But that is not why I will remember this day or be reminded every Ironman Saturday from here on out. No on this day October 11, 2014 my brother Bob finally fell to ALS. His passing was not a shock but it was a shock. There is no surviving ALS, we know that. But I'll bet everyone who's been through this knows the feeling I had on that beautiful Island. Why Bob, why now!
Outside of that devastating thought there were some other things that stood out in my Ironman.
- I stayed in a room way above town that I got through airbnb. It was a hike to go down to town and back. On my first day I got a ride to town, did I my things, had dinner with friends then walked for close to an hour back to the house. On the second day I asked the "owner" of the house how much to rent the scooter in the garage. He said, " you buy me a new front tire and it's yours to use". While scooter rentals are $100/day during Kona week I got mine for $60 for the week.
- I had lunch or dinner with old friends, New friends and best of all, random athletes. I had a great time talking triathlon and running shoes with the athletes.
- For race day I did things different. The past few years I have been on the pier at the start and on the bleachers at midnight. I could have gotten the passes to do this again but I chose not to. I watched the start from the opposite side of the pier. And I stood on the street with about 300 meters to the finish line directing traffic with a friend. We had a great time. Athletes are staggering at this point but when they see the lights of the finish line and know they have less than 2 minutes they become athletes again.
- I saw Dave Mirra walking down Ali' i drive late on race day. I stopped him, introduced myself and asked him if I could have his Cervelo P5. My son Marco asked me to do that so I did. Dave said know Marco said "you actually did it?" It was worth it.
- I made it home from Kona in the best way to finish Ironman. I took the train from the airport to my home town. I had no ride after that and I did not want to pay for a cab. My first thought failed so I started to walk the 2+ miles home with my roller bag in tow. I here "Dave Jewell, do you need a ride?" I still can't believe the timing. I won't drop the name but in1982 a woman crawled across the finish line making history. This October she gave me a ride home.
I love you Bob Jewell. I hate you ALS.
It's a good life.....