Tara Norton ’98: Ultra Woman
by Bruce McKinnon ’90
That feeling. When you fall. And you know you have to get back up again. Because you’re the only one who can do it. Some loathe it, but others live for it.
Picture yourself on a bike. It’s warm. You’re in Hawaii, competing in the 2008 Ironman World Championship and having the “race of your life.” You’ve completed this race before (finishing 12th overall last year) and today, you feel you’re on track to crack the top 10. “Eighty miles into the bike, I was in 4th place overall, and out of nowhere a volunteer stepped onto the course.” The unavoidable collision sees you plow into this person at good clip – about 30kh – and you’re down. But you somehow manage to get back onto your mangled carbon fiber bike and continue riding for about another mile, all the while weeping, because you know you’re hurt and this race is over. The post-crash diagnosis reveals 11 broken bones.
For those unfamiliar, the Ironman races feature a swim-bike-run challenge. According to Wikipedia, “an Ironman Triathlon is a series of long-distance races consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile run, raced in that order and without a break.” I feel weak just reading that. …