Well hello all of my wonderful sponsors! I know that this final update is WAY over due, but better late than never, right?!?
Wildflower ended up being the best thing I have done/accomplished in my adult life thus far. I don't even have the words to describe to you how fulfilling, wonderful and absolutely breathtaking the entire event weekend turned out to be.
As all of you know, I decided to train for this event in honor of my brother Clark, doing something that carried on his spirit of helping others and then too for Josh Beierman, who was diagnosed with lung cancer late last year. As the race got closer, my emotions began to take over and I just thanked God that I had gotten so far with so much support from each of you. The night before my team left for the race, my mom called me with the news that Josh had joined the elite in Heaven. Feeling terrible and lost that another life was gone from our small little town of close knit families, I left for the race, I had, afterall, been training this whole time to honor the two of them, and I felt that I had to finish what I had started because it was from the heart.
The people, the lake, the campgrounds...everything was perfect, all in all, an amazing backdrop to an event that tested every part of my being. I finished the race accomplishing both of my goals of not having to stop and walk at any part of the race and finishing under 3 hours and 30 minutes! I truly felt that I was running with wings on the final descent from Lynch Hill (they always name the really bad ones, don't they?) and my sprint into the shoot. I basically kicked some serious butt and all the way I thought how blessed I was to have the ability to accomplish such a fantastic feat of strength, endurance and spirit.
Of course, in true spirit of the Brunner clan and the TNT tradition, I partied it up that night in celebration of the end of something that really kept me going for the past 3 months. As I had my wine by the team bonfire and we all told our stories, I shared my sadness, my losses and my peace with those who now know me better than I had ever intended. I don't know what I would have done without the goal to finish and the purpose to raise money for such and incredible cause and I wanted to thank each of you again for your prayers, encouragement and very generous donations. My final tally for the season was $2900, $200 over my goal, and 75% of all of that went to cancer research (the other 25% went to actually getting my little butt to the starting line!)!
Thank you a million times over because I never would have been able to do it without you! I have taken on another event; it gives me purpose and perspective for a life that still isn't completely settled. I'll be doing the Pacific Grove Triathlon in Sept. of 06 (hopefully I'll be able to persuade my own personal cheer station to come out and see me complete another: THANK YOU ETHAN, KYLE, AUNT JUDY AND UNCLE HENRY!!!) You all mean so much to me and I thank you from the most genuine part of me.
Here are some pics from the race, hope you enjoy checking them out.
If any of you are interested in doing a TNT event (they have marathons, 1/2 marathons, century rides, a hike team and of course triathlons) and want any info, I would be more than happy to guide you and help in anyway I can. Since starting my new season, I have already made the advanced run and swim team and the coach has already asked me to be a mentor (NO FUNDRAISING FOR ME...WHEW, its hard!!!!!) for the Lavaman season (the race is in Hawaii in April 07!!!). SO, if it interests you, you could train wherever you are and we could all hang out on the beautiful island together!
love always, your favorite triathlete katie