Pel-I-Can! Fest – Plan B

Remember how I told you about a plan B?  Well, It’s a good thing I had one!  I wish I had photos of Zachary to share with you today, but I’m sorry to say that he was sick and unable to join me for the triathlon.  I hope he feels better soon!

So, what was Plan B?  It was to do my best in my first Tri in Zachary’s honor, cheer on the other Athletes in Tandem and get a finisher’s medal for Zach.  Andrew was there to take tons of photos and support me.  Jen and Bill even came to cheer me on!  I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the support!

Team Tandem

There were three other Athletes in Tandem teams there yesterday:  Blake and Nick, Dennis and AJ, and Steve and Jack (his first triathlon)!  Congratulations to all AiT participants!  You inspire and ROCK!

Getting Ready to Swim

Excited and Ready!

Readying the Rafts

bike to run

Bike to Run Transition Area

Off and Running!

Heading to the Finish Line!

They Did It!

Happy Finishers! – Photo Courtesy of Cindy Dallow


Did you notice how happy these guys are? I can’t even begin to describe how much I love seeing their smiles!  It is so amazing to be a part of an organization that provides them the opportunity to compete in races and be part of the excitement!  If that is not motivational, then I don’t know what is!

There’s something awesome about being outside, getting fresh air and sunshine, being part of a big event, and doing something that promotes fitness and wellness.  What’s better than that?  Being able to share it with others!


Smiling before the swim

that swim was hard!

Crying after the swim!

OK, once again, I KNOW it looks like I was crying, but I SWEAR I wasn’t!  I think I was just communicating my thoughts of how much harder that would have been pulling the raft!  I could have done it, but I feel like I might still be swimming!

Besides, you have to admit, it’s a pretty funny picture!  It’s good to laugh at ourselves once in a while!  I’m still laughing!

So Happy to be Getting on My Bike!

Final Stretch!

I Did It!

I was even smiling here!  I was so happy that my training paid off and I earned a finisher’s medal for Zachary!  Thanks to my awesome coach, Wendy Mader of T2 Coaching for providing me encouragement, training plans and a great event to participate!  Thanks to Dennis Vanderheiden and Athletes in Tandem for providing great opportunities to all of the athletes!

After eating, showering and returning my wetsuit, I went to visit Zachary.  He was still not feeling well.  I told him about the race, seeing his friends there, and gave him a Pelican Fest race shirt and our finisher’s medal!  Despite being sick, he was happy to hear about his friends and especially happy to get the medal!  Gretchen hung it on his wall in his room!  I told him I’d be over soon to take him for a walk.  I think it all cheered him up a little, which reconfirmed that today was totally worth it!

I look forward to participating in my next event with Zachary!  I’m not sure which one that will be, but it’s time to start planning!  Who wants to go biking with me tomorrow?

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10 Responses to Pel-I-Can! Fest – Plan B

  1. This is AMAZING!!! I have a son with cerebral palsy and this story made my heart soar!

    • I’m glad you found us! It is so incredible to be involved with this organization! If you think you would like your son to be involved with Athletes in Tandem, let me know. If they have willing participants, they sometimes travel to other cities to compete in events!

  2. J9 says:

    Susie you amaze me! Great job keep doing what you’re doing for Zachary

  3. Angie says:

    Way to go Suz!! You are awesome!!

  4. My son Max is 4 and has cerebral palsy, we are working our way towards a Tri. we’ve had to build up his ability to be outside for extended periods. Thank you for sharing this snapshot of your journey.

    • Hi Scott,
      Thank you for the insight into being Max’s dad… I have so much to learn! I am thankful for the opportunity to know Zachary and share something I enjoy! I’d love to hear about your Tri training and I hope Max is able to enjoy more time outside!

  5. Sue….I cannot express just how proud of you I am! You amaze me and I am so glad you are my sister! So happy that you’ve found these great, rewarding experiences! Love you more than you can imagine…..

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