Terry Kennedy; 2XU Ambassador, Kona Inspired Athlete, Ironman World Championships Finisher

Terry Kennedy; 2XU Ambassador, Kona Inspired Athlete, Ironman World Championships Finisher

Terry Kennedy suffered a stroke and heart attack not long ago but has left all that in the past to become something so much more; an IRONMAN World Championships -  Kona finisher!  Here is Terry's full recap of a race that tested him physically and mentally.

Wow what a day the Hawaii Ironman World Championship was. I was left speechless after the race until I had time to put things into perspective overnight. I can break it into "athletic" & "emotional". "Athletically" I swam really well & stuck to a plan. Out of the water felt great. For reasons to do with stroke / balance it takes me longer in transition, hence the 6 mins. On the bike I was sticking to the plan of trying to ride a 5hr 30. The last 60km was brutal with a headwind like nothing I had felt. This is where endurance & experience over years & years kicks in. Something I sadly don't possess given the 11 months I have been riding, swimming & running (yet!) Battling the headwinds & even sticking it in a lower gear trying to get through it with as little damage proved fruitless. By 5km to go I was physically shattered. I have been doing loads of running & was hopeful of running somewhere near 3.55hrs. The big island chewed me up & spat me out. I felt great cardio wise but the toll from the last 60km on the bike saw my legs screaming in pain. Time to use my 4th weapon of mental strength & just grind it out for survival. I walked at aid stations to stretch my back & legs which surprisingly could not cope with a walk but a very slow jog was fine. Not the time I was hoping for but an experience I will learn from.

 

"Emotionally" time never mattered because I had done all the work (30 hrs a week during peak) & no matter what time I posted I was always going to finish. There is something special about Kona. I'm not an overly spiritual person but that's how I would describe it. Spiritual, mythical & a special aura. During the race when things got tough I laughed & cried. I laughed because in May last year our family had made preparations for us to access life insurance in case I never made it. Some 15 months later I am competing in the toughest one day race on the planet surrounded by my family. How good life can be!

 

We have overcome many adversities as a family & never looked back. I owe my life to this sport as we set ourselves a goal & used Ironman as the vehicle to achieve that goal. That saved my life. There were points in the race when it was tough & you are surrounded by tough people on course. I just had to think of my family & friends & everyone who has supported me on this journey. Never quit & set large goals, achieving them is the dream! Running down the finishing chute at the Hawaii Ironman World Championship I was handed the Aussie flag & was surrounded by my family at the end. That's a feeling I want everyone in the world to have. Very euphoric, emotional and full of joy. A big thanks to my fellow club mates who have supported me on this journey & everyone out on course. To my friends, people who voted to get me here, family & anyone who has overcome any adversity. If you think it, it can be done! Anything is possible!

 

By Terry Kennedy

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