"A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others"*
The most difficult race in the world celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday October 11th. It is called the Ironman Triathalon and it is held in Kona Hawaii.
Brian Keast, son of Jean Weichel of Southampton again competed in the race. That's a great story, but an even greater one is what he overcame to do it.
Setting the Stage:
Brian has been and is a serious world class athlete competing in the 45 to 49 age group in one of the most difficult athletic events in the world . We've seen the toll it takes on athletes of any age. The IRONMAN consists of a 2.4 mile Ocean swim, a 112 mile bike ride along the black lava desert of Hawaii and finally an arduous 26.2 mile run in blazing heat.
There are very few elite athletes in other sports who could compete in this race, let alone set world records. Brian has set IRONMAN all time age group records in the past.
Who has the Heart?
Brian missed the 2007 race and came back for this years race. In September 2007 he underwent heart bypass surgery for a 100% blockage in one artery.
13/01/2009 04:24 PM
So he ran the prior year's race with this hampering him. His athletic career was at an end. He was now a very lean heart patient, who was weak and fragile.
One year ago, he found it difficult to walk out and get the paper, let alone jog a block. Saturday he did the following:
Swim 2.4 miles in 1:06:19
Bike 112 miles in 5:16:23
Run 26.2 miles in 3:37:28
The doctors who treated him and sports physicians the world over are amazed at what he has done and how well he has progressed in a very short time. Keep in mind the normal recovery rate for bypass surgery is a year. That means you begin to feel good about yourself and what you are doing after a year.
In the opinion of many, Brian has done the impossible and done it with smashing success. "Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable."*
*Quotes from the Wizard of Oz