This past weekend was Ironman Florida and two people who are integral to my training and diabetes management both competed. I'm Coached by Mary Eggers who owns Train-This, a Rochester, NY based triathlon team and training program. I was introduced to Mary through Courtney at Ironman Lake Placid; after interviewing potential Coaches I realized the Egg was the right one for me when she said "I take more joy in seeing my athletes cross the finish line than when I cross it myself." Coach has been unbelievably supportive throughout my training and has taken the time out of her schedule (which included taking care of her son with a broken leg!) to try and find ways to keep my bs more consistent during workouts. I've played for alot of Coaches throughout my athletic career and Eggers is without question one of the most dedicated and caring I have ever had the pleasure to train under.
Tom Kingery is the founder of Team Running on Insulin; in the future he hopes this organization grows into a national fund raising campaign with athletes from across the country competing in endurance events to raise awareness and funds for diabetes. Tom was a multi-time marathon finisher prior to his diagnosis of diabetes a couple of years ago. When I came across his website I e-mailed him and I was shocked at how similar our stories were. Tom, like me played college football and had a similar outlook to athletic training; we were both somewhat blindsided by our diagnosis. He is one of the main reasons why I initially had the confidence to sign up for an Ironman and I was proud to sponsor him for a mile of his 140.6 mile journey.
Now that you have the background I hope you share in my joy over their triumphs. Coach Eggers had a goal of finishing the Ironman in under 11 hours; she had previously twice completed Ironman Lake Placid and holds several records for short course triathlons but had never obtained her goal Ironman time. On November 3rd, Mary Eggers finished Ironman Florida in 10 hours, 58 minutes and 59 seconds! Congratulations Coach - I can't tell you how psyched I am for you although I will still b*tch when you tell me to run slower during training.
Tom's goal was a bit less ambitious than Mary's - as a side note Curt Eggers (Mary's husband) is an age group national champion and came in 6th at the Duathlon World Championship this year - Tom just wanted to finish. For the first time coming down the finishing shoot he heard the voice of Mike Riley say "Tom Kingery, you are an Ironman!" after 12 hours, 22 minutes and 26 seconds Tom finished the race. I can not tell you what an inspiration he has been for me. Tom as I stated earlier you are one of the main reasons why I have the confidence to chase this crazy goal and the fact that you finished the race in an incredible time and the top half of your age group lets me know that a Type 1 diabetic can pursue those dreams and push themselves to the limit - you rang the bolus on Saturday and displayed what Team Running on Insulin is all about!
Congratulations again Tom and Coach!