Just as I was anticipating my race in NC, Alabama, and a few others, I was really excited to head to New York. The reason for this was because I got to meet up with my buddy, another Sniper, Jon. The last time I saw Jon was in Iraq in 2012. John did a phenomenal job of promoting my arrival for this race. Jon actually made flyers and posted them throughout Syracuse, and he also contacted Spectrum News out of New York. Jon also hosted me at a local hotel and he even treated me to the local restaurants. Most importantly, the quality time we had reconnecting was priceless. Jon was with me from my arrival to the moment I left, assisting in my race needs and to just hanging out. This was especially meaningful because it was Father's Day and his daughter understood why he was spending Father's Day with me during race weekend.
This race was just as tough as Utah! If I had to say which was tougher, I couldn't. Utah was just as tough as Syracuse and the bike was especially just as tough. I would think the Syracuse run course was a bit tougher because the first mile was on grass running uphill. If I had to paint a picture, just think of cross country running in an open field. So the run course you had to do this twice, meaning you had to run a mile out and a mile in, so you ran about 4 miles of the 13 on hilly grass. Actually, the entire run course was very hilly! Overall, Utah and Syracuse have been the hardest of them all so far. But I will say, Utah had a better scenery by far because it was out west with the red rock.
The news did a great job covering me. Spectrum did a great job with my interview because they took time the day before the race and also they came the morning of the race to see me start the race. I am appreciative of the time they took to cover the race and my cause.
The day after the race, John and I met up for breakfast at a local mom & pop restaurant. Afterwards, I got to go to his work where he works as a counselor. Jon totally understands why I am racing to promote recovery through sport as it even fits into his profession. At his work I was able to meet other counselors who were very welcoming and enjoyed hearing my stories. When it was time for me to leave, I was really happy to go home, but at the same time, I didn’t want to leave so soon because Jon and I got to reconnect. This once again goes to show how I am reconnecting with combat veterans and those who served overseas. I am extremely grateful to Jon for everything this weekend.
Link to news: http://www.twcnews.com/nys/central-ny/news/2017/06/18/ironman-athlete-looks-to-beat-world-record--raise-money-for-injured-service-members.html