Monday, August 4, 2008

TEAM DAWUD

Hi there...What follows is an account of a wonderful experience. I only swam a half mile today, but as part of a special relay, I feel I got as much out of this day as I have had in finishing an Ironman...without the mind numbing pain and all of course..


The above image was not captured by a professional....but hey, I am getting ahead of myself. Thats Aminah pulling the carriage with her son, Dawud in it. But first, lets set up what this was about.

This is North Coast Harbor in Cleveland. To the left, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To the right is Browns Stadium. I don't know who the guy in the shot is...someone who just happened to be there.


This is Dawud. He is 10 and has cerebral palsy. I had just met him and his parents. We were teammates on team #129 and we felt Dawud had to get his arm marked like the rest of us.


Thats Aminah, his mom, and Dawud's dad..Dawud Sr. Mom was gonna pull Dawud in the carriage for the 16 miles on the bike and dad would push Dawud the 3.1 miles. They had never raced before but trained hard. The bike, the carriage and Dawud accounted for about 140 pounds or so. Mom said she was ready. The family has been connected with United Cerebral Palsy of Cleveland and Dawud has shown many improvements in many areas. His speech and many other factors.

We were getting excited right before the swim. I was in the sprint relay and women 35 and under wave for the swim. The swim was a half mile. Dawud was anxious for the race to begin. I smoked the swim folks. Was fastest person in the relay portion of 9 teams.. Not sure it was exactly a half mile because my time was quicker than usual..however the time is not the big deal here, right??? After the swim, I sped into transistion, gave Aminah the chip and then shook Dawud Sr's hand.

Then Aminah towed Dawud the 16 miles... What effort. You saw the so called action shot at the top of the post... She need roughly 90 minutes to handle the tough hills-the wind--and exhaustion... What a huge effort!!!!!


But she did it!!! Thats her getting to transistion, all flushed and excited!!! Dawud had a cellphone and called his dad a couple times to tell him where they were. I loved that!!!


Dad changes the stroller out for the run. Take off the bar. Add the wheel for the front..and off he went... Folks, I was amazed. He runs 7 miles a day usually. He did the 3.1 miles in .......(Drum rolll.....) under 9 minutes a mile!!!!!!!! Wow!!!..He was so fast that I did not get my camera going fast enough... I missed him. However, Trish from UCP sent the finish photo thats at the top of the post. Thanks to Team Myles..

They did it!!! and I was so proud to be on the team.

Team shot!!!! Dawud Sr. says he wants to race more and I think Aminah has the bug. A while after our team finished..one of my new buddies finished.


Thats Kristen Minnick carrying daughter Julia across the line. Kristen did the whole triathlon and towed Julia and then pushed her for the run. I had featured her in a piece a week ago. Kristen was amazing. I was so happy for her.


And isn't Julia a gorgeous little girl??? Congrats to Kristen!! Thats hubby Jeff with us.


Finally, I can't thank the folks at United Cerebral Palsy enough for their help. I have made buddies for a long time. I was told all the families raised money for the cause and close to 90 thousand was raised. Of course, Dick Hoyt deserves credit for this as well. The legendary Ironman inspired many of the families when he spoke in Cleveland last fall. Its just amazing what can be done when CAN is the word we focus on.

Life is a BLAST!!!

31 comments:

tracie said...

congrats to all the participants!!!!

great job to TEAM DAWUD!!!!!

thanks for sharing these stories, it is so inspirational! what an amazing event jt. :)

Wes said...

Oh, JT. I love this. You have some of the bests posts bro. You had a great swim! Probably cause you were floating above the water. I loved the pics, especiallly Mom carrying her daughter across the finish line.

Stupendous!!!!

Marcy said...

Ooooohhhh how amazing!! CONGRATS to everyone! Especially Mom! Wow! You totally rock JT!!

JenC said...

Very inspirational JT! Those stories alone are enough for me to wish I would have been there to see it!

Eric said...

Thanks for the update and pictures JT. I thought about you and team Dawud yesterday morning.

Looks like everyone had a good time.

TriSaraTops said...

That is just wonderful!!

Look at those smiles.

Thank you for sharing your story and for swimming for Team Dawud!

Jodi said...

How cool. What a treat to be part of such an inspirational team!

:-)

Jodi

Tri to Be Funny said...

OMG--I have officially teared up. Thanks for sharing these special pics. You can see the joy in your face!!

Steve Stenzel said...

Great stories! Congrats to everyone out there!! Nice photos too!!!

Kim said...

What a great day! I was wondering how the race had gone! Congratulations to Team Dawud!!

Lily on the Road said...

WOW!!

you can't get better than all of that!!!

Smithposts said...

Congrats to Team Dawud! Aminah, Dawud Sr, all the moms and dads who participated and the very precious children are all first place winners. You have such heart warming stories!

Kevin said...

What an inspirational story. Those parents were so tough pushing/pulling 140 lbs of child/cart

RunBubbaRun said...

very inspiring..

Congrats to everybody out there..

Looked like a great race, all smiles all around.

Mom2Amara said...

JT, what inspiring stories! I'm so glad you pointed me towards your blog. (Although it's funny, there's a few familar faces commenting here from another friend's blog!)

I saw your story on Kristen and am thrilled to see she finished!

And congrats to you on a fabulous swim time!

-Mo

Formulaic said...

JT, this is great! So cool of you to post this about both teams.

How cool that you were able to participate too (and got a nice time in to boot).

Thank you for bring this to us. It makes the day slightly better.

Go team Dawud; Go team Julia; Go team Hoyt!

Tea said...

What a wonderful post! The pictures are beautiful!

BreeWee said...

I LOVE this post... I love the photos, your heart is HUGE, and I agree, CAN is so COOL!

Viv said...

Oh JT what a wonderful post! You could have not captured some more heartfelt pics! Great job on a strong sweim and an amazing life experience!

TrainingtoTri said...

That's awesome JT. What an inspiring race report. Thank you for sharing.

Sexy Crack Whore said...

This shows what I mean when someone tells me Ironman is hard. It is not. Having to deal with a disease where you can't walk or run--THAT is hard. Good on you for participating in this. You're right--it's not about the time on the clock--it's about the time spent.

Cliff said...

Thanks for sharing this...wow. Now this is an inspiration..

Trishie said...

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME all around! Great races, great stories, and WTG DEAM DAWUD =D

cindy said...

As always, very inspiring!! Congrats to everyone....awesome pictures, too :)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Awesome awesome awesome!!

Talking about making the day count.

Speechless.

rocketpants said...

Sounds like an awesome, awesome race! Brought tears to my eyes. I'm sure it was so awesome to be part of the relay. I'm glad you kicked everyone's butt in the swim!! :-)

Dawud's Grandma said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful coverage of Team Dawud in their first UCP Triathlon. It was a very exhilarating experience for all of us with Team UCP.

It was a very emotional and trying day for us all.

Only one who has traveled and been exposed to many paths of light in life could have been as kind and expressive as you. Thank you again

Ange said...

Congratulations!! THAT is what it is all about. I'm so inspired and proud of all of you. What a wonderful thing you did for these kids and families. Hats off to you!

jahowie said...

This is awesome!! Thanks for sharing the pics. There is so much joy coming through in each one of them.

Kristen Minnick said...

Hi everyone! It was a great day, a great race and all the kids were having fun. I am hooked and will be entering more to come. JT was sooo awesome to my family and all the families he was involved with. What a great guy. So glad we had the chance to meet and he could bring you our story..we received lots of support during the race which was awesome!! You folks rock...much love, Julia's MOM =)

Sarah said...

Hey JT! You comment on lots of blogs that I read too but I'd never gotten around to your blog before, so here I am. :)

This is such a fantastic incredible post and I felt so overcome with inspiration and happiness as I read it. Good job to everybody out there and congrats!!