I would be a fool if I didn't take the time to thank those that helped me achieve my dreams over the past year, and then some. This is of course, in no particular order.
Cyclonaut Multisport: The most amazing triathlon club on the planet. Thank you for holding me accountable and keeping me focused on my goal. It truly helped me every time a teammate talked to me about Kona, even before Lake Placid took place. Not hiding behind the jinx that is Kona qualifying kept me driven and motivated through the long winter season. In addition having so many people to train with makes it significantly easier to get the miles in. Special shout out to my trainer buddies that made the trek to the Pinkberry Man Cave at one point or another including Seth, Ochoa, Jimmy, Wheels (Bill), Brower, Donohue, Kelly, and Mik.
Jim Sullivan: My primary training partner. You knew what it would take to get to Kona. You have been someone I have looked up to since joining the club back in 05. Between our 3 tri state rides before May 1, and our 7 loops around the Quabbin, it can be difficult to stay focused and keep the gas on, but when you have someone to chase and someone to keep you honest the raises the overall quality of the workout. I look forward to doing it again, perhaps 2015 when you're 50 and I'm 30 we can have another go at it...
Ryan Ochoa: The season leading into IMLP was a long one and you were at the bike and run workouts as often as I was. I always enjoy training with you. You made the experience more enjoyable in 2010, and I was thrilled you signed up again for 2012. You certainly know how to make a race memorable and Placid was certainly no exception. Thanks for including me in the excitement.
Pat Wheeler: There is knowledge and then there is life experience. Obviously your time as a coach has taught you a lot, but I think its your experience at the distance that you shared at various points throughout the year that really made the difference. The coach in you came out when I had the minor injury back in April, the age group racer in you got me through the second half of the marathon at LP and prepared me for the heat, conditions, and overall intimidating atmosphere that is Kona in October. The occasional training sessions together helped too, be it the 6:00am swims in Worcester or the Sunday afternoon runs through Holden center, you certainly have unmatched dedication and if you are around it enough it becomes contagious. Remember, when you make it I'm rolling in Wheeler's Wheelhouse.
Rich Veres: Thank you for making me aware of the Ironman and half ironman races. If it weren't for you and your IMLP photo album that you shared with me at SOAR in 2004, I don't know that I would have stepped up to the half iron distance and joined the Cyclonauts. Also a big thank you to Amy for her support dating back to my early days in the club as well. Her constant friendship and intermittent musculoskeletal consultations and treatments kept me healthy and taught me some things along the way. I look forward to the day when we can have some B.O.B. jogger runs together.
Cassie Dunn: Thank you for introducing me to triathlon in 2003. I will never forget the Try the Tri in Danbury that you, Conor, Jill, and I all completed together. I can honestly say that I contracted the triathlon bug from you and the symptoms haven't let up until now. It was wonderful to be able to support your return to tri at Griskus after all of your support when I first began. I hope we get to toe the line together again in the future.
Seth Brosnan: The man of many hats in terms of support and friendship. Thank you for your company on the trainer and on the road. Thank you for your time and patience with fine tuning my fit on Gus. Thank you for being a great friend when I needed an outlet during the long training weeks or any other time for that matter. Now that this triathlon stuff is slowing down, maybe you can kick my butt a few times in the woods.
My Family: The McCloskeys and the Shaws (and extensions of both obviously). I believe that cliche goes something like this, "...that's what families are for..." This couldn't be more true. Never once did I feel any lack of love or support over the very long and never ending year of 2012. Phone calls, family meals, visits, texts, emails or any other interaction that we shared made a world of difference. Whether it got me back on track or prevented me from straying off track at any point, I couldn't have done it without you. Special thanks to my parents, brothers, and Laura for coming to Hawaii. I know the planning and travel of the trip itself was a nightmare, but it made the trip the memory of a lifetime. I think its safe to say the Griswolds sat this trip out for the first time in a long time!!
Kara Jane: If there was an epitome of love and support it is you. The commitment of hours and hours of training needed to compete at the level I did this year equates to too much time apart, too many solo dinners, and a tremendously unbalanced to do list around the house, especially on the weekends. I guess it is safe to say I got it out of my system...for now. I love you more than you will ever realize and I couldn't have done this without you. Now, where is that to-do list, thought it said something about cleaning the gutters...
Till next time...