Ironman World Championship and a Woman’s Ultimate Challenge

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Our team is listening to what women want to hear and read about in our blog, and we’re responding. In the coming months, we’re going to be featuring a lot more stories about women as athletes, which can happen at any age, as we know. We’ll tell you about a few of the inspiring women who decided to challenge themselves to excel and push their bodies beyond the limits that they thought possible.

One of our first stories is about Teri Griege, who also happens to be a dear friend of our founder and his wife. Teri’s drive and commitment have been an inspiration not only to them but also to the thousands of people who have followed her story.

The Ironman World Championship

In her forties, Teri began training and running marathons, which included the prestigious ones in the U.S. such as the Boston, New York, and Chicago runs. In the process of pushing herself to her physical limits, she started to become curious about triathlons. After some thought and consideration, she decided she would compete in the toughest one of them all––The Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

Once she made up her mind, she started to compete in qualifying races leading up to her primary goal. One of those such races included the Ironman Louisville, where she, unfortunately, missed qualifying for the Hawaii race by five precious minutes.

Still, Teri is not one to let things go, and she was determined to make The Ironman World Championship, so she decided to push herself and her training beyond what she had already been achieving. The weeks turned into months, and through the course of a year, she increased her training. Despite some injuries she suffered along the way, Teri kept at it, but something was happening, and she was starting to notice. Despite her punishing training routine, she was feeling more tired than usual, but she dismissed it as a matter of overtraining. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

A Dreaded Diagnosis and a Sharper Focus

In 2009, she completed the Ironman in Louisville, which was a qualifying race for Hawaii, but this time she missed qualifying by an additional five minutes (a total of ten minutes) from the previous year. Although she was in peak condition and much better shape than the year before, she lost more time, and it was a signal to Teri that she needed to see a doctor.

Unfortunately, she received a dreaded diagnosis that she has stage 4 colon cancer, which had metastasized to her liver. Further, the doctor told her that her chances of survival beyond two years were 6 percent. It would have been a devastating diagnosis for anyone, but Teri is not just anyone.

Teri decided that she would fight the disease with everything she had and she would beat it. Additionally, she wasn’t going to give up her dream of participating in The Ironman Championship in Hawaii. The racing body heard about her story, and Teri was provided with a special invitation to join in the race, which she accepted.

The Ironman Championship

As she underwent chemotherapy, radiation and even colon and liver resections, she continued to train for the punishing race. And, because she also knew that this was an experience that she was not going to have by herself, she gathered an “army of supporters” who helped her in any way possible. The supporters helped Teri with everything, including motivation and inspiration on the days that she simply wanted to give up.

On October 2, 2011, Teri completed the Ironman race in Kona, Hawaii. At the time, she was 50 years of age. Today, Teri is a noted inspirational speaker, advocate, and author of the book, Powered By Hope: The Teri Griege Story.

The team members of our athletic shoe drive fundraising social enterprise are very proud to know of Teri and inspired by her story. She’s an example for both men and women that anything is possible. We’re excited to have the opportunity in the coming months ahead to feature on our blog more inspirational women who are out there testing their physical and mental limits to achieve their aspirations.

 

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