a bone marrow transplant. Or a stem cell transplant. Unlike a triathlon, where one really hopes to be done with the race the same day that they start, a cancer patient’s “triathlon” can go on for months or even years. Their “transitions” often take place in hospitals. And when all is said and done, the outcome for completing their “race” is either life or death. For people with cancer, it is a very high stakes triathlon, deadly serious, and all too often, deadly.

But I believe, through your efforts, and the efforts of all the other “Purple People” now and in the past and future – raising nearly $1,000,000,000 to fight blood cancers so far - you are helping to tip the odds towards survival. There will be people alive in the future who would not have survived otherwise. They will not know you, but they will give thanks for you every day.

So thanks for making a difference, for working so hard as troops in this war on cancer. Go have a great time – you have earned it. Create amazing memories, ones that you will mesmerize your grandchildren with someday. When you get back I would love to get comments about your race. And I would also love comments giving advice about making the jump from being a marathoner to becoming a triathlete, because I hope to join your ranks another time!



Ashley said...


This was a very well-written post, Art! So true....

Feel free to email me anytime with tri questions (not that I'm an expert or anything, since this will be my first - ha!). But I will say this much - I don't feel like it's as hard on your body (joints esp) as running, alone. To me, variety = FUN! :)

Racn4acure said...

Thanks Ashley. I appreciate that. Get well and have a great time in the Nation's Tri. That should be an amazing experience for you - your first tri, and with TNT. Remember to have fun. Art