You Are An Ironman

Yesterday I posted about believing in yourself.  In that post I had an article by Susan Lacke about going from Couch Potato to Ironman.  Within that article was another article written by her titled Anybody Can Do An Ironman.

I agree with Susan’s point of view that anybody can do one, but the rationale for doing it is going to be different for everybody.  Some get into triathlon to lose weight, others to relive the glory days of high school football.  Others pursue the sport because they want to go beyond their perceived limits.  Whatever the reason you compete in triathlon you are part of an elite society of people.  It is not everyday that the masses wake up saying they are going to race triathlon.

I have my reasons for being in the sport.  I started out as a runner and thought I wanted to cross triathlon off my bucket list.  A sprint was how I was going to cross that item off the list, but something happened along the way.  I became enamored with the sport.  I grew passionate about the ins and outs of triathlon.  I could talk for hours on end about training, racing, nutrition and hydration.  I became an ambassador of one, and will even go so far as to goading people into doing an event because I believe in the power of the sport to transform.

I used to weigh 175 lbs and through endurance sports I have knocked 35 lbs off of my frame.  I am down to 140 and have never felt better, never looked better or had the energy I had as a teenager.  This sport has created a life loving positive as can be person and I will need that mentality when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2012.  That day will be the first day of what is going to be an epic year.  A year where all the reasons I have for competing in triathlon and registering for Ironman will come true.

My triathlon racing year will begin in March with 70.3 Puerto Rico and then Ironman Texas in May.  A few short months later I will be racing 70.3 Rev3 OOB Maine in August, 70.3 Austin in October and Ironman Arizona in November.  I am prepared mentally to compete at each of these events and know that each event will carry a new and different meaning to it.  The sense of accomplishment will be tremendous for sure but it will also be the ability to prove to others that they too can do this sport.

Yesterday I was reading 3GO Triathlon Magazine’s website when I came across another reason to compete in triathlon and endurance sports in general.  It was an article on the voice or Ironman, Mike Reilly. It dawned on me then that in May I will hear Jason Bahamundi You Are An Ironman.  That one statement will be like crossing the stage on graduation day in 2004 when I got my MBA from Iona College.  it will be just like adding those letters to the end of my last name.  As a matter of fact I am changing my resume and Linked In account to read:  Jason Bahamundi, MBA, IM.

 <Insert Name> You Are An Ironman

Mike Reilly.....The Voice Of Ironman

I was there when Claudia Spooner, Juan Aguirre and Shannon Spann crossed the finish line of Ironman Texas and heard Mr Reilly announce each of them as they finished (not sure how I missed Jeff Irvin but I managed to miss him…..sorry bud!)  I was streaming Ironman Wisconsin live when Kevin Neumann crossed the finish line.  I interjected Matt and Heather’s names when they crossed the line at Rev3 as I was streaming it even though Mike Reilly wasn’t there.  Each name and the word Ironman made me smile and fist pump their accomplishments.  Maybe it is not the name being yelled that is the icing on the cake, maybe it is the knowledge of the journey but I can tell you this:  I would not have it any other way.

I had never thought of hearing those words as a reason to do an Ironman, and it probably shouldn’t be the only reason you do one, but it makes sense that it is a reason.  When you are digging deep around mile 18 of the marathon you will need all the motivation in the world to get to that finish line and this can be another one to hang onto.  The same person/voice that says ‘Chrissie Wellington You Are An Ironman’ will be saying your name as well.  It is not everyday that Vin Scully says your name.

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If you are interested in reading the article click [HERE] Following are some of the highlights for me:

Seventeen hours of endurance at arguably the most grueling event in the world, his carefully planned race day strategy involves throwing back gels and Powerbars throughout the day to keep fueled. He keeps his body hydrated like the rest of the athletes out there. But, he’s not swimming, cycling or running. His day is spent holding a microphone, standing above the race course and bringing his athletes home, one by one. Mike Reilly just might have the best job in the world.
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Mike has a unique job in the sense that he shares a very powerful moment in time with each and every athlete that crosses the finish line. He is the first to confirm that you have accomplished that incredible goal of completing an Ironman. You did it … and he is the one to confirm that incredible life-changing moment. He has the unique opportunity to share your joy and exhilaration in that very moment. But usually his relationship and experience with you stops as you cross the finish line. But for athletes, our relationship to Mike, and to that powerful moment that we just experienced, is something that we will have for the rest of our lives. As athletes, his words are profound, unforgettable and timeless.

When asked if his 17-hour days of announcing year after year ever get old, Mike pauses, and with a piercing conviction, answers back with, “Passion never gets tired. It can’t tire out. When I tell someone that they are an Ironman, it’s so individualistic. It is my first time every time I say those words. It’s my first connection with that person. There are people in the crowd, their friends and family, and they are hearing it for the first time. It’s always my first time. It’s like making love for the first time … over and over again. If at any time I discount that because I’m bored or it’s redundant, I’m out of the game. It would be an injustice to the number one aspect in the sport—the age group athlete.” It’s that commitment to those around him and to our sport that makes Mike such an unbelievably special man.
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So what’s next for the man with the voice? He doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon, in fact he may just pick up the pace one of these days and jump in to an Ironman race himself. His son Andy just completed his first half Ironman race and Mike says if his son does a full it might just be his time to give it a shot. And who knows, maybe his daughter, Erin, an accomplished marathoner, might be there with them, too. 

When asked who he would most want to announce crossing the finish line at his first Ironman, he’s quick to say, “It would have to be someone in my family. I think the rest of the guys might give me a hard time. Who knows what they would say. At least if it was someone in my family I’d know just how sincere it was. It would mean a lot to me.” So it’s possible that we may see Mike out there racing Kona one day. And I have the feeling that there would be a ton of athletes, friends and family cheering him on and greeting him at the finish line to chant with the passion they have learned from him, “Mike, you are an Ironman”. 

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To date my last name has been pronounced correctly once at any finish line but whether or not Mike Reilly pronounces it correctly come May 19th I won’t care because I will have become an Ironman.

By the way, Mr Reilly, if you are reading this post it is prounounced:  Baha-Moon-D

What Are Your Reasons For Doing An Ironman?

Who Would You Want To Announce Your Name Crossing The Finish Line Of A Race?

pf button both <Insert Name> You Are An Ironman

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Comments

  1. Damn… I didn’t make the radar screen again…
    I will keep doing these things until my name is mentioned on your blog! That is my sole reason for doing IM!
    Stealth Bob… slips in…. does IMTX, actually runs with Jeff for a while, finishes (13 hr isn’t to shabby either), and then slips out of town….. stealth Bob…. old fart but slippery…. stealth……

    Just joking dude…
    OneHourIronman recently posted..KONA RAMP UPMy Profile

  2. I hope everyone out there knows I joke around. Hell, I do IM because Im so old, I cant remember what I was doing 2 hours previous…. makes finishing these things much easier.

    Keep up the great blog and next May, I think I will come to TX to watch you become an Jason MBA, IM…
    OneHourIronman recently posted..KONA RAMP UPMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Bob – You make me laugh everytime you post here and on your blog.

      One day I am going to dedicate just one post to you. Maybe before that I will put your interview back up.

      I will say I am not sure how I missed your name being announced at IMTX either as I was standing at the finish line from about 11hrs to 13hrs and I came back at 14hrs.

  3. Jill says:

    I wouldn’t care who said my name when I crossed the finish line of an Ironman, I’m sure I’d be shedding a tear just to be crossing….as I was when I crossed the Boston finish line.
    Jill recently posted..Week 3 / Problems are really just solutions waiting to happen…My Profile

  4. Jeff Irvin says:

    Dude, I didn’t even hear my name announced. All I could think about was getting a Freebird’s burrito. That is what pushed me the last few miles.

    I did hear Bob’s name but couldn’t find him after – it was pretty damn packed with people on Market Street.

    Will definitely make sure to be there to hear your name on May 19th!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Rev3 Cedar Point Half Rev Race ReportMy Profile

  5. I wonder if I can pay an extra $100 bucks in reg fees and NOT have my name mentioned?

    Not that a little personally glory isn’t a bad thing, it’s just that it never occurred to me to be motivated by it in this context. Because triathlon is what I started doing after I anchored my ass back down in reality and I’ve hopefully became more humble because of it.

    I do triathlon for myself and anyone who wants to be inspired by it. I have a blog so I suppose I have things to say but to me this is such an intensely personal journey that I don’t want assume what I think or do will work for everyone. So I do what I do and have claimed a small corner of the Interwebz to do my thing. Hopefully it’s sum positive.
    Patrick Mahoney recently posted..How Not To Age OutMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      It was not the reason I got into this sport and it is not the only reason to do the sport, but after hearing my friends names being mentioned with the adjective You Are An Ironman it dawned on me that I followed their journey to that point and that was the culmination. Maybe not hearing those words as the motivation but knowing all the time, effort, sacrifice, proverbial blood, sweat and tears ending at that moment when Mike Reilly calls out your name is where I will find the motivation when Mile 20 screams at me that I can’t go any further.

  6. Melissa C says:

    I hope to someday hear those same words. I read the post yesterday about how anyone can do it. I think it takes a special kind of person to do it, and am currently waiting for “my time”. It is not my time yet, and I have had my patience tried these past years, and I know I can wait for my time to come to hear those words. St George or CDA 2015……

    Good luck to you Jason!
    Melissa C recently posted..What a Difference a Year MakesMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      When your time comes you will answer the bell for sure. And to help you out in that area I will be here rooting you on and cheering for you the entire time. I love the journey that people go through to get to their destination. I spend a number of hours on race weekend refreshing sites to get results because I know how much has gone into training and the sacrifice that each person has gone through and I just love every part of that.

  7. jenn graham says:

    I do believe hearing Mike say ones name, upon crossing the finish at Ironman, may be better than when they said my name at ANY of my graduations…dunno for sure yet, but I’m feeling it may be the case!

  8. katie says:

    Wow, interesting thoughts! I’d like to see Mike cross that finish line!
    katie recently posted..Waterman’s Half: course previewMy Profile

  9. BDD says:

    If you break down an 140.6 based on time allowed and 10 minute conservative transition times, you need to

    Swim 2.4 miles with 1:50/100 to make the 2:20 cut off time
    Bike 112 miles at 14MPH to make the 5:30 cut off time
    Run 26.2 miles at 16.01 mile pace to make the midnight cut off time

    Which in turns, makes me believe this race is hugely about mental toughness and being mental strong. Of course one has to train the crap out of themselves, your body needs to be able to handle the work load, but based on the mim times, one can do this race slow and have no issues on not finishing
    BDD recently posted..FailureMy Profile

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