Race Report: Kathleen Richardson
I am grateful for the chance to be a member of Team PHenomenal Hope and join in the mission to bring together a worldwide team of individuals to build a community and improve the quality of life for those living with pulmonary hypertension! I’m a PH patient myself, and over the years have gotten to know many other PH patients whose lives have been gravely impacted by the disease. Most especially, I was blessed to meet my little Let Me Be Your Lungs partner, Haylee York, when she was five years old. She had been diagnosed with PH when she was three, and given the prognosis of living to about 10 years old. Tragically, she passed away from PH when she was seven.
Meeting Haylee and her family has been a great blessing and has given me even more of a desire to continue fighting to find a cure for PH! There are many more PH friends whose battles with PH have impacted my life. This year I had three races planned and have completed two of them already! In January, I ran as part of a relay team in the Lake Apopka Scenic 30K. In March, I raced in the Great Clermont Olympic distance Triathlon, and on July 9th I will join my friend Brenda Hamilton and we will celebrate our 60th year of life by completing the Musselman Half Ironman in Geneva, New York!
To recap my biggest race so far this year, on March 11th I conquered the Great Clermont Olympic Distance Triathlon in Clermont, Florida. By conquer, I mean finished! The 1600 yard swim, 24 mile bike ride, and 6.2 mile run was looming in my mind for months as I prepared, and more so during the week before. I was tempted to skip it, or even to try shortening the swim by a loop (we were supposed to do two loops of the 800 yard course) on the day of the race, but as fellow participants got out of the water and went back in, I was encouraged to join them and go the whole distance! I’m so glad for that inspiration in doing hard things!
Much to my surprise the second loop of the swim seemed a little easier. The ride was fun and challenging, and the run was hot and long. Crossing the finish line was a relief! I’m slower than I was five years ago when I did my last triathlon. Getting back to it has been a challenge, but I’m thankful that I can still do it! I’m especially thankful that I can do this to support and encourage PH patients as they face each day, often much more grueling than my few hours of challenge on a sunny day in Florida. I kept Haylee and many other PH patients in mind as I ran. I thought of those who have inspired me over the years as well as those who are still inspiring me today. Most especially I was thinking of my friend Marco Reinoso, who is recovering from a double lung transplant. I am grateful to all of you who have been on this journey with me for many years and have supported Team PHenomenal Hope through donations. I invite you to join me and Team PH in making a positive difference in the lives of those who battle PH!
Follow along and support Kathleen’s efforts here.