Ironman is a triathlon. It is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run…but really, it’s so much more than that.An Ironman is a chance to truly discover how strong you can be. It’s a chance to prove to yourself that if you put your mind to something, you can do whatever you want. I would like to tell you about one of the best Ironman out there. Her name is Katie Neuman.My good friends Katie Neuman, Aaron Hunnel and me all competed Ironman Wisconsin together. There is something that you need to know about Katie. Katie has cerebral palsy. However when you talk to her you would never know it. She has one of the most positive outlooks on life of anyone you will ever meet.Katie competed in Ironman with the help of Aaron and me.We pulled her in a boat, pulled her behind our bike. and pushed her along the run.
Aaron and I may have been the hands and feet but Katie was the heart and soul. If you have ever competed in an endurance event, you know it is nothing unless you have your heart in it.
We get out the gate and start the run. Once again Aaron and I switched on and off for the run. The run is two half-marathon loops around Madison. At multiple times you hit State Street and it is insane to say the least!
The people pack the streets and once again they went crazy when they saw Katie. It was amazing, as during the run that is when most people lose their steam but we all kept going strong. We were a team and we kept one another going. If Aaron or I got tired all we had to do was take one look at Katie, she had a smile on her face so big that it could have lit up the streets.
We get to the finish chute which is probably a 100 yards long and the crowd is crazy and that is when the real miracle happens…
With the help of Aaron and me, Katie walks the last 100 yards of the chute and the crowd goes insane. I remember walking with Katie and Aaron and we were all struggling. This may have been one of the longest distances that Katie has ever walked in her life.
― John Bunyan
Thinking back about Ironman and the journey, for many it would seem that Aaron and I did something for Katie that she could never repay us for. However, I know that to be false and in fact it is the other way around. Katie has given Aaron and I something that we can never repay her for.
Hope, that one day people are no longer judged by their abilities but rather their personalities. Hope that people will look inside themselves and realize that they are stronger than they could ever believe. Hope that when fate deals you some of the worst cards you could ever imagine and some you could never imagine, you take it in, smile, and show people what you are made of.
Do you have any questions for Adam regarding this experience? If so, please comment below and I will pass your questions along.
I asked Adam afterwards if there was anything special that they needed to do in order to be allowed to compete with Katie the way that they did, and he answered:
“As far as logistics for running, there was nothing really out of the ordinary we had to do to compete. We just had to allow others to pass us and follow the rules of everyone else. We have been building a relationship with IM Wisconsin for around 2 years now. We had to follow the same cut offs as everyone else. Finish the swim by 9:20, Bike by 5:30 and the run by midnight.”
Thank you so much Adam for sharing this experience.