I spent some time this past weekend watching R compete in the Ironman 70.3 in Boulder. For those of you unfamiliar with the Ironman racing series — that’s a 70.3 mile triathlon that consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run. (This, by the way, is considered a HALF Ironman!) The winner, Joe Gambles, completed the course in a record time of 3:42:13.
As an event photographer, I’ve covered a few marathons for clients over the past several years and they always make me cry. It’s incredibly inspiring to watch such a diverse group of people with a wide variety of athletic backgrounds push through an extreme physical challenge and the Ironman 70.3 was no different.
Take, for example, this moment:
Above: Brian Moore of Albuquerque, New Mexico is greeted by his kids on Father’s Day just a few feet in front of the finish line at the Ironman 70.3 in Boulder, Colorado.
Since starting to run longer distances myself in the past few years, I’ve found a new level of inspiration as a spectator at these events. I’m currently training for my first marathon — a distance and accomplishment that, at this point, still feels a little bit impossible. Or at least it did. After watching the race this weekend I’ve hit my training runs with a renewed level of enthusiasm and commitment. After all, I’m only going 26.2 miles and, as far as I know, there won’t be a threat of drowning. I think I can do this. Then, maybe I’ll learn to swim. Thanks to R for being an incredible inspiration… and a total badass.