By LARRY VAUGHT
Mission accomplished for ESPN’s Shannon Spake.
She completed the Ironman 70.3 Raleigh (No.C.) in 6 hours, 43 minutes, 27 seconds. She completed the 1.2-mile swim in Jordan Lake in 48:20. The 56-mile bike trek took 3:26:51. Finally, the 13.1-mile run (a half marathon) took her 2:19.12.
Out of 2,283 entries, Spake finished 1,049th. To me, that’s impressive.
Spake grew up a competitive swimmer and ran her first marathon in 2005. She has been doing triathlons about three years and had been training for this event for about six months.
“The sacrifice to get to this point has been amazing and exhausting. My husband, my kids and everyone who has supported me over the last six months …,” Spake said several days before the Ironman. “Every time I think about the generosity and support it makes those 5 a.m. workouts a little easier.
“Ok, so I’m lying. They’re not easier but it does help with my motivation to get out the door.”
Don’t believe her. She’s one of the most motivated people I know and it shows in her work.
No way would I try a triathlon. I have completed a few half marathons and to see what she did after a 1.2-mile swim and 56-mile bike ride stunned me. Spake had a 10:37 mile pace for the 13.1 miles and the last 3.2 miles she kept a 10:38 pace.
Spake also managed to raise $3,530 for the Sonoran Spine Foundation Scholarship that awards $1,000 annually to a student at Arizona State University who has overcome spinal deformities, something Spake had to do as a youngster.
So like many of her friends and family members, let me just add my CONGRATULATIONS to Spake for her tenacity and training to accomplish a feat most of us would never ever have the courage to even try much less complete.