Friday, November 28, 2008

The Ultraman Swim... (6.2 miles!)

What a LONG swim! Really long... I am talking 6.2 miles long... 6.2 miles before riding 224 miles on a bike before running a double marathon LONG!

And even more LONG if you are doing it with only 1 arm! INCREDIBLE! I have swam the 6 miles twice. It got a bit arms got tired...but Jason Lester... HE JUST SWAM IT ONE ARMED like a CHAMP!!!

Jason (center), Doug still sleeping (on the right) and I pre swim...

Thanksgiving Day was pretty cool, spent time being thankful for all the awesome gifts in my life... but the day after Thanksgiving hit differently... I am so thankful for my health! For 20/20 vision, for both arms! Both legs! Good lungs! The list goes on and on...

The morning was perfect. Calm ocean, beautiful sun rise, dolphins, and I was in the Kayak enjoying a peaceful morning in Kona. I was #448's swim escort. #448 was Jason Lester, who at 12 years old lost the ability to use his right arm (his arm tucks into a pocket).

Normally Friday is swim practice morning, and everyone in Kona knows I do NOT miss Kona Masters for anything! If the man of my dreams asked me on a date at 6am I would ask him to make it 7am (that is how much I LOVE my Kona Masters swim team). When I was asked to lead Jason through the Ultraman swim instantly I forgot about me and my LOVE of Friday practice...I was going to help someone else out...

But as I spent 6.2 miles guiding Jason through the currents, ocean, swells, sea lice, jelly fish, man-o-war, reefs, soon I realized he was helping me out... The little things I take for granted, like taking a breath during swimming on the right side, soon made a bigger impact on me than perhaps imagined... nothing like the little things...

Mike Rouse from ZOOT enjoying the swim... ha ha! Local gal Stacy keeping me company as we lead our swimmers through the schools of man-o-wars!

Jason hoping I don't run him into any more jellys!

Ooop's, forgot to wait (I started racing the other kayakers...)

Only 3 miles to go!!

2 miles to go! (This is where I started bonking!)

1.5 miles to go... Jason said, "Didn't you say that a mile ago?"

Nothing like Kona Coast!!!

Jason got attacked by a man-o-war. (a few times). I tried to rip the tentacles off him and fling them back into the ocean... but instead I flung them all over my legs! He ended up in the medical boat. They called 911 (one other man was sent to the hospital for attacks). BUT Jason and I told them to HANG UP THE PHONE! He dove off the boat and kept on going! It was awesome!

500 meters to go! Of course I ran head first into the buoy!

GO! This is where we had some fun! I was cheering for him SO loud to pass Mike (even though I like Mike)... it was incredible to see Jason give it everything all stung up!

Nice Job Jason, now go ride your bike 90 miles!! ha ha ha...

90 miles today... 134 miles tomorrow, and a double marathon on Sunday! Now that is burning off turkey dinner!

Have fun Jason... Kona is so excited for you! And GOOD LUCK to all the men and women racing Ultraman Hawaii!!

And, for everyone curious, because I know you might be... here is how Jason swims... Click the top one. I have no idea how to erase the second image...

More news about Ultraman (read here)



Blogger beth said...

Bree! (first comment- wahoo!!!) This is so amazing and what Thanksgiving is ALL about. you're incredible, and Jason is completely amazing!

November 28, 2008 at 5:58 PM

Blogger Cricket said...

What an awesome experience to add to your life. Jason is definitely an inspiration to all-

November 28, 2008 at 6:04 PM

Blogger Lisa G said...

That is amazing - 10km of single arm swimming! Glad you had fun, too!

November 28, 2008 at 6:36 PM

Blogger Bruce said...

If you were to ask me for a date on Friday, I would say 8:00 a.m., unless the water is so cold (like it is now over here - a mere 69F) in which case I will shorten my swim practice to 7:30 a.m. Maybe I will just have to learn to swim faster.
Anyway I am glad you got to be involved with Ultraman. That is something that should be on your "To Do" list.

November 28, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Blogger Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Wow. I'm floored. First of all, who designed such a crazy long race? Secondly, Jason is a serious stud.

Really, I'm speechless. You are such a sweetie for hanging tough with him all 6+ miles - even through some nasty stings to your legs (ouch!)

November 28, 2008 at 8:18 PM

Blogger kerrie said...

wow - that is so really makes ironman seem like a short little day in the sun! i'm always amazed at what some of the physically challenged athletes can do - that is some serious strength!!

November 28, 2008 at 9:13 PM

Blogger Kona Shelley said...

BREE!! Thank you so much for the update on UM. There is a lady i've met a few times that's doing it, her name is Katie Paulson..please tell her Shelley said hello..THANKS!

November 29, 2008 at 2:19 AM

Blogger TriGirl Kate O said...

What an inspiring story. I can't imagine swimming over 6 miles with two good arms, but if I could I'd want you in the kayak next to me too!

November 29, 2008 at 3:47 AM

Blogger PJ said...

That is awesome. He swims faster than me and all my arms work!

November 29, 2008 at 5:06 AM

Blogger UntPawGal02 said...

What an incredible experience. Such an inspiring and wonderful story!

November 29, 2008 at 6:34 AM

Blogger Charisa said...

Awesome - thanks Bree! Hope those man-o-war injuries heal quick - they look painful!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

November 29, 2008 at 6:55 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

THanks, Bree - that is SO incredible and inspiring. WOW!!! Watching that video just floored me. I can't even imagine doing that for even ONE mile, let alone 6!!! Go Jason!!

November 29, 2008 at 6:58 AM

Blogger Cy said...

WOW-Jason is the epitome of ULTRAMAN! Great photos and great job with the support.

November 29, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Blogger Cami said...

INCREDIBLE! AMAZING! What an inspiration!

November 29, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Blogger Chloe said...

Wow! What an inspiration! Thankyou so much for this amazing post :)

November 29, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Blogger Sarah McMillan said...

Great post Bree! I remember when Jason was here in Penticton doing Ultraman Canada. He did Penticton as a relay in prep for UM Hawaii. what a super stud. Great attitude as well. Even Man O Wars can't stop him! And very cool to watch him swim-great video. Go Jason! Cheers!

November 29, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Blogger Eileen Swanson said...

WOW! That is incredible! He is amazing. And yes we should be thankful for what we have! Gracias a dios....

Ciao ;-)

November 29, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Blogger Go Gammie said...

Great story, it is always awesome to see encouraging stories like this. My hat is off to Jason. I hope all the wounds heal OK!!! That looks painful, I guess it is not always safe in a Kayak!!

November 29, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Blogger Tiffani said...

bree...if you get to go out to any more of the UM festivities, please cheer for my friend Katie paulson! She's a local Dallas triathlete and is awesome! You can't miss her...she's over 6' tall and her parents will most likely be waving som tx flags! :-)

November 29, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Blogger Danielle said...

What an incredibly inspiring story! Thanks for sharing. I thought I love telling people about Ultra-Ironman's when they think me doing an IM is nuts!

November 29, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

Oh My.. Jason is The Man. Soooo Awesome and he really has a nice swim stroke! I hope the rest of the race was a success!

November 29, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Blogger Mel said...

GO Jason...that is so impressive to swim with one arm...we do that in Masters class and it is not EASY..and he did 6.2 miles..awesome:)
Give Todd a smack on the bum for me...that is going to be mine and your trademark..I think I am always telling you to smack someones a$$..ha:)
Have fun at the race!!!

November 29, 2008 at 6:13 PM

Blogger Jill Costantino said...

What a fantastic experience for both of you. Thank you for such a great post. Very inspiring - makes you want to get out there and be the best that you can be!!

November 29, 2008 at 9:04 PM

Blogger Bob Spory said...

When quickly scanned this ... I thought you were doing the swim, also. I figured so much for off-season! This is pretty cool stuff. What are man-o-wars? Are they like big jelly fish or like sting rays?

November 30, 2008 at 5:22 AM

Blogger GoBigGreen said...

Wow, what a great day! Glad you made it thru the man-o-wars and Jason did too. I bet his neck gets sore just breathing on one side, but how incredible to see him do 10k. I wont complain when i have a workout of 100's in the pool, without ocean creatures and with both arms.
It is snowing here, so fun to see the ocean and you all in your summer gear!

November 30, 2008 at 7:40 AM

Blogger Jewell said...

Great post! I showed the video of Jason swimming to my 10 year old. He was blown away!
If you see Mike Rouse today tell him hello from me. I love that man.

November 30, 2008 at 8:09 AM

Blogger Jennifer Cunnane said...

This is just what I needed to read after a LONG 2 weeks. First I got to watch a blind girl read to our church this morning (she just learned braille) and now this! Amazing people.... just one question, how long did it take him? And, what do YOU do if you have to go to the bathroom during this event?

November 30, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Blogger Triblog said...

Wow, I take a master competition this weekend and filmed a men who won butterfly and dolphin style with one arm only. Very nice coincidence. They are an example for us!

November 30, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Blogger rr said...

He is so awesome.. and I'm sure you guys had the most fun out there! What a cool event to crew! Next year? ha ha.

November 30, 2008 at 4:12 PM

Blogger IronJenny said...

Wow - so inspiring. I would love to do that race some day.

November 30, 2008 at 5:18 PM

Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

How cool that you were Jason's escort! I've been in awe of him ever since I heard about him. Truly amazing. Thanks for the video.

November 30, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Blogger Ordinarylife said...

Holy crap!!!! Awesome.

November 30, 2008 at 10:00 PM

Blogger Shawn and Tracy said...

I love it!!!! Just when I thought we were hard core for racing IM's ha, ha...I would have called it a day after the sea creature attack, truly impressive.

December 1, 2008 at 6:48 AM

Blogger tinaparker87 said...

Great story about Jason. Amazing the determination when life could go the other way.

You are lucky to surrounded by people who motivate and make you tick.

Of course, it is all about the Kinoa!
Our boys are the best:)

December 2, 2008 at 7:50 PM

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