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Looking back with a smile, looking forward with hope restored

Posted: Apr 14 2014

We’re starting to develop a pattern during the weekend at Coeur. We take the dogs out in the early morning, hit the office for about four or five hours to sublimate some triathlon tops or shorts and then run or mountain bike before it gets too late.

We always keep at least one computer free to check race results and invariably, work slows while we broadcast well wishes and congratulations out via social media. This weekend, we had a full slate of Coeur girls in triathlons across the world and we have to admit, there were long stretches where more time was spent cheering than sublimating.

By the time we got to the office on Saturday, Coeur Athlete and Xterra superstar Renata Bucher had already put another notch in her belt with a win at the Tagaman Triathlon in Saipan. Renata is on an incredible run of wins and podiums this year and we can’t wait to see how things go at the Xterra World’s for her.

Renata coming off the bike on her way to the win

If work was slowed on Saturday, it practically came to a complete stop on Sunday. The office could have been mistaken for a sports bar as we devoted every computer to race tracking. The loss of productivity was worth it as the results were outstanding. By early afternoon (Santa Monica time), Laura Sophiea and Kristin Schwieger had won their age groups at the Ironman Fla 70.3.

Kristin and Penelope on the run at IM Fla 70.3 with a future Coeur Ambassador cheering

Not long after that, Kelly Haidiris and Katie Ingram grabbed podium spots (Kelly at IM Fla 70.3 & Katie at IM New Orleans 70.3) and both punched their tickets to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

 

Katie and Kelly have punched their tickets to IM Triathlon 70.3 Worlds!

We also cheered Penelope Donkar on as she finished IM Fla. 70.3 despite a gap in her training due to two very significant crashes in the past couple months. It takes a lot of courage to get back on the bike after one bad fall, not to mention two. Speaking of falls, we wish Coeur Athlete Kelsey Withrow a speedy recovery after her crash during the Sea Otter bike race.

Eventually, the results from the East Coast started to slow and we thought we were about to get back to work. Then, we remembered to check splits at the Lifetime Tri in Tempe, AZ. To our great pleasure, we found that Sarah Borst Jarvis was in first place. We followed her all the way to the finish line and the top of the podium.

Sarah on her way to the win in Tempe! 

It took us to late Sunday night to calm down after all the excitement. Then we started to look forward and talk about upcoming events for the Coeur Girls. One date on the calendar has a big circle around it…Monday, April 21st. The Boston Marathon.

Two Coeur Ambassadors (Emily Joller & Melissa Christensen) are running Boston next week. Better people than us have opined on historical and cultural significance of the 2014 event but we couldn’t help but chat about it at the office.

Like many of you, we had friends running last year and were shocked when we heard the news. Our first thoughts were of concern. Are our friends safe? How many people were hurt? Were there any fatalities? Who did this?

We felt as if we were entering a dark tunnel as events unfolded. The scenes of devastation were too familiar. The loss of life was crushing and the injuries were sickening. Eventually, the perpetrators were caught and their hateful motives became somewhat clear. It was then that a profound sense of sadness enveloped us. The idea that somehow, a greater good could be achieved by killing and maiming people who were celebrating life by running, was so depraved that for a moment, our belief in humanity dimmed.

We were afraid that the marathon, that was such a celebration of life, would morph into a memorial run going forward and that cheering would be replaced by something more solemn. We knew that it would go on but we feared that we would never be able to watch it with the same sense of celebration that we had in the past.

Then as if the universe decided to prove once again that only light can drive out darkness, stories of survival and heroism began to emerge. First responders, who “ran to the sound of the guns” (to use a figure of speech) and stayed with the injured all the way to the hospital. Runners who tore off clothing to bandage the wounded. Doctors who raced to their posts to perform surgery late into the night.

Like the marathoners themselves, the stories did not stop. Then, the very survivors themselves taught us the ultimate lesson. Yes, you grieve. Yes, you mourn. But eventually, you have to start to live again. We learned of the Dancer named Adrianne who lost her leg in the bombing but learned to walk again and eventually danced on-stage during a Ted Talk. Jeff who lost both legs has, through the power of love, gotten to the point where he can say that there is “nothing but positivity in his life now.”

And recently, we saw the series of fund raisers to support victims and charitable organizations.

Finally, the darkness of the tunnel was replaced by light and to a large extent our faith in humanity has been restored. We aren’t naïve enough to think that “everything is ok” or that all the bad things are behind us but we are confident that over time, goodness prevails. Light does drive out darkness, good does trump evil and ultimately, love conquers all.

So, at Coeur, we’re gearing up for a celebration on Monday as 36,000 heroes lace up for the run. We’re so glad to that two of our own will be in the group and we can’t wait to cheer for them!