Get back on the bike. Lessons from Tulsa IRONMAN

Get back on the bike. Lessons from Tulsa IRONMAN

Sunday morning, May 23, the starting gun went off and the Tulsa IRONMAN race was off. Coming out of the swim and into transition Antony Costes is in the lead pack, clocking an impressive 47:02. Just 12 seconds off the lead, and one second ahead of winner Patrick Lange, Costes was having a great day.

Then during the a fast, left-hand turn on the wet course, Costes went down, spilling across the pavement right behind his bike. He was up in seconds, blood showing through a long gash on his kit. During the 2nd transition from bike to run, the sportscaster questioned whether or not he might be hurt. And sure enough, he was.  

Costes says on Facebook:

The euphoria of finally being able to lay the bike at the park probably made me forget the pain, to the point of leading the race on the start of the marathon, but I soon found myself completely blocked and unable to run. The end of the marathon was a long path of crosses that I wanted to finish...

Costes had made up the time and taken the lead, only to find he could not run. But run he did, for 5:40:26. Bruised and scraped, determined to put one foot in front of the other.

He could have stopped, but he wanted to finish the race in spite of how it would hurt his rankings. 

“How beautiful this sport is...” said Costes after the race. “But this sport is difficult! I went through all the emotions today and can't regret anything about my race.”

Canadian Cody Beals had a hard race day, too.  After a strong swim performance, Beals at 15km into the ride, was on track to move up into the front field. Then both tires got flats and that was it.

“I spent several minutes on the side of the road and decided to make it a swim/bike training day,” he wrote in a text message after the race. “I put a lot into this one, so it’s pretty crushing. All focus on Ironman Couer d’Alene in five weeks now.”

Beals and Costes dealt with setbacks and disappointment by looking forward. They made different decisions about what to do in the moment, but the pivotal point was that they thought about how to take this moment and make it work for their future. 

Written by: 
Val Sanford

Val Sanford 

Growing up in Southern California, Val played competitive softball (coached by her father), was a gymnast, swimmer, ran cross country, fished, hiked, kayaked, and as an adult, experimented in rock climbing and golf. In 2010 she was diagnosed with a rare cancer; a liposarcoma was growing on her sciatic nerve. Once this tumor was removed, she has been cancer-free!

Left with significant nerve damage, she now has limited mobility. Yet still moves and engages in the world around her. She snorkels, walks, travels, and practices yoga to combat chronic pain and to maximize her ability to keep moving. She works with a personal trainer, acupuncturist, physical therapist, and massage therapist to maximize her mobility.

She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her dog and gets her fins on so she can swim with the fish any time she can.  

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