A few short years later, I decided that I wanted to take my training and push myself a bit further and try a half-iron distance race. It was a long, hard day, but 5 hours and 56 minutes after the horn went, I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face. That same race the next year would be the qualifier for Team USA-Motala and a chance to race for the STARS & STRIPES.
After looking at prior years qualifying times, I figured there was no way I'd have a chance to make it. My swimming had gotten stronger, my biking wasn't a problem, but running posed an issue. Why you ask? After two ankle reconstructions (one of which has since been re-torn) and fighting a herniated disc at L4/L5, having a "fast" run time just isn't in the cards. I would have to drop nearly an hour to be CLOSE to qualifying for my age group.
The morning of the race it was cloudy, gloomy, and spitting rain. I came out of the water 5 minutes ahead of my race plan, averaged nearly 2 miles an hour faster than I had planned on the bike, and had the run of a lifetime! I dropped 50 minutes and almost broke the 5 hour mark with a finishing time of 5:06!!
A few short weeks later, I learned that my time had qualified me to become a racing member of Team USA-Motala and to race at the ITU World Championships in Motala, Sweden on June 27, 2015. If you know me at all, you know how patriotic I am, and to have an opportunity to represent the USA in any possible way is an honor.
This is an opportunity that I am extremely proud to have earned. I've spent many nights in bed early, away from family and friends, passing up on get-togethers and holiday festivities, and more 4:30am morning training sessions than I'd like to remember; things many triathletes can relate too.
As an amateur athelete and member of Team USA-Motala, ALL expenses are out of pocket and unfortunately, travelling half-way across the world with triathlon gear and a bike - along with racing fees etc. - isn't cheap.
What is the catch? I would like to do what I can as an appreciation of your donation to help support my racing trip, by donating 1 hour of community service for every $100 dontated. If for some reason I raise more than what my expenses will be, I will be donating the remaining money between two charities:
1) Relay for Life- Team Terminatin' Cancer; a team in Rockford, Michigan that raises money in memory of Lindsey John
2) Second Chance Mushers; a rescue dog sled team that not only rescues, cares for, and adopts out dogs but also gives rides to the community as well as rides to different charities/children with disabilities and health issues.
I thank you for your support and GO USA!
- Charles Hardy
- Michigan/Erie District
- Sarah Dobbrastine
- Lisa Dobbrastine
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