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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fit by Focus Visits Ironman Canada!!!

On August 30th, 2009 Fit by Focus visited Ironman Canada to support long time client and friend Dana Robinson-Slote.  The event consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run (a.k.a. marathon).  The day started at 515 while Corey, Elijah and myself rolling out of bed (aka my truck) to meet Dana and her crew at the starting line.  We all had a chance to chat with Dana but mosty just sit and watch this athlete mentally prepare herself as she finished last minuted business.  She made sure her meals were ready, her bike was full of air, her equipment was all in the right places and that she had her wetsuit on and fitting right.  There were the last minute pictures taken and then she was off to start the swim with 2,400 of her closest friends.  If they were not friends before they were now.

As the gun went off and all the bodies hit the water  in sync it was clear that Ironman Canada 2009 was in session.  There were supporters as far as the eye could see and cheers as loud as a stadium.  After 1:44 minutes went by out of the water came dana.  She popped out of the water and started shallow diving towards the shore.  At first you would think "what the heck is that girl doing", but as you watched you would noctice that she was quickly getting to shore without having to trouble herself with walking through the wake.  As she hit land she was off running and at the same time pulling her wetsuit off to get  herself ready for the bike. (112 miles)

Quickly the Fit by Focus crew would leave the beach where we were watching the swim and head to our car to follow our athlete.  Instead following her with flow of traffic we back trailed the route in hope to catch her relatively half way and.................we did.  It was at Ricter point that we caught up with our athlete who was not only in great spirits but with alot of energy and in great spirits.  It was then that we would continue to follow her at about every 10 miles.  We would drive ahead and wait for her, then drive ahead and wait for her and we would continue this routine for her entire bike.  We attempted to follow her for her last 20 + miles but ran into traffic.  It was then that Colin (Dana's husband) remember a shortcut given to him by Lesley Mettler (Dana's Coach,  This allowed us to get back to town but not in enough time to see her finish her bike.

As we got back to town we were able to meet up with her at her 5 mile mark.  Again, Dana continued to be in great spirits and high in energy.  This could not be said about many of the athletes we incountered along the way up to this point.  She passed us with smiles and determination.  Corey and myself ran another 2 miles towards Dana to set up camp so she would have us waiting for her at mile 20.  (The run was 13.1 miles out and had a U-turn, so she would come back the same way) The brochure said that this was a grueling point for the athletes mentally, so we made sure we were there ready to cheer her on. The sun started to fall and it quickly became dark.  About 2 + hours passed since we set camp and it was then that Corey and I saw our athlete coming towards our way with a head lamp shining bright along with the smile that left us at mile 5.  As before spirits were up and determination was evident.  Corey and I ran that 2 miles with her and we met up with Colin and family at mile 22 and we sent our athlete off to the finish line. 

Right after we sent her off we headed to the car and bolted to the finish line to park and assure we were there at the finish line.  We made ourself to the finish line in the front row. The announcer was naming off all the athletes  names, home town and occupation.  As a small amount of time passed, down the stretch Dana came running towards us, "high fiving" the crowd, smiles on her face and the look of satisfaction/accomplishment.  As she crossed the finish line at 14:42 she pulled her "pistols" out of her "holster" and shot them guns off and blew the smoke out. 

Down memory lane:

It was October, 2008  and Dana and I had a conversation about how long she thought it would take her.  My first response was, "your first goal is to finish".  We got passed that conversation and she said," my goal is 15 hours".  Her goal 10 months prior was 18 minutes off, but it was 18 minutes off in a good way.  She beat her goal by 18 minutes!!! 

I am so proud of Dana, I have worked with her for 2.5 years and have seen her grow and develop into the athlete she has always had inside her.  Dana is one of the most determined human beings I know, if there is a way, she will find and do it well.

"All me, All day!"
-Dana Robinson-Slote


  1. Very awesome account Coach!!! So inspiring!!!

  2. This is great! Dana is amazing!