Four Days to My Second Triathlon With Liam

My favorite memory countdown to my second triathlon and seventh overall race with my special needs buddy Liam.

Overall, we've had two Carlsbad 5000's, one additional 5K, two half marathons, and one triathlon together. On Sunday in San Diego, we will go after our FIRST olympic distance triathlon together at the CVS San Diego Half Triathlon. Not bad for a kid who's never walked.

My memory of the day was our first 5K together. After deciding to race together on his 18th birthday (without the influence of tequila,) we decided to race in the Carlsbad 5000 seven months later. One of Liam's good buddies, Cormac (who I met at the party and was a Competitor Magazine supastah!) and his mom (Cindy) graciously offered to loan their Team Hoyt running chair to us to race in Carlsbad.

There have been several "oh shit" moments including; flying into San Diego a couple of days before the race and realizing, "I've never done this before!!!" After a lot of stupid ideas and repeating to myself a 100 times, "don't try anything new on race day,"* I wasn't about to try pushing someone in a race having not done it before. I met Joan and Fabian at Rady's hospital a couple of days before the race as they were preparing for their annual Carlsbad 5000 fund-raising team dinner.

I literally practiced in the hospital parking lot including pushing Liam up a slight incline. I was surprised to learn how simple it really was (unless you're dealing with hills.) Uphill can be a chore, and downhill, you need to make sure you're in control.

Two things I remember about that race; getting stopped by the train near the finish, and having the race director tell me to "be careful" as she apparently thought I was going too fast. Get over it. Liam likes FAST! (and mom likes careful.)

The race itself was amazing and I cried at the finish as did Liam's mom. She was so proud that her son was racing, and I was so proud to have him as my friend.

* Footnote to the most stupid thing I tried new on race day? New shoes in my Portland Marathon. I know, I know. Never again. It also raining incessantly the entire race. Can you say "cherry tomato blisters?"


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