Just before finishing our run down the thousand foot decent of Mt Gillen in Alice Springs, Australia, I had a flashback to March 2011 that made me appreciate how far I’ve come as an athlete, resident, and human of this Outback Community. It was at this time, two months after moving from Sudbury, Massachusetts USA I hiked up Mt Gillen for the first time. I had just turned 27 years old and it would be another 5 months before my girlfriend at the time would arrive. I had a 6-8year plan to live and work in Alice, become an Ironman, pay off my house in the USA, and then move to Colorado and “settle down”. I had no family or friends present but was a 13x Marathon finisher and it was the Passion and Love of travel and culture that brought me to this place, a five year goal conceived after leaving Scotland in 2006 and accomplished in Australia 2011. Saturday July 22, 2017, 8:30AM and I was running as an 11x IRONMAN finisher alongside my wife, a 9x IRONMAN finisher, her older sister, a 5x IRONMAN finisher, one of my best mates Duncan Rogers, a 2x IRONMAN finisher, and his sister and one of Fiona’s best mates Chelsea Rogers, a 1x IRONMAN finisher. Collectively, we had completed 28 IRONMANs covering 106km of swim, 5,040km of bike, and 1,182,m of run.
And now my best-friend and wife are here, on a United Dreamliner flying across the Pacific. Fiona, received her USA Visa and Green Card only 3 days before leaving Alice, 2 bike boxes, 2 pieces of luggage, and 4 carryon’s; an additional $1,020 in baggage fees. Our fur-child Sydney is in Sydney and will be flying to the USA on Tuesday. We’re flying Melbourne to LA, we’ll then head over to an Anytime Fitness where we’re planning a 2hour run and 2hour bike ride during our 11 hour layover. Then we fly to Tucson, Arizona, our new home. Thursday we’ll close on our first house in Sahuarita, Arizona, pick up our 2 reserved and brand new Toyotas, and take delivery of our brand new 30’ RV. Fiona will finish her Masters Degree to become a certified Physio in the USA and I’ll begin to lead a team of 10 financial analysts. Our season is laid out and will begin with a 5K race through the Pecan Orchards that surround our new home. All of this while pursing our next Ironman, IRONMAN Arizona just 16 weeks from now in November. Our full schedule is listed below and will include all future races.
If you have managed to complete one of my blog entries you know I’m highly detailed and analytical. After all, I’m a financial analyst. You’d also know I’m a huge planner; so I don’t miss out on anything and build excitement for what comes next. So looking at what I’ve written so far, I set out, and accomplished many of my goals. There’s been rough patches and surprises, but I’m thankful for all of it and have a strong faith in Jesus Christ, believing in his master plan, and adamantly believing that everything happens for a reason. But we all make choices as I realized watching the full Matrix Trilogy on this flight.
So now I present myself to you as a 31x Marathon finisher with a Coober Pedy Marathon win, and a couple 2nd place finishes in the Alice Springs marathon with a 3:02 PB. Fiona and I completed two ultras in Alice, a 50KM I created that had 4 start and 3 finish, the 50km Larapinta Ultra Trail Marathon in which Fiona and I both took 2nd place. We both qualified and raced in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona alongside our close mate Karen in 2016. We’re both sub-10 athletes with Fionas 9:59 and my 9:22.
I comforted Fiona last night by correcting her when she said our time has ended in Alice; it hasn’t. Our time in Alice is literally a chapter of our lives. And the characters that came into our reading will continue to be key to our story. In growing as a young adult in Alice, I’ve come to realize that one can love another in the same way family is supposed to love. That personal experiences are the glue that keeps this book bound. I’ve been 12,000miles away from my family in New Jersey for 6 ½ years but we’re still strong because of that glue, the binder. A page is turned but the character list has grown and I’m excited to see what the future chapters have in-store for all of us.
With nearly 20,000 views on this blog I know that I’ve helped inspire, motivate, and empower some of you readers. I know this because some of you have told me. I created this blog after my first IRONMAN Cairns in 2012 when I went with a group from Alice Springs that I don’t communicate with anymore. But then I went back 5 years later and celebrated that accomplishment of Chelsea completing her first Ironman as a single mother of two babies and Duncan who entered so that he could do one more race with http://www.TheCoyleCrew.com. Nat was also with us, Fiona’s work colleague, and awesome person. So our experiences have grown and in each passing year Fiona and I have continued to do what we love: train and compete, race and rejoice, share and embrace, love and comfort, with Passion and Love, Grace and Peace.
The Alice Springs Athlete has not ended. He has grown. He has began a new chapter as http://www.TucsonAthlete.com living, working, and racing in one of triathlons meccas by choosing to pursue his passion. And while I refer to myself in this statement, you should know it is only 50% of the pie. The other half belongs to my equal, Fiona. All of the same applies to Fiona and she represents The Coyle Crew. Please follow her blog at www.thecoylecrew.com.
If you were not one of the lucky one’s to yet receive a ticket to Sahuarita for training and travelling, please don’t hesitate to ask. Our home is open and especially to any Pro’s!
The legacy I leave behind for Alice is one that I hope inspires. For six and a half years I have been the most consistent and dedicated athlete in Alice Springs. The personal investment of time, money, and emotion is second to none. It’s a shame I was never embraced the way that I could have been but thats me being a person that wants to help influence many vs just a few. However, I wouldn’t trade the amazing bonds I’ve formed with those that have accepted my wisdom for anything. I’ve realized that its not about the quantity like the 116 athletes I Race Directed in the biggest race we ever had at the Elders Womens Only triathlon during Alice Springs triathlon peak, its about the quality of single individuals that have accepted my selfless support to achieve the Possible.
Thank you for reading. Now be ready for the next chapter.
July 29, 2017 – Breeze in the Trees 5K, Sahuarita, AZ
Aug 13, 2017 – Mountain Man Half (70.3 distance) Flagstaff, AZ (RV)
Sept 9, 2017 – Tri for Act of Kindness Sprint Triathlon Tucson, AZ
Oct 1, 2017 – Barlett Lake Olympic Triathlon outside of Pheonix, AZ (RV) (6th oldest tri in west)
Oct 7, 2017 – Oro Valley Sprint Triathlon
Oct 22, 2017 – 70.3 Arizona (RV)
Oct 28, 2017 – Patagonia Lake Triathlon Olympic, 1hr South of home close to Mexico (RV) (toughest tri in AZ)
Oct 29, 2017 – TMC A Mountain Half Marathon (w/ former US Olympian)
Nov 11, 2017 – Pecan Festival 5K Sahuarita, AZ
Nov 19, 2017 – IRONMAN Arizona (RV)
Dec 9, 2017 – Tucson Half Marathon