In 2005, after years of training, competing and waiting, I was able to represent the United States and compete in Triathlon at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. The Olympic Distance race consisted of a mile swim, 25 mile bike ride through the city and then a 6.2 mile race over the hills and dunes of Ashkelon, Israel. After winning the gold medal for my age group (and finishing in the top 20 in 2:20 on the hot sand dunes above the Mediterranean in Ashkelon, I was also able to race in the Half Marathon in Ashdod several days later. Getting to know and travel with these teammates from all over the United States was one of the highlights of my sporting experiences. Shown to the left after the opening ceremonies march in el Aviv, I have tried to stay in touch with team members and have visited and trained with them all over the country.
I had hoped to help the 2009 team at these quadrennial games. As the only returning member, I had met with members of this year’s team in New York City and participated in training conference calls and web postings. And, I had hoped to defend my gold medal in the same age group. In fact, I had also made the half marathon team, and expected to compete in the 40km. bicycle “tyme trial” – 3 events, a real “triathlon triple.” However, in assessing where I am at this time, I had to make the very hard decision to give up my spots on the Triathlon and the half marathon running teams. I hope that my replacements meet with success, are awed by the sights they see in Israel, and bring home memories to last a lifetime. Shalom.