And swims and runs. Not many – including Maridee – could predict that what started as a dare to do something she never liked (running), would get her off the couch, into her Nikes and on her way to the finish line in the 1995 Portland Marathon. It took courage, determination and a bit of taunting to make it happen, but happen it did. And all in a short time from when the challenge first charged out the mouth of her friend who doubted– for the last time – MD’s endurance (or her resolve).
5 years went by and MD had little to prove, until the idea of doing a triathlon emerged. There was only one problem – MD didn’t know how to swim. And I don’t mean she just couldn’t swim well, she swam like a rock. The girls used to push her into the water at pool parties just to get a chance to meet the lifeguard…
Most of knew by then that the “D” in MD did not stand for delirious. It means dedication, devotion and diligence – so it wasn’t long before she was pushing the salmon out of her way as she vaulted up the waterfalls. And from there she went to the sprint (half triathlon) and on to complete an Olympic distance triathlon; 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.
In a few short years, Maridee went from being a couch potato to dragging the couch behind her around the track for laughs. But we stopped chuckling when someone made a tactical error and asked her if she would ever run another marathon. MD’s reply: Never! I hate running, but maybe if it was disguised between a swim and a spin on the bike it might spike some interest… And in 2011, MD was training for the Penticton IRONMAN (a qualifying race for Kona, the professional, televised competition in Hawaii).
OK folks, that’s a 4km (2.4 mile) swim, a 180km (112 mile) bike ride and a 40km (26 mile) run – all the same day. MD said that she’s not special, and a lot of people do it. I had to correct her. It may seem like a lot of people do it. Sure, you see many participants bunched up in the picture when you look at the photos, but there are only a minute number of people on the planet who have actually survived an IRONMAN event. And Maridee is one of them. She successfully completed her 1st IRONMAN that year.
On August 25, 2013, once again, Maridee will run the gauntlet of glory and pain, this time in Whistler, BC (the city’s first). With one under her belt, and everything else she desires to put there (she says she can eat anything she wants now), she’s more confident this time around. Being a local Whistler resident gives her a logistical advantage and enables her to become familiar with the course – but it won’t be easy.
We’re going to track the final 6 weeks of her training and follow her menu, her moods, and her mounting machinations. We’ll document the tension and the tears as she ramps up to the moment the starter pistol’s report resonates across the lake and through the hills – and Maridee rides again.