Our sponsored athletes work hard. We mean really hard. Like fall down nine times get up ten kinda hard. And today, we are celebrating the results of that hard work.Yesterday, we had four of our professionals racing in Australia and New Zealand. Kim Schwabenbauer, Michelle Duffield and Kate Bevilaqua were racing Ironman Melbourne and Katie Hursey was racing the ITU World Cup in Plymouth.
For those of you who don’t know Kim, Michelle, Kate and Katie, not only do they work hard, they are also some of the classiest and most professional individuals you’ll ever meet. In the office, we talk about our “Coeur Values” of honesty, integrity, hard work and the desire to make other people’s live better through health and fitness. These women are the absolute embodiment of those values.
Because of that, yesterday was incredibly special. The day started with the horn going off at Ironman Melbourne and our ladies hitting the water. We had the Ironman Live coverage on as we worked. A couple hours later, we turned on a second computer and logged into the ITU coverage of the Plymouth World Cup race.
The dichotomy between an ITU race and an Ironman was never more apparent. While the IM athletes were grinding out the miles on the bike, Katie Hursey hit the water. In a flash, she was out and on the bike with the lead pack. While she was in Arizona training, Katie raced night criteriums and it showed. She expertly maneuvered around the course and finished toward the front to start the run. Now don’t share this part because we think she’s trying to keep it a secret…but the girl can run! She smoked the 5K run at last week’s ITU tri in 16:48 so we felt good about her finish. The field in Plymouth was stacked, so nothing was guaranteed. But like the champ she is, Katie dug deep and put in a courageous burst toward the end of the run and grabbed the win! The Facebook and twitter words of celebration began to flow in.
Then we turned our attention back to Ironman Melbourne. Unfortunately, Kate Bevilaqua had to withdraw due to eye issues caused by the water from the swim and the wind on the bike. We heard from her today and she assures us that she’ll recover and be ready for the next one. As usual, Kate was the epitome of class, dignity and grace and we know she’ll be back.
Meanwhile, Michelle (aka “Mim”) and Kim were starting to move up on the run. For Mim, this was her second race as a pro. She dug deep and ran her way to an impressive 8th place with a smoking fast 9:34 finish and a PR.
In a day full of courageous efforts, we have to conclude this post with the story of Kim Schwabenbauer’s final miles of Ironman Melbourne. While being one of the nicest individuals you’ll ever meet off the course and one of the most courteous and professional on, deep down, Kim is a hunter. She stalked the field on the bike and then began the hunt in earnest on the run. The commentators focused on the top two women and occasionally mentioned which individuals might finish in the top five. We may have missed it but we didn’t hear Kim’s name called. Mistake. Big mistake.
She was in sixth. Then fifth. Then fourth. Ironically, the miles were working against her. For perhaps the only time in our lives we wished the Marathon run could be just a bit longer. Then she did it! With time and distance running out, she made the pass to move into third and grab a spot on the podium! Once again, the Coeur family erupted into real and virtual cheers.
We’ve said it before but we are incredibly proud of all our sponsored athletes. We are so thankful for the way they represent Coeur and more importantly how they represent endurance sports!
Please join us in congratulating them on the efforts and the amazing displays of Heart and Courage!