This is a hard post to write, but as I enter into the final days before Ironman I think it is an important one too. Taper is making me feel slightly crazy/sick/tired/etc. After a quick text to coach post ugly run I was relieved to get a call reassuring me that everything was going according to plan. I am looking forward to being on the plane by this time Wednesday morning and finally on my way to CDA.
Last year Mark and I travelled to Kona to watch the Ironman World Championship. I had never seen a full distance race before and was taken by the palpable energy of the island. On the morning of the race I came across a tweet from Hillary which indicated that an accident had occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway involving a cyclist and a bus. My heart dropped into my stomach as I checked my phone for any other updates. With no other information to be found I tried to put it out of my head.
The day went on and we watched the best of the best race through the lava fields of the Big Island. As we waited on Alii Drive with the endless crowds, I received a missed call and then a text message from a friend in LA. She asked that I call her back as soon as possible. My hands shook as I backed away from the street and listened as the phone ring. Riz delivered the news I was so hoping could not be true. A Team in Training teammate and truly beautiful soul had been hit by a bus while riding on PCH and did not make it. My heart dropped to the floor as I dropped to the curb.
Marisela had been on a training ride for Ironman Arizona. Originally slated to participate in Ironman Canada, Mari’s father passed away the night before the event and she left immediately to be with her family.
This year’s IM World Championships will mark one year since the accident and one year since Mari’s light was distinguished heartbreakingly early. In the hopes of honoring her memory, Kelly has entered into the Kona Inspired contest. If chosen she will continue raising funds for Team in Training, the cause that brought them, and us all, together.
So I am asking you a small favor, to please watch Kelly’s entry and give her your vote today and everyday until June 27th. www.konakelly.com.
I will carry Mari with me in Coeur d’Alene on Sunday, and continue to remember to be kinder, more compassionate and put others first as she did each and every day.