Since my husband decided he wanted to be a triathlete, he’s jumped into organized races with both feet. Last summer, his first summer competing, he completed the sprint distance of the Grand Rapids Triathlon in Ada, the Millennium Triathlon in Grandville, and the Detroit Triathlon in (you guessed it) Detroit. For him, it seems to have become a sort of addiction, a challenge that he wants to keep rising to meet.
After last summer, he did a half marathon last fall and a 25K this spring, and the Olympic distance of the Grand Rapids Tri. On Sunday, he attempted his first half-iron distance in the Michigan Titanium.
The weather really hasn’t been on his side in 2015. For the 25K and the Olympic Tri, he got rained on throughout. And Sunday was no exception. Four miles into the run portion of his half-iron distance, the sky opened up and lightning jolted all around the race site. All athletes were forced to stop and vacate the course immediately for their safety.
To say my husband was disappointed is an understatement. He had been training for this event all summer long. He was so close to accomplishing this new milestone in his athletic career.
But I have to admit, it’s almost laughable how uncooperative the weather has been this year in terms of athletic events. And I think in order to be an athlete in Michigan, you have to have a sense of humor. In order to be an athlete period, you have to have a sense of humor. Because when you get off your bike after a 56-mile ride, only to know that now you have to run 13.1 miles, you have to be able to keep your spirits up.
The people at the Grand Rapids Marathon embrace the importance of having a sense of humor. Just check out their FAQ page, where they keep reminding interested runners that, yes, the course is LONG (26.2 miles long to be exact) and, no, there is no whining allowed during the race. That race is next up for my husband, as he attempts to conquer his first marathon.
Photo courtesy of MLive.
Spouses of athletes need to have a sense of humor, too. I’m preparing for the day when my husband approaches me and says he’s ready for the full-iron distance. I expect I’ll chuckle, as I did when he said he was going to attempt the half-iron distance. I find it amusing that anyone would want to work their body in that way for that long.
But at least I can appreciate that, if my husband insists on torturing his body in this way (there’s my sense of humor showing), there are plenty of opportunities for him to do so right outside our door. He’s accomplished so much in his racing career already, and we haven’t really left the Grand Rapids metropolitan area to do it. There are plenty of options for athletes here to push themselves in a variety of ways. So if this is the hobby my husband has chosen for good, I know that Grand Rapids can keep his thirst for racing satisfied.