Monday, June 06, 2005

Two out of three

Karen SmyersOne of the cool things about triathlons and road races is that you get to be out there on the same course with the professionals, experiencing the same conditions, racing the same race. There are not many sports where that is possible!

I'm not much of a celebrity-watcher, but there are three female professional triathletes that I'd especially like to see in person. Two of them are racing at Eagleman and starting on the swim course just five minutes before me! That will be the last I'll see of them that day, but it will still be exciting to watch them start - like beginning a marathon in Corral #2 directly behind the elite runners (or so I imagine).

Tara Norton, a professional triathlete and TRI-DRS member (10:52:51 for 25th place last year at Hawaii Ironman World Championships in Kona), had planned to race at Eagleman before she suffered a devastating bike accident in mid-May. We wish her a speedy recovery and quick return to peak health and racing form.

Natascha Badmann is known not only for her five wins at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in Kona, including last fall when she was robbed by the doping Nina Kraft, but also for her radiant smile throughout the race. She has won Eagleman twice, last year in 4:13:42, and is returning for her third race to the podium.

Karen Smyers, pictured above, has attained legendary status in the triathlete community. Her resume includes numerous wins - World Championships titles in 1990, 1995, 1996, the Professional National Champion title for six consecutive years, a gold medal at the 1995 Pan Am Games, the Triathlon Pro Tour in 1993 and 1994, the World Cup Series in 1991, and a dramatic come-from-behind victory over 7-time champion Paula Newby-Fraser in the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships in 1995. But what's more significant even than that is the incredible spirit she has shown in coming back from thyroid cancer, road accidents, serious injuries, and the births of two children during her long career. She was honored with the Comeback Athlete Award and also voted Sports Mom of the Year by Working Mother magazine, and as one fan said, "Three months after having a c-section was up and competing."

8 comments:

Comm's said...

I feel the same way about being on the course with pro at the same time. Very motivating. I kind of do the same thing and celebrity watch.

This is your week Nancy. Be without fear and doubt. Have a heart of peace and love. All will be right.

soccerdad said...

another distinction i've seen between triathlon and other sports is that the pros are so approachable and kind. i talked with several at imfl and every one was smiling and having a good time.

Shelley said...

My dream would be to meet Natasha B. in person..maybe even get her autograph...she totally amazes me. I met Karen Smyers at IMUSA..what a truly down to earth and lovely person. As you know Nancy, I am so excited for you. I just know you'll have a great time there. Today went by so fast, before you know it you'll be on that starting line taking that deep breath of air and off you go to an amazing journey for the day!

Downhillnut said...

Worthy heroes, real and inspiring.

Wil said...

Role models are so great, especially when they're great people like this.

Alicia said...

Wow. Wow. Wow! After a C-section?! Good grief! And how cool that you get to share the same course!

Mark I. said...

wow! You've been a posting MACHINE lately Nancy! I can't keep up! Don't get the wrong idea though because it's all good stuff. :)

LouBob said...

I just love your posts on strong women. Have a good one!