Thanks by Tara Norton – Ultraman Champion 2018

It most certainly does take a village!  Since becoming Ultraman Champion (still feels crazy to write that), I have been thinking about all the people I would like to thank.

[As I wrote my thanks below, I realized this has become a blog entry in itself, there are so many people to thank!  So, thanks in advance for reading…]

I raced as a professional Ironman athlete for many years and I would have loved to have this win back then, at a time I felt more pressure to get specific results.  But to win as a 47-year-old full-time working Mom, I am still so thankful to have the continued support from sponsors as well as my family and friends.  My goal for this race was to have fun (impossible not to in this race really) and finish strongly without a broken leg, and that I did.  ALL the athletes who gave it their all over the three days are winners in my mind.

I want to thank Cheryl and Dave and Jane (and all the other staff – there are too many to name and lots I have never met) for putting on the best race ever.  They did an amazing job (once again) and had extra work this year with the erupting volcano.  They worked hard to reroute the course and did so with huge respect for the community that was adversely affected by the eruption.  Simply amazing.

Ultraman itself is not possible without all the support of your crew.  I had an awesome crew (every athlete feels their crew was the best!) and I am grateful for their love and support, taking the time to travel to Hawaii to help me.  It is NOT easy being crew (I did it in Florida).   During this race I was helped by other crews as well, but my crew leaped frogged me in the van for three days straight.  They made sure I had my every need, cheering me on and helping me to the win!  They tossed pickles (and potatoes and snickers and GU gels at me) and ran beside me in 90+ degrees with an entire store of items at their fingertips ready for me to purchase…free, for hours!  Thanks to Tom, David and Andrea for being the best crew ever.

Of course, Maya and Bruce and Auntie Cassie and Uncle Flint are my family support that I love.  Maya and Bruce are my #1 fans and the cheers and support are not only during the race (Maya does make the best signs!) but they support me all year round.  Auntie Cassie and Uncle Flint are my family away from home and Cassie was the one who helped nurse me back to health after I broke my femur two years ago.  Their friendship means the world to me.  I dedicated this race to my Mom who passed away shortly after I broke my femur two years ago.  I wish I could tell her all about this experience because she was the one I called multiple times every day and I miss her like crazy.

Thanks to all the athletes who shared the race course with me.  I have met some amazing people and friends for life.

Trek has also become to be like family to me.  I am extremely lucky to be a Trek ambassador and Barry from Trek has become a good friend.  Barry supported me at Doxa Threelay as well and I am honoured to have his support and when you ride 276K with 13,700 feet of climbing on day 2, a nice fast bike helps!

I could have not done this race without good nutrition, solid mental toughness and great body work!!!  I always tell my athletes that most people show up to races having done the physical training and on race day those that come out on top are those with proper nutrition and top mental strength.  Massage from Juliet at the end of each day during the race was critical, but over the years, I have been supported by Lawrence Micheli and the Toronto Athletic Club, osteo John, RMT Christine and also by GU nutrition.  I know I never would have gotten to this point without their continued support.

My race report can be seen HERE

Finally (although I could thank many more people but then this entry would never end), I am thrilled to be a part of Team Atomica as a coach.  I get to work with the most amazing athletes and learning with them, and watching their successes is even more rewarding than my own. I am doing a talk on January 18, 2019. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS and I am looking forward to sharing more of my ultra experiences.  Hope to see some of you there.

Triathlon Canada Magazine listed me as one of the TOP CANADIAN 2018 PERFORMANCES and I am completely honoured at 47 years young!