The St. George Triathlon was this past weekend. We had a much smaller group this year, but it was still an amazing thing to be part of. Brad was training for this in 2008. And he was having a blast doing it. He would be so excited after a good workout and when he was seeing improvement. You can’t use an ipod when you compete, so Brad chose to train with out one. I think it was therapeutic to him to go for a long run or ride and sort everything out inside while he did it. He would always come home so happy – It was like it energized him and he would come home asking what he could do for me or if I needed anything done. I think he felt a little guilty about the time involved in the training. It would always make me laugh when he would ask “can I go work out??” Anyway, it was something he was really excited about. The accident happened 9 days before. We were planning on leaving Wednesday for the Tri. Instead the kids and I flew out Wednesday to go to Utah for his services. The day of the Tri ended up being the day of Brad’s funeral.
Last year about 35 people competed in it in honor of Brad. We got to have our own memorial heat. KSL did a story on it and they did an amazing job. It was so fun for me to see Brads smiling face on TV. It is pretty difficult to sum up Brad in a few sound bites, but they did a good job. It was a very good thing to be doing on an otherwise difficult day. I was so proud to be running it for Brad and to be a part of this amazing family. I remember when they were interviewing me after the race (I came in dead last. Kind of embarrassing, but I did have a freshly broken toe that was so swollen i had on a shoe two sizes too big for me, so I have a good excuse.) The reporter was asking how it felt to look around and see all this support. It was very overwhelming. I think about 100 people were there in blue t-shirts with “Swim Bike Run FLY” in memory of Brad Gyro Funk” on them. It made me cry to look around and see everyone. I remember telling him that it was awesome. and most importantly, that this support was not a one day event. That we had felt it for the past year. and it is something I know we will always have. I was hoping that would make it into the story but it didn’t.
This year we had less people and no memorial heat, but it was still the same feeling for me. I did the relay this year and I was worried that it wouldn’t feel the same because I didn’t do the whole thing. But it turned out to be perfect. To me, the point is not to break my neck training, or to get the best time. Focusing on my sweet husband is why I do it. I know he’s not too concerned about my time or place. I do think that finding a way to be more healthy is good, and I joke that one of the reasons he must have been doing this is now I am forced to work out for the rest of my life. He would say that is very good for me.
Competing in memory of Brad is what make it meaningful. It makes me happy to think I am doing something that makes him happy. Spending time all together as a family is what made him happy. And competing with family and friends who love him and miss him is priceless and I think it helps us heal.