Race Report: Columbia River Triathlon

August 22,2019

As the day drew near for my race, I felt I hadn’t trained adequately. A sprint triathlon, shorter than an olympic version of the swim, bike, run event, still felt pretty daunting to me, with the swim in the mighty Columbia River. Therefore I elected to do it by the numbers; actually eating right, getting rest the evening before, (no pre-race celebratory IPAs), and showing up early, organized and ready to go.

Maintaining the correct focus was easy. My daughter Meaghan’s birthday, on which she would have been 38 years old had it not been for PH, was the day before my race, August 16th. That evening I placed her name, Michelle Figueras’ name, as well as the names of many other PH PHighters and PH angels on my bike helmet, as well as wrote them on my swim cap. I did this through tears.

Finally, I thought of all of the folks across the country that had so generously contributed to Team PHenomenal Hope on my behalf for the race. I was not going to let anyone down, I was going to be at the finish line regardless. And in one hour, 47 minutes and 45 seconds of constant swimming, biking and running, I was!

Elation barely describes my emotion at the end. We together had raised nearly $11,000 for Team PHenomenal Hope’s programs which are focused exactly where they should be, on our patients and caregivers. The sun was out, it had warmed up, and in no time I was headed to patient Bridie Halbach’s home where she and Mitch, her husband, hosted a post-race cookout along with Deb Watkins from the Portland Area Support Group!

Reconnecting with many old friends across the country for a great cause, completing a triathlon at 66, and raising a lot of money in support of my PH PHamily, the stars all seemed to align for me that day. Thank you Michelle for letting me be your lungs and thank everyone else for your magnificent support.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart…

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