Lake Placid Revisited (Take IV)

I’ve toed the line of 15 iron distance triathlons and crossed the finish line of 12 of them. While DNFs are always disappointing and humbling, there is usually some kind of take away or life lesson to be found once the emotional and/or physical bruises heal. I’ve successfully raced Ironman Lake Placid 3 times; in 2002, 2003, and 2005. And while I’ve raced other iron distance races since then, it’s been quite a while since I’ve visited the beautiful village of Placid.

I went to Placid in 2005 with much trepidation and under great emotional stress. As I raced, my father was in Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania fighting to recover from the surgical removal of a large tumor. While my mind was obviously elsewhere, and triathlon was far from my top priority, everyone insisted that I make the trip with the understanding that Dad’s condition was stable. I raced in honor of my dad and somehow thought that my sweat and tears while wearing his WWII dog tags would give him added strength. Somehow, I finished that race, but everything felt wrong about it. A couple of weeks after my return home from Lake Placid, I lost my dad.

Shortly after that I learned why I felt so physically depleted on the course of IMLP ‘05. Early 2006 is when my leukemia diagnosis came and looking back, a lot of things started to make sense about my fatigue in LP.

That was then. And since that time, I’ve undergone 52 rounds of chemotherapy to put and keep me in remission from my disease. I’ve raced many races, traveled many miles, met many incredible people, and unfortunately I’ve also lost too many.

2017 will prove to be yet another new beginning. My latest rounds of treatments will be done and I will be physically and emotionally whole again. All of this is just another reason to embrace my return to Lake Placid. It will be a fresh look at a course that I love in a town filled with great memories. I’ll again carry my dad’s WWII dog tags and with an ever expanding family cheering along the course, we will again conquer LP; this time version 70.3.

Thanks for reading.

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