Tuesday, August 12, 2008

“I want to cross the finish line of the IronMan world championship in Hawaii with Lisa Bentley.”

Paraphrasing aside, those are the words of Carter, a young boy with Cystic Fibrosis who, despite his health struggles, keeps a very active lifestyle.

It was at that precise moment that eleven time IronMan winner Lisa Bentley, who, like Carter, also has Cystic Fibrosis, moved me to tears as we all listened—riveted—focusing on her stories and unparalleled positive outlook on all aspects of racing and life.

She goes on to tell us that Carter was her inspiration for racing IronMan Hawaii in 2007. Her theme that kept her moving forward was simply doing the best that she could to get across that finish line with Carter because that was his wish to the Make a Wish Foundation. His wish had been granted, and she was going to deliver despite the struggles every IronMan triathlete faces.

It is a touching story by all counts, but just reading it isn’t enough. Lisa took us on an emotional roller-coaster ride that mirrors that of IronMan racing itself. Pain. Laughter. Hope. Pride. Warmth. Carter was what helped her aim high.

Yes, we got to swim, bike and run the course as part of the Subaru Success Camp for IronMan Muskoka 70.3. It was invaluable to train on the course where we’ll race on September 14th. I could have done that on my own, though. I really went there for one thing.


And that’s what we all got, in no small part due to Lisa Bentley and Carter. Thanks to Lisa, Dave, Jody, Teresa and Hans for a truly inspirational and positive weekend.

Derek Featherstone
Derek Featherstone
Web Designer/Developer, Speaker, Trainer, Author, IronMan Lake Placid 2007
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