Luke wasn't picked in anyone's top 10 here in Kona. Except mine. And his. And a couple of other friends & family who have seen his form take shape over the past few months. I knew he could be top 5 based on his already known swim/bike abilities combined with the run that nobody knew he could have. I've run with Luke nearly every day of the past 4 months of his prep. Whether side by side on the treadmill, stride for stride on the trails, or across the oval a couple hundred meters behind him. I don't know much, but I know the boy can run the pants off of me, and I'm not bad for a girl. I know that at the end of a 2.5 hr progression run, he'll battle to try to drop me (I try not to let him) and usually he succeeds. I know that often when we run together, he is just cruising, and I am fighting to hold on. Basically, I know just how run fit he is. I backed & believed in his run. But more importantly, HE backed & believed in his run. Now, on the day, he didn't spit out a 2:45 marathon or anything, but a 2:57 after the strongest swim/bike combo in the field is nothing to laugh at. Especially as he's never come close to breaking 3 hours in Kona.
October 12, 2013 was a pretty proud (and anxious/nail biting/exciting/excruciating) day for me. I watched Luke lead the Hawaii Ironman for many hours until mile 16 of the run. After mile 16, I watched him hold on, keep it together, and run strong to finish 2nd in a time of 8:15:19, less than 3 minutes behind winner Frederik Van Lierde. Post race, I saw a boy not only fulfilled with his accomplishment, but a new believer that he, in fact, could win this race one day soon. It's amazing what can happen when you believe in yourself.
|Luke Cheer squad (hats say "Go Luke") Jaque, Kirsten, Me|
|Watching parts of the race on my computer when I couldn't be far out on bike course. Luke in the lead at mile 85.|
|Running down Ali'i drive- Photo credit: Aaron Brougher|
|Soaking it in....|
|at the awards banquet|
|riding off into the sunset....|